Check out my list of five favorite 1968 muscle cars (in no particular order) and let me know what your favorite is in the comments below!
1968 Muscle Cars – Camaro
Arriving late on the pony car scene, the Chevy Camaro quickly made up for lost time with a host of luxury and performance options, available on RS, SS, and Z-28 platforms. The long hood/short deck exterior was based on a 108-inch wheelbase and offered as coupe or convertible. Body construction was semi-unitized, where the front chassis is a sub-frame held by four rubber-isolated mounts and rear chassis is part of the unibody. This design gave a smoother and more quiet ride than a full unibody car, and allowed maximum space for the already small rear seat and trunk.
Engine choices were plentiful, including the standard 230-cid six-cylinder, optional 250-cid six-cylinder, and 327-cid small-block V-8 in either 210 or 275-horsepower versions. Chevrolet’s venerable 350-cid small-block would make its debut in the 1967 Camaro, and would not appear in other Chevys until 1968. The engine compartment had been designed to accommodate Chevy’s 396 big-block, and easily accepted the 325-horsepower L-35 motor, later joined by the 375-horsepower L-78 big-block. Read the full review here.
1968 Muscle Cars – Cougar
Cougar came late to the muscle car marketplace, arriving in showrooms for the 1967 model year. It was Mercury’s version of the Mustang, but in keeping with the higher aspirations of the brand, it was more luxurious, more sophisticated, than Ford’s pony car. But not without claws. Mercury offered high-performance packages and options for the Cougar and, for the ’68 model, introduced the GT-E equipment group.
All GT-Es were fitted with a 7.0-Litre big-block engine (Mercury used the European spelling), a Super Competition handling package, power front disc brakes, quad exhaust tips, a blacked-out grille, two-tone paint, and badges and moldings unique to the package. The GT-E option could be fitted to the standard Cougar or to the higher-end XR-7 model. It turned out to be a one-year-only offering, as the Eliminator became the hot Cougar for 1969.
The GT-E Eugene saw in Playboy was painted Augusta Green and had a 390hp 427 under the hood. “The more he looked at the car the more he liked it,” Win says. Read the full review here.
1968 Muscle Cars – Oldsmobile 442
The ’65 through ’67s 442s used a smaller bore version of the Olds 425, resulting in 400 CID. This engine had a forged crank, and was an ideal basis for further performance mods. But in 1968, Olds upped the big motor to 455 cubes, via an increase in stroke. For whatever reason, the 400 now shared the 455’s cast crank, but with a substantially reduced bore to keep it at 400 CID. The result is what has to be one of the the most undersquare modern American V8s: 3.87″ bore, 4.25″ stroke. Not ideal for maximum top-end performance, but undersquare engines tend to have a fabulously rich torque curve down low. Read the full review here.
1968 Muscle Cars – Mustang
The 1968 Mustang was an important year for the classic Ford muscle car for many reasons, including some major changes in engine specifications and power.
The era of the compact sized muscle car was well under way and while Ford had originally led the pack with its introduction of the now famous pony car at the World’s Fair, other manufacturers, were biting at their heels. General Motors, with high powered entries such as the Camaro, Firebird and Corvette knew a good thing when they saw it and kept the engineers at Ford very busy making sure that their pony car stayed on top. Read the full review here.
1968 Muscle Cars – Corvette
Available in 400, 430 and 435-horsepower dosages, the top-of-the-line 427 had a reputation for being unruly, uncivilized and unbelievably quick. Charming, indeed. The L71 triple-carburetor setup, in particular, could reach 60 mph from rest in around 5.5 seconds and produce quarter-mile burns that would still be considered quick by today’s standards.
For those with a bit less high-test fuel in their veins, the newest Corvette offered more benign choices, such as the tried-and-true 327 motor. The following year, the 327 was replaced by the new-for-1969 350 cubic-inch V-8. Within a year of its introduction, the 350 became the powerplant of choice for the vast majority of buyers. Read the full review here.