Original 427 Tri-Power: 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Not all classic cars are created equal. This fact is true when comparing one brand or model with another, but it can also be a reality when two vehicles carry the same model badge. Take this 1968 Corvette Convertible as a prime example. In entry-level form, it could offer its owner impressive performance levels that would satisfy most enthusiasts. However, the original owner ordered this car with the fire-breathing 427ci Tri-Power V8 under the hood, transforming an impressive car into a brute with mind-bending acceleration. It is an original survivor that presents superbly, and it is also one that needs a new home. Located in Long Beach, New York, you will find the Corvette listed for sale here on craigslist. The owner has set the sale price at $59,995. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring this fantastic survivor to us.

There are times when mere words don’t seem to have the power to convey how special a classic car is, and that is very nearly the case with this Convertible. Its flawless fiberglass panels are draped in Corvette Bronze paint that shines beautifully. The owner admits that the vehicle has received a repaint in its original color, but it isn’t clear when this occurred. I’m not sure whether it is perfect, but it is impossible to spot faults in the supplied photos. There are no visible chips or scratches, while the fiberglass is free from cracks, crazing, or issues around the bonding strips. Its beauty is more than skin-deep because the underside shots reveal a frame that is spotlessly clean and rock solid. The White soft-top is in as-new condition, as is the tinted glass. The owner doesn’t indicate whether he has a factory hardtop, but it probably isn’t the end of the world if he doesn’t. The chrome and trim shine as impressively as the paint, while the original and immaculate Rally wheels wear redline tires.

If a buyer walked into their Chevrolet dealership in 1968 and plopped $4,320 on the table, they could drive away in a Corvette Convertible with a 327ci V8 under the hood. This motor delivered 300hp and allowed the car to cover the ¼ mile in 14.8 seconds. Neither figure is anything to be ashamed of, and it would’ve satisfied most owners. However, by kicking in a further $437.10, that buyer could up the ante significantly. Suddenly, the engine bay would be occupied by the L71 version of the 427ci big-block that featured a Tri-Power setup and a staggering 435hp under the right foot. The impact of this change was profound and allowed the car to blitz the ¼ in 13.5 seconds. That’s what we find hiding under the hood of this Corvette, while the package is rounded out by a four-speed close-ratio M21 manual transmission, a 4.11 Posi rear end, a full transistor ignition, and the Off-Road exhaust system. As drivetrains go, this was about as good as it got in a 1968 Corvette. The owner indicates that the vehicle is wholly numbers-matching and that it has never received any restoration work. Adding to the attraction is that it has a genuine and documented 87,000 miles showing on its odometer. Disappointingly, the owner provides no insight into how this ‘Vette runs or drives, but if appearances are any indication, this classic should be in sound mechanical health.

If a buyer ordered their ’68 Corvette wearing Bronze paint, they could have the interior trimmed in Black, Tobacco, or Dark Orange. The original owner chose that last color, and it is incredible to think that what we see today is that original trim in an unrestored state. The seat upholstery has developed some wrinkles over the years, but there’s no evidence of wear or physical damage. The carpet has some visible fading, but I am struggling to remember the last time I saw an original and unrestored Corvette from this era without that fault. The buyer might choose to address this, but the purist within me thinks that they would be better served to keep the money in their pocket given the lack of wear or significant damage. The dash and plastic trim appear excellent, and I can’t find much to criticize in this classic. It isn’t an interior overflowing with luxury appointments, although the original owner ordered the car with an AM/FM radio and a Speed Warning Indicator.

I’m not sure whether this Corvette Convertible represents what would’ve been considered the ultimate example in the 1968 range, but there’s no doubt that it would’ve been a car that demanded respect when it was new. If we wind the clock forward fifty-three years, that situation has not changed. If we look at where our car industry seems to be headed, preserving vehicles like this will become more critical. Most manufacturers have made it clear that their focus is almost exclusively towards zero-emission vehicles and that the internal combustion engine’s days could be numbered. If this proves to be a reality, it could be that the next generation has no idea what cars like this Corvette represent to enthusiasts like you and me. Confronted with cars like this, they would gain insight into what they would have had the misfortune to miss. I will feel sympathy for them, but I will feel grateful that we lived through this era and got to experience these classics as more than some static display in a museum. Therefore, I hope that this Corvette finds a new home with an owner that continues to treat it with respect. I hope that they continue to preserve it so that future generations have an opportunity to appreciate a genuine classic. Most importantly, I hope that they hit the road and enjoy the car for the high-performance beast that it is.

