Lobster Claw Seatbelts

SeatBelts 004 (1)
While selling a 1967 Beetle Seat Belt to a customer, we discovered that there were two versions. The customer brought his belt and we laid them on the table for a comparative photograph.

It is notable that both Belts bear the VW Logo and the Identical VW Part Number.

The “reinforcing ribbing” is not the only difference. The webbing for the non-ribbed version is black while the ribbed version has gray webbing. Note, also, the difference in colors of the catches.

It is suggested that the manufacturer may have discovered, during the manufacturing year, that the non-ribbed version was subject to breaking at that point and began producing the ribbed version with no hesitation during manufacture–thus, also no change in the part number.

These are “Reel” Seat Belts used for all USA Deluxe Model Beetles for 1967 and into early 1968 Deluxe Model Beetles to VIN 118-096-785.

The Belts are Right and Left. Part Numbers are as follows

Right Belt: 111-857-706
Left Belt: 111-857-705

Convertible 1967 Beetle Seat Belts have the following VW part Numbers

Right: 141-857-706
Left: 141-857-705

(Note: 141- usually denotes Karmann Ghia Parts. However, in this case, both the Beetle Convertibles and the 1967 Karmann Ghias share the same Belts and, thus, utilize the same part number.

Factoid: the final digit of a part number usually indicates right if it is an even numeral, and left, if it is an odd numeral.


Ernie Radley—a fellow Texan who is restoring a 1967 Beetle. Ernie took the comparative photograph of the Seat Belts.

David Brown—of Pennsylvania whose “air cooled brain” thinks in terms of Volkswagen Part Numbers!

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Posted by Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs since 1976. In fact, we raised our family in these cars. Now, we are retired and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been our favorite year. We own a '67 Beetle and a '68 Karmann Ghia.

  1. do you have any of these for sale? do they come in gray, or only the beige?

    1. Hello, Ken…Thank you for checking in. Unfortunately, I do not have any belts for sale. Be sure to look at the swap meets. Also, post a Wanted Ad on TheSamba and Craigslist. Sometimes it takes a “prompting” for people to look, again, at what they may have stashed. The belts in the photo appear to be beige–it’s the lighting. I apologize. This was a spur-of-the-moment photo-shoot since the buyer was about to head home. Don’t give up–these belts come up from time to time. Be sure to ask for the securing hardware as well! jay

  2. Richard A. (Dick) Diaz February 4, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Jay, Not only are they hard to find, but what I have found are really trashed! Has anyone reproduced these?

    1. Hello, Dick…It’s good to hear from you! To my knowledge, no one has reproduced the belts. The B pillar clips, however, are being produced here in Texas. I will post that Site Link a little later. Give my regards to Arron and Carolyn, please! jay

  3. Very forlorn ’67 vert owner here who has not seen hide nor hair of ’67 lobster claw seat belts – ever. If anyone comes across a pair …I’d be beholden were they to let me know.
    Mark Tunnell 484 356 8767

    1. Hello, Mark…thanks for commenting (lamenting!). Let’s see if any of our Readers can locate a set for you. I encourage you to place a Wanted Ad on TheSamba and Craigslist. Visit swap meets and put the word out to vendors at all VW events. One of our Readers made special cards to pass out in an effort to find needed parts. We just have to become creative. You are going to find your belts! jay

  4. If anyone knows where I can buy a sedan driver’s side retractable seatbelt, please let me know. I’ve been looking for a good one for years. Thanks! mbuettell@gmail.com

    1. Hello, Mike…I had not heard from you in some time! You NEED that driver’s side belt to outfit your recently restored Beetle! As I say to Readers (above) put out the word! Wanted Ads, pass out cards at VW events, watch thesamba.com for people parting ’67 Beetles. You will find your belt! jay

    2. Mike, I posted a number on this thread. Don’t know if Lindy has any more but he had two for me a year or so ago….

      1. I emailed you directly.

  5. It would be interesting to try and figure out when this change happened. What was the manufacture date for the bugs that these came from? I think my Jan 3 1967 mfg date beetle has the non-reinforced version, but I’d have to go take a peek at my lobster belts (they’re in my original parts box).

