Author Topic: Unusual 1968 Camaro?  (Read 2581 times)

pfsarch

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Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« on: September 27, 2016, 05:48:53 PM »
I'm new to the Forum and offer a minor story :

In 1968 my father purchased a '68 Camero 'Plant Car' from Fischer Body; +2,500 miles on the odometer. He was employed as a Tool & Die Maker in Detroit for +15 years. I took ownership from him in 1974 and began a rebuilding as necessary.

Three interesting details of this ride :
1)   it had a 327ci small block but with a custom fit Turbo-Hydramatic three-speed (I don't have a picture of the housing tag)
2)   it had custom fit electric windows; removing the door panels showed the weld/cuts necessary to allow the push lever controls to fit
3)   the paint was Sapphire Blue with a black vinyl top; the tone was between Fathom Blue and Bright Blue

In June of '74 I had the 327 block bored to 331ci and installed new cams at 87,000 miles. The trans was rebuilt by AAMCO around 75,000 miles. I had window issues with the control contacts so I had to pull apart the interior and found the steel cuts. I kept the Camero running for about three years. The second trans failure doomed my investment. I sold off the block for about $350 and sent the remaining body to the auto dump.

My research on the CRG site caused me to ask if there were many of these GM customized Ponycars?

Paul
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 05:47:50 PM by bcmiller »

bertfam

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camero ?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2016, 11:11:48 PM »
Welcome to the site Paul.

To answer your questions:

1. It was probably a late car, and more than likely an L30. A very few late 1968 model Camaros received TH350's transmissions as part of an evaluation fleet. The evidence to date suggests that this was limited to L30 models, with a EN engine code.

2. Factory electric windows wouldn't need any cutting or welding necessary, so they were probably aftermarket. I know you no longer have the car, but do you have any pictures?

3. Sapphire Blue would have been a special paint order but I don't have any info on that one. Maybe someone else does. Did it look like THIS COLOR?

Edit: Found out SAPPHIRE BLUE was used in 1967 on several GM cars, and also in 1968 on the Oldsmobile line.

Ed
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 11:37:24 PM by bertfam »
Ed "Bert" Bertrand
email me!

bcmiller

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro ?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 04:19:21 PM »
Paul we would be very interested if you have any of the factory documentation on this car.

Or pics.

Oh and I changed the typo in your subject line. :)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 05:48:37 PM by bcmiller »
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016

68CamaroEN

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 08:55:36 PM »
Ok so this intrigues me as I have been looking for any evidence of these ďtest carsĒ after acquiring one. I can not find anything on them except for that they did exist. I have the Protect-o Plate as well as some documentation from the factory stating that it was one of the test Cars. Iíll post photos.
 I purchased the car wanting to put a big block in the car but upon finding a number matching transmission that was a TH350 I was scratching my head. Iím no longer going to change the engine and have been looking very hard to try to find another case of an actual 68 test car like this one. PLEASE IF ANYONE KNOWS ANY INFORMATION ON THIS CAR ,PLEASE POST!!!
 I spoke with Jerry MacNeish as he was referred by Barrett-Jackson but he had no evidence of another one he could speak of. No production numbers or any other documented case of the 1968 327 TH350 test cars. I called Chevrolet and they cannot reach any records past 1977...

I have tried all different ways to post photos of my docs.This website will simply not let me post so far so I may need some help with that.

68CamaroEN

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2019, 08:59:09 PM »
pic

68CamaroEN

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 09:36:25 PM »
The photo is very blurry and not readable, I apologize.

Here is how the form reads,

                                                  THIS CARD MUST BE REMOVED WHEN VEHICLE IS SOLD

                                                                          INSTRUCTION NOTICE
                                                                                        TO
                                                                            VEHICLE OPERATOR

THIS CAR IS EQUIPPED WITH A NEW DESIGN 3-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION. IT WAS
INSTALLED IN THIS COMPANY OWNED VEHICLE FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES. RELEASE OF
THIS TRANSMISSION TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC WILL NOT BEGIN UNTIL THE START OF 1969
PRODUCTION.

