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Discussion Starter #1
My 68 El Camino, Base model, 13480, has optional shoulder harnesses, which I thought was rare, in that there were only 18 A bodies made in 1968 with AS1 shoulder harnesses. I checked with Dan Carr at chevelles.com about this, and he says that AS1 shoulder harnesses were for convertibles only, that I have ZK3 deluxe seat belts and shoulder harnesses. I thought deluxe seat belts have chrome buckles, and mine are black plastic. Can anybody clarify this for me?
 

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To my knowledge, the chrome ends would be the deluxe and the plastic covers would be the standard buckles. My 70 El Camino and 71 Buick GS both have the chrome buckles in them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Right, thats what I thought. OK then, my question should be 'Were seat belts with shoulder harnesses standard in early 1968?' I have some reference material from GM stamped "Original Copy" dated September 1967. On page 6, under "Regular Equipment - Interior" there is no mention of seat belts or shoulder harnesses, which led me to believe that they were optional. On page 7, under "Regular Production Options", it lists "Deluxe front seat shoulder harnesses - A85", "Standard front seat shoulder harnesses - AS1". I know Dan has done a lot of research in this area, and I commend him. However, I am still confused. On page 7 there is no mention of ZK3, but it does say "Deluxe front and rear seat belts - A39", but no mention of any standard seat belt as optional. So this is why I thought seats belts were standard (although they weren't mentioned), and shoulder harnesses were optional, and I have a very rare option, thinking if only 18 were built, how many came on a base model El Camino?!!! But if Standard shoulder harnesses were standard and not mentioned, Dan estimates that only 646 base model El Caminos came with the L-30 engine, which is what I have. BUT, if seat belts and shoulder harnesses were NOT standard, how much is my car worth???!!!
 

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Seat Belts and Shoulder Harness

The seat belts became standard equipment in the mid '60s and the shoulder belts became standard in '69. I believe the shoulder belt anchors are behind the head liner in the '67s and newer.
 

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One question,

My 70 El Camino has the deluxe seat belts and there is no shoulder belts in the car. The el camino has the original head liner still in it (which is starting to get moldy) and there is no signs of where the shoulder belt could have been installed in the el camino.

As for my 71 Buick GS convertible which also has the deluxe seat belts, there is no shoulder belts in that either, only the lap belts. I attributed this to it being a convertible and there was no where to mount them on the ceiling of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK Keith! So if shoulder harnesses were optional in 1968, and mine are black plastic buckles (standard), then I have the AS1 option, 1 of only 18! Probably the only base model El Camino made with them! That's great news! :D
 

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Just thought of something. Perhaps our Canadian laws differed from those in the US of A. Regulations also differed between cars and trucks. In some areas el Caminos are registered as trucks, but ours is registered as a passenger car. Our el Camino has the factory shoulder belts and the plastic clips to hold the buckles when not in use. A few years ago I saw a '70 Buick GS 350 with rear seat shoulder belts as well.
 

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Keith,

Was the 70 Buick GS 350 a convertible or a hard top? On my title, my elky is registered as a truck.
 

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The GS350 was a hardtop. Our el Camino is registered as a passenger car but a friends Ranchero is registered as a truck. Both are registered here in Ontario. The big front turn signals must have something to do with being a truck. I'm not sure, but I think that I might be able to have mine registered either way. :?
 
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