    1. Him Marius! Yes…it would be nice to establish that change-over date. Please see Ryan’s comment (below) where he notes that his ’67 Beetle was manufactured Oct. of ’66–early in the production year–and already had the ribbed version of the belts. So it must have been pretty soon into the production year that the change occurred! We’ll get ‘er nailed down one of these days! jay

  6. Nicely done Jay!

    I have an Early ’67 (October 1966), and it came with the “Grey” Lap Belt Material. Years ago, I was at the Pomona Swap Meet (California), and found (2) NOS – Driver Side Lap Belts that have the Black Lap belt Material. I believe that the “Black” are the later version (Late 1967 Beetles).

    And if anyone is asking, they are – Not for Sale. They would be almost impossible to find today.

    Steve Murray

    1. Good information, Stephen! I cannot recall having had a single ’67 Bug with the black webbing–but, obviously it does happen. You and Ryan (below) both have Oct.’66 Bugs–that’s pretty early and helps to add information concerning the belt material, at the very least. I suppose that if someone offered you tickets to a Saturday Night Wrestling Event you wouldn’t reconsider selling that NOS set of belts? LOL! jay

  7. My 67 still has its original seatbelts and they are the reinforced/webbed version. The car was built Oct 66 and the drivers side grey belt has a tag which reads:
    111 857 705
    1966 SAE-J4c
    Approved for sale in all states.

    1. Very good information, Ryan! Thanks for helping to set some parameters here! I only wish that we could find some of the assembly line crew from Wolfsburg who could tell us the story behind all of this! jay

    2. Update: My car was built Nov 10, 1966 and has the ribbed/reinforced versions.

  8. I have the lobster claw, seat belt and retractor but the black plastic portion the actuates the clip mechanism is broken on both belts, any idea where new parts can be found at or does anyone have both lobster claw complete assemblies available for sale? Thanks.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Bill! You have joined the ranks seeking ’67 belts. I had no idea that so many were needing them. As I have been saying to the others–place Wanted Ads. Also, make up some “business cards” to take to all VW events and swap meets. List the parts which you need on these cards and pass them out to vendors and club members. Look, especially on thesamba.com for people who are parting whole cars. The belts are one of the first items to sell. Be sure to ask for the hardware, also. The hardware is very specific to these belts! jay

  9. Wow. This is all very interesting. Iv wondered about the belts myself, as i found a black set when i picked up my reinforced grey set. In Canada… i only asked one guy, and got them that day. I never knew it was so hard to find them. Same time i scored the correct am radio for my green 67. Just lucky day i guess. I need to look into my daughters 67 now, and see what hers has.
    As always, very interesting info guys. Thanks.

    1. Hello, Richard! I hope that you are faring well in Cold Canada! Yes…I think that you DID get lucky that day when you found so many original ’67 parts. It happens. We just have to be ready to snatch up the parts rather than to think about them and plan to buy them later. How many times have I made that mistake! Take care and stay well! jay

  10. I am sending Jay photos of the original black lobster claw seat belts from our ’67 Convertible built June 22, 1967 in Osnabruck. Hopefully, Jay &/or Eric can post them to this article as they are different than the two versions pictured above and have “143 15 09 061 Klippan Mod II-1966” stamped on the reel housing with the VW logo. The belt has a tag with “143 1509 061 Klippan Mod II 1967 SAE-J4c Approved for sale in all states MADE IN GERMANY” (notice the spacing is slightly different). The claw cover has “KL 1-480-1” with the VW logo. More mysteries surrounding Wally2?

    1. Hello, Gary and Donna…My wife reminds me that our ’67 Karmann Ghia Coupe (which we once owned) also had the dark/black seat belt housings (sheaths) just as do the 1967 Beetle Convertibles. Both the Ghias and the Convertible Beetles were assembled at the same Osnabruck plant. Note, too, that the Convertibles and the Ghias had no need of the B pillar clip since the belt housings are short–and, probably because no one really sits in the rear seats of either–they impeded nothing. Also, the B pillar hardware does not require the stop as in the Beetle Sedans.

