The 68 Chevelle SS 396 Gets an Award at Goodguys Show In Columbus, Ohio

I experienced the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association auto show in Columbus, Ohio like I had never experienced it before.  Held at the Ohio Expo Center on the expansive Ohio State Fairgrounds, the 3 day event drew over 100,000 people and reported a record 6,200 registered vehicles..  The Street Machine of the Year was awarded to a “GPT Special” 69 Ford Torino and the Street Rod of the Year to “Checkered Past” 40 Ford.  Word on the street says the both cost over $500,000.00 to build.

Pictures of the above winners can be viewed on the Goodguys site using this link. https://www.good-guys.com/?p=6081&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=220

Since 2006 I have participating in this 16 year old gathering of rods, customs, muscle cars and tricked out trucks of 1972 vintage or earlier and never came close to any award.  The vast number of excellent cars is humbling and I was not completely surprised at not getting a ribbon, there are just simply too many high quality and deserving cars at the event.  It was satisfying enough to share the space of such great autos and swap stories with other enthusiasts.

But this year, my Chevelle was awarded the Chevy Muscle Pick sponsored by Eckler’s Family of Automotive Parts Companies.  There were 100 or so awards and I had one of them! I was stunned but pleased. My first thought was this was a mistake or I somehow misread the award.

These thoughts might be considered natural seeing as how I found the award.  First, I was not near the car when the award was given. Usually a Goodguys judge places the award on the car dash in the form of a document with an imprinted ribbon. I was unaware that yellow stickers the size of a pencil eraser with the Goodguys logo and “Award Winner” in very small letters, are placed on the headlight of the car winners.  I am not sure but I think I saw one on my car and mistakenly mentioned to someone that it was an indication that the car had been judged.  The print is so small I could not read it from 3 feet away.  At noon, I, my wife and friend Steve, went to have lunch and meet up with another friend Sterling and his daughter Aubrey.   We walked around the grounds together seeking out the rods and customs in the prestigious builder’s area.  It was hot and Steve and I went to watch the autocross races but my wife, seeking relief from the heat, went to our shaded retreat under some huge Buckeye trees where fellow members of the Mid Ohio Bunch host auto-club gather. This area is located a hundred feet or so from where the car was displayed in the Mighty Muscle corral.  Mighty Muscle is one of a half dozen areas designated for a particular type of car that the owner chooses to register for judging.

My wife went to the car to get something and when I met her at the shaded refuge I asked her if anything was on the Chevelle’s dash and she said no.  Soon after that, appropriately 2:30,  I went to the car with Steve and on the way admiringly stopped and looked at cars that had the highly-coveted yellow award paper on the dash.  Upon walking up to my car, I casually glanced at the dash and saw no yellow paper.

Then I looked into the open window and on the driver seat, someone had tucked a yellow document. Thinking it may be an advertisement I pulled it out and read it quickly seeing the words “Chevy Muscle Pick”.  I did not want to get too worked up over it before I confirmed what I was reading and showed it to my friend Steve.  I said to him, check this number against my registration number on the windshield.  He did and said you won!  Just to be sure, I once again asked him to recheck the numbers and what it said on the paper.  He did and again replyed, congratulations, you won!  Well then I excitedly began texting my wife and others to let them know. They all came to the car and we began the celebration.

What an honor to receive such an award with so many fine autos on display.

(Use these links to view a video of cars in the Winner’s Circle on Sunday)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Xe_kTRlpk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJGNXZUQR1o

I returned as instructed the next day at 9 am to take my place in the Winner’s Circle.  An area where the winning cars are organized for a parade to the Expo Center’s 10,000 seat indoor Celeste Center.  It is at the Celeste Center where the car owners’ parade single file into one end of the building and out the other; accepting their award after an announcer introduces the driver/owner and describes the vehicle.

It was a thrill of a life time as they say, with my wife Lyn riding shotgun and Bob Z squeezed into the back seat.  My jaw hurt from grinning.

