Car Seat History: 1985 Kangol Dreamseat (Pic Heavy)
Having made several attempts to begin to build a website as I hoped, it is looking less likely to happen in the near future. Therefore I shall over the next few weeks, when I get the opportunity, share some pictures of some the “vintage” car seats I have collected. I hope this is of interest to some people here!
The first is the Kangol Dream Seat. Upon release in 1984, the seat had a recommended retail price of £48.87 which equated to $65.30, based on this chart. At the time, Kangol offered (among other vehicle safety products) two child seats of which the Dream Seat was the premium model; the other was the Eurosafe which can be seen in the leaflet extract below.
The cheapest advertised price I could find from old literature was £29.99 which, by the same exchange rate as above, was about $40. Within the market at the time, this price placed the Dream Seat as one of the more expensive models. I could only find one other seat from the time which was more expensive. The price remained the same for 4 years.
Characteristic of the era, the Dream Seat had no specified weight range but rather an age recommendation of 9 months to 4½ years. Before the days of convertible car seats, it was an only forward facing seat. From my research it appears this was the first seat on sale in the UK with a recline function (operated by the two large brown knobs which can be seen in the photos below at either side of the top of the seat). Although advertised as available with a choice of covers, I have never seen an advert or photo with any other cover than that shown below.
The seat was before the days of seat belt installations in the UK and as such was fixed to the vehicle with a fixing kit. This required bolting two straps to the vehicle and then using a release system to uninstall and reinstall the seat. These fixing straps can be seen in the photos below.
The design of the Dream Seat was considered very innovative and won a Design Council Award and “Motor Trade Safety Product of the Year” in 1984/85.
And with the official "Kangol Playtray":
The Dream Seat disappeared from the market somewhere after the end of 1988. Just before the seat was launched, Kangol were purchased by ASE group who today are AmSafe - who produce many of the seatbelts found in commercial aircraft. From communicating with a former employee of the company, it would seem that the business was undergoing sizeable restructuring during the mid 1980s and it is possible, being a “premium” product that the model was dropped from the product range, although I have no definitive evidence of this. Briefly, ASE-Kangol became part of Swedish car seat manufacturer, Klippan, and this may also have affected the production of this seat.
Anyway, I hope someone finds this interesting!
03-20-2012 07:03 PM