Rare Options: 1968 Chevrolet Camaro

Shortly after the Mustang and Camaro made their initial groundbreaking entrances, both companies were looking for new ways to expand their market shares by offering new options and features. One of the less common options that made its way into both was a front bench seat that was apparently meant to appeal to the more sensible buyers out there. You really don’t come across bench seat Camaros all that often and while this one isn’t an SS, it at least has a V8! You can find this pony here on eBay in Saint James, Missouri with a current bid of $14,300.

The seller claims that this Camaro has been in storage for the better part of 20 years, possibly longer. They purchased it 16 years ago and prior to that, it was part of an estate sale battle that left it in probate for a number of years. Beyond that, they don’t seem to know much of the car’s history. They state that the 327 V8 is numbers matching and that there’s a sticker in the glove box verifying that it’s a 6-passenger bench seat car. Less than 5k Camaros came with the front bench, also known as Strato-Back seat. It’s still in the car and looks to be in good shape.

The Strato-back seat is definitely a cool feature, it’s something you don’t see that often and is certainly a fun talking point. I doubt it has much of an impact on value though, there’s a reason so few came optioned with it. The seat shows some signs of wear and age, but it looks fairly presentable as is, the rest of the interior is going to need work though. The stereo is missing from the dash and it looks like the headliner is coming down in a few spots.

 

There are just 30k miles showing on the odometer, but the seller admits that it’s more likely 130k miles. Based on the condition, I would go with 130k, but the car looks to be solid and should make for a fun project. Fix the dents, install a new headliner, find an OEM style radio, mount up some fresh tires and this pony should be ready for the road again! So, does the bench seat add or hurt the value for you?

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Comments

  1. Ian C

    Interesting car. There were obviously a few strange combos in ’68. I had a ’68 RS with a 327/275 and powerglide, auto on the column, speed indicator, buckets with no console, and factory tinted windows without a/c.

    I loved that car and it is probably in the top 3 of ones I shouldn’t have sold.

    Like 11
    • Perry

      I purchased a 1968 SS Camaro 396 in February 1969 and it had the bench seat. It was a salesman’s car

      Like 4
    • Mark

      Had a 67 L78 bench seat 4speed 4.88 gear with a protectoplate. White/turquoise in

      Like 2
  2. Winfield S Wilson

    One good feature along with the bench seat is the column shifter. Mustangs never offered that, even with their bench seat. The middle passenger still had the stick between their legs.

    Like 8
    • scottymac

      Bought a two year old ’68 Mustang fastback, 302 four barrel, four speed, and bench seat. Girl friend never complained about the shifter.

      Like 10
    • scottymac

      Bought a two year old ’68 Mustang fastback, 302 four barrel, four speed, and bench seat. Girlfriend never complained about the shifter.

  3. A.G.

    Those were the days when one could order a car to be built to spec, a la carte as it were. For too long it’s more about ‘packages.’ Further whining about ‘used to be’ are as irrelevant today as when the topic is the ‘malaise era.’ Still I continue. I once had a ’68 Biscayne wagon with a 250 six and a three on the tree. It was built to order and it did just what it was asked to.

    Like 7
    • Steve Hafner

      My dad got a ’66 Biscayne for a company car from John Deere ( green, of course ) with the six and three-on-the-tree. He actually had to BEG to get the wagon – they usually get four-door sedans.

      Like 1
  4. A.G.

    Those were the days when one could order a car to be built to spec, a la carte as it were. For too long it’s more about ‘packages.’ Further whining about ‘used to be’ are as irrelevant today as when the topic is the ‘malaise era.’ I once bought a ’68 Biscayne wagon with a 250 six and a three on the tree. It was built to order and it did just what it was asked to.

  5. timothy herrod

    Once again rare not equaling desirable, still kinda neat tho.

    Like 6
    • BeCarSmart Member

      Thank you. Kind of neat, agree, once again that does not mean desirable necessarily. Sorry, 1st gen camaro small block, bench seat, automatic, zzzzzzzzz! Sorry, I dozed off. I like the color.

