1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396, front view
The 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle series included the
top-of-the-line SS 396, which came equipped
with a 396 cubic-inch V-8 engine.

The 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu models got an all-new body for a distinctly sculpted appearance.

Sleek and low, with tapered front fenders and a rounded beltline, the midsize 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu adopted a long-hood/short-deck profile with a high rear-quarter "kick-up."

While all 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu models rode a 115-inch wheelbase (distance between front and rear axles), the 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu coupes and convertibles now rode a sporty 112-inch wheelbase. The 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu sedans and wagons turned to a 116-inch span. Tread width grew an inch front and rear.

Hardtop coupes flaunted a semi-fastback, flowing roofline, a trend in midsize coupes of the late 1960s.

Top-trim models (including the SS 396 and new luxury Concours) featured GM's new Hide-A-Way wiper system, in which the windshield wiper blades were concealed beneath a panel except when in use. Lesser Chevelles would get that change later.

Competition was growing in the muscle-car field, so Chevrolet made its Super Sport (SS 396 coupe and convertible) a series on its own, largely devoid of trim except for moldings along the rocker panels. SS 396 insignias stood at the center of the grille and below the decklid molding.

Chevrolet issued 60,499 SS 396 hardtops but only 2,286 convertibles. Black-accented Super Sports rode F70x14 red-stripe tires and carried a standard 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch Turbo-Jet V-8 engine below the special twin-domed hood. For even greater zest, a 350-horsepower 396 could be substituted.

An SS 396, the sales brochure exclaimed, "makes you wish for tougher twists and turns to challenge its any-kind-of-road hugging stability." The SS 396 Sport Coupe started at $2,899 -- or $236 more than a comparable Malibu with its 307-cubic-inch V-8. All-vinyl bucket seats and a console were optional.

The new Concours Sport Sedan focused on luxury, with "splendid interior appointments," special sound insulation, and a deep-padded instrument panel with simulated woodgrain. Regular Chevelle engines started with a 140-horsepower Turbo-Thrift six or the new 200-horsepower Turbo-Fire 307 V-8, but stretched to a 325-horsepower rendition of the 327-cubic-inch V-8.

As the mid-size monsters called muscle cars gained in popularity as the Sixties wore on, Chevelle made a point not to be left out of the high-horsepower fun. Top dog in the Chevelle line was the SS 396, a handsome, well-proportioned car that cut loose with a 396-cubic-inch V-8 good for a blistering 375 horsepower.

The Concours Sport Sedan had an all-vinyl interior, a simulated woodgrain dash, and color-keyed interiors. Malibu gained a new Sport Sedan body style this year. The Concours Estate Wagon was one of four distinct Chevelle wagon models.

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
3003,020-3,545$2,341-$2,841 55,800 (approx.)
Malibu3,070-3,575$2,524-$2,951266,300 (approx.)
Concours3,450-3,580$2,978-$3,083NA
SS 396
3,550-3,570 $2,899-$3,10262,785

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