3 On The Floor: 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle Convertible

Most of the Chevrolet Chevelles, such as this 1968 Malibu convertible, that are covered here on Barn Finds are usually of the SS396 performance persuasion. The value of those, however, has gotten so nutso that even the lesser Malibu trim level models are trading at significantly heightened values. In this case, there’s no denying this convertible’s fine condition but it’s a pretty generic drop-top with a $34,800 ask. It’s located in Wylie, Texas and is available, here on eBay with a make an offer option available.

Being a ’68 model means a rather dramatic restyle over its ’67 predecessor. It also means a three-inch shorter wheelbase coupled with a bit of the long hood/short deck design that came into vogue in the ’60s. The color is listed as Matador Red (code R) but my guess is that this Chevy has experienced a repaint as there’s overspray in places where paint shouldn’t be. No worries though, this car’s flanks show well and there’s no sign of rust – the archenemy of this generation A-body. The seller claims that this Malibu had one owner from ’73 forward and has spent ’77 forward in climate-controlled storage. The top and its glass rear window are in great shape and actually look too good to be original. Here’s a case of a non-Corvette wearing rally wheels that are completely correct for this car, they were an option, RPO ZJ7, costing $31.60.

The powertrain is a surprise. The engine is no great shakes, it’s a new for ’68 standard V8, displacing 307 CI’s and generating 200 gross HP. The good news is that it’s the original matching numbers motor. The bad news is the statement, “No attempt has been made to get this running“. Now it’s not all bad news, the engine may be OK and not stuck but it seems like a risk avoidance move to not determine its running capability. The “believed to be actual” mileage recording is 53K miles but there’s no documentation to support that reading. Two notable items include the A.I.R. “smog” pump, usually found on low-performance engines in California only and the other is the cherry bomb muffler – no dual exhaust setup needed here! Oh, yeah, back to the surprise, it’s the three-speed manual transmission actuated by a floor shift. The standard three-speed manual was shifted via a three-on-the-tree lever, but the optional heavy-duty three-speed gearbox got the cool floor shifter. It looks like a Muncie unit and if it is, it’s only the second three-speed version that I have encountered in many years of car gazing.

The interior hasn’t fared as well as the exterior. The biggest problem is the split vinyl upholstery which has clearly seen better days. The carpet shows as a replacement but it’s not fitted too well in various different places. Still, the entire environment displays fairly well. I think the steering wheel is one of the only ’68 Chevy tillers that I have spied that’s not cracked – there’s a reason they were a one-year-only piece. For a little nostalgia, note the FM converter under the dash – seen one of those lately?

Well, it’s not an SS, and it’s not trading at an SS price but it’s still a pretty steep tariff for what it is. This Malibu is a nice car, no doubt, and the three-speed manual transmission adds to the attraction because it’s just not that common an option and has been made stranger with the passage of time. That said, is it an unusual enough feature to justify the price?


  1. sakingsbury20 Member

    I have seen one 3 spd floor shift chevelle in my 50+ yrs of being a car enthusiast and I owned that car….. 68 ss396 chevelle, same color as this car listed but white bucket seat interior and white top. Don’t remember if it had a glass rear window or if it was vinyl as the top was mostly down due to the outrageous smoke shows it would pull, and hey, what looks cooler when your 22 than boiling the hides with one hand on the wheel, one arm hanging on the door with the top down? A doctor next town over bought it new, it was 1974 when I ended up with it…Traded a ’63 ss 4spd impala with spun bearing for it which I had bought a yr or so before for I think 800 bucks, I know it was less than a grand….I ended up selling it back to the guy I traded with an then on to the next car, 69 327 4spd camaro…..these type of cars were everywhere for short dollar in ’70s…..hard to say what a floor shift 3spd 396 chevelle conv would command nowadays…..

    Like 6
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      The only other three on the floor Chevelle that I have seen was also an SS396, a ’69 to be specific, and it was back in ’69.


      Like 2
      • Paul

        I had a 68 malibu back in 70 307 3 speed on the floor bench seat and it had a set of all chrome ralley wheels on it, the first all chrome ones I ever saw, no beauty ring…car was kinda silver blue with matching cloth interior…ive been looking for one like it for 50 years!

        Like 2
  2. Big C

    Looks like another Collins car. Buy ’em cheap and sell ’em high.

    Like 3
    • Robert Wepking

      You exactly right. Watched a Youtube video about him buying that and several square body GM trucks. One was a 91 Jimmy with only 110 miles.

      Like 1
  3. Mark

    I had a 1968 SS396 Chevelle with a factory 3 speed, floor shift transmission. Loved it and wish I still had it. Sold or rather, gave it away when I was going overseas in 1971.

    Like 1
  4. GTOMAN455

    68 did not have a glass rear Window,Mine is a70 GTO conv, and the window is glass.

    • 19sixty5 Member

      All GM A body convertibles beginning in 1968 were OEM equipped with a glass window. It was fairly commonplace for customers to not replace the glass back window when a new top was installed due to the higher cost, many were replaced with the plastic windows.

      Like 2
  5. 19sixty5 Member

    GM A body convertibles from 1968 through 1972 were OEM equipped with a glass window. It was commonplace for customers to not replace the glass back window when a new top was installed due to the higher cost, many were replaced with the plastic windows.

    Like 1
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Can someone at Barn Finds PLEASE explain why you keep on featuring the overpriced cars of Dennis Collins? Once in awhile would be fine, but lately there are 4 – 5 per week.

    Many of us here submit cars on an almost daily basis that would be more interesting and provide more commentary than what this guy has to offer.

    Or, at least be honest and tell us that he is (hopefully) paying you some advertising money.

  7. Bill

    Budget paint job. Lot of overspray.

    Like 1
  8. Dusty Rider

    I saw a SS396 with a 3 speed, the story was that his wife said he could get anything he wanted, but no 4 speeds.

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