396-Powered! 1968 Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon

Another station wagon? You bet and once again, it’s a ’68 Chevrolet, similar to this ’68 Caprice featured on Barn Finds last month. Station wagons are hot! They are the anti-SUV/CUV and offer some nice, old school passenger car features. Let’s take a closer look at this ’68 Impala wagon, located in Santa Clara, California, and available here on craigslist for $12,000. Thanks to Pat L. for this tip!

The ’68 Caprice and Impala station wagon are really the same cars, the difference being that the Caprice came with faux wood contact paper-like woodgrain sides, secured with tan plastic trim and the Impala went for the aux naturel’ look. Barring that, there really is no difference.

This Impala has been out in the sun for a long time. The finish is sunburned with some surface rust showing through but it is minus the typical rust possessed by Chevrolet “B” bodies of this generation. It is surprisingly straight with one minor glitch in the back bumper/tailgate. The trim components are in place but the plastic part of the side rub-strips have separated away in places, typical. The chrome is pretty strong still, too bad about the rear bumper. While a sedan or hardtop bumper for a ’68 Impala is an everyday find, a station wagon is more of a challenge; perhaps this one can be straightened. Note the wheel covers, they are the 15″ variety and not the standard Impala 14″ rollers. The 15’s are not real common and the wheel covers can be hard to find.

The interior is not photographed in its entirety so it’s hard to get a feel for it. The carpet appears to be reasonable but there’s no revelation around the upholstery. Interestingly, there is an image of what appears to be the third, way-back seat which has been removed. It is black, not matching the interior’s turquoise hue, so perhaps this is a replacement? The listing is an exercise in minimalism so there’s no description. In keeping up with the prevailing trend for ’68 Chevy steering wheels, this one is cracked in multiple places. Unfortunately, the original Delco radio is missing.

For power, this wagon is sporting a 396 CI, 325 gross HP V8 engine that is supposed to be numbers matching. We’ll go with the assumption that it runs, but the seller offers no details. The transmission is listed as an automatic unit and the dash display for the shift quadrant shows it to be a Turbo-Hydramatic 400. The water pump and master cylinder both appear to be recent replacements so this Chevy has received some mechanical attention. This is an A/C equipped car, no word if it is operational.

This wagon looks like a typical old, west coast car, it’s weathered but appears to be in pretty sound shape with cosmetics being its biggest need. The seller states that it is disc brake-equipped which is a very nice inclusion and explains the 15″ wheels. The standard drum brakes are really not the best for repeated, safe stopping, especially on a car weighing at least 4,200 lbs. The big debate here is the price, it’s stiff for what this car is but the current aura around station wagons and the big block engine are contributing factors. Assuming that this example is mechanically sound, it wouldn’t take much to make this Impala a presentable cruiser, don’t you think?

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  1. Steve Bush Member

    While it looks to be a decent car with desirable options like a 396 and front discs, at $12k it’s somewhat overpriced. In addition, the seller comes across as a jerk by providing scant info or pics, while insisting on a firm price and saying he has “no time for non serious inquiries.”

    Like 28
    • Nate

      Jerk? Meh, I don’t agree. He’s just being honest. He’s busy and doesn’t want to spend hours entertaining people who are going to try and lowball him. He thinks the car is worth $12k.

      Maybe he could be more generous with quantity and quality of photos, but what are you really hoping to see? It’s a 52 year old car, and it’s not a show piece. I wouldn’t consider him a jerk for that either.

      Like 14
      • bry593

        He probably just doesn’t really want to sell the car. Maybe his wife told him to sell, and he was like “okay, sure, here goes…. For Sale – A car, only 1 million dollars. Sorry Hun, ain’t nobody called?!?”….

        Like 14
  2. Arthell64 Member

    Calling the seller a jerk is a little harsh. The pics and price are typical of any other ad on BF. I would love to own this wagon but I just don’t want to pay what people are asking.
    Everytime I see a car like this I think of sitting in the third row seat looking out the back window of family wagon with it loaded up and heading to Florida. Good times.

    Like 9
  3. John B

    That’s definitely an “I Don’t Really Wanna Sell It” price, and I’ve personally passed on cars I was interested in simply because the seller had an arrogant attitude (perceived or not). Having said that, I hope someone can save it, looks like it possibly has great potential, especially with the very-desirable 396.

