1968 introduced the world to the third generation of the Chevrolet
Corvette, known by many as the Stingray. The 1968 Chevrolet Corvette
still carried the Stingray name in marketing campaigns but it did not
display the name anywhere on the vehicle. General Motors had tried to
keep the sleek new Corvette design under wraps until Mattel issued a Hot
Wheels unit named the ?Custom Corvette?, which was just a C3 Corvette.
This spoiled GM’s big debut but that wouldn’t slow down the success of
the 1968 Corvette Stingray.
1967 was supposed to usher in the C3 Corvette but delays in
development forced General Motors to delay the launch until 1968. Based
on the Mako Shark II concept designed by Larry Shinoda, the 1968
Corvette Stingray was a huge departure from the styling of the previous
generation ? both inside and out. At first, consumers questioned the
vast restyling efforts of the 1968 models but the C3 Corvette would
become the longest running generation of the American sports car;
lasting until 1982.
Upon its introduction, the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette offered a similar
engine lineup to that found in the 1967 models. A 327 cubic inch small
block making 300hp was the base model engine followed by another 327
offering 350 horsepower and if you wanted more power a pair of 427 big
blocks making 390 and 400 horsepower had you covered. The premium
engine option was still the underrated 427 Tri-Power (L88 engine
option), offering an advertised 435 horsepower although actual power
output has been a long-debated topic. These engines were mated to
either an automatic or manual transmission but for the 1968 model year
the 2-speed Powerglide automatic was removed in favor of a 3-speed Turbo
Although the exterior and interior of the 1968 Corvette Stingray were
all new, the introduction of the t-top option with removable roof
panels to create a topless effect without the change of structural
rigidity was a popular option and would continue to be so for years
after. Based on the popularity of this feature in the Corvette, General
Motors would later offer it on the Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird.
Their original intention was that the car would be similar to a full
A base model 1968 Corvette had a list price of $4,663 and by the end
of the 1968 model year, 28,566 Corvettes had been sold.