1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 is a great piece of automotive history, since it came from USA-1′s legendary assembly lines. After all, GM’s largest division didn’t get that nickname, or its storied reputation, by producing subpar iron; and when it comes to some of the greatest muscle cars of all time, why fix what ain’t broke?
This professionally restored 1968 Chevelle hardtop is an authentic SS396 car which wraps a numbers matching drivetrain in a solid body and a correct red on red color combination which Muscle Cars World loves. Recently this glowing Chevelle sport coupe was treated to a no-expense spared, no-holds barred rotisserie restoration during which every inch of its body was massaged to better-than-new condition. When all the welding, sanding and fine tuning was complete, a correct coat of GM code R Matador Red urethane was accented with a correct GM code B black vinyl top and high gloss rocker stripes to create a classic American muscle car that drives just as well as it shows.
One quick glance down its smooth fuselage reveals straight panels which display no waves or major imperfections. One high definition look its glossy paint reflects a Kansas-flat surface which looks wet and shines like new. And one drop of water on its sculpted fenders highlights a superb clearcoat that is both clean and rock solid. Read more!
For 1968, the freshly updated Chevelle sported a brand new look which featured tapered front fenders, a rounded beltline and a classic long-hood/short-deck profile. At the front of the car, four clear headlights top an SS exclusive, black body-width grille which centers a prominent “SS 396″ emblem between factory fresh stainless trim. At the sides of that grille, a like-new chrome bumper is equipped with clear parking lights, and a showroom fresh “Chevelle” script occupies the driver’s side of the car’s header panel.
Behind that header panel, an SS exclusive hood carries finned chrome louvers in front of pristine windows which are traced by well-maintained brightwork and accented by a great looking vinyl top. Below those windows, new chrome door handles perfectly complement a correct chrome driver’s mirror, dent-free stainless trim highlights gloss black rocker panels and “396″ branded marker lights provide a subtle hint at the car’s big performance credentials. And at the back of those rocker panels, clear tail lights flank a gloss black rear valence which centers a prominent “SS 396″ emblem over a like-new chrome bumper and mirror-like stainless exhaust tips.
At the heart of the car’s serious nature is an original 396 cubic inch L35 big block V8 which wears a correct 3935440 casting number, a June (F) 8th (8) of 1968 (8) casting date, a correct TO suffix stamp and a correct 231618 partial VIN. As one of the most powerful and most memorable Chevrolet engines ever created, this cast iron mill utilizes oval-port closed chamber heads, a forged steel crankshaft and traditional hydraulic lifters to turn stout 10.25 to 1 compression into 325 horsepower and 410 lb./ft. of pavement melting torque! At the top of the motor, a black and chrome single snorkel air cleaner funnels wind into what appears to be a correct Quadrajet carburetor.
Below that carburetor, a sea of brilliant Chevy Orange paint flows around fresh chrome valve covers and fully restored exhaust manifolds to coat the block from its cast iron intake to its stamped steel oil pan. At the back of the motor, a correct points distributor shoots fire through factory replacement plug wires. And at the front of the motor, a reproduction Delco Energizer battery sits next to a correct radiator that’s equipped with fresh hoses and reproduction tower clamps. Despite its complete rebuild and cosmetic restoration, many of the details on this 396 are faithful to its original factory appearance. And everything from its correct Frigidaire AC compressor and fresh stainless fuel lines to its correct decals and gray hood hardware, presents much better than anything that was slapped together at the factory 44 years ago.
Underneath this awesome Chevy you’ll find a factory fresh chassis and super solid floorpans that, like the car’s exterior panels and L35 big block, have been over-restored to the absolute highest standards. An original 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic 400, which wears a correct 231618 partial VIN and a July 6th (522) of 1968 (68) 396 (CC) build stamp, sends power to a correct GM 12 bolt rear end.
Holding that stellar drivetrain in place is a traditional double A-arm front and four link rear suspension which was fully rebuilt during the restoration, and presently features factory power steering, an upfitted rear sway bar and correct power front disc and rear drum brakes. Exhaust flows through dual stainless pipes into aggressive Flowmaster dual chamber mufflers and spotless stainless tips. And power flows to the pavement through familiar 15 inch rally wheels which spin reliable 235/70 Goodyear Eagle GTIIs around cool bowtie center caps and dent-free stainless trim rings.
Naturally, all the car’s weathered bits were replaced during its extensive rebuild. The floors wear a smooth coat of Matador Red paint under a slick clearcoat shell. The frame and drivetrain components alternate between a deep shade of gloss black and fresh shade of train truck silver. And items such as a new stainless fuel tank, new stainless hardware, new fuel lines and new brake lines ensure this Chevy will cruise for years without issue.
Open the solid doors on this second generation Chevelle and you’ll find a striking GM code 796 red vinyl interior which appears to have been completely replaced during the car’s restoration. Centered in those new components is a trio of fresh seats which carry just the right amount of firmness and display no rips or tears at all. Above those seats, a tight red headliner shows none of the drying or fading that is typical of vintage cars; and below those seats bright red carpet props a stainless trimmed console, which is complete with a factory horseshoe shifter, between custom carpeted floor mats.
In front of the driver, a correct Chevelle SS steering wheel spins in front of an excellent looking dash which features a warp-free pad, fully rebuilt gauges, controls for the car’s factory air conditioning and a direct fit Kenwood cassette player. At the sides of the driver, stainless trimmed door panels feature correct “SS 396″ emblems which add a little visual pop. And behind the cabin, the car’s fully restored trunk features a full-size spare tire, a correct jack, a new mat and correct decklid decals.