Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972 - Chevelle Tech
Interiors Upholstery and soft trim

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 14, 9:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

We are going to get a Sticky going here due to recurring questions about the 1966 - 1972 Strato Bucket Seats.
Members please help by sharing any of your knowledge.
Let's please keep this thread on topic and not fill it with stray questions and conversations.
Stick to the facts to make it easy for a reader to gain information without having to sort through random conversations that do not pertain to stock factory bucket seat information.

THANK YOU.

I'll start it out with some info and hopefully this will gain some traction and become the Ultimate Strato Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972.
Photos of correct seat upholstery and seat medallions would be good to have in here as well. I will also try to touch base on options that were available for the Strato seats.
Headrests, power driver seat and optional passenger reclining bucket seat were available options. (Reclining bucket not an option for the Chevelle, but was available on some other GM models).

Basic Information to start this out.
1966 through 1972 optional bucket seats were called the Strato bucket seat. The seats and tracks are very similar 1966 through 1972 with some variations and changes.

1966
was the first year of the Strato Bucket seats.
In 1966 The bucket seats did not include a locking back.
They simply folded forward for access to the rear passenger compartment of the vehicle.
The 1966 Seats have metal backs and lower side trim pieces.
Also correct original 1966 seats had matching color trim on the lower side panels (not chrome)
The seats do have chrome vinyl / plastic trim surrounding the metal back panel.
Headrests were an available option but did not come standard. Headrests are rare in 1966.

1967 Strato bucket seats do have a locking mechanism to prevent the seat from being folded forward.
To release the seat back, there is a button that is on the upper sides facing outward on each seat.
1967 seats also have metal backs and lower side panels.
Headrests were an available option but did not come standard. Headrests are rare in 1967.

1968 Strato bucket seats look nearly identical to 1967 seat in structure.
These have a locking mechanism to prevent the seat from being folded forward.
To release the seat back, there is a button that is on the upper sides facing outward on each seat.
1968 have plastic backs and lower side panels. Headrests were an available option but did not come standard.

1969 through 1972 bucket seats have a push button located in the center of the back to release the locking mechanism for folding the seat back forward for access to the rear passenger compartment.
Headrests are now standard with bucket seats.
Plastic backs and lower side panels.
The headrests are different than the headrests that were available as an option for 1966, 1967.
Somebody may need to fill in the blanks for headrest information on the 1968 seat and also if any variations in headrests for the 69- 72 seats.

Bench seat headrests do not interchange with bucket seats.

Sister GM cars 1966-1972 share the same seats and year specific information is consistent.

A-body cars will have the same seat tracks and are interchangeable.
examples; 1966 through 1972: Pontiac Lemans, Tempest / GTO, - Oldsmobile Cutlass / 442, - Buick Skylark / GS (also 1970-1972 Monte Carlo, 1969-1972 Pontiac Grand Prix)

Many GM cars of the same years will have Strato bucket seats that are interchangeable, however the seat tracks vary from full size and other GM cars.
example: seat tracks from an Impala or Nova are different and will not work in our A-body cars.
You can use the seats and have them upholstered in what is correct for your car, but need to get correct seat tracks to be a direct bolt in for the A-Body.

If your car was not equipped with bucket seats from the factory,
your floor pans are not equipped to add bucket seats without getting an aftermarket kit to install correct style mounts for bucket seats.
See this link here for more information on bench to bucket seats conversion. https://www.chevelles.com/forums/show...=192782&page=2

As mentioned, a power driver seat was an option. (not available on all years for the Chevelle though) - more info to be added as it is obtained.
I touched on the headrest information above.
Reclining passenger bucket seat was an option (not on Chevelles).
I have seen the passenger reclining seat added to many Chevelles. Just a matter of putting the correct upholstery on the seat.
I know the reclining bucket was available in the full size Pontiacs.
I have seen them in a few 66-67 GTOs but I believe they may have been added. We need some verification on that.

Basic info break down.
66, 67 and 68 are all one year only seats if you want correct seats for those specific years.
66 = no locking mechanism, no push button, metal backs and lower side panels. headrests optional
67 = locking mechanism, side push button, metal backs
and lower side panels. headrests optional
68 = locking mechanism, side push button, plastic backs
and lower side panels. headrests optional
69 through 72 = locking mechanism, rear center push button, plastic backs
and lower side panels. headrests standard. (note: 69 headrests differ from 70-72)
There is a response below mentioning 69 headrest differences.

If anybody has knowledgeable information to add to this thread please do so.

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Last edited by droptop396; Nov 23rd, 14 at 8:25 PM.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 14, 12:56 PM
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Bruce
 
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

INTERCHANGABILITY:

The '68 Buckets have the Seatback Release button on the side -- of course they will bolt into any A-body they won't be correct (shudder!).

The '69 - '72 Buckets have the Seatback Release in the center of the seatback. To my knowledge they all use the same Seatback release mechanism.

