Matching #’s L79 4-Speed M21 Posi-Traction Transmission….SURVIVOR!
Factory Rally Red Exterior & Beautiful Red Interior – Original Paint
Extremely Original Example with Many Original Components – West Coast Car for 50 Years
C3 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE
This 1968 Corvette Convertible represents the very first year of the third generation C3 Corvettes. The value of C3’s has been on the increase in recent times and this fine “Survivor” example is sure to continue to appreciate in the future. The value and uniqueness of this example is enhanced by it originality, numbers matching drive-line, and incredible West Coast history and condition. Major features of the car are:
- Factory original paint in Rally Red, Factory produced red interior, and original drive-line components
- Straight damage free body and excellent original trim
- Stock configured #’s matching L79 327c.i. / 350hp V8 engine
- 4-speed manual close-ratio transmission M21
- Posi-traction rear end
- Rally wheels w/ raised white letter black wall radial tires
- 1969 Corvette style side exhaust (not originally fitted to this car when produced) – Rear exhaust blank out plates (reportedly as a dealer option)
- Factory fitted AM/FM radio
- Original Owner’s Manual
HISTORY OF THIS PARTICULAR 1968 CORVETTE
The current owner of the Corvette who has had the car for over 4 years did the research to determine the previous ownership history on the car. The following represents his summary of the cars reported history of ownership since delivered in 1968 based on correspondence with previous caregivers. While some owners are deceased, it appears as if there have been a total of 4 previous owners including a dealer who held the car on display at his dealership for more than 15 years, from May, 2016 – September, 2016.
Owners report that the cars original owner acquired the car in Missouri and, shortly afterwards, brought the car to Oregon where it spent all of its life, less the last 4 years.
The original owner purchased the Corvette from Barford Chevrolet Co. as is documented on the notarized NCRS and owned the car from approximately 1968-1980 (reported mileage when sold = ~12,000mi.). He had the 1969 side exhaust and factory exhaust block off installed (original smog equipment is included). The NCRS document supports the production date of 5/20/1968 and is the basis for determining the numbers matching decoding contained later in the listing.
The original owner had the Corvette for about 12 years and sold it to Randy J. Mr. J. who owned the car from 1980-1982 with mileage when sold not noted) and eventually needed a down payment for a house, so he sold it a couple years later to his good friend, Duane W who owned the car for 6 years from 1983-1989. Mr.W. loved the car and was passionate about it. While he owned it, he had a new timing chain put in as it just stopped one day while sitting at a red light.
In 1983 he sold it to Richard R. who was a friend of both Mr. J. and Mr. W. Mr. R. who retained the car until 1989 (owned from 1989-2001 and sold with ~49K miles). He replaced the gas tank because the original leaked.
In June, 2001, Mr. R. sold the Corvette to Dick Morgan Wholesale who owned the car from June, 2001 – May, 2016); he confirmed that it still had the original paint, hard top, and original wheels (although not on the car). The hard top and wheels were lost while Dick Morgan Wholesale was in possession of the car. Mr. Morgan sold the car at auction to Motors Northwest in Tacoma in May, 2016 and noted mileage of 52,540 mi. The current owner acquired the car from the owner of Motors Northwest, Mr. JT C. and has put less than 200 miles on the car since his acquisition 4 years ago.
Shown in the listing are photos from 2nd and 4th owners, as well as pics from the dealer, along with his ad copy when he had the car listed for sale. Significant historical documents include:
– NCRS letter documenting deliver dealer, production date and VIN#
– Match book cover from the delivering dealer, Barford Chevrolet, Clayton, MO. including telephone # (No area code!) PArkview 5-3600
– Original owner’s manual (that frankly, is in such nice condition it is hard to believe it is original) with date code of 1/68 that corresponds with production / delivery date
FACTORY OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
A02 – Soft Ray Tinted Glass
C07 – Auxiliary Hardtop (for convertible) Note: Misplaced several years ago by a previous owner (refer to history)
G81- Posi-traction Rear Axle
K66 – Transistor Ignition System
L79 – 327ci, 350HP Engine
M21 – 4-speed manual transmission, close ratio
U79- AM-FM Radio, stereo
This was a classic example of a serious performance car “of the day” with a high horsepower engine and options designed to improve the cars performance without the addition of unnecessary, heavy items.
