FEATURE: 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
It wasn’t that long ago that we told you about the story of Jerry Coglianese and his 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. To jog your memory, a few years ago Jerry was on the prowl for a bow-tie muscle machine and spied his Butternut Yellow GM dream, after just seeing a corner peaking out from under a car cover in a residential area. Undeterred, Jerry approached the owner and was able to purchase the ultra-clean car. He told us how his eyes also locked onto his ’67’s garage mate – a drool-worthy 1968 Chevelle SS. Turns out, this Grotto Blue sport coupe that we came upon at the downtown Palatine Friday night cruise was that car that kept his classic cruiser company.
We found this Chevelle’s owner, Rick Koshgarian, who promptly told us he remembers Jerry quite well and still sees him quite often.“Now, he’s bugging me about selling this Chevelle,‘ said Rick with a chuckle.
He may have let the other one go, but Rick seems determined to hang onto this one. And who can blame him? With it’s one-year only paint option, L78 396 big block V8 and bad-boy Torque Thrust wheels, you’d be hard pressed to find any owner who would let a bruising, street machine like this out of their hands.
Rick purchased the two-door in 1999 from a Mecum Auction, held at the Boone County Fairgrounds, in Belvidere, Illinois. It had belonged to the Dave Simpson Collection – a group of classic, performance vehicles. After purchasing it, Rick bolted on the American Racing wheels, added bigger Baer brakes and a Hotchkis suspension. “I wanted to tighten everything up, drop it down and lower the center of gravity,‘ said Rick.
Naturally, a vehicle like this isn’t bought for looks or cornering ability alone but for what lies under that bulging hood. Helping the 396 live up to it’s tire-roasting fame are rectangle port heads, a 780 Holley carb, an aluminum intake and Hooker Super Comp Headers. “The best thing about the car has to be the sound and rapture of the motor. Because it has 11:1 compression, it just pulls and hits 6800-7000 RPM before it shifts. It’s a high-revving motor that’s just a dream to drive,‘ said Rick. A M22 ‘rockcrusher’ Muncie is responsible for getting that launchpad-like power to a 4:88, 12-bolt rear end.
Whether it’s the special paint, stalwart powerplant or one-year factory trim, it doesn’t seem like Rick has any reason to be putting a ‘for sale’ sign in this rolling relic’s windshield anytime soon. Looks like Jerry might have to look elsewhere if he wants a new set of ’68 Chevelle keys.
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