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1968 Corvette Up Close

September 2011

Being judged at the Redline Corvettes Car show, Sept 2011
September 18, 2011 - Had a great time at the Redline Corvettes All Corvette Car Show in Thousand Oaks. "Safari" was entered in the Stock C3 Hoods Down category and took second place! Considering that the competition was of a high caliber, this was a pleasant surprise. Below left and center: The judging, always a nervous time. Special thanks to spousal unit Francie who was very diligent with the detailing task.
Being judged at the Redline Corvettes Car show, Sept 2011 Being judged at the Redline Corvettes Car show, Sept 2011 Second place, Stock hoods down C3!

The alarm, which was an option for 1968 (RPO UA6, $26.00) was a bit of a puzzle. The key port on Safari, located in the middle of the rear bumper area above the "Corvette" script (below right), was different than seen on other Corvettes of the era which were of a different shape and flatter. Speculation was that it might have been a aftermarket installation or maybe the key switch itself had gone bad and was replaced by a previous owner. Another 1968 owner told me that the factory alarm installation included a relay under the storage compartment located behind the passenger seat. Removing the inner liner revealed the jack and wheel lug wrench. Under the jack and next to the flasher module was the relay (below right), so Safari was equipped with the factory alarm. I still don't have the key and probably won't bother to get one in the near future as it won't be of much use. This appears to be something that was installed in late 1968 Corvettes as a couple of other later built 1968s had the alarm even though only 388 (1.6%) were so equipped. Production for the alarm was upped to 12,436 (32%) in 1969.
Alarm key switch Spare tire jack and lug wrench Alarm Relay
1968 Corvette Jack and spare tire lug wrench Left: Jack and spare tire lug wrench. It looked almost like it had never been used! Still seems operational even thought it could use some WD-40 to loosen things up a bit. Now on my to-do list: release the spare tire to see what I've got and maybe even try a practice run at changing a tire.

"SFRI YLW" - short for "Safari Yellow" personalized plates were obtained. My past experience is that nobody from the general public will get it, but that's OK.

Below: I've decided to "go commando", a California term* for not installing a front license plate. They ugly up the car way too much as well as to restrict valuable airflow to the cooling system.

*not really

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Comments (3)

Royal Hibbard(Vancouver, Washington, US)says...

Just wanted to add to my comments. I never thought of the C3 body style as "coke bottle" rather I referred to it as "Mako Shark" type.

Royal Hibbard(Vancouver, Washington, US)says...

Great information thank you for all your work putting this together. I had a 1968 convertible 327/350 hp, LeMans Blue/ white top, 4spd.I bought it in 1970 and it still had the firestone redline tires on it. Two weeks later the right rear axle bearing basicly melted, what a learning experience that was. 10 years later I was the Corvette,heavy duty truck,and motorhome mechanic at lyman Slack Chevrolet in Portland Oregon.A couple of things I noticed as per differences between early and late 68's was the late's had a brace between the fender and the wheel well at the hood hinge area to help keep the Fiberglas from cracking in that area.Also the trim piece that runs under the front fender back to the rear wheel well was black on the early's but silver on the later models (as I remember it ) so I painted mine silver. My steering wheel looked to be wood and I never had a left hand clearance problem with it.

Scotti Von Douglas(St Peters)says...

I Love Corvette Stingrays. Always have‼ i used to work at a Corvette shop in Westport plaza in Maryland Heights Mo. from 1977 to 1982. I've owned a 67 a 73 and a 79. Always something to learn. Great hobby❗

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