Junkyard Rescue: 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

This 1968 Chevelle was dropped off at a junkyard in 1983 due to accident damage. The current owner saved it from a fate worse than death but has now decided to part with it. It is located in West Creek, New Jersey, and listed for sale here on eBay.

So, there’s the accident damage that will need to be addressed, but given the availability of parts today, combined with the increase in the value of these cars in recent years, it really doesn’t present a huge challenge. Rust is quite limited, with a bit in the floors, along with both lower fenders, and the lower quarter panel on the passenger side. The frame looks solid, as do the rockers.

The original numbers-matching 396ci V8 is still lurking under the hood, although the original manual transmission was removed while the car was parked in the junkyard. This Chevelle was a ” no frills”  car, with no power steering, no power brakes, and no air conditioning. Just a healthy drive-train that was shoving 325 horsepower to the rear wheels. The owner doesn’t give us any indications regarding the condition of the engine, so hopefully, it still turns freely.

The interior will require a complete restoration, but apart from the original radio, everything appears to be present. For me, the greatest concern that I have is that the car may be lacking some of its side glass. The amount of leaf litter in the car, coupled with the pool of water on the passenger side floor, doesn’t bode well in that regard. If the interior has been exposed to the elements, then the interior will need more than some simple covers, as the padding, gauges, and switches would all be a bit suspect. That moisture trapped in the carpet also won’t be doing the floors any favors.

This Chevelle is going to require some work, but it is far from a lost cause. The listing has a BIN price of $6,000, but while there are 70 people watching the advertisement, no-one has pushed the button at this stage. Given the fact that the original engine is still in place, this could be quite a good project car. Would you take it on?

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Comments

  1. John M.

    Kudos to the seller for saving this Chevelle from the crusher. May it soon see the asphalt again.

    34
  2. Vin_in_NJ

    Being pulled from a junkyard, it most likely now carries a Salvage title.
    Could present an issue to register or resell.

    11
    • Rx7turboII

      This was 1983 it was dropped off at the salvage yard, doubt salvage titles even existed then. 😆

      Anyone know either way?

      11
  3. Dave Mika

    Is that an old-fashioned ooo-gah horn there?

    6
    • MB

      That’s a siren for aftermarket alarm system of the day.

      5
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        My buddy has a 67 Camaro with the same alarm system. You can see the lock switch on the left fender. Always wondered, why not pop the hood and cut the siren wire? Anyway, another nicely dislayed car in the ad. Honest seller though, says it is original paint.

        5
      • Jim

        My Dad was a salesman when this car was new. All the guys had the same blue Biscayne with the same alarm. Selling cigars in some seedy areas of Chicago, they were warned not to intervene in thefts. Another salesman friend of Dad heard the siren, ran to his car, and was shot dead. And correct, he said thieves would lift the hood and cut the wires before the siren spooled up much. The alarm brought back memories of Dad, a great guy!

        3
  4. Dave Mika

    And T.G. the original lump is still present!

    2
  5. Miguel

    6K for a junkyard car with no title?

    No thanks.

    8
    • MB

      Many states don’t require a title for a car that old, and most likely no title was issued in 1968 when new.

      3
      • Miguel

        MB, But you would have to show the string of ownership. Even states that don’t issue titles on older cars have to have proof you legally own the vehicle.

        2
    • Keith Cantone

      Lol, That is a good deal for this car, a real SS with a matching numbers big block? No brainer! title is 4 to 500 bucks, easy peazy!

      9
  6. Gary Fogg

    Rear end is apart. It’s not bolted in at the top. May not be original to the car. No frame shots from the driver’s side where it got tagged, may be bent over there. I think the period rims have been added to enhance the look. I too am thinking the glass is missing. If you have never driven a “G” body with no power steering, well, let’s just say it gets old FAST ! Especially with a big block for front end weight. Going to need a complete possibly frame off restoration, but still would love to have it myself ! I would be concerned with proving if it was a real SS and a REAL original big block car before laying out the cash. Rear side glass might be a b**ch to locate if it’s actually missing or broken. Wish I had room for another project !

    6
  7. Superdessucke

    From one photo looks like the driver’s side rear wheel shifted to the right. That could mean damage to the mounting points for the rear shocks, springs and axle, which can be harder to fix than those shelling out big money for basket cases may realize. Reality shows make it seem a lot easier than it really is!

    8
  8. BRAKTRCR

    Seller states it’s a 138 vin car, which makes it an SS. 69 and later did not use vin designations for SS’ s, so all 69 and later Chevelles are 136 vin numbers.
    I can see folks wanting this car, and I have always liked all 72 and earlier Chevelles, but phewyyy, there is what… 30 grand of work to go in it?
    Now the Nomad, in his ad at 4500… I can see that, seems like a bargain to me no matter what it needs.

    7
    • Fred Alexander

      maybe $50 – $60 k before finished. A premium paint job will rack up $7 to $10 if done properly.

      2
      • Superdessucke

        True, and this is assuming you don’t need a Dynacorn body due to the accident damage. That’s about $17,000 right there just for the unpainted and unprepped body shell.

