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Bench seats or bucket seats

By jardinier ·
And now for something completely different ....

In my opinion the greatest leap BACKWARDS in automobile development was replacing the bench front seat with bucket seats.

The first car I bought brand new (in 1963) was a Ford Cortina 1500. It could fit 6 adults with passable comfort, had a boot with almost the same capacity as a family car, not to mention doing 32 MPG in town and 38 MPG in the country.

Regardless of the size of the car, by replacing the front bench seat with bucket seats, the carrying capacity is immediately reduced from 6 to 5.

I was looking at a recent model Jeep Cherokee today. Even the rear seat was designed to seat only two people.

Additionally I have never sat in ANY bucket seat that gave the support to the lower back in the way every bench seat did.

And as for extra-curricular activities -- well you just can't do squat in any newly designed car.

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I prefer bench seats too

by stress junkie In reply to Bench seats or bucket sea ...

These days we all have to have our seat belts fastened but there was a time when seat belts were just those things that fell behind the seat. In those days your favorite gal would sit in the middle of the bench seat and you could put your arm around her while you drove to lover's lane.

Now we're more practical and safer. In Massachusetts, USA you can get a citation and fine if you drive without your seat belt fastened. Safer but less romantic.

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by jardinier In reply to I prefer bench seats too

Ah yes, those were the days -- when your girlie snuggled up to you, and you put your left arm around her and operated the clutch while she changed gears.

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Well Jules like it or not

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Bench seats or bucket sea ...

The Bucket seat was introduced for safety reasons. If you are in a collision you stand far less chance of suffering serious injury in a bucket seat rather than on a bench seat and you can then fit in a floor shift so you can have the occasional accident when changing gear and grab that lovely girls leg instead of the gearshift.

As for not being as comfortable well most of them aren't because they are designed as cheaply as possible and driver comfort just isn't a consideration to the accountants who are responsible for building these things. If they can save .5 of a cent per unit they are in heaven and for comfortable Bucket seats you'll need to look to Germany and the Recaro brand for the ultimate Bucket Seat.

In the production range the Concorde are quite nice has adequate padding that supports you in the right places, more than enough adjustments to make them suit the people sitting in them and holds you in the event of a collision so you do not move around too much. Of course if you want the really good ones you buy the competition seat from the same maker where they heat up a mold and have you sit in it for a short time and then take a plug off the mold and make a what used to be fiberglass now I believe that they are Carbon Fiber shell and give that to you without any padding or even so much as a cover. You'll never sit in anything as comfortable I can assure you of that from personal experience. :^O

Though others may not find it at all comfortable you certainly will. There is even holes in the seat for the seatbelt to go through so you are held properly in a crash condition and so that the seatbelt doesn't do any more harm than absolutely necessary. On the down side they like seat belts are only good for one collision and should be replaced after the collision.

The reason that new cars have moved to bucket seats in the rear is mainly for insurance reasons as if you can only carry 4 people in a car that is one fewer person who can suffer an injury in a collision. No fun at the Drive In but I don't think that they still exist so no biggie there either. :^O

Col ]:)

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Bucket for me

by Choppit In reply to Bench seats or bucket sea ...

Definitely bucket seats for me. At 270lb I need the support and my passengers are reassured when I'm not moving about on every corner.

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Seat belts

by jardinier In reply to Bench seats or bucket sea ...

For the benefit of our American cousins, seat belts have been compulsory in New South Wales (I don't know about the other states as road regulations are a State Government responsibility) for so long that I can't remember when they were first introduced.

I am pretty sure (I am sure Col will know the right answer) we were the first State/country in the world to introduce compulsory seat belts. Eventually you get used to them and feel naked without one.

My vehicle, a Volvo, has a blinking and clicking warning light on the dashboard if any seat has a passenger who has not attached their seat belt.

Three bags of manure on the passenger seat provide enough weight to start the warning light blinking.

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Easy Jules

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Seat belts

In 1968 it became compulsory to fit seat belts to AU new Cars they where optional extras prior to that for a few years, and a few years latter either 1970 or 1971 when no one was actually wearing them it was passed into LAW that you had to wear the things and you could also not remove a installed Seatbelt for any reason other than to replace it with a similar type of unit. That was courtesy of the Australian Design Rules of 1972 and in 1974 any modification from standard could make a car illegal which is something that the Cops never fully understood. If it was an optional extra it was OK but something as simple as a different brand of High Tension Leads technically made the cars unroadworthy.

