Today I had the pleasure of performing a pre-purchase classic car inspection on this 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 in O’Fallon , Illinois at Gateway Classic Cars. The car is in great condition. It has been well restored but as an inspector I had to find a few things to report back to my client on but the car was nice and solid frame up with a very good finish.
The Chevrolet Chevelle is a mid-sized automobile which was produced by Chevrolet in three generations for the 1964 through 1977 model years. Part of the General Motors (GM) A-body platform, the Chevelle was one of Chevrolet’s most successful nameplates. Body styles include coupes, sedans, convertibles and station wagons. Super Sport versions were produced through the 1973 model year, and Lagunas from 1973 through 1976.
The frame and floor pans had been well restored. All new bushings, well restored mounts, all new factory correct hardware. The body showed to have new fenders, some repairs in the quarter panels, and a few areas that need a bit of attention. I did find a small scratch, a slightly misaligned fender panel, some minor cracking on the dashboard.
The car runs and drives excellent. Starts right up, idles very smooth for a big block GM 396 with that perfect amount of rumble and vibration to let you know what’s under the hood. The engine runs through the full RPM range without skipping a beat and then settles right back down. The car handles exactly as a 1969 Chevelle SS should with that classic muscle car feel. The car stops strong and steers very straight and easy with the GM power steering that turns the wheels with a single finger.
The 1968 Chevelle received an all-new distinctly sculpted body with tapered front fenders and a rounded beltline. The car adopted a long-hood/short-deck profile with a high rear-quarter “kick-up”. While all 1967 Chevelle models rode a 115-inch (2,900 mm) wheelbase, the 1968 coupes and convertibles now rode a 112-inch (2,800 mm) wheelbase. The sedans and wagons turned to a 116-inch (2,900 mm) span. Tread width grew an inch front and rear. Hardtop coupes featured a semi-fastback, flowing roofline (with a long hood and short deck, mimicking the Camaro (which itself was an answer to the Ford Mustang). Top-trim models (including the SS 396 and new luxury Concours) featured GM’s new Hide-A-Way wiper system.