Highly Optioned: 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS 396

Occasionally a classic car will land on our desks here at Barn Finds that almost defies description. That is the case with this 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS. Not only is it engine bay occupied by a numbers-matching big-block, but the original owner loaded it with almost every option available in that model year. Adding to its appeal and desirability is the fact that it wears its original paint. It is a genuine survivor that needs a new home. Located in Houston, Texas, you will find the Camaro listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on this stunning survivor has hit $50,500, although this figure remains short of the reserve.

There is so much to absorb with this Camaro that it is difficult to know where to start. It wears its original Ermine White paint, with a matching White vinyl top. The paint holds an impressive shine for its age, with only a few minor chips and marks. The panels are generally straight and free from significant damage, although there is one small dent on the lower passenger side rear quarter panel below the bumper. It could easily be repaired, or the buyer may leave it to preserve the vehicle’s originality. Rust is not an issue to concern the buyer because life in Texas means that this car is bone dry and clean. The vinyl has begun to shrink back around the edges, and addressing this may need to be a priority to prevent rust from developing. The exterior trim is in excellent condition for a survivor of this vintage, with no significant flaws or problems. The tinted glass shows no signs of scratches or chips, while the Rally wheels are as spotless as the rest of the exterior.

Apart from an aftermarket temperature gauge mounted under the dash, this Camaro’s interior is original and unmolested. The seats are upholstered in Black vinyl and Black and White houndstooth cloth. The cloth isn’t perfect, with some signs of discoloration. However, there are no rips, tears, or other signs of significant wear. The remaining upholstered surfaces are in a similar state, as are the dash, pad, and console. Not only does this interior present well for an original survivor, but the vehicle’s first owner loaded it with optional extras. These include air conditioning, power windows, a woodgrain tilt wheel, a Tick-Tock-Tach, ‘Vigilite’ Light Monitoring System, ‘Speed Minder’ Speed Warning System, an AM/FM Radio with console-mounted Multiplex Stereo controls, and a folding rear seat. As the owner rightly notes, some of these optional extras are extremely rare. The Speed Warning System only found its way onto 1% of all Camaros built in that model year. In addition, power windows accounted for 1.4%, the Light Monitoring System totaled 0.7%, and the  Multiplex Stereo accounted for 0.6%. When you add those numbers together, it is possible that this Camaro could be a genuine 1-of-1 classic.

The original owner didn’t just wield his pen on interior options because the engine bay came in for plenty of attention on the Order Form. It is occupied by the L34 version of Chevrolet’s 396ci big-block V8. This brute of an engine produces 350hp, which finds its way to the 12-bolt rear end via a three-speed Hydramatic transmission. He also chose to equip this classic with power steering and power brakes. If he pointed this SS at a ¼ mile, the journey would be over in 14.6 seconds. For potential buyers, the news seems to be nothing but positive. It is a genuine numbers-matching survivor, and the owner has focused on retaining the car’s originality wherever possible. This includes such minor details as ensuring that it wears the correct radiator cap. The Camaro runs and drives perfectly and is ready to be enjoyed by its lucky new owner.

Any big-block-equipped First Generation Camaro will be a desirable vehicle, but the more original the car is, the more it ramps up that level of desirability. This 1968 RS/SS 396 ticks all of the right boxes. It isn’t perfect, but it is a stunning survivor guaranteed to turn heads and receive admiring comments wherever it goes. You will struggle to find a similar vehicle in today’s market, especially with the combination of optional extras that the original owner ordered. I’m not surprised that the reserve hasn’t been met with the current bid, but it’ll be interesting to see where it gets to when the hammer falls. If you seek a classic that stands out in a crowd, maybe this is the one for you.

Comments

  1. That 80's Guy The Tower

    Stunning car, and the only missing that would prevent me from throwing my hat in the ring is a third pedal. Even so, it’s still tempting.

    Like 12
    • Stan

      Tower is that gta in your pic one of the rare 5spd ? Great pkg.

      Like 4
      • Hound59

        Stan, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe all GTA’s were 5.7 TPI. Therefore all AT.

      • That 80's Guy The Tower

        That was my then-new 1988 GTA. I think that picture was shot in early 1989 or 1990. Anyway, it was an automatic 5.7 car.

        @Hound59, the LB9 305/5-speed combo was a delete-option on these cars. It wasn’t common, but you still see them from time to time.

        Like 2
      • Stan

        Cool car Tower. Great cruisers with the big 350. I was torn between the ponchos or lx 5.0. Went Ford , never cared for camaro interiors. The GTA was a real luxury barge. The 89 notch i had was a stripper… Roll up windows, power nothing. Trunk release was its only option i believe. Lol. It ran w the 5.7 gta but you really had to pay attention or they got ya with the auto.

    • Hound59

      Thx Tower.

  2. Jeff A

    Back in the late 70s and early 80s, there was a nearly identically optioned 68 Camaro in Newtown, CT that was originally a demonstrator car at a local Chevrolet dealership. Its second owner beat it unmercifully, blowing several engines. But he managed to keep the car for nearly four decades until his unexpected death a few years ago.

    Like 3
  3. ed the welder

    With the absurdly rare options and originality it’s probably a six figure car . GLWTA .

    Like 9
  4. Steve R

    This is a nice car, but the seller offers no proof this car was ordered with all of those options. The seller says the NCRS report verifies the original dealer, that means he doesn’t have a window sticker, order sheet or Protecto Plate, since those would include that information as well as the options ordered. In the 70’s and 80’s it was common to add as many options as possible to cars while they were being restored. Unless there is factory paperwork to verify it is not wise to pay an exorbitant premium.