      I am going to step out onto a limb here by saying that the 141- VW part Number apparently is a “book” number not reflected as a proper 6 digit Part Number on the belt or its housing. As I stated above, 141- denotes, generally, Karmann Ghia Part Numbers. Maybe someone can throw more light on this seeming anomaly. Where is Herr Schmidt, the assembly line guy, when you need him?

      Gary and Donna do report that a previous owner spray painted the metal B pillar hardware black. This undoubtedly will easily remove to reveal the galvanized metal. Hopefully, for further comparisons, we can get the Fischers’ set of photos posted.


      1. Thank you, Jay. We truly believe this is a unique support group … each able to bring a little something to the party … a pot luck so to speak. Because of leadership provided by you and Eric, we’re able to solve the riddles of the ’67 beetle (convertible, sedan, sunroof or ragtop – restoration, survivor or daily driver) one conundrum at a time.

        1. Donna…There are times when I pull out my hair! A lot of this is stuff that I never wanted to learn! Know what I mean? But, if you like the investigatory lifestyle–vintage Volkswagening is it! It IS amazing how much knowledge is “out there”–it only surfaces when there is the need. jay

    2. I have a NOS part number 141 857 705 seat belt (have been looking for years for a mate for it). The same part number mounts on left and right side, no left/right specific, of the Ghia as well as the Beetle Convertible-there is no 706 (per both Volkswagen Karman Ghia and Beetle parts manuals). The numbers Donna quoted are most likely manufacture’s part numbers for the individual pieces-same numbers are on my NOS piece. The part number however is on the nice Volkswagen box, 141 857 705 identifying a short coupled seat belt reel type matching Ghia and Vert Beetle requirements for 2/two, one each L/R. Mine is date coded 1968, which I’m thinking means it was built as a spare parts source after the production run was finished-or perhaps the Ghia utilized this part number early on in 1968. The 1968 Beetles/Ghias (at chassis number 118 096 786 Beetle) came with Options Code M185 three point safety belts.

      1. Ha…More good information, Quinn! Thanks! jay

        1. The two Beetle nos seat belts I have (not for sale) are both ribbed, gray material, with slight difference in reinforcement-identification tag is lower down on one. One is date coded 1966 and one 1967 (slim chance of matching those years methinks). Jay, perhaps of general interest, In Volkswagen supplement to parts manual/list for May 1967 listed as no longer available is convertible seat belt part number 151 857 705, superseded by part number 141 857 705. Wondering if anyone owns the 151 part number? That part number may be more rare than the others in these conversations.

          1. Good morning, Quinn…I agree. Anything with 151- is bound to be rare and, given how VWAG decided to change the belt part number to the 141- only compounded the rarity. I wonder why they chose to use the 141- (Karmann Ghia part number)? Since both models were under Karmann scrutiny, I’m sure that it made sense at the time. These and other anomalies will keep our gray matter younger from the wondering, I’m sure. have a great Thursday! jay

  11. There are two sets on E Bay right now from a parts dealer in Kent Washington

    1. Hello, Patrick–the seat belts from Kent, WA are for T-3 vehicles and differ in the B pillar mounting piece at the base of the belt housing. As it is, it could not be installed on a ’67 Beetle unless that piece could be removed and the Beetle hardware installed in its place. That MIGHT be a possibility–if a person had broken Beetle belts and could salvage the hardware, and IF it would swap onto the T-3 belt housings.
      Maybe someone has done this operation. That would make it possible to salvage parts from broken belts and to obtain viable belt housings and belts. jay

      1. Here’s two sets on Samba from Sparks, NV … http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1615705 or http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=682679 … to point out just two. I think we should all chip in on a 3-D printer and make our own; of course that opens up a whole new set of logistical problems.

