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The 1968 C3 Corvette is every Corvette collector’s dream machine. It is the first year of the third-generation body style.
The 1968 Corvette was sculpted to resemble the Mako Shark II show car of 1965. The 1968 Corvette Stingray design was refreshed and generation 3 was born. The C3 was longer, wider, and lower than the C2 that preceded it. In fact, the ’68 Corvette had gained weight over the previous generation with a Curb weight on the Coupe of 3210 and the Convertible was 3220.
The body was completely redesigned on what is basically a carry-over chassis. The coupe lost its fastback window and gained a removable back window and removable t-tops, giving it an almost convertible feel, although full convertibles were still available. The battery was moved to a compartment behind the seats. Nineteen-sixty-eight was the last appearance of the ignition switch on the dash until 1997. Also, unique that that year was the door opening mechanism. It has a spring-loaded finger plate with a separate release button.
If you ordered the 1968 Vette you could get a factory-installed anti-theft alarm system as an option, only 388 cars were so equipped. Air conditioning was also an option and cost $412.90 with 5,664 ordering that.
This was the first year an AM/FM stereo radio was available as an option. The “Sting Ray” badge did not appear anywhere on the ’68 Vette, but it did return in ’69 as “Stingray.”
The Corvette’s instrument panel also went through a complete redesign to be as up-to-date as the exterior. For collectors of third-generation Corvettes, the 1968 model is highly valued and is recognizable by its chrome front and rear bumpers. Many were decked out with a rear luggage rack.
The Corvette C3 Stingray sales had a total of 28,630 Corvettes! The sales for the new “Shark” were a new all-time record and set the stage for the fifteen-year run of the third-generation Corvette. The 68 was built in two different body styles – coupe and convertible.
This third-generation model lasted from 1968 through 1982 and is referred to as the Shark model. This third-generation Corvette started a 15-year run.
What did the C3 1968 Base Corvette cost?
Base Corvette Coupe with 327 cu. in. 300 hp engine and three speed manual transmission: $4,663.00.
Base Corvette Convertible with 327 cu. in. 300 hp engine and three speed manual transmission: $4,320.00.
C3 1968 Corvette VINs
Serial No. 194678S400001 – 194678S428566
How many Corvette coupes and convertibles were produced in 1968?
The 68 Vette had a Total Production of 28,566. There were 9,936 Coupes and 18,630 Convertibles.
What were the Colors for 1968 Corvettes?
1968 Chevrolet Corvettes came in ten exterior colors and were available in either vinyl or leather for the interior. The following is a list of both Quantity and Options Codes.
CODE – EXTERIOR – QUANTITY
#900 Tuxedo Black 708
#972 Polar White 1,868
#974 Rally Red 2,918
#976 LeMans Blue 4,722
#978 International Blue 2,473
#983 British Green 4,779
#984 Safari Yellow 3,133
#986 Silverstone Silver 3,435
#988 Cordovan Maroon 1,155
#992 Corvette Bronze 3,374
CODE – COLOR – INTERIOR
Standard – Black Vinyl
#402 Black Leather
#407 Red Vinyl
#408 Red Leather
#411 Dark Blue Vinyl
#414 Medium Blue Vinyl
#415 Medium Blue Leather
#425 Dark Orange Vinyl
#426 Dark Orange Leather
#435 Tobacco Vinyl
#436 Tobacco Leather
#442 Gunmetal Vinyl
The base Corvette 1968 Vette included a 327 ci, 300 hp engine. Here are the other engine options available with their quality and price:
RPO# L36 – 427ci, 390hp Engine – 7,717 sold – $200.15
RPO# L68 – 427ci, 400hp Engine – 1,932 sold – $305.50
RPO# L71 – 427ci, 435hp Engine – 2,898 sold – $437.10
RPO# L79 – 327ci, 350hp Engine – 9,440 sold – $105.35
RPO# L88 – 427ci, 430hp Engine – 80 sold – $947.90
RPO# L89 – Aluminum Cylinder Heads with L71 – 624 sold – $805.75
We will take a look at three of these 1968 Corvette engine options in more details.
Corvette’s 1968 L71 427/435 HP Mark IV big-block V-8 – a milestone in Corvette engine development
In 1968, the most powerful production engine on the Corvette Stingray sports car was the L71 427/435 HP Mark IV big-block V-8 with tri-power carburetion. Thanks to Zora Arkus-Duntov’s insistence on continuously upgrading the Corvette’s performance, this was a watershed achievement.