    Steve R

    Like 12
  5. joenywf64

    Very odd having speed warning, but no cruise control!
    I believe you could also get a ridiculous console/armrest 8 track with rear! loading & rear facing controls – probably not very popular – or safe – unless only back seaters use it. lol
    White with a white vinyl roof – perfect for very hot climates, but i would think an uncommon combo.
    Are those multiplex knobs on the console lid a dealer installed, or possibly even aftermkt or homegrown? Never seen anything like those before.

    • Bob60515

      I had a very similarly equipped ’68 SS/RS that had same sort of options (no PW) but it also had the 8-track on the console, tapes loaded from the front not the rear, player had same color (Parchment) pad on it which matched the custom deluxe interior color. It was very simple to use.

    • Bozo

      I had them in 1966 caprice with factory gages.

    • Steve H

      In 1968 there were 2,344 Camaros with speed warning – only 327 with cruise control ( and those were V8 only ) The two options have nothing to do with each other. The speed warning is just a white needle in the speedometer which can be set to a certain number and when the car reaches that speed, a buzzer goes off. My ’68 has the speed warning but not cruise control. ( because it was a base 230 CID 6 cylinder from the factory )

      Like 1
      • joenywf64

        I wonder WHY! you could not get cruise control or extra console gages(much less a tach) with the 230 or 250 6 cyl. Yet, you could get the RS pkg with either 6 cyl! Go figure.
        If i was taking a long trip back in ’68 from say NY to Florida, i would much rather have cruise control than speed warning!
        Speed warning can not only be irritating but will not give your right foot a rest. & Imagine trying to avoid a ticket in a 25 mph zone & setting the white needle to 26 mph. It would be almost impossible to keep that buzzer quiet! Especially if there is an impatient tailgater behind you. lol
        Odd that some streets by me with homes on just 1 side & are 4!! lanes – that the limit is 25 mph! & others are only 2 lanes with homes on both sides – & the limit is 40 mph!
        Ridiculous.

        Like 1
    • Steve H

      Those knobs on the console ARE from the factory – I’ve seen pictures of several others with them.

      • 3Deuces

        Back in the day, I owned a ’68 Camaro RS convertible which had the factory installed multiplex controls mounted on the console lid. (as pictured in the feature car)

        Like 1
    • Chuck Dickinson

      When Chevy brought out the Am-Fm Stereo Multiplex option in 65, the Multiplex controls were in a separate attachment (looked like a tape deck) mounted under the dash. With the Multiplex unit, the radio’s volume knob did nothing except turn on the radio. Volume, tone and separation were controlled from the Multiplex box. Beginning w/66s, the SS or bucket equipped Caprices had a gauge package built in just below the center of the dash, so the Multiplex controls on bucket cars were moved to the center console, just like this Camaro has. Used through 68. In 69, Chevys had the AM-FM stereo radios self-contained as they were on other GM makes. The multiplex adapter gave the driver more control over separation and balance, but they weren’t as intuitive as using a dash knob. The adapter simply converted a regular Chevy AM-FM radio to AM-FM stereo. Remember, this was a big advancement in auto sound in 1965 (but kinda pricey, which is why they’re not common, esp. on a ‘lower’ level Chevy).

      Like 2
  6. sparkster

    This clicks all the boxes for me. Would have preferred a four speed, but I’m fine with the automatic. The noise you hear is my car door slamming on my way to buy my winning Powerball ticket. Question: does anyone know how to tell which plant this Camaro was built at ? I see the factory smog pump, generally a California only item.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      That information is located on both the trim tag, LOS, and in the VIN, with the presence of an L, Norwood cars would have NOR and N instead.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  7. Geoff C

    Wow!

  8. FrankD

    Rare and nice. This should fetch big bucks.

  9. John

    I’d have dragged the salesman out and demanded that dealer sticker be removed from the back panel before I drove the car away. Only a butt-head would’ve done that.

    • moosie moosie

      When I bought my ’71 Ontario Orange 2 top LT-1 Convertible I was watching the get ready guy going about his business and when he approached the back of the car with a drill and a REEDMAN CHEVROLET name plate he glanced over at me, I shook my head no and showed him a 10 dollar bill. he went back to his workbench left the drill & nameplate. When it was time to leave I walked over to give him his reward and to my surprise he refused it and thanked me for not letting him drill two holes in the rear of my new car.

      Like 5
  10. Helmo Member

    Based on the orientation of the nose stripe, which is quite different than the factory would have applied it, I’m very skeptical about the claim that this Camaro still wears its original factory paint.

    Like 2
  11. Claudio

    Wow , this is a rare beauty

    As i read this ad , i remembered that i have a rear fold down seat assembly stored over the garage
    Is it worth anything ?

  12. Stan

    Wonder what the rearend came on this lovely car. Google search indicates a 2.56 std, 2.73, 3.07 as options.
    Either way that powerful big block motor will ensure this car moves out.

    • Steve H

      The listing says it has a 3:07

      Like 1
  13. ERIK JOHNSTON

    OMG. Thats hot, I dont understand the stripe, looks correct to me.Thats a lot of options, extra pedal would be nice, That is the most optioned Camaro I’ve ever seen. Of course it could have had a bit more, but with all that and original as it Appears no arguments from me. I had a 65 chevelle 4 dr. that had the multi plex radio. kept it when the car went away. No idea where it wound up-long time ago.

  14. Dennis Hudson

    I am the second owner of an Ash Gold ’68 396 SS/RS very similar to this car and with the same options (less power windows, fold down rear seat) Mine has the 2 speed rear window defroster and has the 325 hp with zTurbo 400 and 3:55 gears. Built in September of ’67, sold in November of ’67. I have the POP and can back up all of my options.

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.