Category: 1968

For sporting style, power, and capacity, it’s hard to beat this 1968 Buick Riviera – David Conwill @Hemmings

For sporting style, power, and capacity, it’s hard to beat this 1968 Buick Riviera – David Conwill @Hemmings

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It has a 7.0-liter V-8, hideaway headlamps, and exclusive, swoopy styling. If we’re talking late-1960s General Motors products, that sounds a lot like a third-generation Corvette. Not everyone can daily drive a two-seater, and if you were going to drop $4,600 on personal transportation back in 1968, there was another option. It came not from Chevrolet, however, but from GM’s founding division: Buick.

“The automobile you drive must be more than a machine that takes you from one place to another,” Buick said in Riviera promotional materials. “It must be as exciting to drive as it is to look at and as exciting to look at as is reliable to drive. Obviously, Riviera is your automobile

.”That may have been obvious five decades ago, but the second-generation Riviera is often overlooked these days. That’s a mistake. You see, if you wanted a big-block, A/C-equipped vintage ’Vette with an automatic transmission now, you’d best be prepared to spend around $60,000. A similarly optioned Riv, meanwhile, can be had in like condition for about a quarter of that.

We drove this example not long ago and can tell you: Unless you want to attend track days on the regular, you’ll have just as much fun in the Buick. Maybe more if you have some friends you’d like to bring along, or just prefer some extra room to stretch out

The Ivy Gold Mist example on these pages belongs to John Scheib (no relation to Earl, in case you were wondering) of West Hartford, Connecticut. Just to look at his car, you immediately realize a Riviera of this era was more than mere transportation. Take that curvaceous styling, for instance. It’s a clear departure from the sharper, more vertically oriented, Ferrari-meets-Rolls Royce looks of the 1963-’65 first-generation Riviera. At first glance, you could be forgiven if you mistook the Buick for an Oldsmobile Toronado, but look closer and it’s a more conservatively styled car.

That conservatism extends to the chassis. While the Toronado and the Riviera, along with the Cadillac Eldorado, shared GM’s E-body platform, only the Riviera adheres to the traditional American approach of a front engine and rear-wheel drive. The decision to retain what was tried and proven good not only means it’s a more straightforward car for the modern owner to service and find parts for, but its driving manners are familiar and predictable.

In the Buick’s cruciform X-frame chassis are nestled such well-respected parts as a division-specific differential, Super Turbine 400 transmission (that’s a TH-400 with a Switch Pitch torque convertor, in case you don’t speak Buick), and 430-cu.in. V-8.

The 430 was only in its second year in 1968, having recently replaced the 425-cu.in. “nailhead” engine found in earlier Rivieras. It shares its stroke with the later 455-cu.in. V-8, but uses a slightly smaller bore. The engine in John’s base-model Riviera was rated for 360 hp at 5,000 rpm and 475 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm, thanks to 10.25:1 compression and a Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor

.Standard rear gearing was a long-legged 3.07:1, perfect for road tripping like John’s visit to the GM centennial in Flint, Michigan, back in 2008. Along on that trip was his wife, Bea, with whom he was celebrating 40 years of marriage—a perfect coincidence with the age of the Riviera. Back in ’68, leadfoots also had the option of more aggressive 3.42:1 gears with a limited-slip differential as a part of the Riviera GS package.

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Transforming a rust-infested 383 Dodge Charger into a show winner – Thomas A. DeMauro @Hemmings

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John Hoffman was just 14 years old when the magnificently redesigned Charger was set loose for 1968, and he was convinced even then that someday he’d own an exquisite example of the breed. “I was in junior high school, and I thought it was the prettiest car I’d ever seen,” he remembers. “Then Bullitt was released and that sealed the deal for me. My friends liked the Mustang, but I was the Charger guy. I own that movie and still watch it once a year.

”John’s perceptions are representative of many who venerate Steve McQueen’s classic cop drama, which features one of the greatest car chases ever filmed, and has elevated the 1968 Charger to a pop culture icon. The Dodge’s allure isn’t limited to its cinematic appearance, however, as its engaging design continues to mesmerize even jaded muscle car fans.

All the Charger’s curves and creases were in just the right places. Its Coke-bottle shape, broad grille with concealed headlamps, flying-buttress roof that looked like a semi-fastback from the side but featured a recessed backlite, “racing-style” gas cap, and even the taillights conspired to create a muscular and cohesive visual presentation.

