Question Car seats in classic cars - Canada



I recently bought a classic car (1953 Desoto) and the back seat has no seat belts.

I am wondering if it is possible to buy a LATCH system kit in order to secure baby seats in the back seat. Or if installing lap belts is ok?

In general I would like to know how people safely (within the constraints of the original design of the car) transport children in older vehicles.

The vehicle will not be going out on the highway, mainly just to cruise around town and attend some car shows.



Moderator - CPST Instructor
You can not retrofit lower anchors (called UAS in Canada).

Whether you are able to safely install seat belts would depend on the vehicle, and if it was built to handle the forces put onto the attachment points by a seat belt in a crash.

If you were wanting to put in a forward-facing harnessed seat you would require a top tether anchor, and it's unlikely a car of that age would have a suitable place to install one.

A booster seat would require a lap shoulder belt.

I'm not personally comfortable transporting kids in classic vehicles, much to the dismay of my dad and husband, both of whom have classic vehicles (73 Mustang, 61 Falcon). I will ride in the Mustang in the front seat only where there were factory lap/shoulder belts (that have since been replaced with new belts), but I won't in the Falcon where there are no belts. Even around town, it's not worth the risk to me.

It may be a risk that you are comfortable with, but you'd need standard seat belt assemblies, attached to the vehicle properly and safely, and ensure that any car seat is able to be installed properly with them.


New member
All of the above.

What province are you in by the way? Provincial law might further restrict your options.

And installing aftermarket seat belts in an older car that wasn't originally designed with them is not as simple as replacing the existing belts in an old car with new ones. Even in the 60's and 70's seatbelts were attached to specific points in a car that were designed to be strong enough to take the forces imposed on them, whereas a car that never had belts likely doesn't have those points intended to securely anchor seat belts.

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