In Vette Vues blog post we are looking at some stock 1968 Corvettes and their history. Each one has a unique story told by their owners. The cars we are looking at are from the 2019 Bloomington Gold Special Collection. (Photo Credits: Bob Cook)
If you are interested in attending the Bloomington Gold events or other Corvette Events, check out our Corvette Event Calendar.
You can read Vette Vues Magazine‘s 3-part coverage of the Bloomington Gold Special Collection in the November, December 2019 and January 2020 issues.
Our first 1968 Corvette is an L89 Convertible # 03554. Engine option L89 has Aluminum Cylinder Heads with L71 Engine. There were 624 with this engine of the total production of 28,566. The option was an additional $805. The base 1968 Corvette convertible retailed at $4,420.
The Bloomington Gold event was its first time for this 1968 L89 Corvette Convertible to be shown. James Carrell, from Naples, Florida has this to tell about his car:
“With all the excitement about the Mako Shark 2 prototype, I followed as much as possible and ordered the car on August 15, 1967, and received it on November 15, 1967. My wife and I drove the car and sold it in August 1971. The car had 62,000 miles at the time. By 1980 I lamented the fact that I no longer had my Dream Car. I started looking for the car everywhere I could.”
“With the advent of the Internet, I was able to expand the search. In March of 2014, someone suggested CARFAX, but CARFAX does not go back to 1968. I asked my son, who is IT at Boeing on the 787 Dreamliner to help me look and within 2 minutes he found the car at a Corvette car lot in Bedford, PA — we lived in Bedford, OH when we bought the car. Fortunately, I had saved the window sticker, which had the VIN. There were three owners in between my buying the car back. Yes, it is my original car. The restoration is finally complete!”
Gene & Susan Manno 1968 Corvette
Our next 1968 Corvette has the L79 engine. It too is a convertible and is # 04235. Gene & Susan Manno are from Ontario, NY. Their Corvette has several awards including Gold Certified and NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence.
The L79 engine is a 327ci, 350hp. There were 9,440 sold that year for an additional $105.
“I bought the car in November 1972 from a co-worker. I am the 3rd owner and didn’t appreciate knowing original history or documentation. I acquired boxes of parts taken off the car that included the original smog pump and additional engine components. The car came with dealer installed side pipes which I replaced with 2 ½” stainless exhausts.”
“In 1974, I picked up my wife and newborn daughter from the hospital in the Corvette. Car seats were not required at that time. Then in 2001, for her wedding, I drove her in the ’68. Its next home is going to be Deana’s house when she builds a proper garage. The car received Bloomington Gold in June 1987. It was the first ’68 to receive an NCRS Duntov in July 1988 at Lancaster, PA. MF Dobbins highlighted the perfect score for the engine compartment at Bloomington in Vette Vues Fact Book. Power Graphics did a poster when it still had side pipes and incorrect tires in 1985. I did all the restoration except paint. The lacquer paint was completed in 1983.”
This was the first Corvette I bought at the age of 21, and it will always be a family treasure.
Mark Davis 1968 Corvette
Mark Davis 1968 Corvette has the L71 427ci, 435hp Engine. Mark is from Landrum, SC. He has the Benchmark, and NCRS Bowtie Preservation Award and now the honor of being in the Bloomington Gold Special Collection.
This 1968 Corvette 427/435 convertible was built by Chevrolet in St. Louis, MO on Monday, November 13, 1967. It was then delivered to Alan Green Chevrolet in Seattle, WA where it sold on Saturday, November 25, 1967. It has both tops in the rare red/red color combination. Practically everything on the car is original other than the tires and battery.
Being one of the first all-new third-generation Stingrays to hit the northwest, it was driven only on good weather days and pampered by the original owner. He also saved and preserved all the original paperwork. It has 27,450 original documented miles.
Chuck Bart’s 1968 L79 Coupe
Chuck Bart came from Brecksville, Ohio with his 1968 L79 Corvette. He also has the NCRS Top Flight Award where the Corvette scored 98.8.
This Corvette was built with eleven factory options: 327 CID 350 HP L79, close-ratio M21 transmission, 3:70 rear axle, transistor ignition, AM-FM radio, power windows, power brakes, power steering, off-road exhaust, speed warning indicator, and leather interior.
With only three prior owners and 9,960 original miles, the Corvette was originally purchased by GM executive L.H. Klaasen from Grosse Pointe, MI, and received a February 1968 courtesy delivery through Ed Rinke Chevrolet in Centerline, MI. The tank sticker order copy shows Mr. Klaasen’s name and notes GM Employee – Class A Discount. Klassen requested Firestone tires and is so noted below his name on the order copy. He kept the car a short time, selling it to his neighbor Mr. Sytsma in late 1968. Sytsma used the car sparingly, and in 1973 decided to do a brake job in his home garage. He put the car up on jack stands and time flew by! Forty-five years later, in August of 2018, the car was removed from those jack stands! Sytsma would periodically start the car and fortunately retained most of the original paperwork!
Greg Horton’s 1968 from Warrenton, MO
Our last 1968 we are going to look at on the Vette Vues blog today belongs to Greg Horton from Warrenton, MO. His ’68 has the L89 engine and is #11974.
Originally ordered by Joseph Jaskula of Oswego, NY as an L88, it was changed to an L89 due to concerns about fuel costs according to Joseph’s surviving brother. It was delivered on February 23, 1968, at Palmer’s Granite Garage in Fulton, NY. Jaskula sold the car to the second owner in 1970. It went to Florida in 1971 and changed owners in early 1983, late 1983, 1984, to New Jersey in 1994, 2000, when I acquired the car in 2015.
A cosmetic restoration was done in 1983-1984 by Jim Buck. In 1984, owner Jack Howell researched the history securing affidavits from the previous owners and original documentation from Jaskula. Howell competed in multiple Mid-Atlantic Corvette Council events. In 1994, Brian Miller purchased the car, installed correct hoses, belts, plug wires, etc., preparing for NCRS judging. In 2000, Frank Elaqua acquired the L89 for his private collection. CCAS affirmed the cylinder block and trim tag after I purchased the car. In 2016, I commissioned Tim Thorpe for the restoration, and it has since achieved Bloomington Gold Certification, Regional, and National NCRS Top Flight.
Aside from its leather interior, it is a base optioned car with radio delete.
All of these cars were featured in the January 2020 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Are you interested in more 1968 Corvette Information?
1968 Chevrolet Corvette (C3) saw a total production of 28,566. There were 9,936 Coupes and 18,630 Convertibles. We look at the options available as well as the interior and exterior color choices in our 1968 Corvette Specifications post.
You might also enjoy looking back at the 1968 Corvette advertisements.
You might also enjoy the 1968 Corvette Brochure.
This 1968 Owens Corning Fiberglass Corvette #12 is one of the Winningest Corvettes that ever raced. It is the 2nd of 3 campaigned by the Owens Corning Fiberglass Race Team which was comprised of Tony Delorenzo and Jerry Thompson. The race car is restored to FIA Trim and was restored to original specifications by Kevin Mackay at Corvette Repair, with the assistance of Tony Delorenzo and Jerry Thompson, who were the primary drivers for the Owens/Corning team.
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