1968 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, Imapla, and Caprice

The 1968 Chevrolet Caprice sold well, spurred by the model's claims of luxury.
The 1968 Chevrolet Caprice sold well, spurred by the model's claims of luxury.

The 1968 Chevrolet Caprice had a "classic" new roofline, declared this year's sales brochure. "Nothing on the road is more distinctively stylish." Once again, Caprices held such luxuries as courtesy and ashtray lights, an electric clock, and a front center armrest -- plus fancier seats and door panels. Caprice carpeting even ran up the side of kick panels and door bottoms.

Promoted as "The Grand Chevrolet," Caprices were heavily advertised and would eventually replace the Impala as an icon in the American psyche. "It can make you feel richer," the brochure continued. "At a Chevrolet price."

New windows lacked ventipanes but promised greater visibility. Astro Ventilation was supposed to pull in outside air without having to crack open a window. Most Chevrolets got hidden wipers. Retractable headlights cost $79, but few were sold, despite the clean front-end look they helped create. The formal Custom Coupe, previously a Caprice exclusive, became available as an Impala.

Standard front ends had a new face, while rear bumpers held triple "horseshoe" shaped taillights. Plush new interiors also helped attract buyers. Biscayne again served as the lowest-priced full-size model -- and looked the part. Bel Airs continued to lure middle-of-the-roaders, but Impala overwhelmed the sales charts, as it had for years.

The 1968 Chevrolet Impala had redesigned front and rear bumpers.
The 1968 Chevrolet Impala had redesigned front and rear bumpers.

The posh Caprice was coming on strong, though, with 115,500 produced this season. Just as Caprice sales escalated, those of the Impala Super Sport suffered a decline. No longer a separate series, the Super Sport was a mere $179 option package for the two Impala coupes and the convertible. Only 38,210 Impalas were so-equipped, including 1,778 with the 427-cubic-inch V-8 engine (dubbed SS 427).

Full-sized cars could have a modest 250-cubic-inch six, a 307-cubic-inch V-8, either of a pair of 327s, or a 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V-8. Topping the list was the big 427, rated at 385 or 425 horsepower -- plenty of vigor, even in a heavy Chevy. Decisions, decisions.

1968 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, Impala, and Caprice Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Biscayne3,400-3,900
$2,581-$3,062
82,100 (approx.)
Bel Air
3,405-3,955
$2,681-$3,238
152,200 (approx.)
Impala
3,250-3,940
$2,846-$3,358
710,900 (approx.)
Caprice
3,660-4,005
$3,219-$3,570
115,500 (approx.)