Bucket seat

Bucket seat

A bucket seat is a seat contoured to hold one person, distinct from bench seats which are flat platforms designed to seat multiple people. Bucket seats are standard in fast cars to keep riders in place when making sharp or quick turns.

The term appears to come from the French word, "baquet", meaning "cockpit". Bucket seats resemble seats that were used in the cockpits of early aircraft, and are still used today in single-pilot aircraft.

Racing vehicles usually have only one bucket seat. Vehicles sold to the general public often have two bucket seats in the front compartment, and may contain more in a rear compartment. Commercial aircraft now have bucket seats for all passengers.

Automobile bucket seats first came into use after World War II on European small cars, due to:
* their relatively small size compared to a bench seat; and
* lack of seating room for a middle passenger, due to the presence of a floor-mounted shifter and parking brake lever. The bucket seat trend was especially apparent in sporty cars, particularly two-seater sports cars, most of which were manufactured in European nations.

For decades, American cars were typically equipped with bench seats, which permitted three-passenger seating. The advent of compact cars and specialty vehicles such as the Ford Thunderbird in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and sporty versions of both standard-sized and compact cars, accelerated the bucket-seat trend in domestic cars around 1960.

By 1962, more than a million U.S. built cars were factory equipped with bucket seats, which were then further popularized with the advent of sporty compact cars, often dubbed "ponycars", such as the Ford Mustang.

In later decades, as U.S. cars were designed smaller in order to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards as well as intense competition from imported cars (particularly Japanese models), bucket seats became more common in domestic cars with each passing year. The once-standard bench seat is now generally relegated to a few larger sedans and pickup trucks.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bucket seat — bucket seats N COUNT A bucket seat is a seat for one person in a car or aeroplane which has rounded sides that partly enclose and support the body …   English dictionary

  • bucket seat — n a car seat with a high curved back, for one person …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bucket seat — bucket ,seat noun count a low deep seat in a car or aircraft …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • bucket seat — n. a single contoured seat, often with a back that can be tipped forward, as in some sports cars …   English World dictionary

  • bucket seat — noun a low single seat as in cars or planes • Hypernyms: ↑seat * * * noun, pl ⋯ seats [count] : a low, separate seat for one person in a car or other vehicle * * * ˈbucket seat [bucket seat] noun a seat with a curved back for one person,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • bucket seat — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms bucket seat : singular bucket seat plural bucket seats a low deep seat in a car or aircraft …   English dictionary

  • bucket seat — an individual seat with a rounded or contoured back, as in some automobiles and airplanes, often made to fold forward. Also called bucket. [1905 10] * * * …   Universalium

  • bucket seat — /ˈbʌkət sit / (say bukuht seet) noun (in a motor vehicle) a seat with a rounded or moulded back, to hold one person. Also, bucket …   Australian English dictionary

  • bucket seat — An individual seat which is found in pairs in the front of a vehicle. Named because the curvature of the backrest and cushion resembles a cut out bucket …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • bucket seat — buck′et seat′ n. aum an individual seat with a contoured back, as in some automobiles, often made to fold forward • Etymology: 1905–10 …   From formal English to slang

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