Special Order: 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

This 1968 Camaro Z/28 comes with some significant documentation, but there’s one piece of its puzzle that makes it even more special than your average Z/28. The vehicle was a dealer order, and this dealer had a reputation for ordering vehicles with unusual paint and drivetrain combinations. That has the potential to make it a genuine 1-of-1 car, although proving this could be a challenge. Regardless, it is a stunning classic that will certainly grab people’s attention wherever it goes. Where it is set to go soon is to a new home, which is why the current owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. The Z/28 is located in Houston, Texas, and while the bidding has soared to $46,100, this remains short of the reserve.

Research using the original Camaro color charts from this era suggests that the Camaro is finished in the shade called Road Commission Orange. Chevrolet offered this color in the 1967 model year, but not in 1968. This Z/28 was ordered and delivered to Grabiak Chevrolet in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. The Dealer Principal, Sam Grabiak, owned the business for more than 50-years, and he developed a reputation for ordering unusual and attention-grabbing vehicles to park in his showroom. It appears that this car might be one of those designed to lure potential buyers through the door. The owner admits that the vehicle has received a repaint but it was completed in the original shade. Beyond that, the exterior is essentially original. The paint holds a beautiful depth of color and shine, with no evidence of chips, scratches, or other problems. The panels are as straight as an arrow, while there is no evidence of any rust problems for the buyer to tackle. The panels look clean, with no visible issues in the lower extremities or the cowl area. The floors and frame are untouched from the factory and are as solid as you could ever hope to find in a vehicle of this age. The trim is in good order, including the spotless Rally wheels. The dealer ordered the Z/28 with tinted glass, and this shows no evidence of faults or defects.

Lifting the hood reveals where things start to deviate from the original with this classic. This Z/28 features the desirable 302ci V8 that punched out an “official” 290hp. Grabiak Chevrolet chose to equip the vehicle with a close-ratio M21 manual transmission, a 4.10 Posi rear end, and front disc brakes. A ¼ mile ET of 15.2 seconds would be considered respectable, but it was hardly startling in 1968. There were plenty of vehicles at this time that were faster over a short burst, but the high-revving nature of this little 302 meant that it was more at home as speeds grew. That’s why the ¼-mile figure doesn’t appear to be that special, but a top speed of 131mph looked pretty impressive from a vehicle where the engine capacity was considered relatively modest at the time. Once again, the owner claims that this car’s drivetrain combination makes it a rarity, and he states that it may be unique. That’s a claim that is sure to ignite debate and one that potential buyers may need to investigate further. You have to wonder whether this Camaro might have a story to tell because while there are many original components present, the engine block is a December 1968 casting. The cylinder heads, intake, alternator, transmission, and rear-end are all numbers-matching, so maybe the motor has suffered a bottom-end failure at some point. Other changes include an updated carburetor, headers, and a different exhaust. These latter components show their age, and the owner suggests that a new complete exhaust system would be a wise investment. The owner provides no specific information on how well the Z/28 runs or drives. However, the engine bay presents well, and he supplies this YouTube video which shows the moor running. It sounds clean and crisp, with no rattles or odd noises. He also claims that the vehicle has 36,000 original miles on the clock, but he doesn’t indicate whether he holds evidence to verify this. He has the original Window Sticker that verifies the specifications, along with the Protect-O-Plate and Owner’s Manual. These will be included in the sale.

It is worth noting that while the Camaro has received a few interior upgrades, all of the trim and upholstery are original. Grabiak Chevrolet ordered the car with Code 716 Dalmation White vinyl with Houndstooth cloth inserts. There are a couple of minor flaws in the vinyl, but nothing that would demand immediate attention. The dash and pad are spotless, as are the headliner and carpet. Aftermarket additions include a vintage Jensen radio/cassette player that functions correctly. There is also a column-mounted Sun Tach and a Hurst shifter that replaces the original item. Reversing these changes would not be a complex undertaking, and the buyer might choose to undertake this work so that the Z/28 presents in its original form.

Today, new car dealerships will order special vehicles to park in their showrooms to entice people through the door. However, these will generally be little more than standard production models with a few creature comforts inside and panels finished in a premium, but regular production, color. Finding a dealer willing to go out on a limb to order a car with Special Order paint and unique drivetrain upgrades is a rarity. That is what this 1968 Camaro Z/28 would seem to represent, and the documentation that the owner includes can verify this. It is a stunning classic with a lot to offer its next owner, but could that person be you?

