In 1959, the Chrysler Corporation had things figured out. For people too lazy to accomplish the mammoth task of turning their body slightly when exiting a vehicle, they offered something new; Swivel Seats. Of course, this wasn’t a bad way to maintain that plush upholstery.
According to a 1958 article in the Milwaukee Journal, “the seats swing outward to facilitate entry into the car. They swing back into normal position with body pressure”.
The article mentioned that other auto makers had tried this before – and failed. In 1941, Hudson “offered a seat swinging inward to facilitate stepping into the rear compartment”, and Lancia of Italy had a seat “constructed for invalids, but it impeded entrance to the rear seat.”
Chrysler said “all the problems of the first swivel seats have been overcome in the 1959 versions.”
The article went on to note that Chrysler’s latest innovation “are extra cost options on several models and standard on others.” By 1960, they were available on any Chrysler. In fact, the Detroit, Michigan auto giant was proud to mention how the seats swung out when you opened the door. Must be the silent nylon bearings they were talking about.
These guys weren’t slacking when it came to thoughtful details. Their 1959 models touted ‘Washable Upholstery – makes seat covers obsolete’, ‘All Doors Lock – when you start the engine.’ and ‘Driver’s Seat – has three-inch higher back rest. Cuts fatigue on long runs’.
No doubt this forward-thinking feature was made to last. Chrysler, having long since gone through multiple ownership changes (and currently under the Fiat banner), were including Swivel ‘N’ Go seats on their 2013 Town & Country Mini-Vans.