View Full Version : Looking for vintage style seats plus belts

08-01-2007, 04:02 PM
Hi everyone, I'm looking for a new set of seats for my MGC GTS. I want to put something in that looks appropriate for the car, and is in the style of the period. Head rests are a must. One option is to customize a set of proper MGC NA seats, which I can do, but I wouldn't mind something more supportive.

Potential problem: The MGC has an odd seating arrangement. The seat sits to the outside out the steering wheel partly due to a wide transmission tunnel. I installed a set of late model MGB buckets and found the wheel was off to my left (RHD car) quite a bit. It was very awkward. With the standard road seats I find myself sitting to the side a little to correct it but you can't do that in a racing-style bucket.

Anyone have any ideas?

Also, I want to put in racing-style belts. I'm thinking 4-point of some sort. Recommendations? Will they annoy my wife in the passenger seat?

Here are photos of the interior of the car. Any suggestions on how to mount the belts in a non-obtrusive way? Thanks for any thoughts!




tony barnhill
08-01-2007, 04:45 PM
Your bar doesn't have a place for racing harnesses to be attached on ether side so you'll have to figure out something for the shoulder bars to attach to...on your wife's side, go for the narrow shoulder straps..they're not legal for racing but are more comfortable.

Is there adjustment under the dash where the column can be moved a little to the side?

08-01-2007, 05:20 PM
There is no side to side adjustment. It's just the way MGCs are. The transmission bell housing is huge, so the tunnel is much wider than in a B. With the stock flat seats, you can slide around and center yourself a bit. But not with the later MGB buckets.

The "inner" shoulder belts are where I'm concerned. I don't want to drill holes in the car, but I can't figure out another way to do it.

The belts don't have to be racing legal, especially the passenger belt. Good tip on narrower straps, I'll look into that.

08-01-2007, 05:57 PM
If you do install the race belts, be sure that the shoulder harnesses don't go "down" at an extreme angle.....not more than 15 degreees, I'd say.

You can get ~RJS 4 Point Harnesses~ (https://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=BOB%2D50502%2D16%2D23&N=700+115&autoview=sku) for under $60, so I'd buy two so the car looks good. They're not that uncomfortable.

Tony mentions a mount for your roll bar and that is probably the best thing. You could have a harness bar fabbed that would go across the car at shoulder level. It could have plates welded to it so that you could bolt the harness mounts to them. The best would be to weld it in place, but since it's a street car, I think a bolt-on arrangement could be built up.
I'd suggest curved plates welded to each end of the harness bar so that you could clamp the harness bar around the existing roll bar (I'm not sure if it's clear what I mean)..

As for the seats, you could look in Summit or some of the tuner catalogs, but none of that stuff would really look correct in your car (in my opinion). Miata seats are cheap and popular too, but again, not sure they look right.
If I were doing a custom set of seats, I'd consider using the Audi TT-style ~Baseball Stitching~ (https://www.vagparts.com/images/TT/BB4.jpg) on the covers....I think it looks great and sort of old-timey.

08-01-2007, 06:58 PM
thanks for the info. I think I follow you. I assume by "down" you mean the rear attachment should not be too far below the shoulders. No problem there, I am aware of the dangers in this regard.

I was hoping to avoid putting more bars in since I will be separating the rear "cargo" area but form must follow function here, so it may be the best thing. I can easily have a cross bar fabricated and finished in the same wrinkle black as the roll bar.

Is there a general wisdom regarding attaching a harness bar to the roll bar? Do I drill straight through the roll bar and use a bolt and nut?

I like the seats you linked to, but they look too modern with the "curvy" sides. I think we're on the right track though. I saw a couple Corbeau seats that might work but they aren't perfect.

08-01-2007, 07:12 PM
Steve, the only "proper" way to install the harness bar is to weld it in place. Then the belts are woven around the bar and through the adjuster buckles. Drilling through the roll bar is not a good idea. Just remember that a 60mph impact is the same, whether on the track or on the street.

08-01-2007, 07:19 PM
That's exactly what I was afraid of.

08-01-2007, 07:36 PM
Steve, the addition of the cross bar shold be no big deal to install. Nothing more than cut, notch, and weld in place a single bar.
Give Tom Colby at Speedwell Engineering a call. He's in San Fernando.

08-02-2007, 03:17 AM
Thank you. Once I decide on seats I will give him a call.

08-07-2007, 10:02 AM
Welding is indeed the correct way to install a cross bar, althought you can weld some plates to the main bar and install a crossbar with plated ends and bolts in sheer. You can either attach the shoulder harnesses to that bar or use it as something to run the harnesses over, attaching them much furhter back to the rear of the car. The bar will keep them from pulling down in an accident. Bear in mind I am telling you what will work, not necessarily what is legal in racing.

I azgree with the guys telling you the modern seats may look out of place. If you really want to do othat (your current seats are really nice!) try out some Fiero seats.

I have always found the MGB/MGC seats to be mounted too high. Using a lower seating position, reclined so as to bring your head lower in the car will improve driving position.

08-07-2007, 10:55 AM
Thanks Bill. Again, this is not for racing. It is only for street use. I have no plans to use a modern seat. My search is for vintage-style seats only. I too like the seats in the car but at a minimum I want headrests, so I will at least transfer the seat materials to a set of NA MGC seats, modified for more support.

Keep in mind that may MGB and MGC seats have foam in them that is far too thick, and diaphragms that are too stiff. Using modern rebuild kits, often foam needs to be cut out to bring the driver's head back to the correct level.

Also keep in mind that MGB and MGC seats are not the same. MGC seats sit 1.5" lower in the front to account for the reinforced floor pans. I currently have MGB seats in the car which is part of the reason I want to change them.