        I have a bad feeling someone’s going to get a really hard lesson in economics on this one, at a time when muscle car values seem to be actually coming down.

        7
  9. Alan Moore

    Getting a title for an old car is no problem these days. They make you pay back taxes for one year and then you are set to go. I’ve done it several times without any problems.

    5
    • Doug

      Depends on where you live. Ohio is a nightmare.

  10. Tony Morrison

    ’68 had no front door vent windows. Last year (I beleive) was ’67.

    2
    • MB

      Only true of Camaro and Firebird and of course Corvette in 1968

      3
    • Camaro guy

      68’s had vent windows, 69 was 1st year for no vent and it’s not a G body 68 was A body G didn’t start until 78/79 after downsizing

      14
  11. Dustin

    Imo we need all these old cars out of the junkyard they are getting harder to find and pricey to buy. This would make a good restoration, drag, dirt car or they dont all have to be perfect or completely finished just road worthy enough to get out on a sunny day! I say cam it and slam it then drive the wheels off of it! (After some body repairs of course)

    9
  12. bull

    AMAZING what was considered JUNK back in 1983.

    I still think it’s amazing that the disc brakes, 12 bolts, bucket seats, consoles and gauges I pulled from rough 1969/1970 Chevelles and Camaro’s in the 1990’s that I considered to rough to restore where the SAME CARS that 10 years later I would get a call from some guy wanting to buy a 12 bolt, disc brakes, bucket seats and console to put BACK into that very SAME CAR from which 10 years previous I had removed all those items as they were now going to restore that old car. 10 years before I/WE considered that same car a PART OUT!

    It just goes to show that what just might be considered ROUGH or UN-RESTORABLE TODAY might be looked at much differently in the near future as a viable restoration project when all the easy to restore stuff is GONE!!!!

    7
  13. Logan Stolworthy

    pretty cool car in my opinion

    3
  14. Gaspumpchas

    This one makes you wonder. Orig block may or may not be good, 4 speed car. Too bad about that quarter, fixable. Seen worse and glad it was saved. Seems like its got good bones. looks like a 69 to me, at least the grille is a 69, in my opinion one of the coolest looking Chevies is a 69 Chevelle. The guy maybe even will take less. If you are in PA they are difficult if you don’t have paperwork. If you decide to take this on, good luck. Its worth it. All
    This coming from a ford guy. I love ’em all!!!

    Cheers
    GPC

    4
  15. Thomas Lyons

    Salvage titles come when insurance company totals out a car .

    • bull

      Not necessarily true!

      In Tennessee if a totaled vehicle is 10 YEARS MODEL OLD OR OLDER and the totaled vehicle’s owner wants to purchase their “totaled” vehicle back from the insurance company all the vehicle owner has to do is provide a copy of their lien free title in their name to their insurance company. The insurance company will settle the claim for the amount of the agreed totaled vehicle value LESS the amount the owner pays for the “salvage” vehicle. The owner NEVER has to submit the CLEAN title to the insurance company for “Salvage Branding” to conclude the settlement which results with you the wrecked vehicle owner retaining your original CLEAN title in your name.

      The Tennessee state law for salvage vehicles in Tennessee allows for to legally occur for totaled vehicles over 10 model years in age.

      My daughters 98 2 Door Tahoe was totaled when she was hit by another driver at an intersection. I purchased the salvage from my insurance company and retained my original clear Tennessee title in my name to our wrecked Tahoe. I resold the Tahoe wrecked for a nice profit!

      1
      • MB

        I meet a guy what had just bought his 3 week old black Honda Accord from his insurance company, he had it less than a month when the car was caught in a hailstorm and was totaled because of all the body panels that had hundreds of dents. I think he got the car for the scrap value at the time around $5,000, not bad for $25,000 car. He planed to replace the broken windshield and drive the car as is.

  16. Del

    Better check CARFAX.

    6 Grand 😂

    1
    • Craig M Bryda Member

      Does CARFAX go back that far or are you trying to be funny ?

      3
  17. DAVID6

    I HAVE A 1970 396 COMPLETE, OPEN CHAMBER 885 □PORTS, 4 BOLT, NEW FORGED INTERNAL’S, 1965 CORVETTE
    INTAKE, (B&Bd)PRIMED NOT FIRED

  18. Steven Wilson

    Its great to see this car is saved from crusher. I don’t understand how someone can ask for a BIN price of a car that came off the showroom floor costing new $4,000.00 – $7,000.00 or more depending on the options. This has always been one of my favorite cars of the 60’s I understand the availability of parts, and how relatively cheap they are, but one has to ask how the frame and the whole undercarriage is on the car.
    I live in the swamp state of New Jersey and if this car has been in the scrap yard, a total restoration of it “IS” necessary, which will cause the college fund to deplete, resulting in the biggest marital fight and homeless status to be applied.

    Ok a little overboard but if you truly want to save it from the scrap heap, couldn’t they lower the price so it could become a father and son, daughter, transgender project together. Unfortunately a hobby I use to enjoy with my children has just become a rich mans dream. What a shame.

