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1 of 15: 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

Rare is the vintage car listing where the seller provides as much detail as this one. In this case, the seller knows about every nut and bolt in his machine and is happy to pass along that knowledge. He/she goes further to indicate this may be one of only 15 GM cars ordered that year with a factory engine block heater, which this automobile still has! The 1968 Chevelle SS 396 here is as original as possible to keep it viable and roadworthy, but some work has been necessary to accomplish that, like new floorboards. Located in the backwoods of Gerradstown, West Virginia, this old classic is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $12,600, but that may be far from the reserve the seller set. Hats off to Larry D for his sleuthing on this tip!

The Chevelle SS 396 became a series of its own in 1966. And two years, later they were still hot, selling more than 55,000 Sports Coupes plus another 4,000 convertibles and El Camino’s so equipped. The muscle car craze was in high gear with no end in sight – until 1970-71 when rising insurance costs finally caught up to the genre, plus higher gas prices two years after that. The seller has owned this ’68 edition since 2018 after retrieving it from a farm in North Dakota where it had been sitting for the previous 35 years.

From the time the seller bought this Chevy, the goal was to keep it as original as possible, as they only come that way once. So, the 396 V8 and 4-speed manual transmission are numbers-matching. Any work the seller has done has only been to keep it going, so the next owner will need to decide whether to follow that same strategy (preservation) or spring for an expensive restoration. The engine is the basic 396 motor that output 325 hp, which was not too shabby.

The seller has documented his/her work on the car and will provide the buyer with a thumb drive of more than 700 photos (normally, we’re lucky to get more than a handful). As best as the seller can tell, the engine and tranny have never been apart but perform decently after 135,000 miles. He/she did have to replace one burnt valve as the car was down to seven cylinders when it was acquired. The carburetor needed rebuilding and the fuel pump, gas tank, and fuel-sending unit all had to be replaced to fulfill the preservation goal. The Muncie shifter may need attention and for a 4-speed I’m unsure why I only see two pedals hanging from under the dashboard rather than three.

This machine sports the equivalent of a Buick Skylark interior as a labor dispute put production of Chevelle interiors on hold in the Spring of 1968. Because of its dormancy, critters did a number on the upholstery and all the materials had to be removed from the foam to dry out. Rather than putting on new material, the seller reinstalled the original though I would have changed out the driver’s bucket seat because it’s all cracked and torn. But at least new carpeting was installed.

I could go on and on, but then I’d just be retelling the seller’s story. Those who are truly interested in this Chevelle that originated from Bob Chase Chevrolet in Mandan, North Dakota should take the time to read through the seller’s listing. It could be the standard that all other sellers of vintage cars may want to follow (but not as a single paragraph, please).

Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    A block heater ordered in ND I don’t find particularly unusual. I served at Minot AFB in early 70’s and heaters were almost a necessity. I say almost, we didn’t have the 0 weight motor oils then. At 20° below and colder you can only imagine how thick your oil got after 8 hrs or more. Battery capacity dropped to half or less in the cold. So there were outlets all over to plug your car in. Myself as I couldn’t always get a space near one at my apartment downtown carried my battery in for the night. Warm battery and don’t flood it! I don’t see the plug which usually hangs out in front around the grill. Grab the extension cord from the backseat and plug your car in. Solid car as road salt wasn’t a thing when I was there you learn to drive on ice when it got bad. They did throw grit on the roads, sand and small stone. Not too sure why padding wasn’t replaced while seat was open. But good solid car, guessing price will high as it has a block heater. LOL

    Like 11
  2. PatM Member

    there are 3 pedals

    Like 15
  3. Rick Norman

    isn’t a factory block heater kind of stretching the “rare” car thing a little??

    Like 31
  4. Barzini

    Great car but I knew it looked familiar.

    https://barnfinds.com/well-preserved-1968-chevrolet-chevelle-ss-396/

    I am surprised someone did not take the previous buy-it-now option.

    Like 8
  5. Rw

    Don’t know the answer to question Russ I’ll suggest go get new glasses .

    Like 4
  6. Gino

    Engine and transmission have never been apart, but then you say a valve had been replaced? Wonder how they did that?

    Like 8
    • Brett Lundy

      it was performed by a gynecologist turned mechanic who the completed the repair by reaching thru the exhaust pipes to change the burnt valve.

      Like 7
      • chuck

        Did they tighten everything up when they were finished?

        Like 3
    • Rw

      Probably a Proctologist performed the procedure through through the tailpipe.

      Like 5
  7. Steve Weiman

    EXACTLY what you would find in used $500 Chevelle in 1980. Would have sat unsold because of the wiped out trunk and floors. $250 cash offer would’ve taken it home to be parted out once the newspaper ad ran out.

    Most SS Chevelles were optioned much like this car, wheelcovers and all ( very surprised it has power steering!) but few were still still untouched like this example.

    The current owner has done some heavy lifting here and has to be commended for the result.

  8. Steve Weiman

    EXACTLY what you would find in used $500 Chevelle in 1980. Would have sat unsold because of the wiped out trunk and floors. $250 cash offer would’ve taken it home to be parted out once the newspaper ad ran out.

    Most SS Chevelles were optioned much like this car, wheelcovers and all ( very surprised it has power steering!) but few were still still untouched like this example.

    The current owner has done some heavy lifting here and has to be commended for the result.

    Like 11
  9. CCFisher

    One of 15 with an engine block heater? Those guys with the 375HP SS396 convertibles will be soooo jealous!

    Like 15
  10. Larry D

    With four days left to go, this Chevelle is at $22,200. You just can’t find honest cars like this anymore. Looks like it’s headed for a big number.

    Like 1
  11. Clown

    Most original unrestored in the country???? He’s done a lot to this car what’s he talking about man he’s a car salesman he will be a politician soon after he sell this- he had to throw in heater (rare) block to sell it lol

  12. J. Max

    Click bait

  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Forget the block heater. The rarest part on this car is the original smog pump.

    Like 2

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