THE NUMBERS (Photos shown in listing)
The VIN from the driver’s side A-pillar is 194678S419770, decoded as follows:
94=Body Series: Corvette
S=Assembled in St. Louis
19770 = production sequence; near end of production run in July-August 1968
The engine number is 78S419770, (Last 5 match VIN#)
L79 Engine is 327 cubic inch, 350 horsepower.
ENGINE CODE: V0509HT
11.0:1 compression. 5 main bearing, hydraulic Hi Lift cam,
V = Flint Engine Plant
05 = May
09 = 9th day
HT= 327, 4-speed, 350hp, Rochester 4bbl, special cam
Other major components code as follows:
- Radiator PN 3155316 aluminum non A/C date code 68D (1968-April)
- Transmission Serial 78S419770, date code P8E13 (1968 May 13)
- Starter PN 1108361 date code E14 (1968 May 14)
- Rear Axle Carrier 2A043068W decodes to 2nd shift 3.70:1ratio, April 30, 1968, Warren Plant.
The trim tag on the driver’s side door post shows Trim 407 (red vinyl – now leather) and Paint 972 (Polar White)
Current and previous owners have provided the car with excellent care over the years and the underside and cleanliness of the engine support the attention the car has received. The Corvette has recently passed the required California safety inspection and benefited from a recent master cylinder, hoses, a complete oil service and new period style hose clamps
- Numbers matching L79 big block 427 cu. in./390 hp V8 engine; matches VIN number
- Stock manifolds / 1969-type side pipes
- Chrome air cleaner appears to be original with proper 327c.i. / 350hp label
- Correct Rochester Quadra-Jet carburetor
- Correct factory ignition shielding
- Chrome valve covers (aftermarket, originals would have been aluminum finned on L79)
- M21 4-speed manual close-ratio transmission
- Posi-traction rear end
- Stock 4-wheel disc brakes
- Headlights deploy properly, evenly and quickly via stock vacuum motor
- Wipers work
- Rally wheels w/ proper Chevrolet Motor Division center caps and proper beauty rings
- BF Goodrich Radial T/A raised white letter tires
- Clock operates, gauges display good readings
- Spare tire and original jack included
- Proper code 407 Rally Red exterior – original paint with the exception of very minor touch-ups
- No indication or history of body damage
- Standard soft top w/ good rear window – minor wear/tear on left side panel
- Originally equipped with optional hard top that was lost by previous owner
- Both doors, the hood and the rear deck open and close solidly with very good factory quality gaps
- Front bumper and rear bumperettes have no damage, minimal imperfections and reflect very nice “California quality.”
- Excellent grille
- Original side glass with “Astro Ventilation” markings and replacement windshield
- Radio antenna on left rear quarter
- Underside of car is very presentable; exhaust system and other components show very well and original
- Beautiful red interior, largely original and in amazing “survivor” condition
- Original carpet covered by “vintage” clear mats
- Damage free dash pad, red e-brake console and red forward console
- Red sun visors
- Factory dated seat belts
- Very nice red door panels
- Both windows crank nicely
- Original sill plates
- Factory installed AM/FM
- The cargo area aft of the seats is excellent w/ original carpeting and 3 storage compartments/doors – some stains, but all original
- Original Owner’s Manual (not a reproduction)
- Clear California title with current California registered through September, 2020 for California buyers
- California smog test not required for vehicles 1975 and older
- Passed the California required safety inspection for working wipers, turn signals, lights, brakes, etc.
The car is striking in its original factory produced color combination of “Rally Red” with red interior and a white convertible top, as built by the factory. The body is in fine shape with no signs or reports of previous or current body damage. There are the expected small chips and nicks, some of which have been touched up. Perhaps most important, the car has the large majority of its original paint and reflects the car by a limited # of owners during its lifetime (refer to “History” for details).
The trim is straight and complete. The bumpers are quite good with no dents and only a few scratches and reflect what we consider as the normal patina for an unrestored ’68 Vette. The glass is excellent including the side windows that carry the factory “Astro Ventilation” markings. The white, color coordinated soft top is structurally sound and goes up and down easily. A small tear is noted in the lower left side and can be seen in the photos. However, it is functional and we are told is original to the car. While the car was originally delivered with a factory hardtop. It was lost several years ago and is not available.