Of course cars like BMW, Mercedes and the like had them way prior to that but it was in 1968 that they became mandatory in AU built or supplied new cars. I had an interesting ticket once where I was wearing a 6 point racing harness and was booked for not wearing the standard seatbelt that came fitted to the car. The Cop was telling me just how dangerous it was while I had belts over both shoulders around the waist and across both legs so if I hit something very hard I didn't slide forward under the dashboard. Apparently the Lap sash was safer than the racing harness that I was wearing but it was a Mini Copper S Rally Car so anything is possible.

Fun to drive but as Dangerous as Hell when something broke which was way too often.

The fact that the standard seat belts supplied in production cars are designed not to release when under pressure is not a good thing in my books as they should lock in place while a collision is occurring and not release but they should release instantly when the button in pushed which if you are on your side or roof the standard ones do not because of the poor design they think that they are under pressure from a collision and just lock up so you need to cut them to get someone out of the car if it is no longer on its wheels. The racing harness on the other hand you just hit the button in the middle of your chest and they fly off. Which might mean you fall to the roof but you are not trapped inside the car and run the risk of burning to death like has happened on a few occasions now. At one Coroners Inquest I directly attributed the deaths of 4 people to the fact that they where wearing Seat Belts which wouldn't release because the car was on its roof and with fuel running out of the fuel tank when it caught fire they died luckily very quickly but I wouldn't have liked to have been a wittiness to that one for the 15 to 25 seconds that it took to kill the occupants of the car.

Col ]:)

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Seat belt law

by jdclyde In reply to Seat belts

They slipped this in here in Michigan a few years back, with the stipulation that this would NOT be an offense that you could be pulled over for.

People were afraid that the cops could use this as an excuse to check out any car they want.

Well, after a few years (for our own good) they went back on this and now will setup road blocks and check for seatbelt useage. It is about $60 US if you get caught without it on.

I STARTED to wear mine because I had small children that I wanted to be safe. To get them to do this, I had to set the examle of ALWAYS having the seatbelt on. Now it is just another habit that isn't even thought about.

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Thanks for the memories

by amcol In reply to Bench seats or bucket sea ...

You remind me that the absolutely best car seat I have ever experienced was in the first bucket of bolts I ever bought, a 1975 Chevy Malibu. It was the only model year in which they put bucket seats that swivelled rather than reclined. You'd push a button under the seat and you could swivel it around 90 degrees, so that it was completely facing the outside of the car. My grandmother used to love them...she could just fall backwards into the car and plop down into the seat, whereupon I'd swivel her into place (of course, getting her back out of the car was a rather interesting...and crowd gathering...operation).

Bucket seats are the most comfortable option for my money. I tend not to drive the way they teach in Driver's Ed...I've never met a brake pedal I like, and my general driving philosophy is you can go as slow as you want just as long as you're not doing it in front of ME. With a bucket seat and a shoulder restraint wrapped around me I find I don't slide around inside the car when I'm taking turns on two wheels.

I have tremendous problems with my lower back since some spinal surgery ten years ago, and I find bucket seats do indeed give better lumbar support.

Extra curricular activities in the car? High school's over. Get a room.

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ah...the memories

by jck In reply to Bench seats or bucket sea ...

I had a 74 Ford Gran Torino Elite for my first car. It had what you'd call "bucket" seats, but they were a bench if they weren't independently leaned forward.

I could seat 6 in my car too. Try to do that nowadays in a muscle car. You're lucky to get 4.

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Love my bucket seats

by jdclyde In reply to Bench seats or bucket sea ...

Chrysler Concorde, leather and electric. I put on between 700 to 1400 miles a week and comfort is a MUST! Even the Bench seat in the back is actually bucketish.

Sure, it cuts down on the volume of people that can ride in the car but the people that DO fit are much more comfortable. My boys LOVE riding in my car! Seats are comfortable and plenty of leg room.

As for extra-curricular, it just predetermines who is on top doing all the work. What is so wrong with that? You just don't know how to look at things in the proper light.

There was an old expression, buckets seats were refered to as "birth control" seats. ;\

In a few years when my twin boys start to drive, I will have to make sure I have a car with bucket seats AND NO BACK SEAT!

Growing up, I had a van. In the window read "Don't laugh mister, your daughter might be in here!"

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