Curbside Capsule: 1968 Pontiac Le Mans Redux

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…

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Looks like they ordered the automatic, too.

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