The 1968 Chevelle got 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 sporty 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. Top-trim models (including the SS 396 and new luxury Concours) featured GM’s new Hide-A-Way wiper system. Lesser Chevelles would get that change later.
The Super Sport (SS396 sport coupe, convertible, and El Camino pickup) became series on its own. Chevrolet produced 60,499 SS 396 sport coupes, 2,286 convertibles, and 5,190 El Caminos; 1968 was the only year the El Camino body style would get its own SS396 series designation (13880).
Black-accented Super Sports rode F70x14 red-stripe tires and carried a standard 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch Turbo-Jet V8 engine below the special twin-domed hood; 350 and 375-horsepower 396 engines could be substituted at additional cost. The SS 396 sport coupe started at $2,899 – or $236 more than a comparable Malibu with its 307-cubic-inch V8.
All-vinyl bucket seats and a console were optional. Three luxury Concours options became available in March 1968 for the 4-door sedan, the 4-door sport sedan and consisted of special sound insulation, and a deep-padded instrument panel with simulated woodgrain accents and all-vinyl color-keyed interiors. These Concours options (ZK5, ZK6, and ZK7) should not be confused with the two Concours station wagons. Also new for 1968 was the elimination of the term “sedan” for the 2-door pillar body style. This was now called a coupe (or pillar coupe) while the 2-door hardtop remained a sport coupe.
These coupe/sport coupe designations would continue into 1969 as well. The Concours Estate Wagon was one of four distinct Chevelle wagon models. A one year Nomad, Nomad Custom was offered. Regular Chevelle engines started with a 140 horsepower (100 kW) Turbo-Thrift six or the new 200 horsepower (150 kW) Turbo-Fire 307 V8, but stretched to a 325 horsepower (242 kW) version of the 327-cubic-inch V8. Manual transmission cars got GM’s “Air Injection Reactor (A.I.R)” smog pump, which added complexity under the hood. New Federal safety-mandated equipment included side marker lights, as well as shoulder belts for outboard front seat occupants on cars built after December 1, 1967.
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