    Like 14
    • Steve R

      It’s the “I live in the heart of silicone valley” price. Everything is overpriced around here. The seller looks like he chose certain angles and cropped pictures to hide problems such as missing AC and problems with the interior. It’s a good project, but probably at the price he paid. There are lots of cars like this sitting in Bay Area driveways, people willing to knock and talk can find some good deals.

      Steve R

      Like 9
  4. Maestro1 Member

    The Seller’s arrogance won’t help the situation. The price is way too high, the car isn’t that nice and i think all should move on to a civilized person.

    Like 14
  5. Kenneth Carney

    That’s why I don’t buy anything from California. Everything’s expensive there.
    And that’s why people are leaving there in
    droves. It’s all the pot they smoke out
    there that makes them think any car they
    have is worth top dollar. And the idiot
    selling this car isn’t helping his cause much either. He’d have no time to speak
    to me about it? Sorry pal, you just lost a
    potential buyer. With a little due diligence, I could find a car in the same
    condition for less money. Just can’t seem to find one in Florida though.

    Like 13

      the pot huh? you must not know any pot heads. the good pot is in oregon, thats where i live. knew studies show pot is actually the thinking mans choice. doctors, lawyers, professors. this guy is probably straight laced and hates life.

      Like 17

      sorry ’bout the b.i.l., laziness hits all demographs. ah pot stocks, we aint found any yet either. everything is private but over seen by the liquor board, pretty small time with lots of revenue. at the moment money is made in the growing of, processing, and sales. come buy a building and open a dispensary and watch the money roll in

      Like 3
      • Oregon_Guy78

        You got that right!

    • Gray Wolf

      The reason the prices of Ca. cars are higher is because they are not totally eaten away by rust say like cars in Florida! Buy them cheaper, but spend Way more installing floors and other sheet metal goodies! Why do you think people raid the western states of cars and state in their adds, former Ca. or Arizona vehicles?

      Like 4
    • Tman

      Jeez dude. I left California years ago for different reasons when everything wasn’t expensive and people had more self control. In your case it must be pot smoking people leaving Florida who want more for cars,pot and everything else.

  6. T

    Land yacht.

    Like 1
  7. dyno dan

    another 5 figure derby car.

    Like 3
  8. Stangalang

    I’ve sold riding mowers with more information and photos and don’t mind answering questions either..and for that much money??

    Like 11
  9. Bob C.

    It seems a lot of these Chevy wagons on this site have the big block 396 or 427s. When I was growing up, I never knew of any. They mostly had your typical 283 or 327s, although this year was a one year only job for the 307 in full size.

    Like 4
    • Little_Cars

      I’m looking at a 68 Chevelle “Nomad” wagon for sale this week with the 307. Hoping that mill is a little less inclined to drive past a gas station and stop in to top off. Need a wagon for my growing family and want something vintage and cool.

      Like 5
      • Bob C.

        The 307 is a decent motor for that car and it shouldn’t kill you at the gas pump.

        Like 2
      • Little_Cars

        Thanks. Now if I can get this small town dealer to come off his somewhat inflated price. It’s a bare bones wagon, no air, just power steering, missing most of its essential trim and in primer.

      • Claudio Member

        How times have changed
        Nowadays , kids learn to drive with a loaded front wheel drive toyota and a mussie driving instructor that doesnt know the laws !

  10. rick

    I took my drivers test in a 1967 caprice wagon with a 396. Try to parallel park a land yacht at 16 years old with a grumpy drivers examiner starring at you. I did it on the first time. Rick

    Like 11
    • Gaspumpchas

      LOL Thanks for sharing Rick, I too took my road test on a 67 biscayne wagon, 3 on the tree and no P/s. Complete with grumpy examiner!! I too passed first time, think I stalled it once. I figured that the examiner felt that you could handle this barge you deserved your license. Good experiences we had, eh?? Stay safe.

      Like 8
      • TinCanSailor

        Small world! I took my driver’s exam in a ’66 Impala SW with a 327 and a Powerglide.

        Parallel parking that thing was an experience, but learning to park that beast makes parking my car (with a backup camera and beeping sensors all around) simple!

        Like 5
  11. CraigR

    Fond memories from my youth of “inheriting” one of these in non running order from a friend. Got 3 years out of it. The steering box was loose and highway driving was a challenge in constantly jiggling the steering wheel to keep it pointed straight.
    It also withstood being rear ended by a 60MPH drunk with very little damage.

    Would love another for old time sake…..

