Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seat Belts

Believe it or not, the Ford Motor Company offered them starting in 1955 as a dealer installed option. It was tied into a "Arrive alive in '55" ad campaign. They were not Federally mandated until January 1, 1968. 

Finding cars with them prior to the mandate is somewhat rare. Compounding the issue is the fact that dealers could install them prior to the law. This 1964 and a half had them. It appears to be a factory install. Sadly, one belt was cut.

The dealer belts seem to be quite different than factory ones.  I had one goal. Replace the buckle hardware for the one that was cut. All the webbing is going to be replaced anyway. 50 year old fabric I don't trust. 

Here are the dealer belts I scored on fleabay. The boxes call out a "C5" number stating that the boxes at least were labeled for 1965. On top of one of the boxes is the cut belt from the car. 

I'm after the label on the cut one to affix to the the new webbing and buckle. 

Date code 7-64. Totally correct for this car. 

Here is the bottom of the buckle from the car. Note it sports the correct FoMoCo and date stamping of 1-64. 

Then here is the bottom of the dealer buckle. A lot of difference here. 

This buckle is sporting a "C3" number denoting a 1963 part yet stamped 1-64. The Ford oval stamping has been replaced with a "Rotunda" as well. Oh, BTW. I need a Macro lens for this camera it seems! 

The label on the webbing is totally different as well on these belts. 

They also have some markings on them as well that would be excellent for a NOS person but not suited for something that will be driven.

There are some small variances in the buckles as well, but I will take what I can get! 

Original is on the bottom, the dealer accessory on top. Close enough! 

 The grain is much deeper on the original. 

Why do I do this? Well, details matter and my Mother will be driving this car.  

Keeping a 100 pound meat sack restrained in a 2.5K pound car if it goes bad has made leaps and bounds of advancements in 50 years. Best I can do right now though! 


  1. Your attention to detail may go unnoticed by 99% of the population, but ... well done, sir.

  2. Nice find and YES you do want them for your mother! :-)

  3. Wasn't one of the revolutionary things for it's time seat belts in the Tucker?