Original 427 Block! 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L68

With gleaming chrome on black primer, this first-year C3 (third-generation) Corvette looks ready to pounce. Fans of America’s Sports Car will immediately identify the chrome bumpers of the early C3 and the burly big block hood. Indeed this 1968 Chevrolet Corvette in Auburndale, Florida left the factory with the 427 cid L36 big block, and that block is still in there! What’s more this one came with the L68 “Triple 2-Barrel” induction, a trio of two-barrel carburetors often called by the Pontiac moniker “Tri-Power.” Sadly the original Tri-Power setup is gone, replaced by a single four-barrel, but the original block and decent interior add interest and value to this Corvette built late in the 1968 production run. The listing here on eBay includes pictures of the engine block stamping and body tag among other views. At least a dozen bidders have driven the market value above $11,500 for this “Good running and driving” ‘Vette.

The Holley valve covers suggest an injection of parts in the 1980s. This may be an excellent snag for someone with a set of Tri-Power induction parts in their garage. The L68 setup added 10 HP on paper, 400 vs. the single four-barrel L36’s 390. The “L68” is considered an engine package on top of the L36 motor, though you’ll see it listed as a unique engine in some places. The “IO” stamping on the block tells the difference. Thanks to WillCoxCorvette and CorvetteForum for some details.

Originally 983 British Green, the coupe would look dashing if restored to the original hue. One interesting point about the ’68 Corvette:  despite being marketed as a “Sting Ray,” the phrase appears nowhere on the Corvettes manufactured during that model year. The 1967 models wore the script as two words Sting Ray, and the name returned in 1969 as one word, Stingray.

It’s certainly possible to believe this 420 Saddle Vinyl interior has covered no more than the 75000 or so miles shown on the odometer. A TurboHydromatic transmission (presumably the TH400) handles the gear changes. Some sources list black as the only interior color paired with British Green in 1968, but research at CorvetteForum indicates some later 983 colored ’68s left the factory with this interior and the 421 Saddle Leather. The “L27” build date and 426993 sequence number suggest a build date in July 1968. Though not mentioned in the listing I believe I see controls for the four-season air conditioning and power windows.

While more powerful 427 options topped the charts for the all new 1968 Corvette, it’s hard to go wrong with a big-block chrome-bumper C3. I’d be proud to drive this one as-is while saving up for a paint job and scouring the internet for a proper Tri-Power induction setup. What would you change on this potent early C3?

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. 8banger Member

    I dunno, great engine but no six pack, ok. Boring as hell interior color, ok.
    Automatic – ok, Iv’e been behind a TH-400, and they’re very capable, if not brutal transmissions, ok. But what fun would a 427/six pack/4spd be…worry about the interior later…

    Like 5
  2. JMC

    Nice but for my money 3 pedals are required.

    Like 12
  3. Larry D

    @barnfinds.com
    You wrote:
    “Though not mentioned in the listing I believe I see controls for the four-season air conditioning and power windows.”

    Yes it does have power windows but no it does not have factory air. The vents you see on the sides of the dash are for the standard Astro Ventilation on all ’68 Corvettes. The telltale sign is in the center stack above the gauges. You can see the area with the word CORVETTE on it. That area has a vent for A/C if so equipped.

    Like 2
  4. Scuderia

    Do we really need an early C3 “barn find” every single day? I like vette’s as much as the next guy but there’s a lot of other cars out there.

    Like 1
    • Desert Rat

      A 68 big block Vette, we might just need two a day!

      Like 19
  5. Arthell64 Member

    The rusted frame is kind of a big deal and no mention of the condition of the birdcage.

    Like 4
    • Larry D

      @Arthell64

      You can bet if the frame has that much rust, the bird cage does too.

      Like 5
  6. Frank Farrell

    Why would anyone remove the tri power and replace it with a 4 bbl(presumably)? That motor produced over 390 hp(probably 450). And given the admitted frame rust this is not a car to buy without putting your hands on it.

  7. Ralph

    When it comes to Barn Finds daily offerings, I can see your point there are a lot of cars listed that do not interest me, or it seems like there are 2 of the same cars listed day after day.
    But I look at it Forrest Gump like: “Barn Finds is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
    I think the diversity of posts is limited by the number of cars submitted for posting on the website. YMMV.

    Like 3
  8. Ralph

    Sometimes folks would rather go with a single 4bbl. over multiple carbs, especially when considering the work involved in making 2 or 3 carbs “work together” consistently. Can’t speak from recent experience, but even in the mid 1970s it was tough to find folks who could correctly rebuild and tune/sync multiple carbs. I recall many 6 pack engines that were swapped out for a different intake and single carb. A loss of 10-15 hp was a fair price for simplicity and reliability, especially for younger financially challenged teens.

    Like 4
    • Frank Farrell

      Unfortunately, restoring that back to a tri power will set you back about 3500+. I recently saw a NOS tri power manifold for about 3k.

      Like 2
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $18,000.

    Like 2
  10. Kenn

    Yes, keeping multiple carbs synced was a skill unto itself, that I would guess few owners had. As long as all the carbs were wide open at the same time the owners were happy.

  11. George Mattar

    As mentioned here, sold $18,000. Not stupid money, but the new owner is gonna be into this car for a ton. A correct tri-power for this car is about $3,500. The 400 hp versions are far more scarce than the 435s. But the advantage is no adjusting valve lash and you can drive it on today’s pump gas, maybe. The 68 is the first year for the Turbo 400. British Racing Green is beautiful, almost like Goodwood and a one year only color offering. Those are leather seat covers. The custom interior package did not start until the 1970 model year. That included plusher carpet, a real wood applique around the shifter and carpeted door panels with chrome trim strip and fake wood. Don’t bother fixing a rusted frame yourself. You can get a restored frame done safely and correctly for about $4,000

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.