Use link below to view video of award presentation at Celeste Center:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCXhVdlYfM4&feature=youtu.b

The stealthy yellow stickerHead light award winner sticker

Parading to the Celeste Centerparade

Inside the Celeste Centeraward

Me, Lyn, Bob, Russ & Greggposse

Mecum Auction Spring 2013 Indy Chevelle SS Review

The Mecum auction in Indianapolis was once again the place to see and purchase a wide array of Muscle Cars ranging from tribute editions to full restoration museum pieces to rare one-of-a –kind models.  It says it all when one can walk by 5 “Bid goes on “ cars lined up in the featured car building that have a cumulative high bid value of $2 million posted on their windshields.  Included in this group were 68 and 69 Yenko Camaros, a 32 and 34 Ford Hi-boys, 67 and 70 Corvettes.

MecumSpring2013Indianapolis

The Mustangs took honors as the top dollar sales champs. A 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake Legendary One-of-One Shelby Supercar sold for $1.3M and a 1967 Ford Mustang Eleanor, Gone in 60 Seconds Hero Car, sold for $1M.  A 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Black ‘n Blue, Triple Crown Award sold for $610k.

The highest sold price for a Chevelle was for a 1970 LS6 at $132,500. A 1970 Chevrolet El Camino LS6 454/450 HP, 4-Speed sold for $127k.  Another 70 LS6 454, with claimed original 9k miles, sold for $130k.  A 67 Chevelle Resto Mod with a 572/754 hp motor sold for $107k.  The lowest sold price for a Chevelle was $12k.  You may view photos of select Chevelles entered in the auction by going to Chevelle SS Pictures on the Home page and from the drop down menu, select Mecum Spring Auction Indianapolis 2013.  Only 20 photos are shown per frame, to see all 105 images be sure to click on the 1 through 6 numbers below the 20 image display.

By my count, there were 90 Chevelles, 18 el Caminos and 11 Malibus listed on the Mecum site at this auction.  This seemed to me to be more than usual.  The most popular by far were the 70 models; 34 in all.  Maybe this is due to the high visibility of the car in recent movies with Vin Diesel and the latest Tom Cruise/Jack Reacher film or because it is arguably the high water mark of the muscle car era.  Whatever, they seemed to be everywhere at the auction.

The remaining Chevelle representation was made up of 18 El Caminos;13, 67’s; 12, 71’s; 10, 72’s; 8, 69’s; 9, 66’s; 2, 65’s; and 2, 68’s.

Mecum auctions are a great place to quickly learn about the muscle car collection hobby and ownership experience of such cars. I have not been to any of the other auctions but assume they offer a similar environment. I highly recommend attending no matter what your level of involvement or curiosity.

Mecum Indy auction link  http://www.mecum.com/auctions/top_picks.cfm?AUCTION_ID=SC0513

Muscle Car Buying Tips

Looking for some muscle car buying tips?

Here are some tips on buying your next Chevelle SS muscle car.

Arguably, late in the first month of winter is the best time to buy a muscle car. It is a time when the weather in the northern part of North America is pure Hades on a 40 plus year old car. A car that was, compared to today’s corrosion resistant body parts, poorly equipped to resist the acidy wet conditions of a road coated with a toxic-to-steel solution we often see north of the Mason Dixon line. Diving on these roads, there is this atmosphere, even in its dry form that could dissolve a Chevy Vega in one winter. Trust me on the Vega reference, I know this first hand. This dates me but while washing my wife’s 72 Vega one spring day, I noticed a bubble in the paint on the cowl. I carefully touched it and then pressed it thinking it was a blister in the paint. My finger went through the cowl. Yikes! Until today I wonder who thought you could put bare, low carbon steel panels on a car and expect it to not rust through.

