Needed Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

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Needed Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by a58pacer » Tue 15. Nov 2011, 12:02

Looking for one to three original, factory style seat belt buckles for 1957-60 Lincoln (some 1956 models might also have them).
These are not the metal-to-fabric aircraft-style pull-throughs used by Ford through 1963, or by Lincoln and Mercury in most pre-1957 installations.

The ones I need are metal-to-metal contact, sometimes refered to as "quick-release." They open by lifting a small chromed lever at the *front* of the buckle, not by raising the buckle cover at the rear of the buckle. Condition of the webbing is not important, as I have found a source for the correct black material. All I need to find is a mate for one new-old-stock unit I already have.

These are most commonly found in 1957 and 1958 Lincolns and Continentals, although they could have been used in 1959 and 1960 models as well . . . I haven't really been able to ascertain a final date for these specific belts.

Look for the identification on the underside of the belt buckle: FoMoCo (oval) JL-56-A

Contact me at FordMelEngine @ edsel.us (leave out the blanks).
Attachments
!!.jpg
1957 Mercury seat belts, photo courtesy of Sidesho_Bob1961. The Lincoln belts are identical, but have plain buckles instead (no stripes or "M" logo).
Last edited by a58pacer on Tue 15. Nov 2011, 15:39, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by Shelby#18 » Tue 15. Nov 2011, 13:00

Sorry, I've never seen one like that before. Is there a story behind the "M" stamping on the buckle?

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Re: Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by a58pacer » Wed 16. Nov 2011, 11:00

I can tell a whole lot of very boring details about these belts, who made them, where they've been found, etc., and some very detailed information about the progression of seat belt usage and availability for the various FoMoCo makes. For now, it will suffice to say the Mercury-style belts pictured above are illustrated in the 1957 Mercury seat belt installation sheet drawing included in the seat belt kits. So they are verifiable, genuine equipment for Mercury through perhaps the 1960 model year.

But I am desperately looking for a *plain* set of these same buckles. (I'm not hard to please, eh? ;) )

If anybody has any leads or can supply one, contact me at
FordMELEngine @ edsel.us (leave out the blanks,please).

What I need looks and works exactly the same, and is in fact interchangeable with the illustrated belts. Just one belt buckle, and I'm hoping the mating tongue comes along with it, would make me one of the happiest campers at the jamboree!

Okay, since you asked, I'll attempt to bore anybody who's reading this:

The state of Virginia has compiled and maintained a list over the years of approved seat-belt safety devices, and a July 1, 2007 revision has been published on-line in pdf form. One small section, on the fourth of thirteen pages, lists the following seat belts in a grouping all by themselves:

Ford Motor Company

FoMoCo
FoMoCo JL-56-A
FoMoCo JM-56-A

These are the first three types of belts released by FoMoCo for use in their cars back around the start of the 1956 model year as part of the Lifeguard Design program. The "FoMoCo" identifies the pull-through metal-to-fabric contact aircraft style patented in 1947, and used on Fords up into the early part of the 1964 model year (I believe up to Jan. 1, 1964). They were also used on early Lincoln and Mercury installations. The only identifying numbers on these buckles are the patent number, the engineering number BN 7061208-A, and a casting code digit.

But the Lincoln, Mercury (and presumably Continental) Divisions each opted for an upscale belt, and shortly thereafter the Jervis Corporation was contracted to supply two series of quick-release seat belts for these cars, hence the JL-56-A and the JM-56-A FoMoCo belts. The "JL-56-A" code (sometimes mistaken as indicating July 1956) actually indicates the manufacturer, the make application, the initial year of application, and the revision level, hence the corresponding Mercury-styled belt was designated "JM-56-A." While it is commonly believed that the quick-release belts weren't available at all in the 1956 model year, the Jervis Lincoln seat belt was assigned a 1956 engineering number (prefix "BY") and the Jervis Mercury's was as well (prefix "BU"). In contrast, the earlier pull-through types bore 1955-assigned engineering number prefixes "BT" and "BV" respectively. So it does appear these belts were released for production mid-year 1956.

Sales never materialized to the degree that FoMoCo was hoping for, and Ford bowed to industry pressure and discontinued the advertising campaign mid-year 1956. By 1957, Ford's "Lifeguard Design" campaign had dwindled away to nothing but a decal on the edge of the driver's door but, nevertheless, the quick-release seat belts were still offered on MEL products in 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960. However, 1961 and 1962 Lincoln Continentals were fitted with the old pull-through style (if belts were ordered as factory-installed equipment), and this original Ford-style belt can be seen in the Lincoln accessories brochures from those years. We can reasonably presume the Mercury models produced those two same model years conformed with Ford and Lincoln cars as far as seat belt availability.

Make-specific styled belts at FoMoCo didn't re-appear until the Lincoln-Mercury Division contracted with the re-formed Allan-Jervis Company to issue a newly-constructed series of quick-release seat belts with essentially the same design as in 1956, but with buckles of formed stainless or chromed mild sheet steel, presumably as a cost-cutting measure, although the newer Jervis-designed belts are also quite a bit more attractive than the original cast-aluminum ones. These belts have been found in three variants as installed on 1963 and early 1964 L-M products: The "MERCURY" block letter logo, the "Continental" script logo, and the plain-buckled type.

