I just found your site - seen question on bench seats. I have a 68 big block with a 4 speed and bench seat. It was built before shoulder straps. Do you have any idea how many had this option?

Asked by Feb 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM about the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Question type: General

9 Answers

Shoulder straps came out with Toyota, I think, but being an older guy, all cars of that era had just lap belts as an option up to one point, where seat belt laws weren't even enforced like these days. I can find out some exact if you would like, for instance, the year the NHSTA, Highway Safety Admin. made lap belts a mandatory requirement on all U.S. manufac. vehicles, like they did with safety glass windsheilds and I could also find fairly easy who is was that actually came out first with the shoulder restraint which I think was Toyota as I remember vaguely how unique this type of seat belt was back then,,,,LOL seems funny now, but that was state of the art and I do know for a fact the shoulder restraint developed from racing, so let me know what you would like me to find out specifically and I will, that's what I enjoy. But basically if cars had seat belts back then, they all were lap belts only. Oh, LOL thought I'd send this pic to you, to show you why it was starting to dawn on, at least the race drivers why seat belts were a really cool invention, this picture was taken at the 24hrs at LeManns..I know this guy really liked the seat belt idea, but after the fact I would imagine.. Let me know// Bye the way are you asking in your question, how many cars in 68 had an option for a shoulder strap? Or seat belt period, there were really no shoulder straps until late 70,s but clarify a bit more and I get you an answer

OK you got me curious so I pulled out my books and took a look. It's when folks like you ask a great question that it gets my brain working and now I want to remember myself, So, here we go and being I am known to be LONG winded and often give more info than people really need or I guess wanted really, I will try and keep it short, like I am not going to tell you where each seat belt manufacturer was located in the USA, hope that's OK with you?...LOL.... Here why go, American car manufacturers Nash (in 1949) and Ford (in 1955) offered seat belts as options, while Swedish Saab first introduced seat belts as standard in 1958. After the Saab GT 750 was introduced at the New York Motor Show in 1958 with safety belts fitted as standard, the practice became commonplace. The first modern three point seat belt (the so-called CIR-Griswold restraint) used in most consumer vehicles today was patented in 1955 (US Patent 2,710,649) by the Americans Roger W. Griswold and Hugh DeHaven, and developed to its modern form by Swedish inventor Nils Bohlin for Swedish manufacturer Volvo—who introduced it in 1959 as standard equipment. So, I was wrong about Toyota......Alright, your 68 belt is called technically a Two Point, A 2-point belt attaches at its two endpoints. This was the most commonly installed type of belt prior to legislation requiring 3-point belts. Sash: A "sash" or shoulder harness is a strap that goes diagonally over the vehicle occupant's outboard shoulder and is buckled inboard of his or her lap. The shoulder harness may attach to the lap belt tongue, or it may have a tongue and buckle completely separate from those of the lap belt. Shoulder harnesses of this separate or semi-separate type were installed in conjunction with lap belts in the outboard front seating positions of many vehicles in the North American market starting at the inception of the shoulder belt requirement of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 on 1 January 1968. Well so that's right when your 68 SS was made, alright we are getting there....Three-point: Dang, really never thought about all the technical lingo..LOL..So, In the mid-1970s, 3-point belt systems such as Chrysler's "Uni-Belt" began to supplant the separate lap and shoulder belts in American-made cars, though such 3-point belts had already been supplied in European vehicles such as Volvos, Mercedes, and Saabs for some years. So, actually to answer your question as well as I can understand what it is your trying to ask exactly, I would say your year 68 SS was when lap belts became mandatory, Jan. 68, so if you check your vin to see when your SS came off the line and month then you will know if it was pre required or Gov. required as the date of January 1st 1968 NHTSA Safety Standard number 208, Well, that was short by my standards..LOL and I am hopeful that answered your question..... If you need more help, just yell, well write..Bye

One more thing just occurred to me, I was looking at my old 1969 Motors Repair Manual and it covers all the muscle cars of that era, The 1968 Camaro's were originally equipped with Bucket Seats and any with a bench seat was as an option to include the deluxe seat belts with shoulder harness with bench seat only.


these old cars have been worked over so many times the seats may be from another car, who in their right mind would order a super sport with a bench?who knows maby special order?guess thats what your wondering too

