427/4-Speed: 1968 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe

It’s a question worth pondering. The muscle car era brought the buying public cars with mind-bending performance. The manufacturer usually wrapped them in a package that loudly and proudly let everyone know that they should not treat the vehicle in question lightly. However, is there any such thing as the ultimate “sleeper?” That is a car with the power to burn, dressed in a manner so understated that it could be easily overlooked. If such a car exists, it could potentially be this 1968 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe. It appears to be a beautifully restored but mild-mannered classic, but it hides a huge secret. If you happened to overlook the discrete badges on the front fenders, you would also miss the fact that its engine bay houses the most potent weapon in Chevrolet’s arsenal for that model year. It’s also worth noting that this is not a tribute car. It is a genuine numbers-matching vehicle that needs a new home. If you are straining at the leash, you will find the Impala located in St-Leonard, Quebec, Canada, and listed for sale here at Hemmings. The owner has set a sale price of $79,995 OBO for this potent beast. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D, who once again demonstrates his ability to spot some amazing classics for us.

The Impala wears its original shade of Matador Red, although the owner treated it to a comprehensive restoration. He has used it sparingly since, so it’s no surprise to discover that it presents in as-new condition. The paint appears flawless, with no evidence of any imperfections. Even the chip-prone section between the grille and hood is perfect, and the overall impression is that this Impala has just rolled off a showroom floor. The restorer laid this paint over panels that are laser straight. There are no dings or bruises and absolutely no evidence of rust. The trim and chrome appear to be perfect, with the steel wheels and original dog dish hubcaps adding further to the understated exterior. The glass is as immaculate as the rest of the exterior. The only visual clue that potential buyers receive that indicates that this is anything other than a garden-variety Sport Coupe is the discrete “427” badges on the front fenders.

Before we delve too deeply into specifics, it’s worth remembering that this Impala is not a tribute car. It is a real-deal numbers-matching classic that would have commanded respect in its day. The original owner ordered the Sport Coupe equipped with the L72 version of Chevrolet’s 427ci V8 that churns out an incredible 425hp. He also ticked the boxes for a four-speed manual transmission and a 4.56 Posi rear end. This combination is potent, allowing the Impala to blast through the ¼ mile in an incredible 13.9 seconds. That figure already sounds pretty impressive, but when you consider that the Sport Coupe tips the scales at slightly over 4,100lbs, that serves to highlight just how potent this car is. When I look at the specifications, it makes me wonder whether the original owner intended to spend plenty of time with this car on the nearest drag strip. Its performance wouldn’t put it to shame in that environment. The owner has poured their heart and soul, not to mention their money, into restoring this original classic to the highest level. The engine bay looks showroom fresh, and with the car seeing limited service since the seller completed the restoration, potential buyers could rightly expect it to run and drive as impressively as it looks.

Inspecting the Impala’s interior reinforces the impression that the original owner’s sole focus with this classic was on outright performance. While they ordered the car with a big-block SS 427 under the hood, they deleted such niceties as bucket seats and a console. The original bench seats are upholstered in Parchment vinyl, with Black carpet on the floors. The owner has added a column-mounted tach and some gauges under the dash, but there is no other aftermarket equipment. The overall condition of the interior is on a par with the rest of the vehicle, meaning that it looks like it has just rolled off the showroom floor. There are no faults or flaws and nothing that would force the buyer to open their wallet to address any issues. The only nods to luxury are the sports wheel and factory AM radio to provide entertainment if the owner tires of the song being sung by the big-block. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the radio will remain turned off most of the time when this classic is cruising the streets.

There’s no doubt that this 1968 Impala Sport Coupe is a stunning car, and its performance potential would make it a classic that deserves recognition and respect. I raised the question of whether it could be the ultimate sleeper, and if it isn’t, it certainly gives that title a fair shake. It presents superbly, and I can only speculate about the response it would receive at a show or a Cars & Coffee when the owner raises the hood. If you would like to be the person creating those waves, maybe this is the perfect car for you.

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Comments

  1. Frank Sumatra

    The Scotti website is a treat to visit. Don’t make any plans for the rest of the day when you open the page. Besides selling every exotic car make you can think of, he has many more examples of rare Muscle cars.

