1968 Corvette Overview: History, Specs and Options

The 1968 Corvette was a redesign that offered some distinct changes from the year before. It had a style that resembled the Chevrolet Mako Shark II concept car. It had a bold new look and introduced many options that are still sought after today. Here is everything you need to know about the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette including a short history, the most popular features, and different places you can find support for this model.

History of the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette

1968 Corvette convertible

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The third generation of Corvettes began with the 1968 model. It was patterned with the Mako Shark II in mind. The mid-engine was abandoned, and the idea was adapted for production on the chassis that already existed for the Sting Ray.

The lower half of the 1968 Corvette was a lot like the Mako II. However, it had softer contours. From the beginning, it was planned that the rear window and the portion of the roof found above the seats be removable.

The Mako Shark II was introduced to the public in an unintended fashion. GM tried to keep it from appearing and wanted to keep their idea of this upcoming car a secret. However, Mattel released a die-cast Hot Wheels line many weeks before the third generation of Corvettes were unveiled.

Six Most Popular 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Features

1968 was the first production year that the C3 generation of Corvettes was released. It continued with this style until 1982. The C2 generation spanned 1963 to 1967. The wheelbase was the same for the C2 and C3 generations and the chassis didn’t change much either. However, the body and the interior both had a complete redesign.

Removable Roof Panels

The 1968 Corvette was offered as either a coupe or convertible. This was the first year the Corvette offered removable roof panels and a three speed turbo hydra-matic. The 1968 Corvette had windshield wipers that were hidden under a panel at the base of its windshield. About 28,500 vehicles were produced that year, including almost 10,000 Corvette Coupes and 18,500 Corvette convertibles.

Redesigned Body

The Corvette’s body had a complete redesign. The coupe lost it’s fastback window and was replaced by a removable back window. It also had removable T-tops that gave it a more convertible feel. The doors opened with a push button and had a push in handle to pull the door closed. This was a feature only used in the 1968 Corvette. A fiber-optic monitoring system was used in the dash, and “Astro-Ventilation” was also used improving the cabin’s airflow.

Changes to the Interior

The 1968 Corvette coupes had a pair of vinyl bags for storing the roof panels, and a storage tray for the rear window was located above the luggage area. The front fenders included engine cooling vents to help keep the temperature down while driving at high speeds. Large round displays for the speed and RPM were found in front of the driver as well as other gauges for oil pressure, fuel, water temperature, ammeter, and a clock.

Additional Options Available

The battery was re-positioned to a compartment behind the seats improving the weight distribution. A new rear window defroster, bright metal wheel covers, an anti-theft alarm system, and an AM-FM radio were all included in the options. Any of the cars ordered with the radio also included a chrome-plated ignition shielding that helped to cover the distributor reducing interference.

Engine Options Available

Minor revisions were made to the fully independent suspension as well as the four-wheel disc braking system. A new Turbo Hydramatic 3-speed transmission replaced the two-speed Powerglide. A 5.7 liter 327 cubic inch small-block V8 engine with 300 hp was standard with a three speed manual transmission. Only a few hundred of these 3-speed manuals were sold. More commonly, the 4-speed manual transmissions were ordered. A 5.4 liter 327 cubic inch small block engine boasting 350 hp and variants of a 7.0 liter 427 cubic inch engine made up half of the cars produced.

Rare Options

Some rare options are not commonly found in the 1968 Corvettes. A ZL1 aluminum block can only be found in two of these vehicles. J56 heavy-duty brakes were used in only 115 1968 Corvettes. An L88 engine can also only be found in 116 of the cars produced. In addition, L89 aluminum heads are only found in 390 1968 Corvettes that were produced. Consequently, finding these rare options fitted on one of these models is a sure way to boost the value.

Getting Support For a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette

The 1968 Corvette is still a popular model today. Many groups are known to deal with this American classic. One of these groups is Corvette America. They sell parts and accessories for nearly all years of Corvettes. You can find interior parts, engine parts, and accessories easily for the model and year Corvette you are interested in. They have been around since 1977 and is a great website serving the Corvette community.

Another great place to find support for your 1968 Corvette is Summit Racing Equipment. This is a website dedicated to all brands and models of cars. They also have a section dedicated to the 1968 Corvette, offering a huge selection of engine performance parts, drivetrain parts, accessories, suspension components, tires, wheels, and more. If there is a part, you need they are likely to have it. They will also be able to help you with any questions you have regarding your classic car.

Further Options for the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette

There are many options available to customize your 1968 Corvette and make it your own. Kits are available to install vertical doors that swing up instead of out. It is relatively simple to add side pipes, a velvet interior, or shiny rims to your car. You can easily upgrade the tires and wheels to give your ride a distinctive look. It is common for owners of these cars to update or alter the look of the tail lights.

Complete body kits are also available to transform your 1968 Corvette. A couple of interesting options available is the ability to turn it into a station wagon or make it look like the original Mako Shark concept car.

Summing Up

The 1968 Chevrolet Corvette is a staple in America’s history. It is a popular car that almost everyone is familiar with. This model has a rich history, many options available, has support for parts, and can also be customized to fit your personality.

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