Toasty 1968 Chevelle Project

1968 Chevelle

It’s always hard to decide whether a find is worth restoring or not. I’m really struggling with that question on this ’68 Chevelle. It’s said to be a solid barn find from the desert. While it looks cool in its as found state, it has some rust that needs treated and it’s a 6 cylinder car. I know Chevelles are always in demand, but this one isn’t a particularly special or desirable model. So is it worth restoring? Well I’ll let you answer that one for yourself, but before you decide you can have a look at it here on eBay in Center City, Minnesota with a BIN of $5,500.

1968 Chevelle Inline 6

After looking this Chevy over, the rust doesn’t look too bad and the body appears to be straight. From that standpoint alone, I think it’s worth doing something with. The problem is the asking price, which seems more inline with a V8 equipped car. I know you could drop a V8 under the hood, but it still wouldn’t be worth original V8 money and you’d have the issue of upgrading all the other systems needed to handle the additional power.

1968 Chevelle Barn Find

No matter the direction you go with it, it’s going to need a completely new interior and some rust repair. Personally I’d like to see this car kept in its original configuration. I’d address the rust, find an interior and just drive it. Of course, I’d want it for significantly less than $5,500. So if it were yours, what would you do with it?

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Comments

  1. Mark

    After looking at the other pictures over on eBay I would definitely say this car isn’t worth the asking price! It basically has no interior, the dashboard is significantly cracked and would require replacement. Some of the pictures of the rocker panel shows significant rust etc. Combining that with the fact that is only a 6 cylinder and it’s probably worth no more than $2500 or so.

  2. Dave

    Worth restoring? I say yes, but where it’s a 6 cylinder car, make it a resto-mod. It’ll be worth more that way. More than a clone, IMO.

    • racer99

      Yup, decent resto-mod material. You’d probably throw the interior out anyway and the body and frame look pretty solid. Not sure it’s worth that price, though.

  3. Mike

    After looking over the pictures, I would offer no more than 2000.00 for it.
    For many reason, but mostly because of the cost for replacement interior. Another reason would be also that it is in Minnesota, so cost to get it anywhere is not going to be cheap even if you go after it on your own, you still having to haul it.
    The 6 banger is not that bad I guess, I would probably buy it change it over to a crate 350 with a 3 speed, but that is me. Or if all else buy it cheap for a parts car!!! But not at 5500.00

  4. Rando

    Back in da day, I would not hesitate to think of dropping a V8 and hot rodding it. but now, not so much… if I had it, I would drive it as is for a while and decide what to do with it later. I do have an appreciation of original cars at this point. So why not leave it? Maybe even warm up the old 6.

  5. Tim

    Changing out the 6 isn’t as easy as some think. A lot of other parts are specific to the 6, including smaller wheels on some cars, smaller brakes, radiator, etc etc.

    Best bet if you want a v8 is to buy a v8 car and leave the 6 for someone who wants a 6

  6. Franke

    There’s plenty of converted v8 cars already on eBay for sale, same with Camaro’s and so on, once you get rid of the original engine and such it’s one of those cars on eBay .

  7. Mike D

    for my two cents, this is the perfect car for the amateur like myself, tinker with the 6 see if one could get it running leave the automatic on the tree , split bench, I would not try to make an SS clone, small 8, leave the 6 in it while I do the rest of the work , if it is too far gone, toss it in favor of a small 8, or a tweaked V/6 .. One would want to upgrade the undercarriage anyways new shocks, springs, Nova front end replace the current tires with radial black walls dog dish hubcaps might even leave the paint alone, with exposed bodywork ( leave it protected with primer) but with this car it would be OK to make mistakes , correct as you go .. you wouldn’t want to make mistakes with an SS Keep it or sell it, it could be a fun car

    • grant

      I would think that configuring the car for a modern V6 would be as much or more work then just dropping in a goodwrench 350. There might even be some old school speed parts available for the original inline, which would be different, and therefore cool. I recall a triple 2 barrel Offenhauser intake for the Ford 6, maybe something like that. This is my favorite year for Chevelles, they aren’t as common as Camero’s, but I get bored with the same old 350/350 combo.

