As it was with the body of the 1968 SS427, the name "Impala " did not appear anywhere on the interior of the vehicle. The Impala Super Sport had now been discontinued as a separate model series at the end of 1967 and for 1968 was now a simple model option (RPO Z-03) for the Impala sport coupe, custom coupe and convertible. Accordingly, the SS427 was also just a model option for the Impala and came standard with a bench seat and transmission on the column.
The best way to add a little life to the interior of a 1968 SS427 was to further combine it with the Z-03 Impala Super Sport option, shown in detail a little further below. By now the basic Super Sport model option was nothing more than a "looks" package, offering bucket seats, center console, and special Super Sport upholstery and door panels for the interior, and special Super Sport wheel covers and ornamentation for the exterior. In my opinion, the 1968 Super Sport equipment option featured one of the most handsome interiors ever offered in any 1960's Chevrolet.
Most of the '68 SS427s that I have seen were built this way, with the combination Z-03/Z-24 packages, resulting in some very attractive automobiles. However, I have seen two legitimate cars that were of the bench seat variety, including the Palomino Ivory convertible featured throughout this site.
For anyone wondering "Could you get a '68 SS427 with a bench seat?", the answer is most definitely! As I explained earlier, the standard Impala Super Sport had now been reduced to a simple extra-cost model option for the Impala. The Impala came with a bench seat as standard equipment. If the Z-03 Super Sport equipment option was not ordered, then the SS427 came with a bench seat. I mention this because at a recent show I heard a legitimate '68 SS427 referred to as a "wanna-be" by a gentleman because it had a bench seat. He was under the impression that "no Chevy Super Sports came with the bench seat."
Below you will find detailed pictures and information about the interior of the 1968 Impala SS427. Click on any of the images for a better look.
1968 was the only year of the SS427 where Chevrolet actually included any type of special "SS427" identification on the interior. A small strip molded in black was inserted just above the glove box on the passenger side. To the extreme right of this strip there was placed a small, rectangular "SS427" emblem. This strip was always black, regardless of the vehicle's interior trim color, on all SS427 Impalas. On 1968 Impalas that were the Z-03 Super Sport cars, this strip was again black, with an emblem that read "Super Sport". On a standard Impala this strip was white and had a script that read "Impala" molded into it.
Above and to the right is a picture of the dealer installed tachometer that is extremely hard to find these days. This tachometer wasn't readily available as a Regular Production Option item, but was listed as available on all full-sized Chevrolets in the 1968 Dealers Accessory brochure. A curious option, the picture to the far right is a dealer installed tachometer in a legit 1968 SS427. The curious part is WHY would someone order this tachometer when the optional Special Instrumentation package, shown further below in detail, was available on all models with V-8s?? More than likely, these tachometers were installed in cars that dealers ordered to put on their lots. Perhaps a customer decided they liked what they saw on the lot, but was not happy with the lack of a tachometer to monitor engine r.p.m.s. Since the vehicle was already built, this dealer installed tachometer would probably have been their least expensive and best alternative.
Shown to the far left is the optional (RPO-N34) simulated wood grain steering wheel. These particular steering wheels sold poorly, even though they really accented the interior of the car quite nicely. Only 2,021 of these wheels were sold in 1968 on the big Chevrolets and, when ordered with SS427 equipment, featured no special SS427 identification.The simulated wood wheel used a round horn button cap that featured a small Chevrolet bow tie framed by red, white, and blue colored trim rings.This particular wheel is quite popular today in restorations and rest assured, most of the cars you see with this type of wheel are using a reproduction wheel that just doesn't quite have the same appearance as the originals.
In the center and to the far right is the "Deluxe Wheel" which was standard on Impala and Caprice and optional (RPO N-30) on Biscayne and Bel Air. Notice the tiny "SS427" emblem near the top of the steering wheel.
Another option that could be ordered that really made for a very serious looking interior was the "Special Instrumentation Package" (RPO U-14) that featured a dash-mounted tachometer as well as an ammeter, an oil pressure gauge and a water temperature gauge. The tachometer came with one of three different redlines, depending on the engine installed; 307, 327 and 396 V-8s used the 5,000 R.P.M. tachometer (G.M. part number 6469267) , the L-36 427 used the 5,500 R.P.M. tachometer (G.M. part number 6469268) and the L-72 427 used the 6,000 R.P.M. tachometer (G.M. part number 6469269). Most of the 1968 SS427s that I have seen also had this special instrumentation. I guess any buyer serious enough about performance to order a 427 engine also must have wanted to know what was going on under the hood. This gauge cluster is shown in all three of the pictures above.
The tachometer shown above and to the left is out of a 327 powered 1968 Impala and uses the 5,000 R.P.M. red line. The center picture shows the tachometer from a 385 horsepower car and uses the 5,500 R.P.M. red line. The next picture (far right) is an impressive look at the tachometer and gauge package taken from a 1968 L-72 Biscayne. This particular setup uses a 6,000 R.P.M. redline.
Shown above is the optional RPO Z-03 Super Sport Equipment interior that was available on the Impala Custom Coupe, Sport Coupe, and Convertible. This interior featured "rich, all-vinyl Strato-bucket front seats and center console with lighted storage compartment." On all but the solid colored interiors (black and white), the seats featured an accent stripe that really made for a very attractive interior. The door panels also had their own distinctive design and featured an "SS" emblem (see picture below for a better look).
Notice also the green/gold interior in the middle picture above. That particular car is not an SS427, but does have the Super Sport interior. Notice the steering wheel emblem; it says "Super Sport". This is the type of wheel emblem a car such as this one, ordered solely with the Super Sport equipment, would receive. However, if the vehicle was ordered as the combination Z-03/Z-24, then the "SS427" emblems would normally take precedence over any "Super Sport" ornamentation. I know of a handful of SS427 Impalas, most of them built at the Southgate CA plant, that used the "Super Sport" emblem in lieu of the "SS427" emblem.
If the SS427 was ordered without the Z-03 option then it came standard with the basic Impala interior and bench seat, shown directly below and to the right.
The first picture to the left show the "SS" door panel emblem that I mentioned in the preceding text. Again, this emblem will only be found on cars that had the optional Z-03 Super Sport interior. There was no special "SS427" identification in this area. The two pictures on the right show an SS427 ordered with the standard interior with bench seat and transmission shifter on the column. An SS427 with this standard interior received no special door panel emblems.