The '69 Headrests are a one-year-only item; whereas they will install into the '70 - '72 bucket seats they will not engage the headrest locks (unless you install the locks backwards -- shudder!). Furthermore, the Headrest Locks for the '69 are also a one-year-only item. The '70 - '72 Headrest Locks are all the same. The '69 Headrest Locks will not fit on a '70 - '72 Bucket and vice versa (the internal mounts that the locks attach to are different) -- ask me how I know that one .

The newest reproduction Strato Bucket Seat Headrests are slotted on the chrome posts to fit any of the '69 - '72 Buckets.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 14, 2:14 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

For '72, the driver's side bucket seat had seat belt sensor, this fit in the lower center and triggered the seat belt warning sensor until your belt was connected. Very tough to find piece.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 14, 2:22 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

68 headrests are a one year only. They have a different style of notches for their locking mechanisms, which are also one year only items.

69 headrests are a one year only. They have the notches for the headrest locking mechanisms on the inside of the headrest post.

70-72 have the notches for the headrest locking mechanisms on the outside of the headrest posts.

If you look closely on the headrest posts you may even find a date code on them. You must look very close though.

68-72 Chevelle did not use the chrome trim on the lower plastic skirt panels. Other GM brands did, but not the Chevrolet line. 68-72 Chevelles did have the chrome trim on the seat back panels.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old Dec 1st, 14, 8:34 AM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

'64-72 BUCKET SEAT TRACKS:
As a rule, all A-body bucket seat tracks will interchange with each other relating to bolt mounting patterns; track to seat frame, and track to floor.
As a rule, A-body bench seat tracks will not interchange with bucket seats.

'64-65 seat track adjustment levers bend upwards close to the seat frame.
'64-65 Chevelle uses a "squared-off" chrome knob with a raised ridge on top.
'64-65 GTO uses an oblong chrome lever with embossed lines all around it.

'66-72 seat adjustment levers extend out from the track due to the metal or plastic side shells used in those years. Some levers have a curve or bend upwards.
Some '66 Chevelles had a chrome curved lever, "T" shaped cross section.
Most other '66-72 seat tracks use a "rounded-off" chrome knob.
'73 and up use a black plastic knob.

There are other variances in bucket seat tracks. Some mid-60s A-body Pontiac tracks are taller because the cars have deeper floor pans than Chevelle, but they will still interchange.
Some tracks will have slots rather than holes on the front feet, no problem.
All tracks have 2 holes on the rear feet.

'60-69 Corvair bucket seat tracks will also bolt up to A-body bucket seats.
'60-63 Corvair had no seat adjustment knob, just a spot-welded lever.
'64-69 Corvair have the chrome knob like Chevelle.

All A-body and Corvair chrome knobs and levers will interchange with all A-body and Corvair seat tracks.
'64-67 knobs and levers have a set screw on the bottom for attachment.
'68 and up knobs are pressed on, no set screw.

Again, there could be variances in all these chrome knobs and levers, depending on year and assembly plant.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 15, 8:35 PM
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I do believe, that while in 68, the headrests were an option, new law on 1/1/1969 made mandatory that ALL passenger vehicles have seats w/ headrests. So if you see those few 69 Chevelle's with no headrests, then chances are it was built prior to 1/1/1969, or the seats may not be original to the car.

Please, anybody, correct me if I am wrong.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 2:34 PM
Kevin
 
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

'66 buckets? I bought a pair of buckets (supposedly from a '66). They have lock releases on the side and metal backs and side skirts. I am needing to re-upholster them. National Parts Depot catalog shows a '66 bucket, as having a side release button. What do I have?
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 6:06 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

Steel panels with side locking mechanisms are 67 seats. 66 is the same seat without the locking mechanisms. You have 67 seats. You can cover them in the 66 pattern, but they will never be 100 % correct for a 66. Post a picture and I should be able to tell you which model car they were from.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 6:57 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

I hope these pics are enough
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 7:52 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

They are 66 seat covers mounted on 67 seats. They do not have the 1966 medallions that came on the seats when new. This makes me think that that are reproduction covers that were put on 67 seats some time ago. They may not have had 66 medallions to put on the new covers. They now reproduce the medallions.
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 8:04 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

So, upholstery for either year, will fit?
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 8:12 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

Yes.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 8:14 PM
Kevin
 
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

Thank you for your help.
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 15, 12:29 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

Here are a pair of buckets I picked up from a local guy who has 4 or 5 A-Body Cutlass's and a ton of parts for $75. I don't know what year they are, or if they're worth restoring, but for $75 I couldn't not take them. My 70 has a front bench seat so I'll have to get the conversion brackets. Are there better brackets than others? I see opgi and others make them and they all look the same. Here are some links to my seats. Comments/advice greatly appreciated.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 15, 12:53 PM
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Re: Ultimate Bucket Seat Guide and Identification 1966-1972

My original 67 buckets had color-matched trim piping instead of chrome.

Randy
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67 Project SS Clone

Owning a Chevelle project is like having a giant-size piggy bank that you keep pouring money into....but you can't get it back out.
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