  8. Doug Towsley

    While we have had a lot of vehicles over the years, Been following late 60’s Chevelles closely for the last 12 years closely. Before the economy tanked in ’07-08 you could NOT find a decent Chevelle project for much less than $5k unless very lucky. That means bare bones and most without motors/trans. We tried for years to find a Chevelle project for my wife. In ’09 with people desperate, we bought 2 in quick succession,. A stripped down 68 Malibu for $1000, and while looking for parts made a deal for a much nicer condition 69 Malibu for $1500. No motors, no trannys and very little interiors. Now, prices are climbing and you will not find solid cores like ours at those prices. $5500 is a little high, but not by much and for the east coast is a fair price..
    CPP and other catalog/websites have low cost disc brake kits,,Suspension upgrades, interior kits and anything else. This car is solid and little rust. Nice core for a build. Personally id go SBC 350 and 700R4 with shift kit (the overdrive will return a nice MPG). You can get a good donor motor trans by buying up a later model Camaro off CL and parting it out and getting most of your money back. This could be done failry low budget.

    • Gary K

      Doug, I have to totally agree with what you say on this Chevelle, this being one of my favorite year model, I would do the SBC but would prefer a nice Muncie 4 spd. For me the old 4 spd cars were the bomb and I just prefer the feel of going thru the gears over any automatic. I also think this is a bit overpriced, for condition and what it will take to bring it back maybe $3k tops.

      • Doug Towsley

        I recomended the overdrive auto tranny because this car is already a Auto tranny car. To do the stick, you would have to do some swapping. However while discussing my wifes 69, on the way from buying it she said with a steely gaze, “I want one of the Muncies you have in the barn, I know you have 2.” it wasnt an option. I tried suggesting a donor motor and 5 or 6 speed from a Camaro, but she wants old school. So, it will cost a little more but we are rebuilding one of my donor Truck engines (early 70s 350 PU) and for her birthday I bought her a new Hurst super comp shifter set up, plus sourced flywheel, pedals, linkages, bell housing. SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed).
        But you guys finding cheap build cores at $1,000-$3,000 I am amazed. We got totally lucky on ours and timing. But if you can find them at those prices now go rent some dry storage, and BUY BUY BUY. Solid investments. My investments in the stock market, bonds and Annuities are, shall we say rather sluggish. Vintage vehicles if you can store properly are a much better investment and more fun as well.
        Im not saying deals cannot be had. I used to sniff them out for a living. But I looked last month and there was a few good deals on Chevelles on the west coast. And just for grins looked in Oregon-Washington on CL and FeeBay and theres just currently not much out there. This car here on this posting is looking pretty good.
        I got excited on this one, $1600 obo, 72 chevelle, until you realize its a 4 door.
        See: https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/cto/5532050989.html

        This one is probably the next best deal at $3200 in Seattle but its a 68 Malibu wagon. (Some people LOVE the wagons!)
        See: https://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/cto/5507666161.html

        The next one big jump, is a 71 El Camino at $12,500 but is a pretty nice car. We almost bought a 68 El Camino project years back because we couldnt find a Chevelle.
        See: https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/cto/5522874032.html

        Next up is at $14,000 and a rolling project, 72 Chevelle, but it has some REALLY nice parts on it. 454, Muncie, and a lot of money invested.
        See https://bend.craigslist.org/cto/5546269295.html

        After that,,,,prices go up and up to as high as $75,000.

        My wife does Spread sheets periodically on Chevelles for 68-72 and we rated them, much like Old Car Price guide. She has a background in accounting and forensic audits and inventory mgmt so she can whip up data, charts and graphs quickly to show trends and hard data. Im telling you guys…………. Screw the stock market, invest in old cars and motorcycles.

