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Could seat-belts have been installed in this 1941 chevy pick up?

Lap belts, for sure, but they might not have made a difference. The interior of '41 pickups have plenty of hard surfaces, along with the steering wheel/column. 3-point belts are tougher to retrofit, need a strong anchor for the shoulder.

And the driver may have had a heart attack prior to the crash, it seems.

I wouldn’t consider that a ‘classic,’ but rather a ‘street rod.’ And it likely had a tilt wheel from a post 1980 GM car and certainly seat belts.

A new car in 1961 did not come with seat belts. A new 1965 Mustang did come with seat belts. The mid to late '60’s is when seat belts came factory installed in new cars. You could buy seat belts at auto supply stores and install them as an aftermarket add on. A few people did this, but very few.

So, seat belts could have been installed in the 1941 truck, but it did not come with them from a GM factory. Those early stage seat belts were not at all user friendly and most people buried them in between the seat cushions and didn’t use them.

whats odd is the withholding of the man’s name . . when anyone whoe knows him sees the picture of that unique truck . . they’ll know exactly who he was !

I’d guess the truck did indeed have seat belts added when the truck was turned into a street rod. Seeing as how the engine is a big-block Chevrolet not available in any form until 1965 with a tunnel ram intake manifold with two 4-barrel carburetors, late model braking system, I’m sure seat belts weren’t forgotten. This truck is VERY modified.

Agree with @ken green, anyone who knows the guy will recognize this truck.

Belts, even three way belts, could easily have been installed if they weren’t already (see Mustang’s post) but it wouldn’t have mattered. If I understood the article correctly he died of a heart attack.

My sympathies to his family.

Back then it just depended. My 59 Pontiac didn’t have them until I installed them, but our 57 Ford did. 58 and 61 Chevy no, but 61 Merc yes. I think GM didn’t want to give the impression that their cars were unsafe and needed seat belts so Ford and Chrysler led the way until the mid 60’s. Then everyone had them and Chrysler even the shoulder harness.

As soon as was possible in the industry . . My dad would stop the sale and insist seatbelts be added or …NO sale.

I’m late to the party . . . sorry

This is what I’m fixated on

" . . . alcohol or drugs appear to be a factor in the incident."

The man’s dead. I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Having had two heart attacks, and having to take opiods daily to control pain, I would hope that if a similar accident happened to me the media would give me he benefit of the doubt for the sake of my kids. The politicians and the media currently have a huge bias against opiod painkillers, and they often make a big stink over nothing. It’s about power and the money that comes with it.


You make a valid point

I’m no expert on legalities, law enforcement, etc., but if any kind of drugs/alcohol are in the system, don’t the authorities ALWAYS say they were a factor?

Mind you, I’m not implying he was a crackhead and that’s why he crashed

Maybe he was in poor health, taking medication, and his number came up, so to speak

db4690 - not sure about your area but where I live the investigating officers may have a good idea of the circumstances but will state the accident is under investigation and citations or causes with be listed later. It does not always make the news.

True, db. They often even say in their official statement that they “may have been” a factor.
Also true, Volvo, of the area where I live.

Being an advocate of strong laws against DUI, I usually would rather see any questions of this sort answered, but not until the investigation is completed. I’d hate to see a statement of this type from the police cause difficulties for the family in collecting insurance if the man simply had a heart attack. In this case I’d rather see them err on the side of giving him the benefit of the doubt until the investigation is complete.

The first 2 vehicles I owned with seat belts were a 1961 Ford Econoline pickup with what I later learned were Bell UH-1 Huey passenger lap belts and a 1963 Ford Galaxie with Simpson Racing lap belts. Even though I was unfamiliar with seat belts they seemed like a good idea so I always wore them.

Seeing as how law enforcement made a determination that alcohol or drugs appear to be involved my assumption, right or wrong, is that there was something present in the truck that led them to that conclusion. Liquor or beer containers, prescription meds bottles, bag of weed or crack, or whatever. Or all of it.
They’re just waiting for the toxicology report to make it official.

Have to agree with the others ,bias is probably a factor , when I take pain meds ,I am usually at home and will not drive as a rule commercially no matter how small the dose .The trouble with MJ is it shows up so long after a person uses it and poppy seeds will give a false opoid negative’ Bias can ruin fine investigating,we used to have a news anchor ,she would always say when someone crashed if they were injured ,if they were not wearing seatbelts. I never heard Her say when people were not hurt seriously in pretty bad crashes ,that they werent wearing seatbelts.
But it is always better to wear seatbelts ,one design in particular always bothered me on the GM Lumina platform cars ,part of the harness was anchored on the flimsy door frame looks like in a bad side offset crash it would peel the driver right out of the car and maybe cut them in two .
57 Fords had the "Lifeguard " design (at least some of them ) padded dash and lap belts ,it seems that the early padded dash design was faulty .

My first seat belt was installed by the J.C;s as a community project. I think it was a 1950 Chevrolet but I cannot remember for sure. They drilled a hole in the floor and ran a bolt down through a large washer.