All The Right Options: 1968 Chevrolet Camaro

By Jeff Bennett

When the Ford Mustang came out in late 1964, everyone would agree it was a bases loaded home run.  Chevrolet was caught with their pants down, and it took until the 1967 model year for their response to hit the roads.  Usually, situations like this aren’t very successful.  Chevrolet, however, did a fantastic job creating their own pony car, and the 1967 through 1969 Camaros continue to be the standard all subsequent Camaros are judged by.  Having seen better days, this 1968 Camaro, located in Islip, New York, is for sale on EBay.  Bidding is currently at $6800, with the reserve not having been met as of this writing.

  

The fact that this 1968 Camaro, which needs a lot of work, has not hit reserve at $6800 is testimony to the love people have for these cars.  The styling is timeless, and in an era where excess could get out of control, the design of the Camaro is simple and pure.  It also helps that this one is packing a 396 cubic inch big block V-8, is an SS model, and has a four speed manual transmission.  The owner claims that it has just 43,304 miles.  They must have been some pretty hard miles.  Maybe they were racked up a quarter mile at a time.

The 43,000 mile deal might be a bit more plausible when you look at the interior.  While a thorough detailing would help tremendously, much of the interior could probably be reused if the car were to be restored.  The vinyl seats are free from rips and separations, and the console and door panels appear to be in similar shape.  The dash pad seems to be curled up around the steering wheel, and is a bit lumpy throughout its length.  Under the dash, we see the usual hot rodder set of auxiliary gauges and a Hurst shifter that was almost always added to hot cars back in the day.  The same goes for the monster tachometer strapped to the steering column.  If you are looking for a car that was well taken care of, these are things you just don’t want to see.

Under the hood is the big block 396 V-8 that is driving the price of this car up.  It looks like it has seen better days here, and the old, crumpled air cleaner isn’t doing the owner any favors as far as making it look good.  We can see that the car has power brakes, but it did not come with air conditioning.  The nest of wires resting along the driver’s side inner fender doesn’t look factory, and could be a problem down the road.  We can also see a lot of rust, dings, and dents in this picture, and they will give the new owner plenty to do when trying to get this car looking good again.

Underneath, we can see where the current owner has replaced the trunk pan, but the rest of the underside needs attention as well.  The Flowmaster mufflers suggest again that this car made some demonstrations of speed, and the straps they are held up with gives you some clues as to the quality of the work done to the car.  The owner says that it needs floor pans, which isn’t a surprise for a sixties GM car that probably spent most of its life in the Northeast.  As long as snow and sixties cars exist, body men will always have job security.

As you look around the car, you see that rust has taken its toll in a lot of places.  Fortunately, Camaros of this vintage are insanely popular, and the restoration parts industry makes it possible to almost build one from reproduction parts.  With the damage shown in these photos, that may be your best option.  When it comes down to it, replacing a panel with a reproduction piece is almost always cheaper.  Especially if you are paying for someone to do the repair.  You could argue that it takes away from the car’s originality, but a lot of that originality has already left through oxidation.

Overall, if you are specifically looking for a car with these options to restore as a fairly rare factory original, it is not too bad a choice.  It does have an interesting and desirable list of features going for it.  If you are going to make a pro-street car, or just want a car to tailor to your needs and desires, then there are likely better candidates out there.  Originality only counts if you are going to chase points.  You also have to factor in the difficulty of replacing the floor pans correctly, and handling whatever other damage you may find when you go digging into a car in this condition.  Regardless of mileage claims, there is probably a lot of mechanical wear and tear in the drivetrain based on the go fast goodies we see attached to the car.  As always, noting takes the place of an in person inspection to see what you are getting into.

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Comments

  1. LAB3

    If it’s what it appears to be, a true SS 396, it’ll get a full blown restoration. To me it looks a lot more solid and complete than a lot of other Camaros I’ve seen.

    4+

  2. Bob Hess

    I see A/C interior ducting. Could be easy to reinstall? After just installing floor pans in a race car shell from Virginia this car looks easy.

    2+

  3. Angrymike

    My favorite two years, I’ve owned a 70 SS 427 Camaro but I always felt cramped to that car, but with the 69 427 with aluminum heads, a L88 cam and 4:11’s with a 4 speed, it was the fastest car I ever owned !
    But my heart belongs to the 67-68 Camaro.
    I still would like one, of course with a big block, but I’m moving to Canada, and will be searching for a 66 -67 Pontiac beaumont, then I’ll convert to an SD model

    5+

    • Angrymike

      Here’s the 427 Camaro, fastest car I ever owned…….

