1968 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Convertible
Original cost: $2,885.00 (base price) (In 1968: Average car cost, $2,822.00; average household income, $7,850.00; average home cost $14,950.00; gallon of gas, 34 cents)
Donated by: Danny and Sandra Grim, Kearney, NE
Number made: 10,600 (including SS-396 model)
Engine: 350 hp, 327 cu. in. V-8; automatic; 116 in. wheelbase; 3,245 lbs.
The Chevelle was introduced in 1964 and produced until 1977. It was introduced as a mid-sized vehicle for Chevy and was basically a smaller version of the Impala.
When the Chevelle was introduced, the “muscle car wars” were beginning – small vehicles with low weight, few amenities, but large amounts of horsepower from massive engines. In 1963, the Chevelle’s 327 cu. in. V-8 produced 300 horsepower but was no match for the 389 cu. in. V-8 the Pontiac GTO had.
Chevrolet answered the challenge with larger more powerful engines. By 1966 the 396 engine became standard, with between 325 and 375 horsepower depending on the configuration. Suspensions were made stiffer to counter handling problems.
The Chevelle was restyled for 1968 and gained an additional body style, a station wagon. The design had a long hood and short deck with swept back front fenders. Horizontal dual headlamps mounted in individual square metal bezels were on the front and the full-width grille featured cross-hatched moldings.
The Malibu was the top-of-the-line non-high performance car in the Chevelle lineup. It had unique taillamps with back-up lights repositioned into the back bumper. The front fender sides had Malibu script and chrome trim.
Interiors featured a deluxe steering wheel, hide-away two-speed wipers, illuminated heater controls, ignition alarm system, side marker lights, and high level ventilation. Also featured were all-vinyl seats, lockable glovebox with light, extra thick foam-cushioned seats, and wall-to-wall carpeting. The outside was enhanced with chrome wheel moldings, black-accented wheel openings, and lower body accents.
Federal safety mandated equipment included the side marker lights on each fender and shoulder belts for front seat occupants.
In 1978 GM downsized its intermediate models and the Chevelle name was dropped with all models taking on the Malibu name.
See also: http://oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Chevrolet/1968_Chevrolet/1968%20Chevrolet%20Chevelle%20Brochure(Rev)/index1.html (Original dealer brochure)