All previous FoMoCo-released seat belts were replaced starting January 1, 1964 by a quick-release belt from a new supplier (as yet unidentified), and this type of belt is what is commonly found on all Ford products for the calendar year 1964 and through the 1965 model year. While they all appear outwardly of the same basic design, there are three major styling variations. Some of these buckles have a distinctive stamped "rows-of-scales" pattern with an aluminum finish, and are nicknamed "gatorbacks." Others have a pebble-texture, and still others a smooth textured buckle surface. The latter two types were painted to match the color of the webbing. Floor-mounted seat belt retractors were included as standard equipment on Lincoln (and possibly Thunderbird) along with the new color-coordinated seat belts at that time. These belts also release by lifting at the front end of the buckle, but the releasing tab is larger, occupying most of the top surface of the belt buckle, as opposed to the Jervis design which used only a very narrow tab occupying only about 7/16" of length, but extending across nearly the entire width of the buckle at the end where the tongue is inserted.

In 1966, FoMoCo once again changed suppliers, and a newly-designed seat belt with a crushed leather textured buckle surface from the Jim Robbins Company was used for FoMoCo installations into the late 1960's until the three-point shoulder belts were introduced. These buckles appear to have color-coordinated plastic trim covering the buckle top surface, but I'll have to get a set in my hands to be able to tell for sure.

In the meantime, Allan-Jervis dissolved their relationship (or the Jervis interest was bought out) and the newly-merged Jeffrey-Allan Industries, Inc. began re-thinking the concept of quick-release seat belts. New patents applied for in 1963 led to the production of the JAI-100 seat belts (listed on page 6 of the state of Virginia approved seat belt list) which proved popular as low-cost replacement and after-market belts.

There, you still awake?? :D

gauss
Last edited by a58pacer on Tue 29. Nov 2011, 17:08, edited 17 times in total.

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Re: Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by Shelby#18 » Wed 16. Nov 2011, 13:15

I read it! Very good information. Thanks

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Re: Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by a58pacer » Wed 16. Nov 2011, 14:19

Went and found a few more examples to look at, and edited the text regarding the Jan. 1, 1964 and later FoMoCo belt descriptions, if you're interested.

gauss

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Re: Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by Theo » Thu 17. Nov 2011, 01:28

If you can write and post it please go ahead. Good information is always much appretiated. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by a58pacer » Thu 17. Nov 2011, 11:43

Already have. I hate bad information on line, so rather than correct everything in a subsequent message that everybody reading may or may not see, I edited the original post.

That's one of the greatest features of this Bulletin Board Software (phpBB) . . . being able to fix the boo-boos well after-the-fact.

One of the biggest drawbacks of this system I find is trying to catch all the threads that are being added to constantly. But I digress even further. This thread is getting further and further off-topic as we go, isn't it?

:!: Still like to remind everybody about the main reason for the thread, and that is I need one, just one, OEM seat belt buckle and tongue (or even just the buckle) from a 1957 through 1960 Lincoln. It looks just like the Mercury one pictured above, but has no design stamped or cast into the surface of the buckle . .. it's just smooth. :!:

FordMELengine @ edsel.us (leave out the blanks)

gauss

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Re: Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by Theo » Fri 18. Nov 2011, 07:42

a58pacer wrote:Already have. I hate bad information on line, so rather than correct everything in a subsequent message that everybody reading may or may not see, I edited the original post.
The board system does not mark edited post by coloration as it is usually the case when you add a comment. Therefore I suggest to place an extra comment so that the thread gets marked red. The extra comment could be just a notification of what has been corrected in the post above or an other previous post in that particular thread. This would make it easier for readers that allready have read the thread, to catch up w. the new edition. i think it's important. Depending on the theme you never know what wrong information can lead to.
a58pacer wrote:.... This thread is getting further and further off-topic as we go, isn't it?
Don't worry. I'm in great favor of all kind of interesting info and I'm sure other readers out ther do appretiate it as well. Off topic or not, it's the task of us the admins and moderators to copy, split or move threads or single posts to other sections where it might fit better.
I'm going to think about where to copy (double) this information.
Keep in mind that this is your forum, blog or whatever you feel this is for you. I hate to see good information getting lost to somewhere without any value for those who seek and without any recognition to the work of the author. Rock solid information and the dedication to help is what this forum is all about. The moderators are idealists with no profit in mind. They take a lot of time and effort to keep this forum going and to daily sweep it from spam and other threats. Although the unfortunate current spam / serious topic posts ratio is 90:10, every single new information on the topic reminds us that our work is worth it. Thanx to all who post and to all the moderators.
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Re: Needed Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by Theo » Fri 18. Nov 2011, 08:30

O.K. I've edited and copied the main content into the Lincoln Forum Section.
Check it out here
viewtopic.php?f=101&t=1213
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Re: Needed Lincoln seat belt 1957-60

Post by a58pacer » Sun 20. Nov 2011, 08:51

Thanks, Theo.

I'm happy with the current revision and copied it into my own at-home files as it now stands for future posting elsewhere. Group, if anybody wants to store the "final" first edition of "The History of FoMoCo Seat Belts 1955-1968 In A Nutshell, by JDGauss," this would be the one to save.

I won't be changing anything else until I dig up some updated facts, or perhaps some more definitive dates as far as when the various types up seat belts entered production. For instance, I expect to find that self-retractors and the color-coordinated buckles were introduced into Lincoln production sometime in the October/November 1963 time frame in anticipation of the January 1, 1964 mandatory seat belt installation law. The same thing with perhaps the Ford and Mercury gatorbacks and color-coordinated buckles.

But it remains to be seen if anything better turns up with further research.

gauss

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