The entire interior including: seats, carpeting, dash pad, instrument panel, visors, seat belts, door panels, steering wheel/column and instrument panel show very well as supported by the photographs.
The chassis is in good condition with no signs of damage, rust through or accidents. It shows very well and is consistent with a car that has been well cared for, driven in clear weather and has low mileage. It is free from the significant corrosion that we have seen on other Corvettes that were put into service early in their lives and suffered from chassis and suspension rust and rot. The engine compartment is well maintained and shows well.
The odometer currently shows 52,664 miles and the owner, indicates is original. Judging from the condition of the body, undercarriage, engine and other factors, we would certainly not be surprised if this is original mileage. Of course, considering the age of the car, we must declare the mileage as TMU (Total Miles Unknown) as the history is not fully documented back to day one.
The car drives every bit as good as it looks. It starts easily, idles with an aggressive but no obnoxious growl. It shifts without problems, has a clutch with proper engagement and no chatter, and runs cool even in our hot dessert climate. Steering is tight and the braking is positive with the 4-wheel discs. The emergency brake is functional. Of course, the L79 V8 coupled to the close-ratio M21 transmission and posi-traction rear end makes for very lively performance.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE 1968 CORVETTE
- Wheelbase 0 inches
- Length 1 inches
- Width 2 inches
- Height 8 inches
- Curb weight 3,425 lb.
- Front suspension—independent, upper & lower A-arms, tubular hydraulic shocks, anti-roll bar
- Rear suspension—independent, lateral leaf spring, struts, U-joint half shafts, trailing arms, tubular hydraulic shocks
- Brakes—front & rear 11.75 inch discs
- i / 350 hp “L79” – 350 horsepower 360 lb-ft. torque
HISTORY OF THE THIRD GENERATION C3 CORVETTE
The C3 Corvette is a sports car produced by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors for the 1968 through 1982 model years. It’s the third generation of the Corvette and the second generation of the Corvette Sting Ray. The C3 was patterned after the Mako Shark II designed by Larry Shinoda in early 1964. It was adapted for production on the existing Sting Ray chassis with the lower half of the car much like the Mako II, except for softer contours. The concept car’s name was later changed to Manta Ray.
The “Shark” has the distinction of being introduced to the motoring public in an unorthodox—and unintended—fashion. GM had tried their best to keep the appearance of the upcoming car a secret, but the release of Mattel’s die-cast Hot Wheels line several weeks before the C3’s unveiling had a certain version of particular interest to Corvette fans: the “Custom Corvette”, a GM-authorized model of the 1968 Corvette.
For 1968, both the Corvette body and interior were completely redesigned. As before, the car was available in either coupe or convertible models. A soft folding top was included with convertibles, while an auxiliary hardtop with a glass rear window was offered at additional cost. The new body’s concealed headlights moved into position via a vacuum operated system rather than electrically rotated as on the previous generation, and the new hide-away windshield wipers utilized a vacuum door. The door handles were flush with the top of the doors with a separate release button. Front fenders had functional engine cooling vents. Side vent windows were eliminated from all models, replaced with “Astro Ventilation”, a fresh air circulation system. In the cabin, a large round speedometer and matching tachometer were positioned in front of the driver. Auxiliary gauges were clustered above the forward end of the console and included oil pressure, water temperature, ammeter, fuel gauge, and an analog clock. A fiber-optic system appeared on the console that monitored exterior lights and there was no glove box. The battery was relocated from the engine area to one of three compartments behind the seats to improve weight distribution. All cars ordered with a radio continued to be fitted with chrome-plated ignition shielding covering the distributor to reduce interference.
The chassis was carried over from the C2 models, retaining the fully independent suspension (with minor revisions) and the four-wheel disc brake system. The engine line-up and horsepower ratings were also carried over from the previous year as were the 3 and 4-speed manual transmissions. The 4-speed manual was available in M20 wide-ratio or M21 close-ratio versions. The engine line-up included two small block 327 cu. in. versions including the desirable “L79”, the 350hp example.
The new seven-inch wide steel wheels had F70x15 nylon bias-ply tires standard with either white or red stripe tires optional.
Classic Cars Ltd.