Home Car Stories Alley Finds 1968 CHEVROLET Chevelle Malibu- Portland, OR
1968 CHEVROLET Chevelle Malibu- Portland, OR PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:14

1968 CHEVROLET Chevelle Malibu- Portland, OR


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

68 chevelle malibu 307 portland or logo

The Chevelle was successful right from the start when it debuted for the 1964 model year on the General Motors 'A body' intermediate sized platform. In 1966 the square shape was given a subtle 'coke bottle' shape with rear kickup which served as a precursor of the 1968 fastback wasp waist 'A body' redesign.

All of the 1968 GM A bodies received a fastback integrated into the rear of the car in one smooth transition. The cars also took on the 'ponycar' proportions of long hood and short rear deck. Of all the GM divisions Pontiac scored the biggest hit with their GTO which used an bodycolored Endura front bumper to aid the flowing lines.The GTO looked so futuristic it eclipsed everything else that year and won MOTOR TREND car of the year.

The Chevelle looked contemporary for the times with a chrome bumper and sharp front lines. Part of the secret of the great new looks of the new 1968 2 door A bodies traces back to the decision to use 2 different wheelbases for 2 and 4 doors. With a shorter wheelbase of 112 inches on the 2 doors the shape was no longer a compromise that had to suit the 4 door versions as well. The 4 door versions had more rear room which allowed designers to retain a flowing rear on those cars, too.

This particular Chevelle Malibu has racy stripes and the sporty 2 door bodystyle. It has hot looks to rival the SS 396 but gets around with a small economical 307. The base Chevelle engine this year was a 230 cubic inch 6 cylinder engine. Chevrolet also offered an optional 327 that really had a strong kick for its size. The SS 396 was where it was really at if you wanted to move out. The ultimate option was the 375 HP version. See the story of one of these top dog SS cars in the ONE OWNER stories section of this website.

68 chevelle malibu 307 portland or front

Malibu was becoming a popular trim level on the Chevelle that eventually became a separate model line. The Malibu added trim and a custom steering wheel and more interior convenience touches over the base Chevelle. The 307 cubic inch engine that came with the package was an evolution of the tried and true old 283 engine. The stroked 283 block used the 327 crank to achieve more cubic inch capacity. The extra cubes made the engine into a bit of a 'stroker' which enabled it to more easily pass emissions standards. The extra cubes also helped compensate for power drain caused by emission control devices added to the 1968 model year engines. The 307 produced 200 HP which was reasonable for moving the Chevelle which was the shortest of the A bodies (197 inches long) and quite light (around 3,300 pounds with the 307).

68 chevelle malibu 307 portland or side

Note that at some point in the life of this car, likely the late 1960s or early 1970s someone installed a set of aftermarket Torque Thrust wheels. The tires mounted on the rims appear to be 60 or 70 series rubber which looks 'right' on these wheels with these cars. This Malibu also has a trailer hitch which means that little 307 did some serious work over the lifetime of the car.

68 chevelle malibu 307 portland or int

The inside of the car is hard to see through reflective side glass but it has a small diameter aftermarket thick black rimed steering wheel and black bucket seats. Note the console with horseshoe automatic shfiter. You know a car has seen a lot of mileage when even the passenger seat is ripped up. It looks like this car has experienced quite a bit of Oregon rain. Surface rust is starting to come through areas where the paint is thin. The fading on the paint also bears testament to a lifetime spent outdoors.

68 chevelle malibu 307 portland or pass side

The VINĀ 136378Zxxxxxx beginning digits decode:

1= Chevrolet

36= Malibu with V8 engine

37= 2 Door sport coupe

8= 1968 model year

Z= Fremont, California final assembly plant

The final VIN sequence number isn't shown here in order to preserve owner privacy

68 chevelle malibu 307 portland or rear

Note the trailer hitch on the back of the car. This car has run a hard life out in the wet and rain and towing a boat.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 June 2015 20:04 )