Chevy Camaro History (1968)
Article by Mark Trotta
With the new third-generation Corvette stealing the spotlight at Chevy dealers, 1968 saw only minor changes to the second-year Camaro. These included a mild grille redesign, divided rear tail-lamps, and side-marker lights added to the front fenders and rear quarters. Front running lights on non-RS models were changed from circular to oval.
Interior console and gauges were new for 1968, and a passenger-side grab-handle was available with either one of two custom interior groups.
Side vent windows seen on 1967 models were gone, replaced with Chevrolet's new fresh-air-inlet system called Astro Ventilation.
Camaros were originally equipped with single-leaf rear springs, which contributed to unwanted wheel hop under hard acceleration. For 1968, multi-leaf rear springs were fitted to high-performance V-8 models. Rear shock absorber mounting was also redesigned; the passenger-side shock passed behind the axle, and the driver's side shock mounted in front of the axle. This staggered arrangement improved handling and helped eliminate wheel hop.
As offered in 1967, three optional platforms were available; RS, SS, and Z-28.
1968 Camaro SS
The SS350 continued to use the same hood as last years, while the SS396 got its own, adorned with twin non-functional intake ports. A new 350-horsepower 396-cid option was added, and aluminum cylinder-heads were now available with the L-78 big-block.
1968 Camaro Z-28
Initially nothing more than an option code designation, the Z-28 moniker stuck, and models so equipped sported either Z-28 or 302 badges. Dual low-restriction mufflers, heavy-duty radiator with temperature-controlled fan, and 15x6-inch wheels were included with the Z-28 package.
The rear decklid spoiler, first seen on Z-28 models, was soon available on all Camaros, and buyers could now combine the Z-28 package with the RS package. 7,199 examples of the second-year Z-28 were sold.
The potent 302 small-block engine remained the same. A dual-four-barrel cross-ram intake manifold was available, using twin 600-cfm carburetors.
Racing legend Mark Donahue, driving the blue #6 Camaro, won 10 of the 13 Trans Am races this year, easily winning the 1968 series. A Penske/Sunoco prepped 302 engine produced an estimated 480-horsepower. With SCCA rules stating parts used on race cars must be available to the public, the Penske/Donohue race team should be credited for helping bring many heavy-duty race items to dealer parts-counters.
Consistently finishing ahead of Mustangs on the track, the resulting publicity helped overall Camaro sales. A total 235,417 models were sold for the 1968 model year.
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