    5
  19. Butchb

    Buddy of mine bought a Chevelle in about this same condition back in the 90’s. The body shop cut the 1/4’s off and didn’t begin the re-assembly. After months of frustrated waiting he pulled it out of their shop, with the roof sagging over the missing rear sections. That’s a problem with these kind of projects. Body shops promise to take them on but the easy money is in the insurance work, so these major resto jobs get pushed to the side and often never finished.

    2
  20. Mike D

    I have a ooo-gah horn in my ’69 chevelle!

  21. Comet

    Here’s a no power steering story. A friend in High School had 69 big block Chevelle without power anything. He bought one of those (cool at the time) welded chain steering wheels, it was about 10 inches in diameter and 10 inches deep. Talk about a workout. He also could only afford two new Cragar mags. All the nice cars circled the High School clockwise on lunch hour. You guessed it, he mounted both mags on the passenger side. Seems like yesterday.

    7
  22. JC

    If it was “rescued” in 1983, why was it never put back on the road… now, 35yrs later, someone else has to “rescue” another 35 yrs worth of deterioration… makes no sense.

  23. David Adriance

    Not in NJ, no title equals no registration or plates. It’s a big paperweight.

  24. v

    since i was 3 years old the economy has supposedly been on a downturn . and the dollar value of fixer uppers are always listed way to high. and buyers think they should be lower. when in reality no one can ever do a good guesstimate on how much cost something is going to take for a rebuild. its always going to take a lot of money to do anything in this world. well to the complainers it will cost a lot of money and require a lot of kicking and screaming to do anything in this world especially if your heart is not in it. but if your heart is in it and you love what you do it will cost practically nothing to do anything in this world. so i say to all if need be flush or keep loving what you do.

    1
  25. PLMBRDON

    Real car guys do all their own work. Saving cars like this is what the HOBBY is all about. In the good old days guy’s worked during the day and wrenched all nite to build the car of their dreams, and friends and family helped each other out. Parts, pizza and beer was the money laid out. You didn’t spend your money at some high end shop or yes you will be in way over your head. So put your chequebooks away shut your mouths and get out in your garage and build something. It’s easy to sit behind your computer screen and spew garbage about something you know nothing about. A real car guy puts 25 G’s into this he will have a gem that most would drool over. Good luck to the new owner your going to have a nice desireable car when done!!

    6
    • Miguel

      PLMBRDON, some of us older guys have arthritis which makes it harder to do the work ourselves as much as we want to.

      2
  26. Steven Wilson

    Plmbrdon
    What you say has some validity, but please keep in mind and no offense, most guys with nice cars either,
    A. ) Bought it new and took care of it.
    B.) Bought it from someone.
    C.) Paid someone to do the work for them.
    I read an article some time ago in Hemmings motor new I believe it was over 80% of self restorations are finished by, either a body shop or just left as a disassembled mess in the garage or shop.
    Again no insult intended to anyone, most guys do not want to or have the ability to restore a project like this. Most dont have a rotisserie, most dont have welders, and the thousands of dollars in tools and equipment to do a car like this.
    I have over the years, restored many vehicles the cars or trucks were not near this condition. A 64 thunderbolt clean project had over $27,000 in the 427 motor alone.
    I personally think if your not a person that has the skills in restoring a car like this, it would be better to look at a picture and dream.

    1
    • PLMBRDON

      Steve Wilson I totally agree that many don’t want to or have the ability to build cars like this. Many just want to sign a cheque and buy their dream and that’s fine. It will probably be expensive and could be a nightmare of poor work.
      Just don’t like the comments of not worth it waste of money and will cost a fortune. There are still some of us that have the ability to take cars like this and breath life back into them at a very reasonable cost. This one is worth saving. Big block 4 spd!!
      Kudos on the thunderbolt that’s a factory beast and 427’s are hens teeth!!

      • Steven Wilson

        PLMBRDON.
        I could agree more, I guess we are long way from the $50.00 car from Red and Blacks Junk Yard and slamming a big block in it and cruising the burg. Its just a shame to see how over the top our hobby has come to be. I guess the true cost if its worth it or not is definitely in the eyes of the beholder.
        Have a Happy New Year sir.

        1
  27. bull

    As the “FAT, 60 & UP” bunch that will like this car continue to get older ALL their project cars they have HOARDED for years are NOW coming up for sale. Just look at all the Corvette C1 & C2 project cars that come up for sale here every week. As valuable and desirable as C1 & C2 Corvettes have become one would think all the project cars would have been restored however that most certainly is NOT the case!

    That dream car you have kept for years becomes a storage shelf in the garage. The DREAM fades, OLD AGE or DEATH becomes a reality. Time to SELL all this CRAP we have hoarded, downsize or heaven forbid our heirs will give it away.

    Hold on to your boots straps as you will be amazed how many of these unrealized dreams will come up for sale in the next 5 years!

    4
  28. Del

    Amen to bull.

    He is correct.

    And no needs to buy stuff like this cause a lot better stuff is coming.

    3
  29. Paul

    Tony I have a 68. It for sure has vent windows.

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