Not Quite A GTO: 1968 Pontiac LeMans Convertible

Here we go with round two. Yesterday, I stated, “When it looks like a GTO and has those great lines, but it’s not, it’s probably a Pontiac LeMans, the more civilian version of Pontiac’s go-to muscle car” while examining this 1967 Pontiac LeMans. Today, it is a 1968 version of Pontiac’s famed intermediate but this time it’s a convertible! Let’s see if it’s similar or really different. This Poncho is located in Dade City, Florida, and is available here on eBay for a current bid of  $9,500, 47 bids tendered so far.

The ’68 GM “A” bodies were quite a bit different from their predecessors. The two-door versions now rode on a 112″ wheelbase vs. a 115″ spread for the previous year’s version. While styling cues existed among the four divisions (Chevelle/Malibu; Tempest/LeMans; F85/Cutlass and Special/Skylark) there were still marque identifying features. At Pontiac, the LeMans and GTO were most significantly discernable by virtue of the LeMans chrome beak/front bumper while the GTO opted for a color-coded, soft “Endura” nose piece. That said, the GTO was available with the same front bumper as a LeMans if a buyer wanted to order it as such – further aligning the appearance of the two models.

This LeMans is being sold by a seller whose cars we have covered here on Barn Finds before. It is a flip as the seller states, “I recently found this sitting in a private collection for some time”. The mileage is honestly stated at 138K so this convertible has been around, though maybe not so much so when you consider it is 52 years old. The exterior shows pretty well and there is no lack of views with 205 (yes, 205!) included images. The dark blue finish is showing signs of oxidization and crazing but is still presentable. The seller states that there is some rust present but doesn’t elaborate as to how much, what type or the location, and the images, other than surface frame rust, don’t detail it either. The prominent front chrome bumper is OK, a bit dull, but typical for a car of this age. The rear one is a bit brighter. The wheels are interesting as they appear to be Chevrolet Magnum-style rims, as used on an SS396 Chevelle, capped off with Pontiac center caps. They clearly have had the centers repainted in the wrong shade – a completely minor issue of course.

Three areas of concern are the chipped door edges, the rusty windshield base on top of the dashboard, and the rusty top header. The first issue is evidence of “settling” of the body, not that unusual a thing with old convertibles but it could be evidence of a frame problem – the driver’s door looks definitely off. The rusty dash is indicative of a windshield seal leak – how much more extensive the corrosion is than is initially visible can only be known by an inspection. The rusty convertible top header will probably need to be replaced – not that unusual an item. The convertible top itself will need to be replaced too, it’s ripped in several places. Finally, the trunk has had some sort of funky coating applied, it may just be a repaint with the wrong material but it’s worth a closer look.

The seller states that this LeMans runs, he has included a video here. But he is listing this car as non-running!? He further states that the brakes, steering, and transmission “worked great”. So the Pontiac 350 CI V8 engine runs, but maybe not well? Hard to say but something’s up! It has been modified with a four-barrel carburetor, an Edelbrock “Performer RPM” aluminum intake manifold, and capped off with a dual exhaust system. The seller suggests that the oil looks “cloudy” which could be on account of several different things though the image that he provides casts it as normal to my eyes. The transmission is a two-speed automatic.

Inside is a parchment “Morrokide” vinyl interior. It has started to yellow in places though the seats look pretty good, they are clean but the backrest seams are split in places. The hardshell seatbacks are sort of trashed, but they are easily replaced. Typically, the black nylon loop carpet is faded, it almost looks bleached brown in places. The instrument panel is intact, though some of the original gauges are clouded, another common occurrence. Auxiliary gauges have been added below the dashboard. Yes, an original Delco radio is in place.

There’s no shortage of documentation here, and the images are extensive – job well done by the seller. But there are a few alarm bells that have been set off as well. This LeMans really needs an in-person inspection by any potential buyer and the seller states, “inspections are recommended”. Good advice, wouldn’t you say?

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Certainly more car than the last GTO and as good as they get. Nice!

    3
  2. Howard A Member

    Nice car, what a sweetheart. You know, GTO’s did steal all the thunder, but many were just like this. Never been a GM fan, except Pontiac.( I realize the irony of that statement being a GM truck owner, hey, it was a good deal, nothing more) I think this was one of the nicest of the A bodies to come out of Detroit. Cloudy oil is probably mixing with coolant, and a complete rebuild is in order, but piece of cake compared to some of the projects that come through here. I bet $5g’s as a family project, you’ll have one nice ride.

    5
    • JoeNYWF64

      This might be worth a shot …
      http://www.kseal.com
      Ron Ananian the Car Doctor swears by it.
      & of course change the oil & filter.

      3
      • ken tilly UK

        Thanks for the website lead JoeNYFW. The supplier is only 8 miles away from me so I will keep him in mind for the future.

        2
    • Dave

      Yep, you have to inventory all of the problems and figure out how much it’s going to cost, then balance that against (a) your desire to own it, and (b) the odds that you’ll see any return on the investment. A GTO in this condition is probably worth it, a LeMans not so much.

  3. Bob McK Member

    Beautiful car. Too bad it has an automatic in it. You could always clone it into a GTO. Just saying.

  4. Vince H

    Don’t clone it. It needs to stay as it is. Does the cloudy oil mean it may have a blown head gasket. I like the color.

    3
  5. John Oliveri

    My friend Frankie had a yellow 68 Lemans Convertible, black interior black top, 350, with that miserable 2 speed power glide transmission, the trani blew, the day we were leaving for spring break 79, took the plates off, pulled out the stereo, and abandoned it, who knew, it was just an old car then,

  6. davidricheh Member

    In 1979 I took my first driver’s license test on my 16th birthday in the hardtop version of this car, olive green in and out. My grandparents had bought it new and passed it down to my mom. Quite an upgrade from the 66 VW beetle she had been running us around. The VW had been dark green too. Miss the days when cars had color, not all silver, black or white.

    1

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