The Chevrolet Camaro was Chevrolet's answer to the Ford Mustang. It was introduced in 1967. The Chevy Camaro was built on the same formula right down to the Mustang's wheelbase, chassis specs, and general powertrain. A styling difference versus the Mustang was General Motor's swoopier lines. You could buy your 1968 Chevy Camaro as a hardtop or convertible.
Chevrolet came out with their Camaro in September of 1966. The first generation Camaros ran from the 1967 models through the 1969 model years. This was Chevy’s first offering to compete directly against the Ford Mustang. While it took Chevrolet a few years to come out with a competitor to the Ford Mustang, when they did introduce the new Camaro model it was impressive. The Camaro styling caught on fast. The two car's were targeting the exact same market. As an added promotional boost for the new Chevy model, the 1967 Chevy Camaro was the Pace Car at the Indy 500 that year.
1968 was also the year that more automakers entered the "Pony Car" market. This included the American Motors Javelin and the Plymouth Barracuda. When American Motors came out with their 1968 Javelin, it was an automobile different from anything the company had built to date. Both of the above mentioned new muscle cars for 1968 were added to the current Dodge Challenger and Pontiac GTO muscle cars.
The 1968 Camaro SS
The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro looked little different from the 1967 model. The base Camaro was known to be the car that emphasized looks over performance and you could buy it with a six cylinder engine. One change for 1968 was the ventless side door windows. Another were the rectangular headlights which replaced the square ones from 1967. The 1968 Camaro was best known for it's muscle car performance. The car held it's own with it's fastest competitors during the 1960's.
The engines choices for the 1968 Camaro were either a 396 Cubic Inch V-8 delivering 325 horsepower or a 256 Cubic Inch Inline Six Cylinder delivering 155 horsepower. The V-8 Camaros were the more popular offering with some 184,000 vehicles produced versus about 51,000 six cylinder models. The next year in 1969 Chevrolet were add a 427 Cubic Inch V-8 delivering 425 horsepower as an option. The 396 Cubic Inch model had a claimed top speed of 135 MPH and Zero to 60 in 6.1 seconds.
Noteworthy 1968 Chevy Camaro Models
Two prime models of the 1968 Camaro were offered, an SS model and a RS model. The SS had stronger suspension and a small block V-8 along with simulated air intakes on the hood. Our photo shows the cowl air induction on top and in the center of the hood. The Camaro RS models had some cosmetic difference and hidden headlights along with a blacked out grille.
Another noteworthy 1968 Camaro was the Z/28. This was made available again to the public as a full-pledged racer with no A/C or an automatic transmission. The Camaro Z/28 won great popularity by winning ten out of thirteen races during it's first year of competition. The Z/28 engine suspension, and transmission were all built up. The 1969 Camaro Z/28 was The car in all Motorsport arenas winning the SCCA Trans Am series and NHRA Super Stock World Championship title.
The Camaro Super Sport was a fast car with superb performance but not quite to the degree of the Z/28. Nevertheless, because of the much lower price on the Super Sport model the SS model was sold about four to one over the higher priced Camaro Z/28.
A larger engine would be introduced in the Camaro for 1969 as mentioned above, the 427 Cubic Inch V-8 delivering 425 horsepower. In addition to the minor changes from 1967 to 1968, the square headlights from the 1967 Camaro were replaced with rectangular ones.
Camaros were built in the Norwood Ohio and Los Angeles California assembly plants. Your VIN tag, then called a serial number, will show an "N" or "L" depending on the plant. A Norwood Ohio assembled car will start off with a serial number (VIN) of 18N. The 1= Chevrolet and the 8= 1968. The digits on the serial number that follow, which can be up to six, represent the Fisher body number.
1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS Specs
As mentioned above, the two engines available in the 1968 Chevy Camaro were a 396 Cubic Inch V-8 delivering 325 horsepower and a 256 Cubic Inch Inline Six Cylinder delivering 155 horsepower.
Transmission options included a three or four speed manual or a Hydra-Matic automatic.
Dimensions for the 68 Camaro SS were a wheelbase of 108.0 inches, an overall length of 184.7 inches, a width of 72.5 inches and a weight of about 3,350 lbs.
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One good book for those wishing to restore a first generation Chevy Camaro is Camaro Restoration Guide, 1967-1969 authored by Jason Scott.
The Chevy Camaro Collector Car
All of the first generation late 1960's Camaros are popular collector cars. Depending on the model you'll find asking prices for first generation fully restored Chevrolet Camaros in the range of $30,000 top $40,000 and higher. There are quite a bit of Camaro modified hot rods on the market. The degree of restoration and the degree of originality will drive current prices.
Finding a non restored first generation Camaro might not be easy but you'll likely pay from a few thousand dollars to perhaps $12,000 for a good project car.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)