1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 Project

This Chevelle left the factory in 1968 as an SS 396, but it would be more accurate to call it an SS 305 now (if there was such a thing). The original 396 was pulled for a rebuild and a more recent 305 V8 installed in its place. But the switch back has never occurred. You get both motors with the deal, yet the car hasn’t run in at least 10 years. Once the engines are sorted out, some bodywork and paint will be needed to come full cycle after 53 years. Located in Aubrey, Texas, this SS is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $11,400.

The mid-size Chevelle debuted for 1964 and the Super Sport was an option its first two years. The SS 396 became a series of its own in 1966 and that continued after the second generation was revealed for 1968. Out of 464,699 Chevelles built for ’68, 55,309 were the SS 396 sport coupe (add 2,286 convertibles and 5,190 El Camino’s to that number). So, they weren’t in short supply then and not so much today either, with some clones and tribute cars running around as well.

This is the second time in just a few days that a second 396-swap-for-a-305 has popped up here on Barn Finds. In the other case, it was in a 1970 Chevelle. I suppose there are insurance and fuel savings advantages in doing that, but why have an SS in the first place just to neuter it? We’re told the 305 car was a daily driver until the automatic transmission started slipping, but that was a decade ago. Since then, the TH-400 is said to have been rebuilt as has the 396 V8, but its never made it back into the car. It sounds as though the seller isn’t physically up to the job anymore, so the next owner will get to right the car mechanically.

The VIN number confirms that this car is a real deal SS 396. The motor should be good for 350 horsepower when tuned and fired up again back in the Chevy. This was a car equipped with factory air conditioning when new and the seller says its all there, but we don’t see any of that hardware under the hood right now. While the odometer reads 55,000 miles, the seller has no idea of what the actual number might be. When you reinstall the 396, the Turbo-Hydramatic will need fluid put in because that step was never performed. You’ll need to bring a trailer for the car, the 396 motor and whatever else that goes with the automobile that is lying around.

The body is not rust-free, with at a minimum a patch needed behind the right front wheel well. The right rear quarter panel is wearing grey primer, which suggests it was repaired or replaced at some point due to either rust or an accident. We’re told the frame and all its braces are structurally sound. The interior may be okay, but the buckets seats have covers over them that may be hiding torn upholstery. Much of the car’s downtime has likely occurred while in dry indoor storage. Using Hagerty’s figures, these cars can trade for more than $50,000 when in prime condition and half that in Fair condition if you’ll allow that for a description of this Chevelle.

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Comments

  1. Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

    In the first pic, the green bike way back in the corner is a Honda CB750 Automatic.

    Like 1
  2. Clement

    Great candidate for restoration! 👍

  3. Norman Wrensch

    According to the intake manifold if it is correct, it is a rectangle port which would make it a 375 hp

    Like 1

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