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First year for shoulder belts?


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I always thought that 68 was the first year that they were mandated, but I went to a car show the other day and a lot of 69 cars didn't have them. I wonder if the owners took them out to clean up the interior.<P>I'm asking because eventually I would like to get another daily driver old car and I want to know how much work I would have to do to make it safe.

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I had the two-piece belts in my '70 GS. That is the type that has two buckles, one for the lap belt and one for the shoulder belt. <P>I've replaced them with the one-piece design out of a '71 or '72 GS. If you find the car you like, but it has the wrong belts, you may be able to change them out also. I understand that GM started putting shoulder belt anchors (the welded in part that the upper belt bolts to) begining in 1966, even though they were rarely ordered. <P>Joe

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I believe front shoulder belts were mandated for all cars sold in the U.S. as of 1/1/69, so some 1969 models may have slipped through as early production. If so they almost certainly have the belt anchors attached beneath the upholstery. <P>I've read that rear should belt anchors were mandated as of 1/1/72, however they were rarely mentioned and even more rarely used. I'm not sure how reliable that is, however.

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Think the mandate was 1/1/68, Dave- my old mans' 68 elCamino had them and it was built in January, just before the strike. I know they were available in 1967 and possibly 1966.<P>They weren't standard on convertibles- optional at least thru 1975.<P>Any 68-later car will have the anchor points along the roofrail. <P>Entirely possible the cars you saw had had headliners replaced and they couldn't remember where the holes were! I had to look and feel for a while when I redid my 69 Toronado's headliner. And then the owners could have just not wanted them in there, as they were awkward to use and store until the combination lap and shoulder belt appeared.

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I have seen a few 71 Buicks in wrecking yards with rear shoulder belts. They look just like the front shoulder belts, but the anchors are mounted to the rear package tray on each side. I think they were a factory option up to 71. I never saw any 72's with them.

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"Rocketraider" is correct. It was 1-1-68. My Dad ordered a new Bel Air station wagon in April 1968, and it had shoulder belts because it was built after January 1st. Our neighbor across the street bought a new '68 Impala in November of 1967, and it did not have the shoulder belts.<P>Pete Phillips<BR>BCA #7338

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