Already by 1968, the big-block Corvette had gained fame as a capable sports car, especially on the track. The one recipe for it is as follows: Hot Rod components and a chassis with an unsurpassed ability to withstand anything.
The heavy cast-iron block uses a 4-bolt main bearing caps anchoring a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods. With forged aluminum pistons, 11.0:1 compression, oversized valves in cavernous rectangular-port heads, and one of the wildest solid-lifter cams of any Chevrolet engine. This engine offered big breathing potential, and it was optimized by the engine’s three Holley 2-barrelled carburetors positioned in line, which were installed on a Winters aluminum intake manifold.
By sucking in air from the central carburetor, the L71 offers excellent low-end tractability. However, once the progressive linkage is opened, the engine offers unrivaled power – making this option for someone seeking linear power delivery.
This was the ultimate level of production of Corvette power, which would not be surpassed for thirty years.
L71 Mark IV big-block V-8 engine fitted with L89 aluminum cylinder heads
Created originally for racing, the L89 heads were first seen in the L88 prototypes manufactured by Chevrolet Engineering in 1966. There were only 624 1968 Corvettes equipped with the deceptively powerful L71 Mark IV big-block V-8 engine fitted with L89 aluminum cylinder heads.
The L71 was introduced the previous year (see details above). The factory rating of 435 HP at 5,800 RPM was predictably misleading, as the L71 would rev to 6,500 RPM with a commensurate boost in horsepower well beyond the 435 figure. Adding the L89 optional aluminum heads shaved weight and further boosted output with specially designed combustion chambers.
Chevrolet designed the intake and exhaust system of the L71 Corvette as two improvements to the car: they lowered the front-end weight by 75 pounds and they increased the size of the ports and valves as well as the power and size of the combustion chambers. The result was an even more powerful street performance that enticed enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Regular Production Option L88
The Regular Production Option L88 was designed for both dominating production and FIA GT class racers.
This particular engine had an especially heavy cast iron block with 4-bolt main bearing caps, plus a steel crank specially forged from 5160 steel alloy, cross-drilled to make sure it has proper lubrication and Tuftrided for extreme durability. Steel rods, able to withstand even the most powerful force and heavy loads, are fitted with domed 12.5:1 forged aluminum pistons. The lightweight aluminum heads have large 2.19-inch intake valves and 1.84-inch exhaust valves. The L88 engine in a Chevrolet featured the most radical camshaft time of any of the company’s productions.
An L88 engine is designed by Corvette engineer Denny Davis and contains a solid-lifter cam with high duration, producing 337 degrees intake and 340 degrees exhaust with a lift of .5365 intake and .5560 exhaust. Thick pushrods were employed, along with strong rocker arms, spring retainers, and lockers. Utilizing an 850 cfm Holley 4-barrel carburetor with vacuum secondaries, attached to an open-plenum aluminum intake manifold, this was sealed to a cowl induction hood drawing cool, high-pressure air from the base of the windshield.
1968 Corvette Shark Transmissions
For the buyer who wanted an automatic transmission, Chevy now offered the optional 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 instead of the 2-speed Powerglide. The base 1968 Corvette received the 3-speed manual transmission. Other options were:
During the 60s and 70s customizing your Corvettes was very popular. Many builders were making body kits for the Corvette. We are looking back at the various custom modifications on the C3 Corvettes that could be installed by an owner, contracted to a shop, or purchased as turn-key vehicles. Learn more about the Custom C3 Corvettes during this era.