By the early 2000s, with vintage car values rising, John began getting that now-or-never feeling. The Telford, Pennsylvania, resident knew he’d better buy his ’68 before he was priced out of the market. His finances still wouldn’t allow a fully restored example, so he instead sought out one that needed work but was mostly original.

In August 2003, he spotted this Charger online, for sale in Kansas City, Missouri. It was an early build car and was desirably optioned with the 330-hp 383 V-8 with dual exhausts, TorqueFlite automatic, 3.23:1 Sure Grip rear end, air conditioning, tinted windows, driver’s-side remote-control outside mirror, cruise control, radio, center cushion with armrest between the bucket seats, power steering, and power brakes.

John noted that it still had its factory-applied F5 green paint and assembly-line-installed interior and powertrain. He says, “I liked this car because it was very original and seemed like it must have been ordered by an older buyer who didn’t mess around with it.”

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From street racing to 11-second timeslips: Dad’s Shelby G.T. 500 kept racing after he sold it – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Bride-to-be mom alongside dad’s 1968 Shelby G.T. 500 shortly after its purchase. Photo courtesy of Ray Litwin.

Twenty-four months. That’s essentially the duration my father shopped for, negotiated the purchase of, and owned his brand-new 1968 Shelby G.T. 500. On paper, the last 12 months of that timeframe doesn’t seem like one could accumulate enough enjoyment out of a dream car he financed for close to $5,000, yet he did. As discussed previously, once in his possession, the Shelby was enhanced with an aftermarket carburetor, was used as a daily commuter, burned through untold tanks of Sunoco 260 with alarming regularity, and, as I recently learned, was street raced to a perfect 3-0 record.

Dad drove his year-old Shelby G.T. 500 to Simon Ford, where it was traded in for a special-ordered 1969 Ford LTD loaded with every option, save for a 429-cu.in. engine. The G.T. 500 then appeared in this ad listing it for sale. In today’s money, that $4,195 asking price equates to $30,780.

It also was a hot ride—we’re talking engine heat—on top of already looking more and more like an impractical car for a young couple who were about to marry and buy their first house. It was enough to prompt Dad to trade the car in for something completely different: a 1969 Ford LTD Brougham. It was a car he and my mom owned for four years, which then started an endless buy/sell phase of car ownership that has been a part of the family legacy. Despite the variety of steeds, though, the one consistent question has always been, “Whatever happened to the Shelby?”

Almost immediately after the Shelby appeared in a local newspaper ad, Lilyan McGary—a resident of nearby Fitchville, Connecticut—arrived at Simon Ford to purchase the high-performance car for her son; according to lore, it was to be his first car. Over the course of the next several months, my dad remembered seeing the new owner(s) scooting along the area roads in the Shelby on several occasions before it slipped into the realm of former-car obscurity. How often it was driven, or the nature of its use when in the hands of the McGary family, is anyone’s guess to this day. Records make it clear, however, that on April 5, 1973, the G.T. 500 was purchased by nearby Canterbury resident Cliff Williams.

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Find of the Day: Flash Gordon’s 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby G.T. 500 – Barry Kluczyk @Hemmings

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The 1968 model year was an interesting one for the Shelby lineup. Ford took increasing control in all aspects of the cars’ design, production, and marketing. Notably, production shifted from Shelby’s Los Angeles facility to a specialty factory run by A.O. Smith, in Ionia, Michigan — the same company tasked with producing the cars’ unique fiberglass body components. Additionally, Shelby opened an office in one of Motown’s industrial suburbs.

It was also the second year for the big-block-powered G.T. 500, with its Police Interceptor-based 428 engine. And while the original Shelby models were stripped-down, track-focused performers, the later Sixties saw an evolution of them into more luxurious muscle cars, like this 1968 G.T. 500 four-speed convertible, in Candy Apple Red, that’s offered on Hemmings Auctions. Along with its lid-lowering option, a Marti Report indicates it’s one of only four such convertibles ordered with factory air conditioning.

That makes it one rare Shelby, but according to the seller, the original owner was also a former Olympian and Hollywood action star: Buster Crabbe. After winning a gold medal in swimming at the 1932 Olympics, he went on to portray Tarzan, Buck Rogers, and Flash Gordon in popular film serials of the 1930s and 1940s. When his acting career began to slow, he became the public face of a New Jersey swimming pool manufacturer and it’s the Garden State where he apparently purchased this G.T. 500.

