CC Outtake: 1968 Chevelle 300 Hardtop Coupe – The Un-Malibu Chevelle

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I’d like to tell you that I took this picture on the go because I instantly recognized it as a rather rare Chevelle 300 hardtop coupe. But I didn’t; I took it because it’s so endearingly scruffy and reminded me of so many similar Malibu coupes that once were everywhere as second and third-hand cars in the later 70s and into the 80s. And inevitably driven by a younger version of the guy driving this one; you know exactly what he looked like if you were around then. Obviously he’s had it since that era, and has managed to make it a well-preserved rolling time-capsule; more so than himself. You younger readers: this is what 1979 looked like.

Anyway, it was only when I opened this image at home that I noticed the lack of rear deck trim; hmm; must have fallen off. But then it hit me: this is no Malibu; this is a rather rare Chevelle 300 hardtop coupe, with a vinyl top to really throw the casual viewer. And me.

Chevelle 1968 300 hdtop coupe

Here’s how it looked in the brochure. Strictly speaking, it’s a 300 Deluxe, as the plain 300 was a true stripper without any chrome trim, and didn’t come in the hardtop body style. It seems a bit odd to offer this mid-low level Chevelle in a hardtop; there weren’t any analogous Bel Air hardtops.

Frankly, this is the first of it’s kind I can consciously remember, at least since the post big-sideburns era. Malibu coupes were extremely popular and everywhere; not so 300s.