SERVICE INFORMATION, SPECIAL TOOLS AND REPAIR PARTS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE IN THE
FIELD UNTIL THE 1969 MODEL INTRODUCTION. THEREFORE, IN THE EVENT OF ANY
MALFUNCTIONS OR FAILURE RIOR TO THIS TIME, IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO
CONTACT YOUR ZONE SERVICE MANAGER. IF NECESSARY, HE WILL ARRANGE FOR A
COMPLETE TRANSMISSION EXCHANGE. PROBLEM UNIT WILL THEN BE RETURNED TO THE
MANUFACTURING PLANT FOR INSPECTION. WE ARE NOT ANTICIPATING ANY PROBLEMS
WITH THE UNIT THAT WOULD REQUIRE REMOVAL AND AFTER THOSE VEHICLES ARE DRIVEN
3000 MILES OR HAVE BEEN IN COMPNY CAR SERVICE FOR AT LEAST 90 DAYS THEY MAY
BE SOLD IN ACCORDANCE WITH CURRENT COMPANY CAR POLICY.

IN THE EVENT IT IS NECESSARY TO REPORT ANY PROBLEM TO YOUR SERVICE MANAGER,
FILL OUT AND MAIL THE LOWER PORTION OF THIS CARD TO CENTRAL OFFICE.

THIS CARD MUST BE REMOVED WHEN CAR IS SOLD


The rest under the perforated portion if for the field tester to check boxes and list issues... thanks guys!!!

KurtS

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2019, 07:18:06 AM »
There was an GM internal test fleet to try out the new TH350 transmission.
I'm out of time right now but I'll make a post about the trial when I get back.
Kurt S
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olddragracer

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2019, 03:04:12 PM »
The information that Camaro had test cars in 1968 with the TH350 transmission is interesting. Working on these cars when they were current, parts for the TH350 transmission were often listed as 1968 and newer. I do not recall ever working on a 68 with a TH350 transmission. The early TH350 used a large black anaerobic vacuum modulator. The transmission cross member had to have a large dimple to clear the modulator. Is there any information on when the dimpled crossmember was first used?

bcmiller

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2019, 05:47:53 PM »
I guess what is it you need to know? Everything has pretty much be stated.

There were test cars late in the 1968 model year used to test the TH350 transmissions in actual vehicles, prior to them being introduced for the 1969 model year.

Rare? Possibly.

Uncommon? Yes

Does it make it more valuable? No

« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 07:01:55 PM by bcmiller »
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016

68CamaroEN

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2019, 06:14:37 PM »
Bcmiller,

 I appreciate the information. To answer your question, Iíd like to know if anyone else has any documented cases of these cars. I cannot find another one.
 As you have stated, they are uncommon but not rare. How are you basing your findings? If youíre saying they are uncommon, but not rare, what production numbers or case by case information do you have to come up with this answer?

  Id love to find other owners or provable cases if possible.


bcmiller

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 06:49:28 PM »
Yes there are other documented cars. L30 and L48.

I donít think there are any solid production numbers.

I went back and changed my previous post.

It is a car of interest for the CRG group. Especially because of the paperwork that is still with it. 

Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016

68CamaroEN

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 07:02:10 PM »
Thank you BC

olddragracer

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2019, 07:27:58 PM »
My question is about the transmission cross member. In the early 1970's while converting a couple of 1967 camaros from Muncie 4 speed to TH350 transmissions there were clearance problems between the large black vacuum modulators and the cross member. On 1969 cars with the TH350 transmission, and 4 speed cars, the crossmember has a dimple to clear the modulator. Replacement and reproduction crossmembers all have the dimple. My question is when was the dimple added to the cross member during production. The reason those cars were converted to automatic transmission was so a spouse could drive the car.

68CamaroEN

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2019, 09:39:54 PM »
olddragracer

I have taken a few photos but cannot figure out ho to upload them with any sort of quality to where you can see them well. i can email them to you? I dont see any dimple

bcmiller

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Re: Unusual 1968 Camaro?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2019, 01:57:04 AM »
My question is about the transmission cross member. In the early 1970's while converting a couple of 1967 camaros from Muncie 4 speed to TH350 transmissions there were clearance problems between the large black vacuum modulators and the cross member. On 1969 cars with the TH350 transmission, and 4 speed cars, the crossmember has a dimple to clear the modulator. Replacement and reproduction crossmembers all have the dimple. My question is when was the dimple added to the cross member during production. The reason those cars were converted to automatic transmission was so a spouse could drive the car.

Can you post a photo of the area you are talking about?
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016