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The mystery of this oddly optioned 1968 Camaro


#1

Everything that’s wrong with Norm Graves’ 1968 Camaro is what makes it so collectible today. The combination of options and paint color are a puzzle that will never be solved. And then there’s the VIN number. Norm’s Camaro is the 102rd 1968 Camaro built, which means it was built on the first day of 1968 Camaro production at the Van Nuys GM plant in September 1967. That may be a clue to solving the puzzle that his Palomino Ivory Camaro poses.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/07/06/the-mystery-of-this-oddly-optioned-1968-camaro

#2

What is the deal with the gas cap? I don’t remember seeing one like that before.


#3

Not sure on the gas cap, but the rear panel blackout was an addition to an SS when the 396 came along; early on the SS cars had “SS 350” gas caps, later changed to SS with either the 350 or the 396 engines. I don’t recall the blackout tail being offered on non-SS 396 cars, and the factory brochure seems to back that up. My brother owned an early SS 350 car, and I think the grille had an SS 350 emblem as well. I’m not the world’s foremost authority on Gen 1 Camaros, so if I’m wrong, kindly correct me with documentation.


#4

The “bowtie” locking gas cap was a dealer installed option and could be purchased through Chevy parts counters for owners to install themselves.

To clarify, this Camaro is NOT an SS although it has the appearance of one with the optional front accent paint band.

One oddity not addressed in the article is the incorrectly placed front fender Camaro emblems. Why would they have been moved from their original location? Looks really bad being way off like that. At least the owner(s) have resisted the temptation to install spoilers!


#5

Don’t understand why people think manufacturers just build a car without an order for it.
Every car on a dealers lot was built exactly like the dealer ordered. Back then there were hundreds of thousand different configurations possible. The dealer knows what his area prefers based upon his sales history. Even today the initial stock order of the new model year is done by the dealers management. Any “special edition” is usually defined by marketing people at GM, but, the vehicles still have to be ordered by the dealer before being built.

There are two reasons for “rare” options in a car. One is an advertised “Limited number” available, the other is simply an “undesirable” option. A bench seat in a Camaro or Mustang was one of those undesirable options. Expecting a premium for something that likely made that car very difficult to unload when new is foolish to me.


#6

What a great story. Oddity or not, Norm’s mom drove a Camaro…which is cool. My mom drove a Chrysler station wagon.


#7

My Mom drove a Camaro, '67 RS, Butternut yellow, black vinyl top, bumble stripe and pin striping.
2bbl, w/ Auto,PS, PB and a pretty rare yellow custom interior. I bought that car from her and drove it through college, kept it for a number of years until i bought a '67 Corvette coupe. Wish i had that car back (same with the Corvette…).

That car never once left me stranded (or her for that matter) in 15 years of driving it. I still think it is one of the best styling cars that GM ever put out.


#8

A friend that I regularly see owns this 1967 Camaro. Has only one option on the option sheet: AM radio. The “undesirable” options (really just base equipment) includes a 250 ci, 155 hp L6 engine, 3 speed on the tree & bench seat. The car was restored well and gathers as much attention as any other Camaro in the parking lot. At a recent show, a spectator stopped to see it. He claimed to own 80+ cars (most are Corvettes), but still wanted to buy that six cylinder Camaro to add to his high performance collection. But my friend doesn’t want to sell. He’s having too much fun chatting with folks at the shows and cruise-ins.


#9

A lot of us apparently had cool moms. My mother bought her '68 Camaro off the showroom floor at Roger Dean Chevrolet in W. Palm Beach FL. It was minimalist; Ermine White with Gold interior, L26 six cylinder (140HP) with the M35 2-sp automatic, and dog-dish hubcaps. The only other options were the AM radio and heater. She drove the car into the 80’s, by which time the Florida humidity and rain had taken its toll on the floors, window surrounds, and other areas known to rot on these cars. It was a cool car that I always dreamed of dropping a V8 and 4-spd into, once I got old enough.


#10

My good friend’s mother purchased a stunningly beautiful Z28 convertible in 1968. It was blue with a white top and white interior…just eye dropping gorgeous. She was a pretty good looker herself.

A few years later, I was lucky enough to find a wonderful '68 Camaro with the rare RS/SS option, big block 396ci, 4spd, tick tock tac, console with all the gauges and Chevrolet Rally wheels. It was a deep metallic green with the white bow stripe and then tapered down along the sides. I was in my glory, it was all I ever wanted in a car and more. image.

Sadly in 1973, we experience an oil embargo, fuel prices rose dramatically, along with fuel shortages. I was serving in the USMC and earning very little, I panicked and sold the Camaro for a song. I was young and overreacted, this was one of my biggest regrets ever, it’s been 45 years and my heart is still breaking.


#11

I like the car but none of these options are crazy rare. You see bench seat 67 and 68 Camaro’s a lot and the nose stripe could be ordered on any car. Cool car but lets no get carried away with the R word that is used in epidemic proportions these days.


#12

I have a 68 for sell that might help with that broken heart.


#13

Hi DJ,

Your ’68 looks terrific, I see it comes equipped with the 327ci. Which is fine. I don’t need to be tempted, but I may as well ask for all the details, history, work done, etc.

Thanks


#14

Hi Motorrader,

It’s basically all original 327/powerglide with factory air. It was semi-restore in the mid 90’s by a friend of mines dad. My friend put it in storage in 1999 and after 17 years of bothering him about it I finally got it in 2016. Since then, I’ve basically gone through the complete drive train. The only reason I’m selling it is because I’m needing another back surgery and I have terrible insurance. I would let it go for a loss at 23K.

Thanks


#15

My neighbor has one of these with the 6 cylinder/glide. It has a 327 badge on one fender and 250 badge on the other. He said it came that way so he’s leaving it.


#16

DJ,

The car looks terrific, your offer is very reasonable. Let me kick it around some more, I was really hoping to find the RS/SS package that I had back then, but I will give your offer some serious consideration. Oh,….what is your general location, i.e. town, state.

Thanks

djweller
July 13

Hi Motorrader,

It’s basically all original 327/powerglide with factory air. It was semi-restore in the mid 90’s by a friend of mines dad. My friend put it in storage in 1999 and after 17 years of bothering him about it I finally got it in 2016. Since then, I’ve basically gone through the complete drive train. The only reason I’m selling it is because I’m needing another back surgery and I have terrible insurance. I would let it go for a loss at 23K.

Thanks


#17

China Spring Texas. It’s about half way between Dallas/Ft. Worth area and Austin.


#18

Dear Motorrader, FYI: First off all, there is no such thing as a Z28 Convertible. If it was a convertible it was not a Z28. Secondly, That is a beautiful RS/SS and it does have one very rare option that I also have on my RS/SS Convertible. In fact, that one is the only other Camaro I’ve seen that has the factory option of the fiber optic turn signals on the fenders. Only 1755 of them were ordered from the factory.


#19

Topside340, you are correct. Black-finished rear body panel with accent stripe only came with Camaro SS (RPO L35) 396-cu.in. V8 only.
Source:
68 Camaro ILLUSTRATED FACTS
Feature & Specification Manual
Jim Osborn Reproductions, Inc.


#20

From oddly optioned to fully optioned '68 RS/SS Convertible. Took me 30yrs to find this one. Just to point out a few rare ones…Head Restraints, only 2234 came from the factory. Power top-9580; Electric windows-3304; Custom Deluxe front and rear seat belts with bucket front seats-3560; Fiber optic turn signals on the fenders- so rare, I’m not sure on the production figures.