4-Speed And A Hardtop: 1968 Chevrolet Corvette

This 1968 Chevrolet Corvette belonged to a member of the armed forces who sadly did not return from Vietnam to enjoy his early production roadster. The seller notes this Corvette was produced in the first month of production for this model year and has been with the second owner since being sold by the original owner’s family. Today, it is in need of restoration, having been put into garage storage many years ago before getting kicked outside. The seller’s brother snatched the car up but has since decided to sell his collection of Corvettes. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $10,000 and no reserve, and located in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

The Corvette sports a factory hardtop, offering you the best of both worlds if top-down driving isn’t your thing. Plus, it’s just a rare factory option that will always be desired by collectors. The paint job is plenty rough, and it’s hard to tell exactly what the root cause of the deterioration is. The white stripe over the rear of the car isn’t factory, so perhaps this example was given a quicky respray at one point. More than likely, being parked outside and covered up in the Florida sun is what caused most of the paint damage. The Corvette was sent to a restoration shop by the seller’s brother for a respray and associated bodywork, but the project was halted before that happened.

The seller notes that the production number is quite low. Potential buyers will have to do their due diligence to determine if this is true, or whether there are any tell-tale signs of what sets early production models apart from later cars. The interior certainly looks like a car that’s been parked outside, as the dash is cracked and will eventually need replacement. The steering wheel is split as well, and I can’t quite tell whether the radio is original. The convertible top appears to be white (but dirty), and may not be original given the interior is black. Perhaps the top was converted when the white stripe was added across the tail. The manual gearbox is obviously a selling point.

No word on whether the engine is original, but given the modifications elsewhere, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that it’s been swapped. The seller calls it a “time capsule” which is a term I usually reserve for cars that haven’t been modified from stock condition; however, you could also use it to describe a period custom that hasn’t been touched since it was modified in the ’60s or ’70s. Regardless, bidders seem intrigued given it’s doing well at the moment, and if it’s rust-free underneath, you usually don’t lose on early or late-production examples of any niche car. Would you preserve or restore it?

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Comments

  1. Racingpro56

    Haven’t heard the “owner bought it new, went to Vietnam and never retured” story in a long time. Obviously this car has been used and abused but being a’ 68 with hardtop it is worth attention. Nothing original about it but still very much worth restoration if purchase price is right!

    Like 19
  2. RoughDiamond

    It’s sad enough if the Viet Nam story is true. It’s also sad that what would have been this young soldier’s new Corvette ended up this way. I worked with a Viet Nam Veteran in physical therapy rehab and he saw some of the fiercest fighting over there. One day I asked him if he and his platoon buddies ever talked about muscle cars over there whenever they got any break from the fighting. He lit up and said all the time and it was common for soldiers to special order one and have it waiting on them when they returned home. He said a good friend of his he served with had special ordered a ’69 Chevrolet Camaro only to be killed in battle three days before he was to return home. He said he stayed in touch with the family and that the car was given to his late friend’s sister by his mom and dad.

    Like 23
  3. Steve

    Flood car? There is mucho rust and deterioration above the wheel line.

    Like 4
    • Pat

      Could just be due to constantly outside in Florida humidity and the moisture trapped by all the car covers. Either way, a bunch of rust.

      Like 4
    • John Mele

      I second the flood car . good call
      Im sure if you put your hand up and under the seats you will find mud /dirt maybe seaweed?

      Like 5
    • Gary

      I agree, parents live in Florida and sitting under tarps will not cause that amount of rust. If the story is true I am sure the person bought it as a project. Very rough condition.

      Like 2
      • Raymond Hurst Member

        Actually if you cover a car and let the tarp go all the way to the ground, it will rust a lot worse than this. Not much different than parking it underwater.

  4. Dave Suton

    1968 Corvettes were obviously first year of the new design. I have heard that those 68’s have a lot of teething and design problems that weren’t worked out yet. It would worry me that this is an early build 68 too. Make it’s even more troublesome. But the hardtop and no basket case condition could make it worth something in the end. But for $10k? I think the seller should be prepared to slice that almost in half, if they really want to sell it.

    Like 4
    • Michael Dennis

      The bottom of the drivers door looks like it’s outer skin has delaminated from the door shell ?? 🤷‍♂️

  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    Why aren’t all of the comments showing up?
    At the top it says “4 Comments”,but I only see two.
    I think that this has been happening a lot lately.
    Also,is there any way to mail a donation to BF?

    Like 1
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      angliant, you can become a member for a small monthly fee. Or a supporter, as it is called now. Scroll to the top and click membership.

      • angliagt angliagt Member

        I don’t want to use a credit card –
        I’d prefer to mail in,but no address
        is provided.

        Like 3
  6. Benjy58

    Looks like it has been sitting for a while. I’ll bet when the resto shop saw it they said no way.

    Like 2
  7. Gaspumpchas

    Another sad story about one of our brave soldiers. Might be a good place to start if the frame and birdcage is ok. good luck and stay safe.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 4
  8. JoeNYWF64

    Could that be a dynacorn camaro body? …
    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/~LkAAOSwncJes2ng/s-l1600.jpg

  9. Mike

    Come on people. Can’t/won’t/refuse to take the car cover off the car? The right rear picture is completely useless with this wadded up mess on the car.

