1968 Chevrolet Corvette 396 4×4!?

One thing that trucks do incredibly well is look good with significantly raised suspensions. Conversely, sports and muscle cars look quite tidy when they are low to the ground, perhaps brought even lower with a suitable lowering kit. When the two opposites converge, you end up with what you see here: a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette, fitted with a 396, sitting on a Chevy 1/2 ton frame. Clearly, someone had big goals for this thing as there’s even a custom mesh insert with driving lamps mounted below to make up for the fact that the flip-up headlights are missing. An interesting project and/or challenge, depending on your appetite for adventure. Find the Corvette here on eBay with bids to $2,450 and the reserve unmet.

The Corvette sports numerous other tweaks, like the quad exhaust setup out back and the very period-correct luggage rack on the trunk. That alone is a publicity stunt I’d love to be behind for a major brand, with the picnic basket carefully stowed on the trunk lid with the classic red and white checkered picnic blanket tucked neatly inside. The body doesn’t look bad for what it is, though the seller does vaguely refer to it needing fiberglass work. The tires appear to have good tread despite the Corvette listed as a “running when parked” example, which usually indicates long periods of not working or moving. Well, it doesn’t work at the moment and has been sitting 2-3 years by the seller’s estimate.

The 396 was apparently rebuilt before it began its long-term slumber, a scenario I see played out often with hulks like these. It makes me wonder does everyone truly set about rebuilding an engine and then decide not to use it, or does something go haywire with the engine rebuild that causes the owner not to attempt to fire it up at all after the first turn of the key revealed some unexpected ugliness? Who knows, but a 396-equipped Corvette is generally always desirable; I’m just not sure what the attraction is like when the motor is attached to a body riding on a lifted 4×4 chassis. The engine bay is fairly unkempt, so I doubt the rebuild happened at a high dollar restoration shop.

Oddly enough, this Corvette isn’t residing in mountain country; no, it’s in Barnegat, New Jersey, which appears to be in Ocean County and has a good amount of frontage on the Atlantic Coast. Now, obviously, one does not need to live in the woods to enjoy a vehicle such as this, but it’s also not the first thing you think of with images of sand and surf running through your head. The interior is, not surprisingly, a mess, and is likely one of the areas the seller is referring to when he says some “TLC” is needed. What I always wonder with half-finished conversions like these is whether the next owner intends to see it all the way through, or spots a potential diamond in the rough that can be brought back down to earth for reasonable money if most bidders are scared away. What do you think?

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  1. Howard A Member

    Never really being a C3 Corvette fan, I think this TYPE of restructuring one is cool, this particular one is pretty bad. I do, however, like the Eaton 13 speed shift knob though,,

    Like 6
  2. Chas358 Chas358 Member

    Someone put a lot of work into this…whatever it is. 🙄

    Like 5
  3. Boog

    What a waste of machinery.

    Like 8
  4. craigr

    The interior pics suggest a high level of accessory wiring sophistication.

    Like 21
    • Tom Hall

      now that’s funny right there

      Like 7
    • 370zpp

      And lets not forget to mention the unique steering wheel “patina”.

      Like 3
      • bry593

        2 to 3 years since that motor last ran….. Judging by the rust on the valve covers, I’d estimate 23 years….

        Like 10
  5. Mike Henry

    I would consider for touring if it had A/C, but, unfortunately it does not. Too many bugs in the Upper Michigan woods to run with the windows rolled down on hot days.

    Like 5
  6. Connecticut Mark

    Doubt motor was ever rebuilt.

    Like 5
  7. Mitchell Member

    Fly an American flag somewhere out back and unleash your inner ‘Murica

    Like 3
    • Charles

      Are you kidding me ?

      Like 1
  8. Dave

    Motor is trying to roll off over the side and hide from this failed experiment

    Like 6
  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    New Jersey…I’d have bet money on West Virginia, Kentucky, or Alabama. Or Mississippi, or Arkansas, or Louisiana, or………

    Like 7
    • Arthell64 Member

      Never seen anything like that in Georgia.

      Like 1
      • Jerry

        Nor Mississippi

    • Vin_in_NJ

      New Jersey has a lot of backwoods.. Think Sopranos “Pinelands” episode.

      Like 5
    • Russell Ashley

      Condescend much, Rex?

      Like 7
      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Yeah, I’m way off base…

        Like 2
    • Paul

      It’s Red Neck for sure

      Like 1
  10. DayDreamBeliever Member

    “a 396-equipped Corvette is generally always desirable”
    (followed by a bit of a disclaimer)

    Eh, yea, but this is not a Corvette, if just happens to have a Corvette body,
    A couple of years ago, I saw a white C3 bodied “mudder” on a trailer, going westbound on I-69 out of Flint. Someone had been using it as the build intended, based on appearances. Fun, I am sure.

    The only way this assemblage of parts will bring over $3K will be if the owner spends the time to make it run/operate (drive might be a bit of an inaccurate term), so he should end the listing, and get to work!

    Like 4
  11. sir_mike

    Nothing good from NJ.