    Like 5
  2. CCFisher

    This is the kind of car I would have bought back then, though I would have chosen a formal-roof Impala Custom coupe and added full wheel covers and fender skirts to further the sleeper look. One detail – this is a regular Impala, not an SS, so the bench seat was standard.

    Like 6
  3. Keith

    Owning a L-72 69 Biscayne I can only say these cars are thing of beauty and very fast especially geared like this one a solid 12 second quarter mile car.

    Like 8
  4. BigBlocksRock

    WOW! Beautiful car.

    Like 6
  5. mercury200

    I live near these dealerships in Montreal. One could easily spend days inside the Scotti showrooms. BTW – I’d be more than happy to inspect and take ‘ton char’ for a test drive if anybody is interested (LOL).

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      Didn’t Scotti also have a bunch of cars stored under a highway (Autoroute?) overpass in Montreal.

  6. Terrry

    The only thing that seems to reveal it’s “wolf in sheep’s clothing” stance is the sway bar underneath, a hint that “danger lurks!” Very nice car, too bad I don’t have 80k laying around.

    Like 2
  7. Jim ODonnell Staff

    This example has been for sale for at least two years now, perhaps longer. I can’t recall what the starting price was but $79,900, OBO is not out of line considering this Impala’s condition and the fact that there were only about 546 B-bodys (out of a total of 1.2 MM total in ’68) assembled with this engine.

    JO

    Like 3
  8. George Mattar

    Not exactly a car to keep up on the superspeedways we now drive on st 98 mph going to work or Wal-Mart. People drive like Insane idiots. 4.56 rear not practical today but what a car.

    Like 4
  9. PaulG

    Neat car, and whoever ordered this new was pretty specific.
    However, during the restoration I’d have put a more highway friendly gear in it, and placed the 4:56’s on the shelf…

    Like 5
  10. AnalogMan

    Gorgeous, fun, rare car. Though with the 4.56 rear it might be tough as a highway cruiser. Great for the drag strip, but I can imagine the engine screaming at somewhere around 3-4,000 rpm if you try to do 70 mph down the road. It sure would sound great though…

    Like 2
    • John S Dressler

      I agree wholeheartedly AnalogMan. This car could pass everything but a gas station on the street. I go to a big car show every year in Ottawa, Kansas which is about an hour’s drive from where I live. My Supersport 454 Monte with a built motor has a 3.42 rear posi and I am spinning at 3,000 RPMs on the tach at 70 miles an hour. This car would have to be running somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 RPMs at that speed. You wouldn’t go very far on the highway before you had to stop for gas.

      Like 1
  11. Keith

    I had a 68 Ram Air GTO that had a 4:33 rear gear and never lost a race in that car. But to have a 4:56 gear with a 6500 redline is the way to win races a quarter mile at a time.

    Like 3
  12. Cdice

    Maybe not in Canada, but it would be a waste in US to buy this in an Impala with bench seats, etc. A stripper Biscayne was with the big block motor was the hot ticket. A few pounds lighter and a few hundred cheaper.

  13. BB

    Forget the Cudas and challengers, this to me is the one, wow! What a beaut!

  14. Dave

    This car is too rare to race it. Bracket racers know that it isn’t a low ET that wins races, it’s consistency. I remember going to Keystone Raceway years ago and the guy driving an Olds 98 station wagon took the trophy every Sunday. He never broke out or redlighted and his reaction time was better than everyone else.

    Like 2
  15. Doone

    I had 2 of these in 68 seafoam green and black vinyl over and inside, both copo, first one was stolen 2 weeks old in the Bronx and the second one blew a short block at 115 on the NYS thruway in the winter of 68. I think I paid $3800 for the first one. 390 hp 2.73 rear TH400 got around 24 mpg on the highway at 75.

  16. Stan

    Incroyable !

  17. erik johnston

    Man, thats a wicked ride. I could never be able to affored its now something just to remember then. Back in the earily 80S at Seattle int. raceway A guy was running a impala , loud and running 12,s later he hooked up his headers. made few runs down to 14,s talked to him later-bought it new factory 427-4spd plain white/blue int.He ordered it special when he retired from gm
    Wish I was there then.

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