Discover the Iconic 1968 Corvette Specifications - All the Details You Need to Know! Article updated: 12/17/2022 As we look at the 1968 Corvette Specifications, we start with the total production numbers. This was the first year of the third-generation body style. The 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C3 saw a total production of 28,566. There were 9,936 Coupes and 18,630 Convertibles. In the post, we will look at the options available as well as the interior and exterior color choices. The '68 Corvette's streamlined body design was inspired by the '65 Mako Shark II concept car. With its long hood, flared fenders, flushing door handles, and sleek rear end - they took the best of this idea to make it into reality. The new sports car is an American dream car.…
The best of all worlds. Join the C3 Vette Registry at the world's largest Corvette car show. Corvettes at Carlisle is held every August in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and has been running since 1982. Corvettes at Carlisle is the largest Corvette show in the world. - Photo Courtesy C3 Vette Registry Our topic today is C3 Vette Registry at Corvettes at Carlisle. Corvettes at Carlisle is held every August in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and has been running since 1982. It has evolved into the largest All Corvette show in the country. Corvettes at Carlisle is celebrating its 40th year, and the C3 Vette Registry will be on hand to celebrate along with many other Corvette clubs on August 25 - 27, 2022. Today we're going to discuss the C3VR and its role…
Take a trip down memory lane as we look at the third part of the original series in Vette Vues Magazine covering Corvette body kits and dress up parts. We are looking back at the various custom modifications on the C3 Corvettes that could be installed by an owner, contracted to a shop, or purchased as turn-key vehicles. Enjoy the journey! C3 - THE HISTORY OF CORVETTE BODY KITS & DRESS-UP PARTS By Wayne Ellwood Photo Credits: Facebook, General Motors, Jeff Page-Heartland, Eckler, Ben Labaree, Tony Mezzacca Motorsport, Chris Farkash, Wayne Ellwood This is the third re-post of the original series in Vette Vues Magazine. We are looking back at the various custom modifications that could be installed by an owner, contracted to a shop, or purchased as turn-key vehicles.…
C3 Corvette C3 Corvette Overview: The C3 generation from 1968 through 1982. The C3 Corvette, the third generation of the iconic American sports car, arrived in showrooms in 1968. Over its 15-year lifecycle, this car was a reflection of the changing times, mirroring the ups and downs of the American economic landscape. Prior to its release, excitement for a new Corvette model was at an all-time high. The previous generation of Corvettes, the C2 Stingray, was beloved for its stylish appearance and incredible performance. The new 'Vette needed to live up to its predecessor's legacy and sate the increasing appetite for American muscle cars. Read on to learn all about C3 history. In This Article Initial DesignThe DebutChanges AheadAn Anniversary RefreshShifting FocusSweeping ChangeReturn to FormEnd of the Line Initial Design…
Tom Sugar calls his Corvette SURVYVR. It is a 1968 Bloomington Gold Benchmark Certified Vette painted Rally Red, with a 327/350 4 Speed, Black Leather Coupe. From his first ride in the Hertz Corvette strollers at the '64 World's Fair, straight through to the final speech for his high school public speaking class entitled, "This is a Corvette," the iconic American sports car held a special place in his heart. 1964 World's Fair Corvette Strollers 1964 World's Fair Nowadays, it didn't hurt that two of his pals at work (he's been an elementary music teacher and administrator for almost 30 years), the head custodian and the IT computer guy, both had 1970 sharks to cruise to the beach for the weekend meets. So, to begin the search for a suitable…
In Vette Vues' blog post we are looking at some stock 1968 Corvettes and their history. Each one has a unique story told by its 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 out of the total production of 28,566. The option was an additional $805. The base 1968 Corvette…
1968 Corvette Brochure 1968 Corvette Brochure 1968 Corvette Brochure 1968 Corvette Brochure 1968 Corvette Brochure 1968 Corvette Brochure 1968 Corvette Brochure 1968 Corvette Brochure 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. Some more History on the 1968 C3 Corvette Called the Shark! In the Vette Vues blog post we are looking at 1968 Corvettes and their history. Each one has a unique story told by its owners. The cars we are looking at are from the…
In Vette Vues Magazine each month we cover vintage Corvette advertisements in our Rear Vues column. Here are some vintage 1968 Corvette ads. 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads 1968 Corvette Ads Are you interested in more 1968 Corvette Information? You might enjoy reading about some 1968 Corvettes that were on display at the 2019 Bloomington Gold Special Collection. 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…
Owens Corning Fiberglass 1968 L-88 Corvette #12 on Display in Chip’s Choice at the 2007 Corvettes at Carlisle This 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. Photos were taken at the 2007 Corvettes at Carlisle Chips Choice by William Wolf, Editor/Publisher of Vette Vues Magazine and appeared in the January 2008 issue of Vette Vues. Owens Corning Fiberglass 1968 L-88 Corvette #12…
Here is a fine example of a 1968 Corvette. It is the James Garner's American International Racing Team 1968 AIR L88 Corvette and was owned by Bob Radke. Vette Vues Magazine took the photo at the 2009 NCRS National Convention in San Jose. It is restored and received the American Heritage Award. This appeared in the October 2009 issue of Vette Vues Magazine. Here is a great historical photo of the James Garner Corvettes in Dick Goldstrand's shop. You see the James Garner's Corvette in the Guldstrand R&D shop in preparation for the 1968 Daytona 24 hour race. In 2015 one of the 1968 L88 James Garner Corvettes went across the Barrett-Jackson auction block but it Did Not Meet Reserve. Here is what their website had to say: Lot #5048…