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Dude can you read? What did I say in the post above yours??? Bench seats were an option as were the seat belts. Why is it some of you guys want to come along and start with stupid comments>? Just read what I wrote and believe it. And how do you know anything about this guys car, you just address as these old cars?? This is a 68 SS and that not just these old cars. And this car in 1968 was just a car and not what it is TODAY, meaning collectable and a classic muscle car. A lot of people would have special order the bench seat, because believe it or not, they had a family and they wanted the additional safety feature of the shoulder style seat belt which if you would have read what I wrote was only available with the bench seat. Man, dude stop it.. SS meant little to nothing in 1968


a SS meant noithing in 68? a muscle car for the family?sorry I answer from the top of my head .no time to research , and i would disagree.till i did

Well, you know Jim, in 68 and earlier and up until the big oil embargo, in what 72 everything was big block and the thing then was just who had the biggest engine and that was really the big thing in the 50's and 60's, just how much motor can you cram in to the car. That then was the selling point, not like after the embargo when it became what is still the standard of how many miles per gallon. My first car was a 302 Super Boss Mustang that I bought after I got out of the Army. And really it was just a car, but I thought it looked cool and the price was right, funny can't recall what exactly I paid but I do know if I still had that car today and right off the lot, it would probably sell at Barrett Jackson Auction house for close to $250,000, that's unbelievable if you think about it. Because like I was saying, they were just a car and only had I known I would have held on to it and I'd have a bitching retirement right now..LOL Do you see what I mean. Same thing with the SS, the Plymouth Judge, the 442's and on and on, just cars but bad ass today and valuable. I have what is called a Motors Repair Manual which covers all the cars from 1969, for VW, Corvair, to the Mustangs, Camaro's, Corvette etc. and this was just a basic shop manual, so you see, they were just cars as crazy as that sounds today. I am not trying to clown you or anything but it's a fact just the average car you buy off the lot with options like I wrote above about seat belts, can you believe that seat belts could be an option? And also being the SS came factory with buckets and the bench seat was an option and according to my books it was I think like $15 extra and that year 68 was when the first shoulder belts were an option but you had to get the bench seat to get what they called the premium seat belt, sounds funny doesn't it. Good days and cheap gas.


that era is or actually repeating now ,look at whats out their srt8,s stingray vettes,five ,seven hundred hp. and catering to your age group who now may buy one,and a % of other ages,although a bigger % of younger gearheads still like the tunners. and older ones too! 50 years down the road someone will be say'in man i once owned an srt8 hemi 6 speed should'a garaged it

Yes, they are trying but, there are problems, what's good today or maybe for the next 10 even 20 years won't be much good due to one thing, technology. Technology and I am extremely high tech age or not, but tech changes on a average of about every six months. and so is the PCM, who is willing to keep all these current PCM software for the next 100 years? No one. That's the number one problem. I do a lot of high tech mods and my friends and I are always thinking about this. See back in the day all the way until all the cars started relying on more and more technology, the cars were simple, the technology in the 60's was like to set the gap on the points, you could use a match book cover and the gap on the points was near dead on, so now that thing that would be the points or a cap and rotor, distributor is the PCM, ECU and you need software to basically set the gap, for lack of a better way of explaining it. We sit around and try to thing, well which of our cars is the next muscle car collectible forty fifty years from now?? We can't figure it out and I don't think anyone can. What I think right now, is the quick sell, performance, make the money and run. Hell half or manufacturers are real lucky to still be in business, came real close to losing GM for ever and that's who pays my retirement, I raced Corvette for them for quit awhile. It's money these days bro, and I don't really believe that there's one manufacturer thinking, hey this will be the next collectable. The car will be there for sure, but it will probably be good only to look at and think, ya man youngster, back in 2013 when I bought my first car, it was so bad ass, and cheap,,, those were the days, and look at it now, can't find any parts and especially any software to cycle the brake solenoid are a PCM to get anything to work, but it sure is pretty, pretty good taking up space. That's what makes the cars 70's back timeless, same as rock and roll, you don't hear any modern rock used in commercials, well not much, it's always old rock, led zeplin ,, Black Sabbath damn it, I'm starting to get mad, you know why? I'm fn getting old dude and there are no spare parts, shit I'm screwed.... think about computers in your life time and I have no idea brother how old you are, but obviously younger than me, since you implied they are trying to market to use old fuckers, whoops, that's not what you said...LOL I just got done screwing with a GTR, changed out the pulley on the supercharger I installed for him and put on a quick change, then tuned it for dude, bad ass, AWD, My 98 Buick Regal GS is one car era that a lot of people are thinking might be the last of maybe the collectables, I think I have 12 cars that are possible collectibles, but they aren't I just like them all and i am always changing them up....LOL I just like anything fast, I have a GNX also, and I think that was the last collectable for real, only the young dudes are gonna find out, but one thing is for sure, no matter what, that 68 SS will be collectable a thousand years from now. anything from that era... timeless...

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