HomeAutoHunterAutoHunter Spotlight: L78-powered 1968 Chevelle SS 396

AutoHunter Spotlight: L78-powered 1968 Chevelle SS 396

An original, solid-lifter Chevy that is begging to be driven


Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by ClassicCars.com, is this unrestored 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 Sport Coupe. The Super Sport receives power from a numbers-matching L78 Turbo-Jet 396cid V8 backed by a Muncie M21 close-ratio four-speed manual. Originally delivered to Acme Chevrolet Company in Robinson, Illinois, this SS 396 has accrued 46,505 miles since its arrival. Equipment includes front console, redline tires, AM radio, and power brakes. Finished in red with a black vinyl roof over a black vinyl interior, this second-generation Chevelle is offered with build documentation, official Chevrolet correspondence, National Corvette Restorers Society Shipping Data Report, removed original suspension parts, and clear title in the seller’s name.

What we have here is a Chevy with a twist: not only is it a real L78 — among the fastest GM muscle cars that year — but it also is one of the few built with a Buick interior, as there was a labor dispute from a supplier at the time. Additionally, this SS 396 is well sorted out, meaning this is a car for someone who knows how to respect the integrity of an original vehicle yet will hop in and drive without hesitation.

The mostly original Matador Red (code R) paint is complemented by a black vinyl top and black lower body trim, plus driver-side mirror.

Steel 14-inch wheels with Super Sport wheelcovers are wrapped in redline tires.

This Chevelle was outfitted with a black Buick Skylark bucket seat interior (code 766-178), one of at least 91 known to be so equipped. According to the seller, the entire interior is original aside from newer carpeting, plus the upper part of the rear seat has been repaired. Features include center console, standard black Super Sport steering wheel, and push-button AM radio.

Instrumentation includes a 120-mph speedometer, 7,000-rpm barrel-style tachometer, clock, and gauges for the oil pressure, coolant temperature, voltage, and fuel level. The five-digit mechanical odometer reads 46,505 original miles.

This Chevelle features a numbers-matching, 375-horsepower L78 Turbo-Jet 396, one of 4,751 Chevelle and El Camino SS 396s so equipped. It is claimed by the seller that the L78 retains its original exhaust manifolds and distributor. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a Muncie M21 close-ratio four-speed manual transmission paired with a 4.11 Positraction rear though, incredibly, this Chevy was originally built with 4.56s. The transmission housing is stamped P8D01, which translates to the gearbox being built on the first day of April 1968.

The rear control arm, shock absorbers, and exhaust system have been replaced. Braking is power-assisted. Photos showing the underside are available in the carousel.

The auction for this 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 Sport Coupe ends Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 12:45 p.m. (PDT)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


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