We don't need no stinkin' seat belts. When I was young the province of Ontario in Canada didn't have any seat belt requirements for kids, let alone the use of booster seats. What the heck was a booster seat. When I was growing up the seat of choice wasn't a seat. It was standing up behind the driver, typically my dad, grabbing onto the headrest like it was a second steering wheel. Man that was nuts, but did we ever have fun as kids in the back of the car.
My best friend's dad had a station wagon which took the fun to a whole other level. We would pile into the trunk area of the station wagon and basically have a party back there. His parents didn't mind too much since there was an extra row of seats between them and the chaos.
Was it dangerous? I guess. But we really weren't as paranoid about safety as we are today. I thought my dad was fairly lax when it came to seat belts. I'm thinking this family's safety wasn't top of mind either.