1968 Chevrolet Camaro: Formerly Code Name Panther

The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro is a first generation GM pony car, which, before the 1967’s, with the same body style,  hit the market was referred to a “Panther” by company execs. When asked about the curious designation, according to We Love Camaros, the GM executives would playfully respond that the “Panther” is a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs. This was due to the fact that the first gen Camaro was released, along with the first gen Pontiac Firebird to compete directly with the extremely popular Ford Mustang.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro
1968 Chevrolet Camaro image by dave_7 from Lethbridge, Canada (1968 Chevrolet Camaro) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1968 Chevrolet Camaro Information

The 1968 Chevy Camaro was given a handful of designations over the years, including pony car, muscle car, intermediate touring car, and sports car. No matter what term was used to describe it, however, it was a wildly popular ride, and still is today.

A total of 245,147 Camaros were produced for 1968, with the majority of  those being the base coupe according to Old Ride. Other models included the base convertible, the Rally Sport Camaro, the Camaro SS, and the Z/28 Camaro.

The Six-Cylinder 1968 Chevy Camaros

The six cylinder Camaros for 1968 included the Series 23 Camaro Sport Coupe (with almost 50,000 produced) and the Series 23 Camaro Convertible (with under 3,000 made), as noted by 1968SS.

The Selection of 8-Cylinder ’68 Camaros

A total of eight 8-cylinder options were offered for the ’68 Camaro, according to My Classic Garage. These options included:

  1. The 302 cubic inch 290hp engine in the Z/28
  2. The 327 cubic inch 275hp engine in the L30
  3. The 327 cid 210hp engine in the standard model V8
  4. The 350 cubic inch 295hp engine in the L48
  5. The 396 cid 375hp engine in the L78
  6. The 396 cubic inch 325hp in the L35
  7. The 396 cid 350hp engine in the L34
  8. The 427 cubic inch 425hp engine in the L72

1968 Camaro Dimensions

In comparison to a lot of other cars in the market for 1968, the Camaro was fairly small and light, and the combination of its light weight and powerful engines drop it squarely in the heart of the muscle car genre.

The car’s total length is 184.7 inches and its wheel base comes in at 108 inches. The Camaro for ’68 measures 51.5 inches tall and 72.6 inches wide. The nickname Panther may have been an insider’s joke before the first gen Camaros hit the market, but its sleek stance and powerful performance delivered a certain amount of raw magnetism and appeal that’s not unlike the panther and kind of unusual to find in a machine.

By Laure Justice

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