Curbside Capsule: 1968 Pontiac Le Mans Redux

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Tom, I’ll see your 1968 car show Le Mans, and raise you a 1968 parking lot Le Mans that looks like it drove right out of 1973…

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Springtime in the Middle West always brings out a succession of classic cars parked along the “end cap” spaces in the parking lot at work. Many are resto-mods, but a good third of them are true survivors like this car.

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Out of the GM brands extant in the late 1960s, I’ve always felt Pontiac did the best with their interiors. This dash reminds me a lot of the one in my 1966 Tempest—it was almost jewel-like in the detailing.

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No question about what lurks under the hood of this car. Actually, it might be possible that folks are confused, as the 350 in reference here is not a SBC, but rather the 354.74 c.i.d. (5.8l) “actual displacement” engine created by mating a bored-out Pontiac 326 block with the 3.75″ crank from the 326/389/400 engine. No idea why Pontiac called it a 350 instead of a 354, though. This engine could be ordered with a 2 barrel carburetored 265 hp mill, or bumped up to 325 hp with a 4 barrel carb.

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And how about those wire wheel covers and skinny tires? No “wall of rubber” on this baby!

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1968 brought new styling to the Le Mans, including the distinctive Pontiac “beak” that would show up on certain Fords a year or two later.

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It looks like around 8,820 convertibles were sold in 1968, making this car all the rarer for its being so original.

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Looks like they ordered the automatic, too.

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I love finding cars like this—well preserved and still providing enjoyment for their owners!