1968 Chevy El Camino 396 SS: Embracing the Iconic Muscle Car

Introducing the 1968 Chevrolet El Camino 396 SS, a true marvel in the realm of American muscle cars. With its distinctive design, raw power, and versatility, this legendary vehicle has captivated the hearts of automotive enthusiasts for decades. From its robust 375 horsepower 396 V8 engine to its performance-enhancing features, the El Camino 396 SS embodies the perfect fusion of style and performance. Whether you’re drawn to its aggressive stance or enticed by its hauling capabilities, this iconic muscle car promises an exhilarating driving experience like no other. Join us as we delve into the rich heritage and undeniable allure of the 1968 Chevrolet El Camino 396 SS.

History of the El Camino

The Chevrolet El Camino was originally introduced as a response to Ford’s Ranchero, offering a blend of utility and performance. While some people may consider the El Camino to be a novelty item, it has proven its worth to those who needed a versatile vehicle for work and recreation. The 1968 El Camino stayed true to its practical roots while incorporating impressive performance enhancements.

To attract more buyers and tap into the muscle car market, Chevrolet introduced the SS trim and performance package for the El Camino. This allowed drivers to experience the thrill of a high-powered muscle car while benefiting from the practicality of a work vehicle. The El Camino SS quickly gained popularity among enthusiasts looking for a versatile and fast ride.

Specifications and Performance

The 1968 El Camino SS came equipped with the highest output engine available, the RPO code L78 375 horsepower 396 V8. This powerhouse of an engine was paired with a Muncie 4-speed transmission, delivering an incredible driving experience. The 12-bolt rear-end with 3.55 to 1 gears ensured that the El Camino had the muscle to impress on both the streets and the track.

Under the hood, the L78 engine boasted a solid lifter camshaft, oversized valves, and large rectangular ports. These features were specifically designed to optimize performance and deliver exceptional power. With its impressive power figures, the El Camino SS was not just a work truck; it was a true performance machine that could hold its own against any muscle car of its time.

Behind the wheel, drivers could feel the raw power and exhilaration as they shifted through the gears. The combination of the powerful engine, precise transmission, and well-matched rear-end gears provided an exhilarating driving experience that left a lasting impression. Whether it was the quick acceleration off the line or the thrilling top-end speed, the El Camino SS proved that it was more than just a utility vehicle—it was a true muscle car through and through.

The 1968 El Camino SS with its 375 horsepower 396 V8 engine and exceptional performance features was a standout in the world of muscle cars. It offered a driving experience that combined the power and excitement of a high-performance vehicle with the practicality and versatility of a pickup truck. With its impressive specifications and thrilling performance, the El Camino SS remains an iconic symbol of American muscle car history.

Unique Features

While the El Camino excelled in its practicality as a pickup truck, it also showcased unique features that set it apart from other vehicles of its time. With a 1500-pound payload capacity and over six feet of bed length, the El Camino proved to be a hard worker. Its ability to haul tools and supplies to the track while serving as a race car itself made it an appealing choice for those seeking a versatile vehicle.

The El Camino SS featured a striking design that mirrored its Chevelle SS sibling. This particular 1968 El Camino came in a beautiful Sea Frost Green color with a black lower accent and vinyl top. The combination of black, green, silver rally wheels, and redline tires created a visually appealing appearance. The presence of SS badges, a satin black stripe on the tailgate, and a distinctive 396 box on the marker light hinted at the power lurking under the hood.

Stepping inside the El Camino SS, you would find yourself surrounded by features reminiscent of the Chevelle SS. The Strato bucket seats, wood steering wheel, full console, and four-speed manual shift provided a classic muscle car experience. The full gauge panel in the dash, along with the drum-style needle tachometer, added to the thrill of driving. The El Camino SS offered a balance of power and comfort, making it an enjoyable ride for both work and play.

Rarity and Collectibility

The 1968 Chevrolet El Camino SS holds a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts. With only 393 units produced, it remains a rare find today. The limited production numbers, combined with its performance and practicality, make it a highly sought-after vehicle among muscle car enthusiasts. Owning a well-preserved El Camino SS from 1968 is a testament to automotive history and the golden era of American muscle.

Suspension system

The 1968 Chevrolet El Camino SS not only impressed with its powerful engine but also showcased an exceptional suspension system. Known as the F41 heavy-duty suspension, it featured higher-rate coil springs and shocks, ensuring enhanced handling and control. This setup was complemented by a larger front sway bar and braced and boxed rear control arms, which minimized flex and provided stability during hard launches. Additionally, a rear sway bar was included to further improve the El Camino’s overall performance. With its advanced suspension components, the El Camino SS offered a smooth and exhilarating ride that perfectly complemented its muscle car status.

To complete its aggressive appearance and enhance performance, the 1968 El Camino SS came equipped with 14-inch rally wheels. These iconic wheels were wrapped in F70 14-inch tires, providing excellent grip and traction on the road. The combination of rally wheels and performance tires not only enhanced the El Camino’s aesthetics but also improved its handling and cornering capabilities. Furthermore, the El Camino SS boasted front disc brakes, ensuring reliable and efficient stopping power. Whether cruising down the highway or taking on twisty roads, the El Camino SS delivered an exhilarating driving experience with its superior wheel and brake setup.

Underneath the 1968 El Camino SS, a well-engineered chassis and suspension system worked in harmony to deliver an exceptional driving experience. The four-link suspension setup with a solid rear axle provided stability and precise handling, allowing the driver to feel connected to the road. The carefully tuned suspension geometry, combined with the sturdy chassis construction, minimized body roll and provided a balanced ride. Whether tackling straightaways or navigating tight turns, the El Camino SS showcased impressive composure and responsiveness. This exceptional undercarriage design further cemented the El Camino SS as a true muscle car, offering both power and finesse on the road.


The 1968 Chevrolet El Camino 396 SS stands as a testament to the combination of practicality and performance. With its powerful 375 horsepower engine, unique design, and versatility, it continues to captivate the hearts of muscle car enthusiasts. Whether you appreciate its hauling capabilities, its speed on the drag strip, or simply its striking appearance, the El Camino remains an icon of the automotive world.

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