      9+

      • Pa Tina

        Must have been. Blew the hood right off it.

        3+

  4. Vince H

    Vents appear to be for new flow through system not A/C

    5+

    • Tom Member

      Correct, this car did NOT come with factory AC. Vents in bottom corners are vent only….IF the car had AC there would be a long horizontal vent at the top of the center of that woodgrain dash center above the ventilation selectors. Also would have a duct under the dash in front of the center console (black plastic) that would have a vent aiming to the right and to the left to move toward the driver and passenger leg area.

      This is a low option car BUT it is a GO option car. Sorry, put a 1 in front of the mileage. Definitely a 140K mile car…..and that is fine….a car with this many rust issues ….doesn’t matter the mileage…..still rot in every panel and everywhere. Labor of love and a ton of money will make this a cool car worth doing in my opinion. If not REAL……I would change my answer….way too much rust to put that kind of money into a base model Camaro. you can buy a far better car for way less money which will be a better car in the end. again, my opinion.

      2+

    • waldon herdman

      68 Camaros had “Astro Ventilation”. fancy name for dash vents.

      5+

  5. TdF 83

    Just want to correct you on your comment “When the Ford Mustang came out in late 1964” Mustangs were “unleashed” in April 64. that is why there is the 64 1/2. You are correct that most new models are introduced late in the year like August. I sure enjoy your posts

    1+

  6. gaspumpchas.

    Looks a lot better than most I have seen here in the rust belt.ambitious but new owner can take it to the level he wants to. I’m sure its a monster to drive.Good luck to new owner.

    0

  7. SteveM.

    I could believe it’s a 43000 mile car. Usually when the odometer rolls past 99999, or if the odometer has been doctored, the digits tend to be a tad misaligned. I’ve definitely rolled a few past that mark. 🙂

    0

  8. Bob Hess

    I stand corrected. Still a car that needs to be restored. Just don’t make ’em like that any more.

    0

  9. Big Ed

    Not an SS, RS or Z28. Just plain old Street & Strip. Ran 11.30’s @ 119 with 13.5/1 406 ci sml blk. Needs short block! Now compare!

    1+

  10. Big Ed

    Under the hood

    1+

  11. Big Ed

    I had to include this one last shot. Forgive me Barn Find family!

    1+

    • Rocco Member

      I could forgive you if you could just turn your camera up rite so we don’t have to crane our necks. LOL

      5+

  12. Rik

    Before and after…38 years apart…I’ve owned a lot of other cars in between, but have always held on to my 19th bday present to myself…

    7+

  13. Big Ed

    Rik, I used to have hair like that in 68. I bought my 67 in 1988. My 64th B’day present to myself was this 2014 ZL1. And I’ve got no hair!

    8+

    • Rik

      You might not have hair, but you’ve got style Big Ed!

      2+

  14. Big Ed

    😂😂😂😂😂😂 Thanks Rik. These are really good memories!

    1+

  15. Nova Scotian

    Ugggg….$6,800.00 for this mess….maybe $680.00…or less. It’s been beat on, hacked at and neglected far too long. Buy a Dynacorn body and press restart with a very, very large wad of cash…This as it presents, is garbage…apologies to GM gear heads (I am one).

    2+

    • Rocco Member

      @Nova,
      Are you on something? I’m a FORD guy, and I would love to have this in my shop. You can buy anything for these, just like Mustangs. 396ci, 4-speed, 12 bolt rear, multi leaf springs, eng. runs. What else would someone want for a project?

      1+

      • Angrymike

        I’m now a Ford guy too, bought an 06 Mustang GT convertible, and I love the heck out that car, legend lime black top and int.
        My last toy was a 1967 Chevelle SS with a L68 out of a 69 Corvette.
        I loved them both, but where can you find a 20,000 car of any make for 14,000, with air and a convertible too, you really can’t.
        Here’s my Chevelle

        0

      • Angrymike

        And the Mustang GT convertible……..

        0

  16. Big Ed

    I promise that this is the last shot!

    1+

  17. Jerry Neely

    Dont stop now Big Ed

    0

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