1968 Chevrolet Chevelle: A Comprehensive Guide To Maintenance Costs, Reliability, And Average Prices


The second-generation Chevelle, encompassing the 1968 to 1972 model years, is one of the most popular Chevelle generations. Chevy redesigned the beloved classic muscle car for 1968, giving it a wider stance, shorter wheelbase, curvy front fenders and rear quarters, updated rear tail lights, a pointed hood, and a revised front grille. The automaker offered an innumerable amount of 1968 Chevelle trims, a wide variety of drivetrains, and a long list of optional extras.



It allowed buyers to customize the Chevelle of their dreams. The 1968 model ushered in a period of unprecedented success for the American muscle car: Chevrolet produced over 2.4 million second-generation Chevelle units. The 1968 model year, is one of the most important Chevelle models of the 1960s, is a very desirable classic muscle car. Before you buy one, however, find out how much it will cost to maintain and run.

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This guide provides comprehensive information provided by the manufacturer. Top Speed sourced additional data for maintenance costs (CarEdge, RepairPal), reliability (Carsurvey.org), and average prices (Hagerty Valuation Tool, Classic.com).


Maintenance And Repairs

Though CarEdge has no stats about ‘68 Chevelle maintenance, it does state that the average maintenance cost of all Chevrolet models over a decade is around $9,625, or about $963 annually. YourMechanic, on the other hand, claims that 1968 Chevelle repair and maintenance costs range from $95 to $4,496.

Most Common 1968 Chevy Chevelle Problems Reported

  • Serpentine/drive belt replacement
  • Window motor regulator replacement
  • Strut assembly replacement
  • Brake caliper replacement
  • Control arm assembly replacement
  • Fuel pump replacement

The Chevrolet Chevelle is over half a century old, so occasional repairs are inevitable, even on a well-maintained example. Thankfully, repair costs are relatively low, probably because the market is flooded with Chevelle replacement parts.

Repairs And Pricing Info

Repair

Pricing

Control arm assembly replacement

$756 – $1,149

Wheel bearing replacement

$730 – $1,113

Brake shoe replacement

$397 – $515

Exterior door handle replacement

$465 – $688

Door lock actuator replacement

$967 – $1,447

As stated, 1968 Chevelle repair parts are cheap and readily available. Chevy sold over 420,000 1968 Chevelles, so getting OEM parts isn’t a problem. Also, some companies have taken advantage of the high demand for Chevelle parts by reproducing the muscle car’s components. Therefore, you need not worry about the availability of parts or their cost.

Recalls And Safety Investigations

Date

NHTSA ID Number

Description

09/17/1968

68V085000

Fuel: Throttle Linkages And Control

04/19/1968

68V038000

Fuel: Throttle Linkages And Control

01/12/1968

68V003000

Brakes: Hydraulic: Pedals And Linkages

01/12/1968

68V004000

Brakes: Hydraulic: Lines: Metallic

The four recalls affecting the 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle involved brake and throttle issues, which were relatively easy to fix. One of the brake issues resulted from insufficient clearance between the brake pipe and the oil pan or the transmission lines, which could cause brake line wear and the loss of front braking. The NHTSA recommended reforming the brake pipe to increase clearance.

Reliability, Running Costs, And Expected Mileage

Per the reviews left by 1968 Chevelle owners on Carsurvey.org, the ‘68 Chevelle is a reliable machine. One reviewer praised the car’s mechanics and powertrain and described the muscle car as a great cruiser.

Reliability Rating: 7.5/10

Two 1968 Chevelle owners described their experiences with the muscle car on Carsurvey.org, giving it an average reliability rating of 7.5/10:

Owner Review Date

Score

07/23/2008

6/10

10/25/2005

9/10

Both owners said they replaced several parts, including spark plugs and bushes, which isn’t surprising considering the Chevelle’s age. They also complained of rust, a ‘68 Chevelle Achilles heel. On the other hand, they praised the car’s performance.

Running Costs: 4.5/10

The two Chevelle owners who reviewed the ‘68 model on Carsurvey.org gave it a running costs score of 4.5/10:

Owner Review Date

Score

07/23/2008

5/10

10/25/2005

4/10

Like most classic muscle cars with high displacement engines, the 1968 Chevelle was uneconomical. It was a time of cheap fuel and low regulation, so automakers had carte blanche when developing huge engines. High displacement engines produced big power and exciting performance, something both reviewers on Carsurvey.com lauded.

Highest Miles Reported: 85,000 Miles

The average number of miles reported by the two Chevelle owners who reviewed the 1968 Chevelle on Carsurvey.com is 65,000:

Owner Review Date

Miles Reported

07/23/2008

45,000

10/25/2005

85,000

85,000 miles is rather low for a car that’s over 50 years old. Nevertheless, the ‘68 Chevelle is an enjoyable muscle car to drive, as the reviewers on Carsurvey.com reported. One mentioned that the Chevy handles well, and the other described its performance as satisfying.

Pricing And Values

Valuation Highlights

1968 Chevelle Trim

SS 396

Malibu

300 Deluxe

#1 Concours Condition

$100,000

$65,300

$48,500

#2 Excellent Condition

$84,900

$55,400

$35,900

#3 Good Condition

$67,700

$44,500

$25,400

#4 Fair Condition

$44,000

$32,600

$18,700

Original Base MSRP

$2,899

$2,663

$2,521

MSRP Adjusted For Inflation

$26,078

$23,955

$22,678

Production Numbers

62,785

266,400

43,200

The 1968 Chevelle isn’t cheap according to Hagerty’s online valuation tool. Prices go as high as $100,000 for concours condition examples. However, Classic.com shows you can get one for as low as $10,000. A cheap example will likely cost you significant time and money to get it into roadworthy condition.

What To Look For Before Buying

Shopping for a ‘68 Chevelle is relatively easy, considering the vast number of exampless available in the used market. However, before you spend money on one, you need to ensure that you are buying a genuine article and a car that won’t knock a few years off your life expectancy.

Originality

The first and perhaps most important thing you must ensure is that the Chevelle you are looking at is original. Beware of sellers who alter vehicles to earn more money from sales. For instance, a Chevrolet Malibu may be disguised as a pricier SS model. The vehicle’s VIN and build sheet will show you its trim, where it was manufactured, and the number of options it had when at sale. Unfortunately, some sellers dupe buyers using fake build sheets. To be safe, have a Chevelle expert inspect the car to guarantee its originality.

Rust

The likelihood of finding rust on a 1968 Chevelle without rust is as low as finding rain in the Mojave Desert in June. Areas usually affected by rust include the bottom of the vehicle, door corners, fenders, and trunk floor.

Service Records And Accident Damage

Ask for service records to ensure that the previous owners maintained the Chevelle properly. It will give you an idea of the mechanical condition of the vehicle. Also, check for signs of accident damage, including thick undercoating and mismatched panels.

Is It Worth Buying A 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle?

The ‘68 Chevelle is one of the best classic muscle cars you can buy. It isn’t as desirable as the 1970 and 1971 models, which makes it cheaper to acquire. Also, it’s just as capable and as good-looking as the other coveted models in its generation. If you have the money, go for a model that doesn’t require restoration work: it’ll save you a lot of time, and you’ll get a muscle car ready to conquer the streets.

If you don’t have a deep wallet, consider purchasing a cheap Chevrolet Chevelle and turning it into a project car. You can transform a rusty ‘68 Chevelle into a drag car, a hot rod, or a street cruiser. To give yourself the best chances of success, buy the best Chevelle you can for your money. Restoration projects can be expensive and frustrating, especially if you start with a car in a bad state.



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