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Comments

  1. DSteele

    Drool
    I love me some 1st Gen Z/28’s
    Row Row Row your car quickly down the street
    Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily life is but a DREAM

    Wow

    Like 11
  2. Will Fox

    (yawn..) It’s a Chevy, so ‘automatically’ it’s worth $100K, right? Isn’t that how all Chevy performance owners view their cars? Sure seems that way. (eye roll)

    Like 14
    • Tom

      Really? What makes you say that?

      Like 5
      • chuck

        Because he’s jealous.

        Like 10
  3. Dan H

    Interesting car. I wonder if that’s the correct master cylinder?

    Like 1
  4. JoeNYWF64

    I never realized that the std parking lites on ’68 camaro are at an angle inward!
    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/HBIAAOSwiMZhA1C7/s-l1600.jpg
    Could you get the much sportier STD steering wheel with the delux interior? Oddly, this delux steering wheel looks out of place & would be better off in dad’s Caprice.
    Hopefully, the manual steering here is of the quicker 3+ turns lock to lock type.
    Tires here, i guess, are from the late ’90s & i would trust them sooner than any cracking modern tire, say 7 yrs old. I like to run my hands over the entire tread of all my tires periodically, feeling for irregularity – belt separation – I have found that on a 7 yr old Continental tire with no tread wear & low mileage on my modern car! Not happy.

    Like 3
  5. jnard90 jnard90 Member

    Stunning, but these overpriced trailer queen Chevys are getting boring.

    Like 7
    • Mark

      Boring? Trailer queen? Jealous much?

      Like 10
  6. m h

    all of that…and no console… what a cheap dealer he was..

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      Not everyone wants a console. I’ve had a couple of 4spd Camaro’s and prefer them without one.

      Steve R

      Like 5
      • scottymac

        Better place to perch the gauges, like that better than the hang-ons here.

        Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        @Scottymac- I had a 1969 Z-28 with console-mounted gauges. They were pretty hard to read without taking your eyes off the road. Not a good idea at Z-28 speed.

        Like 1
  7. JoeBob

    The Z/28 package was $400.25 in early 1968, a relatively modest price for everything that was included in the package. I tried to buy one, but the Chevy dealers all had the same question for me – “what’s your draft status?” Answering honestly “1A” would get a response something like “kid, we don’t like your kind”.

    Like 3
  8. Frank

    beautiful machine, someone will be getting a beauty

    Like 4
  9. charlie Member

    Ah, the special order. In 1968 I had a girlfriend, almost fiancee, with two horses, I rode the old 16 hand Standardbred, she the 4 year old Throughbred, and tired of borrowing her father’s ’61 Olds wagon to tow her 2 horse trailer I special ordered, with advice from my buddy in the parts department of the local dealer, a ’68 Chevelle Malibu wagon, 4 barrel 327, 4 speed on the floor, heavy duty clutch, radiator, electrical (the battery was bigger, not sure the alternator was any different) “trailer package” which included heavy duty suspension in the rear, white with saddle viynal interior, power steering and brakes, and to the salesman’s concern, an economy rear axel. The price was about $3000. He wanted $1000 down since “nobody else will want this car and if you don’t take it, I will take a loss on it.” It was one of the best of the 3 dozen cars I have owned. First was low enough to get going without using much clutch, and 4th was high enough to get good gas milage when not towing the horses. It really needed disc brakes, an option nobody told me about, but fitted later, along with radial tires, it was a suberb car. It took 3 months for the order to come in. At the age of 5 years , and 130,000 miles, in New England it was well along in the rust department, half assed druggie mechanic “rebuilt” the carburator, it spilled gas all over the engine, and it burned up. My insurance paid me, and the mechanic’s insurance paid them, and I later got a check for the deductible. Girl friend, and horses, were long out of my life by then.

    Like 6
  10. Karl

    I am a GM guy pretty much all the way and I am within a year of buying a plain old muscle car having always been a Camaro or mustang owner I think I am going to stray from my norm and go for a Cougar or an AMX, it needs to be in very good shape have a good base V8 that I can build my way and a manual trans. .

    Like 1
  11. scottymac

    Frank Sumatra: I had the same setup in a ’74 GTO (Nova twin), so I know what you mean, but still easier to see than those hanging under the dash, IMO.

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      And after looking closely, you are absolutely correct!

  12. 1st Gear

    wow. another Z28.

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Good point. We would much rather see another Buick Grand National or Corvette Pace Car.

      Like 2

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