Installing Seat Belts
in a
1957 Chrysler 2 door

Factory installed seat belts were an option that began in the early 1960's. If your car is from the 50's and you want to install seat belts, the primary problems will be the style of the floor anchor and the location of the anchors in the floor.

The following picture is of the anchor and seat belt end that has been cut from the floor of an early 1960's Imperial. This was the style of the seat belt supplied by Chrysler. Note the hook arrangement at the end of the belt and the 'eye bolt' style of floor anchor.

This 'hook and eyebolt' anchor arrangement would be ideal for the 57 Chrysler
since the floor is very flat as the following picture shows.

I was able to find a modern equivalent from Andover Automotive, phone 410-381-6700. This is their belt style 87380 with their anchor kit MH-3. Notice the belts have a spring loaded snap arrangement at the belt anchor. Not only does this provide for easy installation, the belts are easily removed should you want to display your car at a show.

The finished installation is shown here. In these pictures the front seat has been moved all the way forward. In normal use, the seat would be back and the anchors not nearly so visible. I installed the reinforcing washers supplied in the Andover kit on top of the carpet since I already had reinforcing washers for the underside.

The choice of anchor location is the biggest problem. For this car, holes had already been drilled in the floor, perhaps for a previous installation of belts. Rather than cut new holes, I re-used them. If you have to cut new holes, it is important that the correct locations be chosen since it is possible to end up with a hole in an unuseable position, such as over a frame rail or over an exhaust pipe.

This is a picture of the underside of the car, looking at the inboard seat belt anchor nut and reinforcing washer. Although this angle looks like the anchor bolt hits the exhaust pipe, there is plenty of clearance.

This is the outboard anchor and washer. No clearance problem.

The Andover Auto style 87380 belts installed here use the black belt fabric and chrome latch buckle. Other colors and style are available; call Andover. The cost of these two front seat belts was just under $110. The 87380 belt is their 70" belt, where the short belt is 31" and the long belt (with the buckle) is 36.5". Andover also has this belt in 60", their style 873401 where the short belt is 27-3/4" and the long belt 35-1/4". Depending on the location of your floor anchors, you may find that the 60" fits better.

Since the 1958 and 1959 Chryslers share the same floor, I assume this information will also apply to those years. Other years will probably require some change to the anchor locations although it is my guess that the 87380 (or 873401) belts and MH-3 anchors will work.
My thanks to John Chesnutt for his advice in this project. He pointed me in the right direction and made things much easier.

For information on 1962 Chrysler seat belts
Back to the 1957 page

Last revised: January 9, 2002
Use this information at your own risk. Author assumes no liability.