1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

For the 1968 model year, Chevrolet unveiled a much-anticipated, thoroughly redesigned Corvette. Known internally as the “C3,” the new Corvette Stingray shared much of the outgoing C2 car’s chassis and engine range but with striking new bodywork for the arrival of the new decade. Larry Shinoda’s fabulous 1964 Mako Shark II provided the basis for the design, which was modified and adapted for production under the direction of GM design czar Bill Mitchell. Ideally proportioned, low-slung, and with flowing curves intersected by sharp creases, the new Stingray is a triumph of sports car design. Purists prefer the first generation pre-1973 cars, as the early thin, delicate chrome bumpers and stylish front fender gills distinguish them from the later models.

The C3 chassis was effectively a carry-over from the previous generation, featuring proven four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and minor refinements to fine-tune the ride, handling, and weight distribution. In 1968, a base-model Corvette used the 300-horsepower 327 cubic-inch V8 and 3-speed manual, though most buyers opted for the four-speed manual Muncie or 3-speed Hydramatic. A plethora of engine and transmission combinations could be had, culminating with the mighty 427 cubic-inch, 435 horsepower, tri-power L-71. The alloy-head L-88 made more power, but Chevrolet restricted it for racing use only. Enthusiasts covet these early big-block cars as they represent the end of the heady big-cube, big horsepower era when the Corvette blurred the line between all-out sports car and tire-shredding muscle car.

This 1968 Corvette Convertible is an exceedingly rare, early production model fitted from new with the L-71 435hp 427 V8 and four-speed manual transmission and has been judged as one of the finest examples of its type. According to the documentation provided by the NCRS, Chevrolet produced this car on October 30, 1967, for delivery via GM’s Foreign Distributor’s Division, Dealer Code 1, Zone 21, though little else of its early history is known. It is the subject of a concours-level, nut-and-bolt expert restoration by the renowned Corvette specialist Kevin Mackay, completed in the late 1990s on behalf of the car’s Wantagh, New York-based owner. Options are numerous and include the gorgeous LeMans blue paint, blue interior, white top, L-71 427/435hp engine, transistorized ignition, power steering, fiber-optics, AM/FM radio, tinted glass, redline tires, rally wheels, and four-wheel disc brakes. When Mackay disassembled the car, a portion of the original tank sticker was preserved, confirming this as a genuine L-71 car.

After the restoration, the car was shown at top-level marque events, earning a plethora of awards along the way, culminating in the coveted “Triple Crown” of an NCRS Top Flight, Bloomington Gold Certification, and Gold Spinner Certificate. Additionally, it was selected by Carlisle Events founder Chip Miller to be one of a select few “Chip’s Choice” cars on special display at the 2001 Corvettes at Carlisle and again in a reunion of Chip’s Choice cars in 2004. It is accompanied by its corresponding certificates, judging sheets, NCRS blue ribbons, and Triple Crown trophy. It also includes an original owner’s manual, magazine articles, and a period brochure.

Since the restoration was completed, this gorgeous ‘Vette has been meticulously maintained by dedicated collectors. It shows fewer than 1000 miles, which is believed to reflect the mileage since the project was completed. The LeMans Blue paintwork is beautifully finished to better-than-new standards, and the body is detailed with superb brightwork and trim. It rides on factory-correct steel Rally wheels shod with correct Firestone redline tires. Blue upholstery provides a beautiful complement to the exterior color, and appropriately for a high-level restoration, all the details are there, including proper upholstery materials, restored instruments, dealership hang-tags, and original equipment and accessories.

The same holds for the engine bay, where the numbers-matching V8 is detailed to the highest standards with NOS parts and meticulously researched decals, labels, and assembly marks. Chassis and undercarriage components are authentically refinished and affixed with restored hardware, and the entire underbody is remarkably clean.

Thanks to years of attentive care, the Corvette remains in superb condition throughout, ready for continued enjoyment in judged marque-specific shows or for prestigious concours where a benchmark example such as this can be fully appreciated. This car’s outstanding restoration, beautiful color combination, plentiful options, and mighty L-71 Big Block result in one of the most eminently desirable of all C3 Corvettes.

 

Offers welcome and trades considered

 

$129,500

Stock number 7292

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