  12. steve sammut Member

    I live in SF and have lived here my entire life. The fact that its a CA car should…. should….. help with rust issues. I’m ok with a firm price, although $12k seems a bit high, but if you are going to do that, you needs lots of pictures to convince me a trip to Santa Clara will be worth it…especially with a FIRM price. You need lots of pictures and an honest documentary on what is right….and what is wrong… with the car. Learned how to drive on a 64 Malibu wagon with a 3 on the tree and a 327. In SF. On the hills.

    Like 1
    • Gray Wolf

      Turned down $31,000 for # matching 51,000 mile big block wagon! Don’t want to sell anyway, too much fun with surfboards, swap meet, cruising PCH. Get a lot of notes on the windshield.

  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    What is it about people photographing a car while at a gas station?
    It makes me feel like they don’t own it, just so happen to be walking by and figure “Hey, I’m gonna take some pictures of this car and throw it on CL as a joke / scam”.

  14. Jt Toy

    I recently sold a 1992 Caprice wagon with immaculate black paint and a 415CID Lingenfelter engine. The interior was stock and very nice My reserve was 12,500 and it brought $15,500. Based on my experience, I think the car is overpriced!

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars

      Yeah, an immaculate 92 Caprice wagon is practically the same car! Nice comp to determine asking price on a 68. (?????)

  15. john hugh

    another 6K car going for 12

    Like 3
    • Gray Wolf

      Pay $6,000 and pay $20,000 to fix the rust! Or pay $12,000 and drive it while fixing it up, instead of having it sit at a body shop for a year! Your choice!

  16. John Oliveri

    Looks like a nice car for Lucky, at Hot Rod Garage, hopefully he would preserve the 396, Tony would junk it for a LS swap, but they love wagons, they have a Fury, it could be a his and his

    Like 1
  17. John Oliveri

    Mobiltechlucky, I’m sure he’d want it, he’s in California

    Like 1
  18. 1-MAC

    My father bought a 68 Caprice Wagon 396 Dual exhaust all loaded up. Wish we had kept it. He traded it for a 72 Olds Custom Cruiser lo compression 455. He said this is a nice car but doesn’t run like the Chevy.

  19. dyno dan

    took my drivers test in 69 mercury grand marquis. couldn’t see over the hood!

  20. John Oliveri

    72 was the beginning of the end, I love my 73 455 Grand Prix, but the power is nothing to a 70, or 71

  21. George Mattar

    California cars are far superior to Florida rust buckets. Florida cars among the worst. I lived there. Roofs rotted off, etc. The salt air combined with humidity so thick you can’t breathe not kind to metal. This car is way overpriced. Looks to me like the ac compressor is still on the car. Either way, nobody drives these old cars anymore, at least on interstates where 2020 Hondas with 4 cyl buzz engines can blow it off the road.

    Like 1
    • Gray Wolf

      Hey George, wake up! There a a lot of old cars on the road! You are right on the rust, but wrong on the driving! As far as a Honda buzzing by on the freeway, don’t think so!

      Like 2
      • John Oliveri

        I drive my 455 Grand Prix every weekend from spring till end of October, highway speeds, left lane, 80 mph when I feel like it even faster, my 73 has front and rear sway bars, front disc brakes, 15 inch Vogue tires, and it’s maintained, just redid the entire front end,bushings, ball joints shocks springs, it’s not an old car, it’s a well maintained classic, and no Honda buzzes by me, they usually move the hell out of my way

        Like 2
  22. Dave Mathers

    I sold those brand new and even had one for a demo with a 427/390 HP automatic. GREAT highway cruiser but hard on gas and not very good in the corners!!

    Like 1
  23. John Oliveri

    PS , I don’t flash my brights, I just punch that Quadra jet, that moves em

    Like 2
  24. TimM

    Great car but 12K for a wagon seems a little much especially since it needs a paint job before the rust starts coming through the paint!!
    Oh and please don’t call it patina!!!! It’s worn out paint!!!

    Like 1
  25. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    My 1967 383 Polara wagon with factory disk brakes would walk all over that Chevy…..regret taking the $2500 for it a few years back – but I made money – original paint car to boot !

    • Gray Wolf

      Well last year I raced a couple of 383 wagons and they were embarrassed! 325hp 396 wagon, moves pretty well. Beat them by a half of car!!

  26. Gray Wolf

    I am right with you!!

  27. Bob Thompson

    My very first car was a 1968 wagon with a 396 in it could barely afford the gas but it would never quit me. Just a solid old car gave $100 bill for it and I bought it out of a junkyard. I loved that old car

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