327/4-Speed: 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L79

As someone raised on foreign shores, I can safely say the C3 Corvette is one of the most recognizable vehicles to emerge from an American production line. Sure, the First Generation Mustang might give it a run for its money, but there is no mistaking a C3 if viewed in silhouette form. Chevrolet introduced its new model in 1968, and although there were few changes below the skin, the new body had potential buyers scrambling to their local dealer wielding their checkbooks. Today, those early examples command stratospheric prices. That is especially true if the car is unmolested and features a desirable option package. This Corvette ticks those boxes, and it needs a new home. It is listed here on eBay in Gadsden, Alabama. The bidding has raced to $15,600, which is short of the reserve.

The Trim Tag confirms this Corvette rolled off the line wearing Silverstone Silver paint. It is 1-of-3,435 ordered in that color, which was the third most popular after British Green and LeMans Blue. The panels and paint are impressive, and if this car never received any prior restoration work, it is a testament to careful ownership. There are no significant chips or scratches, with the fiberglass free from cracks or other problems. The beauty of this classic is more than skin-deep, with the frame exhibiting nothing but the occasional spot of dry surface corrosion. If the birdcage story is similar, it makes this classic structurally sound. The Rally wheels are spotless and are wrapped in redline tires. The exterior chrome looks immaculate, and there are no glass issues.

With Chevrolet’s entry-level engine for the C3 Corvette being the L30 version of the 327 producing 300hp, there was no genuinely slow vehicle in the 1968 model range. For those wanting more, there was an enormous number of choices. Many buyers splashed the cash on a big-block, but some recognized the extra poise and handling capabilities of retaining a small-block under the hood. Therefore, 9,440 buyers spent an additional $105.35 above the sticker price for the L79 version of the 327. The upgrade brought an extra 50hp to the table, and when hooked to a four-speed manual transmission, it allowed the ‘Vette to storm the ¼ mile in 14.2 seconds. As if to prove that brutal acceleration wasn’t everything, the car would eventually wind its way to 150mph. The original owner selected that drivetrain package for this classic, adding power steering to make life easy behind the wheel. This beauty is numbers-matching, although the engine wears aftermarket valve covers. The engine bay presents well, and it doesn’t flatter to deceive. The seller says the car runs and drives well and is ready for its new owner to enjoy.

If a buyer ordered their new ’68 Corvette finished in Silver, they could choose Black, Dark Blue, or Gunmetal interior trim. This car’s original owner selected the first combination, and it remains in excellent order. The carpet has some slight fading which is a common occurrence, but the lack of wear could make replacement an unnecessary luxury. The upholstered surfaces are spotless, as are the dash and console. The owner replaced the factory radio with a CD player, but there are no other additions. Factory air conditioning was an eye-watering $412.90 option, but this ‘Vette is 1-of-5,664, so equipped.

The C3 Corvette proved the importance of product packaging. Although little had changed under the skin compared to the previous year, the svelte new body allowed the 1968 Corvette to set a sales record. Today, these classics enjoy a strong following, and values continue climbing beyond the market average. Recent sales results suggest the bidding may climb past $30,000, and I won’t be surprised if that is close to the reserve figure. That’s a lot of cash, but with the recent volatility in the stock market, the increasing value of this C3 could make it a better (and more enjoyable) investment than any Share Certificate.

Comments

  1. Grant

    Great car, great engine choice. Just how I would have ordered one had I been in this country in 1968.

    Like 4
  2. Joe

    So any knowledgeable early Vette owner knows, 68’ model year is a bad choice….assembly line workers were not happy….numerous problems developed in the 68’s….to say no chips, cracks, or flaws in the glass……someone who knew these cars & was an outstanding body man or woman had their hands on this one, no doubt in my mind….so, buyer beware….

    • Tort Member

      I owned a 68 327 350 hp. 4 speed Corvette for several years in the 70’s that I had zero issues with. The one time I opened it up to around 120mph it seemed to want to float in the front so I backed off but I wouldn’t call it a problem or flaw because it was a car to drive on the street and not on a the track without suspension upgrades.

      Like 1
  3. Mark

    We know what’s coming next…. “I would be careful of the birdcage”. It’s a no brainer that everybody puts out there, even on very nice Vettes.

    Like 2
  4. George Mattar

    From the looks of the frame, I would guess the birdcage is ok despite being 54 years old. I own a 73 silver couoe and there is no better color on a C3. Beautiful first year Shark.

  5. John Merendino

    I had a 68 and sold it quickly as the heat coming from the floor was horrible, couldn’t drive it

  6. Tort Member

    I owned a 68 327 350 hp. 4 speed Corvette for several years in the 70’s that I had zero issues with. The one time I opened it up to around 120mph it seemed to want to float in the front so I backed off but I wouldn’t call it a problem or flaw because it was a car to drive on the street and not on a the track without suspension upgrades.

  7. 19sixty5 Member

    Nice looking ‘vette. The seller has another 68 for sale, and get this, a COPO 1977 Chevette! it is bid up to $12,100 and reserve is not met. It sold at Mecum Chattanooga in October for $16,500. I’m speechless, but as they say, there is an a** for every seat!

    Like 2
  8. Scott Member

    At $16,900 with no reserve showing. Black Friday special?

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Only if the birdcage and frame are in great shape.

      Mark is now cringing.

      Like 1

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