    Like 7
    • IkeyHeyman Member

      I’ve had some good Italian food there. Just sayin’.

      Like 6
    • Vin_in_NJ


      Like 5
  12. moosie moosie Member

    The only way a 396 in a Corvette would get my attention is if it were in a 1965 C-2 coupe. But I was a bit interested in this one until I saw the luggage rack

    Like 3
  13. dogwater

    WOW looks like the motor going to fall out the bottom that a classic build in someones back yard.

    Like 2
  14. pl

    This is a perfectly good reason why hill-jacks, alcohol and cars don’t mix

    Like 2
  15. Patrick Mercadante

    Looks fairly good from the front. The rear shot looks like a half of a car. What chassis is it on?I have never seen a yellow Chevy engine. Also guite a bit of oil and crud under the engine. I wonder if it has ever been driven maybe to push it into the weeds and forget about it.

    Like 4
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Rear shot looks like there is nothing in front of the B pillar, perhaps all of that is removable? Also, major damage at the driver’s side wheel arch from, ahem, oversized, poorly suspended tire. Maybe they first experimented with a different chassis as a base?

  16. chrlsful@aol.com

    good thing ta do w/this gen (I didn;t like them – preferring the 1st gen/late, B4 the rear deck change ’56/60)? Y not? Beech car, when U could go down and have a lill camp (even back then not a bonified BonFire) fire,a few sandwiches/ /beers – after sunset w/some friends. Different tire, air it down, bring some guitars, bongos, couples and ‘smokables’ (legal in my state now). Get out B4 dawn & the surf casters? Good fun, small numbers, no burning man stuff (wild/Krazy, trash the environment, make trouble)~

    Like 2
  17. chrlsful

    object to the Jersey joke too. Trenton south (I mighta seen a few like this in Burlington Co) or coast so. of Brick Township. Any1 spent some time (I wuz like U B4 doing so) knows – lots to offer…

    Actually ANY state (to me) 1/2 hr away frm the city limits is ‘amerca the wonderfull’…the ppl, geography, what nature has to offer, kinda sensual (smells, sights)…

    Like 2
  18. Dave

    Looks like junk to me.

  19. Moe Moe Member

    Buds In Bucannon Mich had a motorcross track and A Mudbog pit. Circa Mid 80’s.
    Local favorite was 70 vette on 44’s.Blown BBC called Mudshark.
    He would get the Rpms up and scoot across the top of bog.
    Slingin Mud and just movin.lol
    This one needs a bunch of work to roll. JS

    Like 1
  20. BR

    “One thing that trucks do incredibly well is look good with significantly raised suspensions.” And said look is incredibly subjective (and unstable), but not so with lowered vehicles. Thankfully, the raised look will eventually fade away just as the lowered look did. I’m just curious what the next fad will be. That vette is clearly a “Here, hold my beer” moment after lurking for months in four-wheeling forums.

    Like 1
  21. Rex Kahrs Member

    BR, your comment is good, as all fads will fade away and some might even come back, like the Clyde caps came back in the mid-70s, harking back to the Bonnie and Clyde era. Here’s my prediction…lower the front, raise the rear, it’s the obvious next step, and chicks with tattoos can’t resist it!

    Like 2
    • BR

      Hahahaha! I remember that but we’ve already been through that evolution, including just raising the front. Maybe we’ll just start all over again, where everything old shall become new again. I want to see the return of mini skirts.

      Like 3
  22. John H Schneider Jr

    I think classics should remain off limits to idiots who no doubt lack any kind of common sense.

    Like 2
    • BR

      And mechanical aptitude.

  23. Stan Marks

    Three words…….
    P O S

  24. V8roller

    Mini skirts? They were great in the 60s/70s when people weren’t FAT, but now??
    What this Cortastrophe illustrates, if it needed illustrating, is that it’s easy to have an idea, less easy to make it happen and get it finished.
    Just needs another thousand hours, and you’ll have something to show, drive it five miles and you’ll realise it that was a poor idea in the first place.

    Like 1
  25. K. R. V.

    Ok what we have here is a failure to communicate! But really, I knew a guy that built a 96 Camaro, onto an S10 Blazer 2dr chassis! That turned out quite nice, with very sanitary all over look, with decent paint and interior. Powered by a 97, 350 Vortex engine, that had Holley intake manifold with 4brl Projection Injection, headman headers with dual exhaust, all running through a 5 speed manual and 2speed transfer out of the same truck the engine did. With 4:10 Posi rear setup. He drove that “Camaza” as he called it for a couple years as a daily driver.

    Like 1
  26. JMB#7

    That tilted engine is a circle track performance secret. High Tech stuff here.

    Like 1
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      The tilrt may well be an optical illusion. Plus, it leans the wrong way, doesn’t it?

  27. Ian C

    It is on c-list for $8000. The seller also had a ’58 biscayne wagon with the same treatment for sale. I was going to submit it, but it sold pretty quick.

  28. Randy

    Here is a guy who took an $8 – 9k car and, with a lot of work and $$$’s, turned it into a $2000 car.

    Like 2

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