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Comments

  1. wuzjeepnowsaab

    This just seems super cheap for what it is and the condition it appears to be. What a beautiful ’68 and with the perfect drivetrain to torch more than a few muscle cars off the line.

    Like 10
    • Dave

      And until the Honda CB 750 came along a year later, every Harley and Britbike on the road!

  2. CraigR

    Worth that asking price all day long.

    Like 5
  3. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Nice.

    Like 2
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    GM sure hit it right with this series of Corvettes and this is a great example of them.

    Like 4
  5. its1969ok

    Great drivetrain spec. but yet another car with a stance that is way too high. At least it doesn’t have foot long tailpipes.

    Like 1
  6. George Mattar

    Plenty of folks will be sorry they didn’t buy a 68 with 3×2 in these knock out colors. Corvette Bronze is stunning. A 67 with this drive line is twice the money. I have been involved in restoring Corvettes since 1976. The cost to duplicate thus car would be $100,000. The correct smog today done correctly is $4,000 at least. Beautiful C3.

    Like 1
  7. Kirk K

    1st I’ve of a speed warning indicator ? Was it a light or sound and was it pre set or did you set it yourself? I’m always amazed at the hp these cars had and torque as well I imagine but always wondered how hard this was on the rest of the car or were they strengthened or reinforced in any way when ordered with this high performance engine ? If one was to come on to this full throttle on a regular basis could the fiberglass and suspension, gears, mounts and whatever else start to break apart from the strain. I know I had a Pontiac 400 that I could not keep motor mounts on it on the torque side .kept pulling the rubber away from the steel .finally had to use a peice of chain to stop the engine lifting past the breaking point to cure it. Also started to tear the body in a couple apparently weak spots not to mention spider gears in the rear end from time to time tho it was only a 10 bolt and under rated for the application but my point being my 400 was not putting out anything close to 435 hp and was in a full frame car with a steel.roof and was getting hurt eventually just using the power on tap. I’ve seen it in alot of cars that work hard like camaros and others.that need sub frame connectors they start stress cracking. I know a little roll cage helps with the twisting so that’s why I think these 435 hp vettes, especially In a convertible must have something extra holding them together or they must get destroyed eventually if they driven hard using all them horse’s.. or maybe I’m missing the point and that’s why one that is still in one peice after 90thousand miles is so special and expensive it was used gently and not banged through the gears 1/4 mile at a time
    I dont think I could just cruise and hammer on this car regularly. That’s why you picked the 427 4 speed with a 411 gear rear ..to beat everything else on the road or whatever you like to do in a neck snapping rocket ship on wheels

    Like 1
  8. Richard A

    I don’t understand why such a beautiful and desirable car in this condition has not sold after six days of being listed. Absolutely stunning car, top to bottom. $60,000 seems like a bargain. Am I missing something here?

  9. bobhess bobhess Member

    it’s1969ok…. Had plenty of Vettes come into the shop with gas shocks installed that hiked up the chassis. Convinced most of the owners to change to correct length units so the alignment of the wheels would be right. They handle lousy with the incorrect shocks and this is probably a good example of that. Did a complete Porsche race car alignment for a friend a few years ago that included 4 wheel alignment and height adjustment. Car handled like it was on rails. Next thing we knew he raised the front end so the spoiler wouldn’t drag going on the trailer. Really messed up the alignment and the very next time he was on the race track he went head on into a concrete barrier wiping out the front end of the car to the point we had to replace the entire front half of the car. Be a shame to see that happen to this Corvette.

    • Thomas Lyons

      Nice vette , yeah Porsche cant be higher in front , they will start to fly at 90 mph ,

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