        1. Also, there’s a good article about restoring ’67 Beetle seat belts.

  12. My boys 67 was built about nov 29 1966. It still had the original belts which are the non ribbed with a grey belt. I have seen a few sets on thesamba.com, but be ready to pay for them. They have been confused with gold by some.

    1. Well, Dave…assumptions are to be broken, right? Thanks for the information on your son’s ’67 Beetle. So we have no idea why some of these belts appear as “ribbed” while later, the “non-ribbed” crops up again! You are so right about the belt sets. They are becoming more scarce. But–they are out there. Someone just sent me an ad for 1967 T-3 belts–the B pillar fastener is somewhat different. If a person had a broken set of the Beetle belts, it might be possible to switch that part–I can’t say, having had no experience doing that. The T-3 belt set was advertised at $90 plus shipping–sans hardware! jay

      1. Wow, this thread is on fire today. Who knew the lobster claws were so loved. I have a contact that has an NOS set. Maybe I can convince him to sell them here…..

      2. With them being a dealer installed option, the dealers would of restocked their belt supply’s at different times and quantity. One dealer might push the belt option selling more getting the newer ones while another dealer might not of pushed the option sold what he had left on the shelves.point being they were dealer installed so good luck figuring out the date change. 20-25 years ago nobody seemed to care about the lobster claw belts, I’d see guys take them out pitch them in the trash. :(

        1. Hello, Dave…I want to clear one common misconception about dealer installations. Apparently 1968 was the first year for USA Required Seat Belt Installation–key word being “Required”. However, VWAG got a head start by installing them in all USA and Canada 1967 Beetles as part of the factory assembly. They were M-Code 27 Lap Belt retracting fixture from Chassis No. 117 000 001 up to 117 999 000 and into 1968–111-118, 151, 152 –USA, Canada. M-Codes (see our Article on M-Codes) were assembly line indications–often so marked in the trunk area of cars so that workmen on the line knew the destinations and equipment for cars. Dealerships DID have replacement parts. I checked with a source this morning and learned that none of the internals were available for the belts–you had to purchase an entire unit if yours broke or was Damaged in any way. I hope that this helps. jay

          1. Did all 67s come with belts? Were they an option you payed extra for, or standard equipment? Why would the factory use different belts through the year? My boy is the third owner of this 67. The second owner only had the car 2 months. It was unmolested, stock, and complete when we got it. I’m pretty sure the belts are original to the car. I was not able to find the m code article. Thanks Dave

          2. Upon closer inspection I was wrong my boys belts are the ribbed ones. Sorry for the confusion. Dave

        2. Hello, Dave…Here the Link to the Crayon marking (M-Codes) Article: https://1967beetle.com/crayon-markings/

          Here’s a great source for investigating M-Codes: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/mcodest1.php

          Yes…the front seat belts were standard equipment on all ’67 Deluxe Beetles imported to USA Dealerships in the USA.

          Ah…I’m glad that you looked at the belts again–so, they DID have the reinforcing ribs–good. We’re still putting along according to theory then.

          Thanks for your in-put, Dave. Have a great weekend! jay

        3. Dave…I responded to your query about “dealer installations” and “M-Codes”. Check the Article Comments again to see my responses. Let me know if I can help further. This is an interesting subject and I think that everyone is learning something new! jay

  13. I need a drivers side … I believe my 67 was an Aug. 66 production , grey belt,the latch housing is missing not sure how to check for ribbed version

    1. Hello, Curt…keep the faith–the parts are out there. Don’t give up! Put out the word every way that you can–clubs, wanted ads, shows, swap meets. Let’s see if we can’t rassle some up! jay

    2. I may have the belt you’re looking for!

      1. Hello,. Ryan…Are you responding to Curt who is seeking a driver’s side belt? If so, click the Reply Button beneath Curt’s Comment. That should alert him to your offer. Thanks for checking in! jay

    3. Hello, Curt…A person has just commented, saying that he may have the belt which you need (at least that is how I interpret it). His entry will be just below yours. So, return to the Article and scroll down to your Comment of 2 weeks ago, then scroll past my Comment to you and the next one will be from Ryan.