  10. 1Ronald

    Always amazed at men AND women who leave their families to go invade another country only to see the US lose another war and see it go communist and create open and friendly business relations with ours. While leaving their sweet ride for another to enjoy. WWII was the last war worth fighting as it ended the Holocaust and brought only those on the front line to justice. The cheerleaders are still with us today, tax exempt, and always asking for more while undermining our nation’s core values. Yes, to any Corvette. To always stay young and enjoy what was meant to be. Still looking for my 63 I let go for 1800 many years ago after getting a new 74 traded in on a new 75 the following year.

  11. WARREN A JOHNSON Member

    Bought a new Chevelle in 1965, got drafted a month later into the Marines, luckily I got to come home to enjoy the “new” 1965 Chevelle in 1968

    Like 3
  12. C5 Corvette

    Ebay listing states “barn find” I think more like “Florida Beach find”. If it’s not all rusted out underneath and in the birdcage it is still good, it’s going to cost a lot of $$$$ to bring back. Low mileage? 1/4 mile at a time? Good luck to whomever buys it.

  13. bikefixr

    flood car

    Like 1
  14. JoeNYWF64

    I’m surprised to see a declutching fan & no a/c.
    Not sure if that(along with higher capacity radiator) was part of the heavy duty cooling option w/o a/c, or if the fan clutch was just added by an owner later. Not a bad idea, tho, but really keep an eye on temp gage.
    Odd looking gizmo above the passenger valve cover – i’m guessing it’s for vaccuum to operate the wiper cover.
    I guess the factory gas filter was not sufficient? Looks ez enuf to change.

  15. Patrick Michael Shanahan

    Privat Malone’s corvette (remember the song) $7500 for the story and $2500 for the car.

    Like 1
  16. George Mattar

    Sad about the Vietnam connection. Also sad about the car’s condition. Ok so called Corvette folk. These are first year cars and while there were numerous problems, the biggest problem is one year only parts in the C3 long tenure. Headlamp buckets one year only. Doors one year only. Steering wheel one year only. Dash one year only. Radio one year only. Great cilor though if it was Corvette Bronze. A one year only color. Needs total resto. Money pit. I did a mechanical resto recently on my 73 coupe with no rust. Still cost me $10,000 in parts plus all labor. And labor for a shop jobs I could not do like setting up the rear wheel bearings. Need special tools. I hope it gets saved because 68s will get their due.

    Like 1
  17. Oliver Rojas

    This car is so preservable, it looks beautiful as it is, very certain the engine will start with a new battery and some fresh gas with lead additive.

  18. ACZ

    It appears that the individual that wrote the description for eBay is a novelist in his spare time.

    Like 1
  19. Al

    If the Vietnam Vet story is really true, had I bought it, I’d have to find out more info, name rank & branch & have a memorial decal on that back window in memory.. It’s just so sad so many were lost during that BS ‘war’ & I’d have to at least honor the man. I came across a nice Harley at a local auction a guy brought down there to get rid of. I asked why not just advertise it & sell it. He said he just brought it down for the parents as they lost their son in Afghanistan & it was his. Can’t stop thinking the last time these guys drove/rode them home & put in the garage for what they’d never think, would be the last time. ALWAYS support the troops!

    Like 5
  20. jokacz

    I had a very early 68 that I bought new in 67. Most early cars were convertibles, dealers didn’t get coupes for a couple months after introduction. My car had a lot of issues, in those days dealers were expected to complete the assembly. The paint was typically terrible, but that was true for years afterward.

    Like 2
  21. Patrick J. Flynn

    I purchased my 65 Vette roadster from the next door neighbor of the family of a Navy fighter pilot who went missing over Vietnam and whose remains were discovered many years later (13?). His parents kept it for him until he was found and in despair, sold it to the fellow who sold it to me. I missed serving by a hair (Nixon put a stop to that tragic war) and Thank God for it. I notice there’s a 65 almost identical to mine (Nassau Blue over white) in the same article. Mine was perfectly restored and driven and I thought of that pilot every time I turned the key.

    Like 3
  22. Wayne

    I worked in a Pontac store in the early ’70s. A ’68 400, 4 speed, black over black over black convert. Firebird would come in for service. It was driven by the parents of the serviceman that never returned. They said that they would keep the car forever and we’re honoring him by driving it on occasion. The last time I saw the car was 1975 and at the time it had about 2,200 miles on the odo. We also had a 1972 Lemanns Sport convert (sea foam green with white top and interior) with the 350 and a 4 speed with the GTO nose, that was at the time called an XCO car. (Ordered by a serviceman through the PX system) That car sat on our lot for about 18 months. I lusted over the beautiful car for a long time. It was never picked up and eventually it was turned over to our dealership to sell. It was now a brand new 2 year old car. That someone got a very good deal on. (I had just bought my first house at the time and was not in a position to but it.)
    .

    Like 2
  23. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:May 13, 2020 , 8:45PM
    Winning bid:US $11,500.00
    [ 48 bids ]

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