  9. Rick

    Been there done that about 2 decades ago. As far as engine swaps are concerned an I6 to V8 is comparatively easy, but the tentacles are long as mentioned. I6 fuel pump is on the opposite side, radiator too small, front springs too soft, trans toss it, rear diff it toss it too. Then depending on the how this Chevelle was optioned, 4 wheel drums likely, power steering not. 2, 3 decades ago this was nothing more than an afternoon or two at your local U-Pull. 2016 that’s not going to happen.

    But worth saving definitely, it’s a hard top and would make a great restore mod or pink slip racer. But for me don’t do another 350/350 Chevelle = BORING! Go for it, I see two roads ahead. 1 hotrod that six, there’s a strong Nutty Straight 6 Cult out there doing amazing things with that little 250. Like taking two V-8 heads, slice off a cylinder on both, weld together and voila, you got a cross flow intake and some serious hp, and some great conversations at your next cruise in. 2 not just a V8 but an Turbo Charged LS swap, http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a27540/regular-car-reviews-ls-powered-chevy-colorado/ now that will get some conversations going.

    • Doug Towsley

      Rick, thank you for posting that article, I will be spending some time on that guys website as well. I love what he is preaching on low dollar-high return performance builds.
      Also, very interested in learning all I can on EFI and Engine mgmt. I am learning and developing stuff on Buells, Ducatis and and modern Nortons. I have Tuner Pro, ECM spy, Power Commander, Desk top Dynos and learning some other systems as well.

      What I have also been preaching, for my Rat rod projects is that there is some REALLY GOOD donor material out there. While Camaros and certain later year Corvettes can yield excellent donors, and helpful things like wire harnesses, fuel lines, Turn signals, wiper motors, Fuel tanks, and all the little bits that add up on converting a rusted out rat rod to modern powertrain, there are other Donor cars not as obvious and can yield cost effective donor materials. There are STILL cheap donor cars for these Chevelles and if on a budget and more time then money, there are a lot of forums and online Hollander interchanges that will yield cars like early 80s Caprices or other not so obvious donors for the Disc brake spindles, master cyls, Rear ends, and other parts. I have a guy i know in Ohio who likes certain year BMWs, He is an engineer and works in accident investigations and analysis so picked a very safe type of BMW and then bought a late model Chevy with the LS power train and 6 speed, and melded the 2 cars together much like the guy in your article posted. He got the computers working as well.
      But spend some time on some of the Chevelle forums and harvest tech tips from other builds will yield a pretty good and affordable build plan most people can manage and afford. We also bought the Chevelle Restoration guide/Motor books international and Chevelle performance Projects/ SA Design also for reference materials. (Dont forget the Factory and Fisher body manuals and workshop manuals). My wife, again with the spreadsheets, mapped out the build, and budget. We are about 1/3rd along. We can do this relatively affordable and still WAY under what most completed cars cost.

      Not for everyone, But we enjoy DIY projects and the satisfaction that comes from them. Plus, we are not wealthy so only way we can have something like this, is DIY.

  10. Tom Member

    Which Free Rust, I mean Rust Free State did this come from? Solid as a Rock…..I am guessing Sandstone? ah just poking a little fun. actually a decent shell. as much as I love stock original…..All new drive train, resto mod, fuel injected Big Block, manual trans, all new suspension, ….who cares what is in the car…..This one IS (in my opinion) a great candidate for a clone….better yet, just a resto-modded hot rod o fun! Build it and drive the sh__out of it !!!! Too bad it is a 68. 67 or 70/71 are more my flavor. Chevelles are really nice but I prefer the cars you don’t see as much like their cousins on the Buick & Pontiac side. have fun!!

  11. Alan (Michigan)

    Prefer the tail lights of the ’69 over the smallish ones on the ’68. Other details are also more my style.
    But I’m always glad to see the vintage Chevelles getting some press!

  12. Chebby

    Look at how tiny that six looks in the engine bay! If you want to really be different, how about replacing it with a hopped up straight 8.

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