      Hopefully this will be the belt which you need. jay

      1. I suppose I can list it with photos and provide a link if that helps? I have a drivers side dated 1967 and also a passenger side dated 1966. The passenger side unfortunately has a small broken plastic piece at the top of the handle that slides back to unlatch the belt, but everything else functions. I also have the chrome piece that the belts hook to, date stamped 1967. All is for sale.

        1. We can also list as a classified.

        2. Ryan…Yes…why not do that. The belts and “stirrup” should go quickly! I did a search the other day and could find little to nothing on thesamba.com. If you have the accompanying hardware, make that available as well. Thanks, in advance, for letting the Readers know about this offer! jay

          1. Already listed in the forum section on this site. One belt is sold.

  14. Folks…I did a quick search on http://www.thesamba.com and found the following 3 ads for ’67 seat belts. I must caution that when you look at these seat belts, note that some have cracks, etc. and not one has the mounting hardware. You can plug the ad number into the Search Box and the ad will come up: Ad# 1615705; Ad# 1265675; Ad# 1696090

    Also, tonight I talked with Dustin Carter of Don’s Bug Barn, Athens, TX and he is going to check his supplies. You can contact Dustin @: donsbugbarn@gmail.com

  15. Jay –

    I just sent you (5) shots of the NOS Seat belts: I have (2) Lefts (1966, 1967 Production) and (1) Right (1966 Production). The Right has Black Ribbed Lap Belt Material?

    As I stated in a earlier Post, my Black ’67 was produced on October 20th, 1966 and came with the Grey Lap Belt Material.

    I was fortunate enough years ago to be on the look-out, and found them at the Pomona Swap Meet. I’ve been looking, and all I’ve seen lately are used ones for sale.

    If you’re in the need, you’ve got to keep looking.

    Steve Murray

    1. Good morning, Stephen! Thank you for the photos to verify even more information. Eric is aware of the photos and your information. Hopefully we can get these shots posted for everyone to view. It’s a tall learning curve, isn’t it! jay

  16. great information guys, I passed on a set at last years pamona swap meet, they just looked to worn for my precious 67. I also don’t like the way they work, prefer the standard buckle. I just want the set to make the car more original… due to the influence from this wonderful site :)
    I see some cars with the lobster claw for looks and the regular belt for function I will probably be that car when I find a set in like new condition.

    1. Hello, Ken…Yes…the lap belt is lacking in safety features. When that was all we had, we used them. Now, I, like many others have the “3-point” belts for increased safety. I always keep an eye open for ’67 belt sets. One never knows where they will turn up. Finding a good one is like striking it rich! LOL Keep searching–you’ll find your set. Keep enjoying that Beetle! jay

      1. New photos posted! Thanks to the ’67 community for the help.

        1. Eric … do you think you should post some of the photos we sent to Jay last evening showing the short version used for the convertibles? Wonder what the difference between the modifications I and II; or was Mod I for sedans and Mod II for convertibles.

          1. Hello Donna. Yes, please post a picture of the Convertible seat belts!! I have a 67 convertible and only find the sedan seat belts. It would be nice to see what they actually look like. Thanks Jack

          2. Jack…I can’t get the reply button to your question/comment but will answer this way> Please remember that the Karmann Ghia for 1967 had identical seat belts to the 1967 Convertible Beetle. That widens the possibilities a bit. You can post a Wanted Ad on http://www.thesamba.com to include this information–hopefully, that should help. Go to Ghia Parts under “Classifieds”–often there are people parting Ghias. You may get really lucky. Be sure to ask for all relevant hardware! jay

