Parked For 32 Years: 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

The owner of this 1968 Chevelle SS 396 suggests that it would make an ideal project car to occupy the upcoming colder months, and I can’t think of many better ways to while away the time. As project builds go, this looks like it could be a real beauty. The buyer will be dealing with a structurally sound numbers-matching vehicle that scores highly in the desirability stakes. If you feel up to the challenge, you will find the Chevelle located in Eads, Tennessee, and listed for sale here on eBay. There has been a single bid of $20,000 submitted at the time of writing, and this looks like it could be a No Reserve auction.

One of the aspects of this Chevelle that makes it an attractive project car is its lack of rust. Some is appearing at the base of the rear window and there is a single spot in the bottom of the passenger side front fender. That’s the lot, because the floors and frame are said to be rock solid. The car’s paint isn’t original because a previous owner performed a color change in the past from its factory shade of Grecian Green. The buyer might choose to return it to its factory appearance, although I wouldn’t blame them if they decided to leave well-enough alone. The trim and the Rally wheels appear to be in good order, while there are no apparent problems with the glass. The nose-up attitude of the vehicle is a firm indication that the engine bay is full of nothing but fresh air.

I’m not sure if this SS might be one of those “chicken or the egg” propositions because somebody pulled the engine and transmission around thirty-two years ago to perform a rebuild. It isn’t clear whether the rebuild was why the car was initially parked or if it seemed to be a good task to undertake while it was parked. The good news is that this is a numbers-matching car that features the 325hp version of the 396ci big-block, a two-speed Powerglide transmission, a 12-bolt rear end, power steering, and power brakes. This combination could send the Chevelle down the ¼ mile in 15.6 seconds before winding its way to 127mph. The owner says that it appears that everything is there to rebuild and reassemble the engine, although there could potentially be a couple of minor ancillary components missing. From a collectibility standpoint, returning this classic to its original mechanical configuration would maximize its value. However, the owner does float the idea of upgrading the engine and transmission to improve upon its already respectable performance figures. I admit that the Powerglide does sap some of the potential from the car, but I believe that rebuilding and reinstalling it would be a wise move from a value perspective.

Apart from the absence of its factory radio, this Chevelle’s interior appears to be complete. The owner acknowledges that the front seats aren’t original, but he is including a spare set of backrests that the buyer could install to address this shortcoming. A couple of handles are missing, there’s a wrinkle in the dash pad, and the wheel is cracked. Otherwise, what can be seen of the remaining upholstered surfaces look okay, as does the carpet. It is possible that this aspect of the project won’t consume a heap of cash and that a deep clean will have a profound effect on its overall presentation.

A few cars seem to embody the American performance car scene of the 1960s, including the Mustang, the Corvette Fuelie, and the Chevelle SS 396, to name a few. These are all cars that offered the potential to pin their occupants back in their seats when the pedal meets the metal, and all are strong performers in the current classic market. A meticulous restoration could see this car’s value hover around $60,000 in numbers-matching form. If the buyer addressed its few rust problems, rebuilt the drivetrain, and treated the car to some basic TLC, it still has the potential to be worth close to $40,000. If a Chevelle SS 396 is on your wish list, this could be an auction worth watching. The single bid submitted so far is a surprise, but that situation could easily change with 145 people currently watching the listing. For those of you who had no plans for the Winter, maybe this is the project that you’ve been searching for. I can think of worse ways to spend that time.


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WANTED 1981-1983 Chrysler Imperial Looking for an excellent condition Imperial, preferably in original, unrestored condition. Contact

WANTED 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 my wife’s first car, red with red interior would be ideal, any locale Contact

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  1. flmikey

    I don’t think you could get a powerglide with the SS 396…I think the 400 was the only automatic you could get…I love the 68/69 SS’s…nice find!

    Like 12
    • Russell

      Yes, a Powerglide two-speed … also called the clunk-o-matic. Had one with said … hated it … but, loved the car …

      Like 2
      • Kman

        I’ve never seen that shifter with a power slide before.

        Like 4
  2. stumpwi

    Bondo was the backyard mechanic’s cure all in the 70s and I think this car is the recipient of it’s fair share.. not worth 20k might as well buy a restored one for 30 to 40k

    Like 3
  3. Big Art

    Better Take the 20 G’s Because I’m thinking $10,000 At Best …

    Like 1
  4. Johnny

    Doesn,t start up and drive. Needs a good bit of work and wonder how much more–that you can,nt see. Look around and you can find,em in better shape and cheaper.Next. Nice what you can see. Good pictures.

    Like 3
  5. Rj

    We called it a PowerSlide but that’s makes no never mind. I don’t see rust caked with bondo holding up 32 years. Maybe the repaint was done 2 years ago, who knows. Understand the buyer of this Chevelle will send someone like Patrick to look it over. If not it’s a case of a fool and his money.

  6. Jack Member

    I didn’t realize that you could get a Powerglide with the 1968 Chevelle 396s with the 325 and 350 HP engines, but apparently you could. The Powerglide came with a 3.07 rear with the 325HP 396. The powerglide and 3.07 rear would have hurt the off the line performance.

    I once test drove a 1968 325HP 396 with a 4speed at a dealer’s lot and thought is was a lot of fun to drive, but this car had some paint problems. The long test drive made me want one of these and caused me to save my money and eventually order a 1970 454 LS5 with the M22.

    Like 3
  7. Steven Brown

    A #1 is only worth 55k that means 2-3k miles and not 1 flaw. $7500

  8. Martinsane

    Am I the only one that noticed the assumed unintended irony of that rusty stripped to the bones block poised next to a boat.

    Boat anchor! Lol.

    Like 1

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