With modern road traffic and also the obligation to wear seat belts, the demand for safety also increased. Of course, we are allowed to drive in a 190SL without seat belts, just like back then. But one or the other feels uncomfortable and wants more safety for passenger and driver. For these reasons, we have been installing seat belts of various designs in our customers’ SLs for a long time.
We have two variants: Lap belts or three-point belts with retrofitted head restraints.
Lap belts are quite simple in the solution. They can also be hidden under the seat when not in use. The interior looks the same as always. The belts are available in different colors. We find the combination of more safety and an almost untouched interior convincing.
Three-point seat belts with retrofitted head restraints provide additional protection by supporting the head and spine in the event of a collision. The backrest is reinforced to accommodate the headrest. The holders on the headrests serve to guide the belt and ensure that the belt does not press on the shoulder. In modern vehicles, the belt comes from the top and therefore does not put any strain on the shoulder. We can cover the headrests with the original leather in our saddlery. However, one must be aware that the shade may vary. Depending on how old the leather in the interior is and which leather was processed. There can only ever be an approach, unless the interior is completely redone. Furthermore, of course, as described above, the seat must be changed and gets openings for the headrests at the top of the backrest.
There is also the option of integrating a shelf between the seats. This is simply clamped and is practcal these days to store sunglasses, cell phone, garage door opener, etc. The tray between the seats avoids that the seat belt buckles can fall behind the seats.
Safety is definitely an issue that concerns many classic car drivers. It’s worth thinking about what can be done. Retrofitting the 190SL with disc brakes on the front axle can also be a (further) safety aspect.