  6. O.K

    Hi everyone, I was able to come across a
    1968 Camaro 327 V8 , 3 speed manual.
    With Original 36k miles.
    The car is convertible and it is red on red.
    Unfortunately I am not very educated on these cars. Is there any one that can give me a better idea on what do I have.
    Thanks.

    Like 3
  7. Tort Member

    My everyday driver’s car and pickup have bucket seats but my 55 Chevy retains the bench seat that I personally prefer over bucket seats. Way back in my high school days before seat belts the thing was for your girlfriend to sit right next to you while cruising around town which would have been difficult with bucket seats. Along with being ordered for the convenience for a salesman some probably thought of the long gone days of their girl snuggled up to them when they ordered that new 68 Camaro.

    Like 7
  8. RMac

    I knew a girl in high school who got her grandmothers car which was a dark green 68 fire bird with 326 auto on column and a bench seat with fold down armrest always thought it was a weird interior for such a sporty car

    Like 2
  9. Larry

    Had a friend with a 67 camaro bench seat column shift .only one I have ever seen.

    Like 3
  10. Patrick LABARGE

    Back in high school I had a 1967 Camaro with a bench seat and column shift. It was a project car that I didn’t finish before joining the Marine Corps at 18.

    Like 1
  11. Little_Cars David Bassett Member

    Bench seat and air? Hello, ol’ timer….Great car to cruise in if you add a necking knob to the steering wheel.

    Like 3
  12. JCA

    Interesting. It shows “210 Hp” on the air cleaner yet he checks the valuation box for 327/350Hp on of its supposed valuation of $40+K. Then says its all original #’s matching but has HiPo double hump heads? Doesn’t sound like he knows about his own car.

    Like 2
  13. gaspumpchas

    Haaa David I was wondering how long it was gonna take for someone to mention the necker knob! Great point from AG also about being able to buy your options a la carte- these “packages” are nothing but a rip off to get you to buy a higher priced model. My 3 cars all have bench seats, struggled to find one for my 57 Ranchero, but found a nice original plus found a bench seat shifter for the 4 speed. Funny how the rage for buckets makes finding a bench a chore. Price one for a tri five chevy, if you can find one! Stay safe and good luck.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
    • Tort Member

      Got one and rear also. Switched 400 blown sbc in a 55 gasser to a LS with twin turbos and did not turn out well. Framea and springs, upholstery went up it flames!

  14. moosie moosie

    Very nice 1st gen. Camaro, probably worth 20K if it checks out as not being a bondo wagon. I noticed that it is minus its engine cooling fan as well as the shroud, I couldnt see any picture of an auxiliary electric fan mounted on the radiator, it makes you wonder if it runs hot when the A/C is turned on ? Its also missing the shift quadrant on the steering column.

  15. its1969ok

    Learn something new every day. I grew up in that era and have never seen a bench seat Camaro before. My best friend in high school was in a Camaro club and I thought I saw everything.

    Like 1
    • Mark

      Van Nuys cars were crazy combinations, had a bunch living in LA for the early 90’s bought so many crazy “cool” cars. Miss that time… took it for granted 😒

      Like 2
      • Steve Hafner

        My Norwood ’68 has the craziest combination of options you’ll see – Rally Sport, P/S P/B A/C P/G P/W AM/FM tilt wheel, sport steering wheel, Custom interior with headrests, deluxe seat belts, posi-rear, rear defog, folding rear seat, speed warning, clock in console, rear speaker . . . and NINETEEN more . . . with the BASE 230 CID SIX cylinder.

        Like 3
  16. Steve Clinton

    How much for the car cover?

  17. mike

    recently found a 69 camaro no motor or trans weird thing has no cut out for radio and no heater also manuel steering and brakes thinking of dropping in a ls

    • 38ChevyCoupeGuy

      @ Mike^^^.
      Have you decoded the VIN and cowl tag? You may have a special car my friend. Update when possible please 😎

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