Retro baby car seats from the 60s, 70s & 80s: Forward- & rear-facing vintage auto safety seats for kids

Vintage car seats - Announcing GM's new Love Seats-may-1973

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Did they use car seats in the 60s and 70s?

Yes! While retro baby car seats weren’t mandated by law in all 50 US states until 1986, they existed in some form for decades. Child seats for cars in the 1930s were among the first designed — though their purpose was primarily so kids could have a better view on car rides.

Infant car seats designed for safety didn’t come under consideration until the late 1960s, after concerned physicians and parents started pressuring auto manufacturers for improved safety features for children on seats and many other types of baby gear.

If you were a child of the 60s and 70s — and perhaps even the early 80s — you might not realize parents were even using baby car seats and toddler boosters at that time.

While they weren’t widespread — and, of course, not nearly as safe as what regulations require today (most failed Consumer Reports crash testing back in the day), there was a growing market for their use.

Toddler booster seats from 1967

When it comes to safety seating, General Motors doesn’t leave anybody out

Buy a new GM car and you get seat belts for every passenger position. And extra seat belts are just the start of the many new safety features we’ve added.

For example, we’re making available that little people’s seat. It’s specially designed by General Motors and it’s sure to make any family outing just that much more relaxing and enjoyable.

At night, new side marker lights and parking lamps that operate with your headlights let other cars see yours better. As you know, all of our cars provide the assurance of passenger-guard door locks… on every door. And, most important, the GM-developed energy-absorbing steering column is standard on all models.

Oct 27, 1967 GM retro baby car seats

LIFE Oct 27, 1967 GM retro baby car seats

DON’T MISS: See how moms used weird baby window cages & other ‘interesting’ child containment devices way back when


Retro baby car seats from 1971

1. Aspen all-purpose infant car seat

Use indoors too, as feeding or TV chair. Thickly padded head support. Light blue molded polypropylene protective outer shell and pedestal base. shell has “port holes” for adult seat belt.

1-1/2-in. nylon parachute-style straps. Bright blue print vinyl seat, back. Serofoam polyurethane padded. Seat pad removes for cleaning, — $19.98

retro baby car seats from 1971 (3)

2. Crayden high-back baby car seat

High-back style, 30 inches high. Molded polypropylene side, back shell “port holes” for adult seat belt. Extra high headrest, Serofoam polyurethane padded, vinyl covered. Channeled vinyl back, seat. 1-1/2-in. nylon parachute-style straps.

Chrome-plated tubular steel frame. Seat pad removes for easy cleaning. 17x 15×30 inches high overall.  — Black / Blue $19.98

Retro baby car seats from 1971 (1)

3. Gran-Prix baby car seat

Contoured style. Serofoam polyurethane padded headrest. 2-in. Serofoam seat, back are vinyl-covered. Chrome-plated tubular steel frame. 11/2-in. nylon parachute-style strap. — Black snake look / Black — $15.98

4 The Rover baby car seat

Yellow and white vinyl-covered seat and back. 2-height Serofoam polyurethane padded headrest; 2-1/2-inch thick Serofoam padded seat, back. Chrome-plated tubular steel frame. 1-1/2 -inch nylon shoulder strap. $13.98

5. Plastic Steering Wheel for baby car seats

Fits all car seats on this page except (1). $1.89

Vintage baby car seats from 1971 (2)

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Announcing GM’s new Love Seats for those you want to protect.

Reclining Infant Car Seat: GM “baby bucket” car seats from 1973

General Motors has developed two new seats especially for the small fry. We call them Love Seats, and they’re designed to be used in conjunction with your car’s seat belts.

For children who weigh less than 40 pounds, and who are less than 40 inches tall, there’s the Child Love Seat. It’s made to protect the child while giving him freedom of movement for his arms and legs.

There’s the Infant Love Seat for babies under 20 pounds. It has adjustable shoulder straps that gently support the infant within the protective contours. The inclined surface provides added support for the head and the back. And the “facing-the-rear” position gives an added measure of protection.

MORE: See how different antique baby carriages & old-fashioned strollers used to be

GM Love Seats are easy to use. They’re made of lightweight, high-impact polypropylene padded with urethane foam. They’re portable and can be conveniently stored in the trunk.

But most important, they’re the result of years of testing by General Motors safety engineers. If there are children you want to protect, you can buy a Love Seat through your local Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac or GMC Truck dealer; or just fill out the coupon below.

Besides getting a GM Love Seat, you’ll be getting peace of mind.

Child seats recommended for use in 1968 through 1973 passenger cars built in the USA and equipped with rear seats. (Except vehicles with truck chassis.)

GM's vintage Love Seats: Retro child car safety seats (1973)

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Infant car seats from Sears in 1979

Rear-facing car seat for infants up to 20 pounds – Bobby Mac Car Seat for infants and toddlers – Strolee Wee Care – Travel Guard Car Seat

Baby car seats from Sears in 1979


Vintage car baby safety seats from 1983

Collier “Safe and Sound” car seat

Use from birth through toddler years (children to 40 Ibs.). Infants (to 20 lbs. or 26 in. tall) face backward in a reclining position. Toddlers face forward in an upright position.

Seat secured by a car seat belt and adjustable restraining harness — no tether strap necessary. Padded safety shield. Off-white polyethylene body. Brown vinyl covers polyurethane foam padding.

Vintage car baby safety seats from 1983 - kids (2)

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Vintage car baby safety seats from 1983

Vintage car baby safety seats from 1983 - kids (1)

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Comments on this story

3 Responses

  1. I am looking for this style car seat to purchase, would you be able to help with this project?? Thank you Desiree Ryan

  2. One of my earliest memories was of sitting in an all-metal car seat with a little steering wheel. It was a miracle I survived to adulthood…

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