        2. In or about 1968 the United Kingdom ruled that three point seat belts were mandatory. There was a kit marketed I think by Britax that connected to the door pillar post and the lap belt connection-worked perfectly. Upon return to the USA I foolishly disposed of them. I have made many attempts to find a set of these through various contacts in England, to no avail, no one thus far has any recall of the fact. Germane to the discussions here would be the existence of a Volkswagen of America accessories brochure from 1967 showcasing among various items an Over-the-shoulder Seat Belt Attachment with the following info “Adds an extra measure of protection.” “Made of strong DuPont nylon webbing”. “Attaches to your present lap belt”. I have never seen one of these, nor read anything, the brochure the Only light cast on this item-Until-Last summer a 1967 was marketed on 1967 Beetle, from Canada as I recall, a Mr. Mossman. For the observant observer in one of his images there is one of or appears to be one of these attachments. That/those images and the brochure is the only evidence that I personally have of the existence of this attachment. I have a Volkswagen Dealer’s accessory catalogue, none in it, I have many accessories booklets, none in it. Eric, perhaps an idea for a niche item to add to your existing items.

          1. Quinn…Now that you mention it, I believe that I have seen a photo of this feature in someone’s restored Beetle. Too bad that there was no continuing effort on the part of accessory providers! I will keep my ear to the “VW UnderGround” market. jay

  17. More photos posted. It seems they were made in the US as well, under the eye of VW.

    1. I wonder if the USA production belts were produced as replacements? Let’s see what Readers come up with. More intrigue–more mystery! jay

      1. It seems that is a chance, Jay!

    2. Wow, finally I get to see the Convertible Seat belts in your picture collection. It was difficult getting to this point but now I have to find some. Sheeeech. Thanks to everybody talking about this conversation as you can’t hardly find it anywhere else.

      1. Glad there has been so much interest around this thread!

      2. Hello, Jack…

        Finally we get a Reply Button on your comments. I gather that you received the photos of the Fischer Convertible Seat Belts which I sent. Also, I noted that the Belts for the Convertible Beetle are the same as for the ’67 Karmann Ghia Coupe and Convertible. This widens your chances of finding the Belts. When doing a search, look at people who are parting cars. Be sure to ask specifically about belts. I think that you use http://www.thesamba.com –go through the parts ads and the car ads under Classifieds. That’s how I find parts from project cars and cars which owners are parting. Keep us posted on what you find, Jack! jay

  18. Here is the Link to a firm which reproduces the seat belt clips (for the B pillar):


  19. OK, I’m new to this so here goes… I needed replacement belts for my 67 beetle and found some used ones from Herrell Bug Parts in Carrolton, GA. Met Lindy at a Bugaplaoosa in Chattanooga 2 years ago. He may have more of them…tel # 770-836-0749 or toll free 866-437-7335.

    1. Great tip, Ross! Keep ’em coming! jay

  20. [* WordPress Simple Firewall plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    I have one belt that is exactly like your but it is a 3 point harness I could send you photos if you like.

    1. Hello, Anthony…thank you for your Comment. For some reason, your Comment got stuck in “the system” and only today was released publicly. If you still have the photo of the 3-Point Lobster Claw Seat belt, I would, indeed, like to see it. Please send to: jksalservw@gmail.com I will see about getting Eric to post it on Site in this article. Thank you for your patience! jay salser

  21. I want to enter a report from Kristina who says that the Seat Belts in her September ’66 (1967) Beetle are of the ribbed type with the light-colored webbing. Thanks, Kristina. Every report adds to the information we collectively have at hand! jay

  22. My first ’67 had the lobster claw seatbelts. I remember thinking they were very odd but also interesting and unique. They were pretty beaten up then and I remember wanting to replace them for the 3 point belts (I never did). I wish I had them now in my current ’67!

    Did the rear seats have seatbelts back then? My first ’67 did not have them, but my current one has aftermarket rear belts.

    1. Hello, Todd…Yes…the “Lobster Belts” are a bit “weird”. They served the purpose during the beginning stages when VW was having to accede to new US Safety Standards. And, no, the ’67 Beetle did not come with rear seat belts. However, as you alreadymay have noticed, there is factory provision for rear seat belts–the mounting holes are there. There is a fair offering of after-market seat belts today for both front and rear–and in different colors. I hope that this helps. jay

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