That is a back story that makes the whole idea of owning and driving one of these vehicles
all the more intriguing. Except in the arid conditions of the southwest perhaps, all these cars should have been dissolved by winter road conditions. Not necessarily that caustic conditions we experience in the north, any amount of moisture and rain will do. That I believe is one of the primary reasons seeing one on the road today stirs such interest. I think people wonder when they come upon one, how in gods name did this thing survive. Especially anyone my age who recall cars having large holes in the rocker panels and fenders after 5 or 6 years on the road. Well the truth is, they didn’t escape oxidation. Except for the rare “Survivor”, muscle cars have been restored and restored to a very broad spectrum on conditions with no clear definition marking the transition from one category to the other. This makes things challenging when deciding what to purchase. Usually it comes down to what you can afford or what you want to spend and what you want to do with it.

Here is some information to get you started.:

Car Condition Types

  • Concours d’Elegance

Some muscle cars, like any classic car, are restored with such attention to detail; they
are better in fit and finish than the original that stood on the showroom floor decades
ago. Assembled to compete in Concours d’Elegance competition, the strictest level of
judging, they are rarely driven on the street in an attempt to preserve the restoration.
There is a chance, driving any car on the road, of having a stone chip the paint or
possibly collecting simple road grime that can cover the pristine undercarriage. And an
undercarriage is not easy to clean with all the hard to reach surfaces making it nearly
impossible to return it to the condition of its first day of restoration. Chipped paint and a
dirty undercarriage would virtually disqualify a car from the competition.

  • Survivor

This is a car that has not been restored or modified. There is one event, Bloomington Gold that certifies Survivor cars. They award 4 levels of Survivor depending upon what percentage of the original car that remains. This is prestigious certification that adds value to the vehicle.

  • Matching Numbers

This refers to a car that may have been restored but all or some of its components’ serial
numbers are correct. These are highly prized and both of the above vehicle categories
would also be considered having matching numbers. The difference here is that the car
may not qualify for the above categories due poor finish and or having perhaps only the
engine and transmission VIN plate and trim tag match.

  • Driver

A “Driver” or one that is driven to events, that is true to the original look, down to the
replica paper-stickers placed on body and suspension parts. The paint is of a high
quality coated with a clear coat that exceeds the original lacquer used on most pre 70
vintage units. There may be some modification or departure from the original usually
in the form of wheels or tires. Or some other cosmetic or mechanical modifications,
performed for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the owner’s personal taste or lack of
knowledge as to what is the correct configuration for the original car led them to this type
of modification.

  • Clone

There cars which are restored or purpose built to resemble an original but no not claim
to have matching numbers. They may be date code correct, meaning the components
have replicated matching number, are of the same vintage as the vehicle.

  • Tribute

Similar to the clone this car may have few parts that are original to the car they appear
to be. In some cases these are great cars to enjoy driving on the street. They typically
cost less than a high level restorations of a matching numbers vehicle and do not cause
the angst of ownership and worry about driving an original numbers-matching cars on
the street and risking having it damaged or destroyed in an accident.

  • Resto Mod

This type of vehicle has the body of a muscle car or other muscle era car but is equipped
with modern suspension, motor, drive train and modern interior appointments. They
sometimes can perform as well or better than a modern sports car in handling and
braking.

  • Hot Rod

Highly stylized car usually a 30 or 40’s model.

  • Pro Street

Emulating Pro Stock drag cars are street legal vehicles distinguished by the Dragster-
sized rear wheels that fit under the body of a muscle car and narrow front tires and
supercharged engine protruding several inches out of the hood.

So there you have it. You are informed enough to go shopping. Get one soon to enjoy the
Spring car shows and cruse ins.

