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Original Tri-Power: 1968 Chevrolet Corvette

If a buyer had a sense of adventure at the time, they could hand the local Chevrolet dealership an additional $305.50 in 1968, and they would find their shiny new Corvette had the firebreathing 427ci Tri-Power V8 under the hood. That’s what the original owner decided with this Corvette, and that engine remains in place today. The vehicle needs restoration, so this is our chance to take a closer look to determine if it is the project for you. Located in Hicksville, New York, you will find the Corvette listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $13,733, and the reserve has been met. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Patrick S for referring the Corvette to us.

The owner states that the Rally Red paint that the Corvette wears is original, but it is now looking pretty tired. He says that the fiberglass is good, but this is difficult to determine from the supplied photos. The trim and chrome appear to be restorable, while the glass looks okay. However, a few aspects of this classic sound an alarm bell or two for me. The first of these is the gap between the front clip and the driver’s door. This is extremely tight, and it appears that the door might have been catching on the trailing edge of the fender. The alignment problem could be something as simple as worn hinges, or it could be symptomatic of deeper issues. There is also corrosion visible on a few metal components, which raises the specter of rust problems. The owner doesn’t mention any issues with the frame or birdcage, but there’s enough corrosion visible to suggest that an in-person inspection would be a wise move.

The Corvette is a numbers-matching classic that features the L68 version of the 427ci V8. This Tri-Power monster would have been churning out 400hp, which found its way to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. The original owner also decided to order his Corvette with power steering and power brakes. With so much power on tap, the Corvette was a seriously fast car. It could demolish the ¼ mile in 13.7 seconds and would eventually find its way to 150mph. This classic has been sitting for many years, and it doesn’t currently run. However, the owner oiled the engine before he parked it, suggesting that the 427 should turn freely. He says that the transmission shifts through all gears, but if it has been sitting for a while, the car will need a thorough inspection before anyone hits the key. Damaging that mighty big-block doesn’t bear thinking about, so I’d take my time on that front.

It seems that the original owner of this Corvette wasn’t afraid to spend a dollar or two to own the car of his dreams. That explains why he chose to equip the interior with Black leather upholstery, power windows, and an AM/FM radio. The interior generally presents pretty well, with no visible flaws on the dash or with the upholstery. It is original and unmolested, and it has two general needs if it is to be returned to its former glory. The first of these would be for the buyer to treat the whole interior to a deep clean. I think that this action alone would make a significant difference. I would also shell out $300 on a complete carpet set. I believe that with those two tasks completed, this interior would present well for a survivor-grade car.

The L68 engine added a considerable amount to the base price of a 1968 Corvette, but it was far from the most expensive engine option on offer. Chevrolet sold 28,566 Corvettes during the 1968 model year, and 1,932 buyers handed over the additional cash for the L68. Today, a good original example will sell for over $40,000, and while this one is original, it will take some work to return it to its best. I always endorse the idea of performing an in-person inspection before potential buyers hand over their cash for a classic car. We work hard for our money, and for many enthusiasts, they will get a single opportunity to own the vehicle of their dreams. I’m not condemning this car, but I am suggesting that an inspection would seem warranted. What do you think?


  1. Ed Casala

    Wonder how the frame and bird cage are on this. Looks like a decent price for a mostly complete desirable car.

    Like 9
  2. Jim

    The frame if badly rusted,will need serious work and with other repairs,paint ,and other upgrades plus the purchase price,this car will take a major bite out of that $40000 finished value ! Money well spent?

    Like 0

    Sad day, why spend 50,000 on a make over when a clean car can be had for 25000 that doesn’t need repair work. A waste of a car. Need to reboot the owner who did this destruction

    Like 0
    • Roger

      Choice is the answer my friend.. Choice.
      I would but obviously you wouldn’t. 👍🚗🙄🙏

      Like 0
  4. charlie Member

    And this whole series which benefitted from the “cool” looks, suffered from the overblown body, which was not as tight as the series that came before, or after, and even with an absolutely good metal frame and other structural elements it flexed and creaked, with this engine, if you pushed it, and why have it if you don’t push it, I bet it is all pretty loose by now. A friend loaned me one “to get it out of my system” and after a week with it as a daily driver I was disillusioned. Hot, noisy, thirsty, T tops leaked very badly, had to remove carpets and wet vac the floor pans after a rainstorm, creaked and rattled, but when you put your foot down, it went, and unlike my ’54, it also went around corners.

    Like 2
  5. CarstruckBF

    What do we have to tell us that mill is original?
    Obviously that’s extremely important in determining value. And yes your advice to be cautious regarding poor gapping between door and fender, and that an inspection of the steel ‘bits’ .. ( important bits like the frame & bird cage.. ) definitely are necessary here before laying out any hard earned coin.. Cool car once the long overdue money is has been spent on basic and heavy maintenance..

    Like 0
  6. george mattar

    Too much money. Much better examples sell in the high 30s. Get in, turn key, enjoy. I have restored several C3s. When I look at the piles of receipts as thick as an old New York City phone book, I cringe. And in the end, the car is still worth less. Life is short, look for a better car and enjoy it. After all, GM built these to drive, not linger in some damp garage.

    Like 0

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