427/4-Speed: 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 Convertible

When you consider the production totals for 1968, the Chevelle SS 396 Convertible rates as a relatively rare beast. A mere 2,286 examples rolled off the Chevrolet line for that model year out of an SS 396 production total of 57,595. Our feature car is one of those, but it is a long way from being a numbers-matching classic. The seller has owned the car for more than thirty-five years, and he has taken that time to tailor it to his personal taste. He never envisaged parting with it but concedes that it is time for the SS to find a new home. Therefore, you will find this classic listed for sale here on Craigslist. It is located in Twin Cities, Minnesota, and you could park it in your driveway for $65,000. A big thank you has to go out to Barn Finder rex m for spotting this fantastic classic for us.

It is hard to find much to criticize with this SS. I’m not sure that the Red paint that it wears is an original shade because it looks too vibrant to pass as Matador Red. If the owner has performed a color change, it will rate as one of the numerous changes that he has made. The overall presentation is stunning. The paint shines magnificently, and I’m struggling to find any defects. The owner had the exterior refinished around eight years ago, and it has had limited use since then. When it isn’t out terrorizing the roads, it spends its down-time in a warm garage. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and there is no evidence or mention of any rust problems. The trim and chrome appear to be in a showroom fresh state, while the glass is flawless. The owner has fitted aftermarket wheels, and they hint that this Chevelle might be something out of the ordinary.

Lifting the hood reveals an engine bay that would knock you back on your heels. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat your lunch, you could eat it off here with no qualms. The engine bay presents superbly, and I would rate it as close to show-quality. This is a genuine SS 396, but it is no longer numbers-matching. The owner has swapped one big-block for another because the 396 has made way for a built 427. The builder decked the block and fitted an Edelbrock intake and carburetor to get the mixture into the motor efficiently and a set of headers to help spent gases exit. Beyond that, the specifications are a mystery, but I suspect it would pin the occupants in their seats the moment the gas pedal is floored. There’s no point having a million horsepower if you can’t get it to the road effectively, so the seller has swapped the original transmission for a four-speed M22 “Rock Crusher.” Should the next owner manage to break this, he also includes an M21 in the deal. The owner doesn’t indicate how well the Chevelle starts or runs, but if the presentation provides a clear insight, this should be a jet awaiting a new pilot.

While the drivetrain has received a tweak or three, the owner indicates that the interior is original. If this is accurate, then it is remarkably well preserved. I can spot a column-mounted tach and some gauges under the dash to monitor the health of the brute under the hood, but the rest of it looks how it would’ve when the good people at Chevrolet added their finishing touches. The Black vinyl upholstery is flawless, with no evidence of wear or physical damage. The same is true of the carpet, while the dash and pad continue the theme. The buyer won’t find themselves with an interior loaded with optional extras. An AM radio looks to be about it, but who’d turn that on when the big-block would be singing a sweet tune as the car heads down the road?

Part of me looks at this 1968 Chevelle SS 396 Convertible and wishes that it were an unmolested numbers-matching classic. In that form, the Convertible will command a premium of around 20% over the equivalent Coupe version. However, it isn’t original, and that could have an impact on its potential value. In these situations, you can generally throw the rulebook out the window and work on the theory that the car will be worth whatever someone is willing to pay. When I look at its overall condition and what it has to offer its next owner, I believe the owner will eventually get his asking price. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    Have to agree with Adam the car presents very nicely. Owner has made it his own, no harm no foul. Three k drop the clutch and hang on! And the top drops.

    Like 5
  2. JimmyQ

    Looks great but the wheels gotta go. :)

    Like 22
    • 19sixty5 Member

      When you remove the wheels please remove the fake braided line/hose crap, pedal covers and repaint the lower body back to black, maybe even add the optional stripe package.

      Like 1
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    The car presents very well. I also suspect that the seller will ultimately get his price, though he might have to wait for spring with winter coming and the need to store it. Funny thing is I go to a number of car shows every year and have not seen this one at them.

    Like 1
  4. Troy s

    It’s the SS Chevelle every street rat really wanted, a 427 version. Maybe not a convertible though. Hang on and enjoy the ride!

    Like 4
  5. Claudio

    Oh yeah these ugly 90’s wheels have to go !
    This car is awesome but i wouldn’t pay so much but i ´m cheap !

    Like 6
    • Mopar Mike

      You buy the car and I’ll gladly those “ugly” 70s Cragar SST wheels off your hands. They’re not 90s wheels they were a street wheel that simulated the iconic light weight Cragar Super Trick wheels which were introduced in 1970.

      Like 1
    • Don Eladio

      Those are definitely not ’90’s wheels…those are ’80’s Cragar Street Super/Tricks (SS/T’s) and they are cool as shit. They’re also worth a ton of money nowadays. In the 5th and 6th grade, I dreamed of having those on my car one day.

      Like 1
    • Don Eladio

      Those wheels are Cragar SS/T’s (Street Super/Tricks) and are ’80’s, not ’90’s. They are worth quite a bit of money.

      Like 5
      • Steve R

        More like the late-70’s early-80’s. The SST’s didn’t age well. The Cragar Super Tricks on the other hand are highly sought after for 1970’s period race car restorations. Those wheels can sell for a lot of money depending on width and offset, 5 lug versions especially.

        Steve R

        Like 1
  6. Keith

    High price for non numbers matching car. Should be around 50k

    Like 8
    • John S Dressler

      I usually measure the fair market value of a classic car by what it would cost me to do a similar restoration. I agree with Keith. Although there maybe someone with deep pockets out there, I could restore a similar car for about 40 to 45 large. The rest, in my opinion, is just a seller trying to find out how deep the well is.

      Like 1
  7. Piros1

    I agree with a lot of the comments. It is a beautiful car, my preference would be a hard top and a set of Crager SS wheels and that would probably be the only thing I would change except maybe put in a Tremic 6 speed. They would be more fitting for this car but to each his own. I do agree that it is possibly a bit overpriced but a fairly rare example of a 1968 Chevelle. Numbers matching is not important to me and from watching the auctions I don’t think it is as important to most as it use to be.

    Like 6
    • Tman

      I agree Piros 1.Numbers matching is ideal, but it’s still a showstopper that would be even admired by the “It’s not all original” perfectionists.

      Like 6
  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Nice car, wheels okay, top drops, big engine, 4 speed manual, color red, nice black interior. Okay Social Security at about $24k a year, VA disability, rental property income, if I don’t eat, turn off my lights and water and beg on the street corners for two years I could probably buy this car. But then again I really like to eat, so dream on.
    God bless America

    Like 6
  9. Al

    At best, $40k for his ‘creation’. Put a set of Cragar SS on it & rid the hideous rims!

    Like 6
  10. Don Eladio

    He’s gonna regret selling that one. That would’ve been right at home in my High School parking lot back in ’84-’87.

    Like 5
  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    Certainly agree on replacing the wheels but would add dropping the car back down from it’s nose bleed altitude. Wouldn’t touch anything else. Nice car well done.

    Like 1

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