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California Special Mustang: Definitive History Of Ford’s West Coast Cruiser – Brett Foote @FordAuthority

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There have been many special edition Ford Mustangs over the years, from the Mach 1 to the Boss 302 and everything in between. One such package that doesn’t get quite as much attention, however, is the California Special Mustang. But its story is a fascinating one, and one well worth revisiting in depth.

It all started back in 1967 and 1968, when Ford dealers in California sold more new Mustangs than any other state. To commemorate this achievement, Ford decided to come up with a special model. To do this, it collaborated with Shelby to build upon the 1967 Shelby GT500 prototype called “Little Red,” which led to the creation of the 1968 Mustang GT/CS California Special.

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Classic Recreations Villain Mustang Is One Beautiful Pony – Shane McGlaun @FordAuthority

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The gang over at Classic Recreations will build you a very cool Ford Mustang that they call the Villain Mustang. The Villain Mustang is a very high-end build that will cost you high-end money to order. Prices start at $169,000. Villain begins with an original 1967 or 1968 Mustang fastback, and it is completely restored and customized to the buyer’s desires.

Any color can be sprayed on the car, but standard colors are Silver/Vengeance Black or Bad Guy Orange/Vengeance Black. The standard powertrain under the hood is a 427 cubic-inch crate engine that makes 545 horsepower fitted with Holley Sniper Fuel Injection. The car uses a Tremec manual transmission and has a 9-inch Fab 9 rear with positraction and 3:70 gears. The engine also uses a Concept One pulley system.

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1968 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance was used for race track emergencies – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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The Pick of the Day transported motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, the former owner claims

The Pick of the Day, a rare 1968 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance, is an oddball relic of motorsport history.   Now a half-century old, the emergency vehicle was used at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona, where it transported many famous drivers after various stunts on the 1-mile oval, according to the Denver, Colorado, dealer advertising the ambulance on ClassicCars.com.

Among them was the world’s most-famous motorcycle stunt rider, Evel Knievel, who was probably better known for his crashes than his successful jumps.   The Pontiac ambulance apparently transported Knievel after some mishap, as the story goes from the previous owner of the Pontiac.

There’s no documentation regarding the Knievel connection, the dealer notes, but it does make for a good story.

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Bullitt hammers for $3.4MM at Mecum Kissimmee — A new record! – Tom Stahler @ClassicCars.com

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Everyone said it would set the new record for Mustangs and possibly muscle cars alike. The Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang GT certainly raised the bar for Mustangs. At the end of the bidding the hammer price of $3.4 Million not only broke records, but wowed the throngs of spectators that crowded the Osceola Heritage Park Hall in Kissimmee, Florida. There’s been a lot of speculation. Now we know.

The pricey 1968 Highland Green GT was walked in like a prizefighter. Known as the the “hero” car used in filming. It was used for closeups and driving scenes, while an identical Mustang was setup as a stunt car. That stunt car was essentially wrecked from an arduous schedule of “gags” on set.

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Related – Bullitt Mustang to be Sold in January 2020 Despite Won’t Sell Pledge

Furniture Find: 1968 Mustang Bullitt Desk

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Jesse Mortensen @Barnfinds.com

1968 Mustang Bullitt Desk

We have all seen those couches made out of ’57 Chevy or Cadillac tails. While creative, their use is limited. This sweet looking Bullitt desk is a different story though. In fact, I think it would be the perfect addition to Barn Finds HQ. The $5k price tag here on eBay might prevent that from happening, but let’s take a closer look anyway.

Read the article here

Furniture Find: 1968 Mustang Bullitt Desk

Related – Bullitt Mustang to be Sold in January 2020 Despite Won’t Sell Pledge

1968 Ford Thunderbird Has Suicide Doors And A 450 V8 – Shane McGlaun @FordAuthority

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1968 Ford Thunderbird Has Suicide Doors And A 450 V8

Since most engine sizes today are expressed as litres, sometimes it’s fun to do the conversions for these vintage V8’s:

390 = 6.4 L
429 = 7.0 L
460 = 7.5 L
500 = 8.2 L (Cadillac)

The early Ford Thunderbird cars were very small two-seaters, but within a decade or so they had grown much larger. This 1968 Ford Thunderbird is a perfect example of the larger generation of the car. While the early cars were two-seat convertibles, by 1968 the Ford Thunderbird was a bigger four-door beast that combined luxury and muscle for someone not wanting to rough it in a Mustang.

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