You can shop at these websites:

Hemmings

Classic Cars

Auto Trader Classics

Antique Car

Ebay Motors

Team Chevelle

Chevelle SS Museum

Chevelle SS Museum for Muscle Cars

Here at 68ChevelleSS.com we are experts at the 1968 Chevelle SS396.  Being an expert means we need to know the history of not only the 68 but the entire class of the Chevrolet Chevelle classic cars that came before and after the 68.  We are passionate about the history of the Chevrolet Chevelle SS and there is no better place to view the history in one place then Rick Treworgy’s Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Muscle Car City has over 200 antique cars and classic cars from as early as the 1920’s.

Our Top 3 Reasons to Visit Muscle Car City for Chevelle SS enthusiasts:

1) See Every Chevelle SS Generation

At Muscle Car City you get to see every Chevelle in chronological order by year.  What great about this setup is most car shows you go to the Chevelle’s are spread about a show.  At the time of our visit, Muscle Car City had every generation of Chevelle SS from 1964 thru 1973. **PLEASE NOTE: these cars can change and some or all may not be at the museum at the time of your visit.  To confirm what Chevelle years they have on display, always contact Muscle Car City directly.**

  • First Generation Chevelle SS (1964-1967)
  • Second Generation Chevelle SS (1968-1972)
  • Third Generation Chevelle SS (1973-1977)

Here is a list of First, Second and Third Generation Super Sport cars we took pictures of:

First Generation:

  • 1964 Chevrolet Malibu SS
  • 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
  • 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Convertible
  • 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
  • 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
  • 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS427

Second Generation:

  • 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
  • 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 Convertible
  • 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 (Blue, Grey and Yellow)
  • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454
  • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 Convertible
  • 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 Convertible
  • 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454
  • 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454

Third Generation:

  • 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454

View our picture gallery here: Chevelle SS Museum Pictures

View our videos out on our video page or go to our YouTube Channel here: 68ChevelleSSChannel

2) See The Difference
By viewing each year in chronological order you can visually see the difference over the years.  If you are looking to purchase a Chevelle this is ideal.  You can see every Chevelle SS and decide on which years or years you like.

3) Friends and Family

The venue at Muscle Car City is great for all types of car enthusiasts or for folks looking to check out some great muscle cars.  The facility is family friendly with a 60’s themed diner and a great place to spend time looking at cars with friends and family.  At the time of our visit, the Chevelle SS section was located near the front of the museum.  Exactly where we would put our Chevelle SS…front and center.

 

Happy 45th Birthday 1968 Chevelle SS 396

Happy New Year and Happy 45th Birthday to my 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396!

I cannot think of a better day than the first day 2013 to celebrate the historic 45th birthday of the 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396.

I can remember vividly that fall day in 1967 when I ordered my Chevelle from B. Bogdewic Chevrolet in Bentleyville  PA and to finally take delivery on January 16, 1968.  Today is 45th anniversary of the 68 Chevelle SS muscle car which I purchased to proudly cruise the streets and race at the drag strip.  Little did I know at that time this car would become a classic that it is.

This is a historic day for another reason.  Today is the official launch and first day of 68ChevelleSS.com.  I am the original owner of my Chevelle who worked together with the dealer sales representative and owner and my father to custom select the components from the Chevrolet order book and fill out the retail order form.  Because I wanted the best performance from the car I choose the L78 motor, M22 transmission, 4.10 differential gears, and no power-robbing AC, power steering or power brakes.  The M22 choice delayed the delivery some 90 days.  The factory in Baltimore, on a number of occasions, notified the dealership that the car could be shipped earlier if the M21 transmission was acceptable.  I chose to wait for the M22.  I want to celebrate my passion and knowledge of my SS396 with other 68 Chevelle SS enthusiasts, Chevelle owners and those whom may be looking to restore, or purchase a Chevelle SS.

Here are some topics you can expect to see on the 68ChevelleSS.com website going forward:

  • Content and discussions on the 1968 Chevelle SS 396
  • Purchasing a Chevelle
  • Maintenance
  • Car Shows
  • Resources
  • We will have Videos
  • Follow Us on Twitter
  • More to be announced

Thanks for visiting and we look forward to your support and input!