Edmunds Answers

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  • texases 08/15/10 1:44 pm PST

    The trick with the seatbelts is where to attach them. For lap belts it might not be too much of a problem (reinforced floor pan), but would be much more difficult if you're wanting shoulder belts, too.

    As for airbags, I'd be concerned about how to install them and know you'll actually be safer. Lots of engineering go into designing them.

  • jwilliams2 08/16/10 12:51 pm PST

    Seatbelts, yes if done properly.

    Airbags, no.

  • imidazol97 08/25/10 10:24 am PST

    Seatbelts? I'm living on ancient memories, but I believe Ford started making seatbelts an option in 1956 for the full-size cars. That means they have anchor locations in the floor pan that were capable of holding the forces. I recall adding seatbelts to a 1957 Fairlane 500 I got as a used car long ago.

    Airbags? Forget it.

  • 210delray 08/31/10 9:33 pm PST

    I agree with the others that lap belts should be relatively easy to install, especially if the anchors are present and the floorpan is structurally sound. There probably are no locations strong enough to hold the upper anchorage of a shoulder belt. As for airbags, this is not possible, plus the steering column is rigid (not energy absorbing as in modern cars), so in a frontal crash, the column will be forced back into your chest. I'd recommend driving the car at a leisurely pace on deserted back roads.

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