View Full Version : champ seat belts

06-25-2017, 09:39 PM
I was looking the June turning wheels and spotted door mounted seat belts on a champ. Option AC2989 cost was 19.95. I have never seen these before were they common?

06-25-2017, 10:35 PM
Door mounted seat belts? Great idea, but only as a topic of conversation. Studebaker started offering a brand (believe they were "Karbelts") in the mid-fifties, fairly common on early Hawks. The buckles were OK, same as those supplied then to Douglas Aircraft. The boxes they came in boasted that the door-mounted outboard belts helped keep the doors from flying open. But at what cost to the human torso? I forget when they were replaced by conventional lap belts, probably in the mid-sixties. I have them in my 56J, but drag out modern floor-mounted belts when actually on the road.

06-25-2017, 11:15 PM
I've seen a few variations of them but not on champ trucks. The picture is not clear on how they worked. And I've never seen any up close.

06-25-2017, 11:21 PM
By the time the Champs were built 1960 to 1964, the door mounted belts had long since been replaced with Floor Mounted ones.
But that does not mean that an owner or Dealer could not put them in ANYTHING!

They were fairly common in '56 to '58.

Trucks did not require seat belts at the time, and that explains why I have never seen a "C" Cab or a "T" Cab with Factory Anchors for them.
I just put some floor mount belts in my '63 Champ, and it requires removing the seat, which does not happen on Cars.

06-26-2017, 09:44 AM
Here they are... Sparton Karbelts. (Here on the Packard.) Buckles supplied by Air Associates, Inc... said to be same as those installed on Douglas commercial planes of the day. Used the SP red decals for Studebaker-Packard applications. Not sure any of the first generation belts on the market were much better thought out or scientifically tested.


06-26-2017, 09:59 AM
I've seen a few variations of them but not on champ trucks. The picture is not clear on how they worked. And I've never seen any up close.

The outboard belt is simply anchored by a chromed bracket to the inner edge of the door jamb rather than a floor bracket. The belt adjusts by lifting the latch on the buckle and pulling the end of that outboard belt through the buckle, just like the heavily promoted '56 Ford belts. Or traditional airline belts, which these basically were.

06-26-2017, 10:25 AM
I first became aware of these when I bought my black '57 Golden Hawk (red and white vinyl interior) sometime in '65. It had a set of medium gray belts installed, front and rear. The gray showed every water mark and trace of soil, the chrome plating wasn't the best. I had Frost & French install the later style. But the old belts stayed, no undoing the placement of the door brackets.

Somewhere I've seen the Sparton belts listed in a '56 Packard accessory brochure. But I've never seen them installed in a '56 Clipper or Packard. Only the South Bend Packards.


06-26-2017, 12:09 PM
Even the '59/'60 instructions for installing belts for cars shows the "through the floor" type belts, so the photo was probably used just because they had a copy handy.

This is where I placed my anchors when I put belts in my '62 a few years back.

It would be interesting to see where Studebaker placed those belts. I have only seen photos of one Champ that had factory installed belts - and it only had 15K miles on the odometer to boot...