Q: Hi Greg. I just picked up a 1968 Chevelle Malibu 4-door Station Wagon that I found between Ohio and Indiana. I am going to go through the whole car and fix whatever needs fixing. It has a 327 V8 engine and automatic transmission. Although it needs a good paint job, it runs very strong and only has 117,000 miles on it. Are these cars rare or hard to find? Also, what is the value and how many do you think are left? Thanks much, Burt D., Countryside, Illinois.

A: Burt, you have two things going for you with your '68 Malibu Wagon. First, you don't see many of them anymore and second, station wagons are "in" with collectors nowadays. Additionally, the '68 Malibu Wagon is a good looking machine, and yours happens to be a 327 V8 instead of the much lesser valued 6-cylinder models. Although your wagon will never be worth what a sibling Malibu SS 396 might bring, the 327 powered Malibu Wagons do have collector value over and above what some people think.

I'd go ahead with correcting what needs to be done and put a nice color on it. As for the choice of colors, if the engine and transmission match in build code, I'd lean toward painting it the original color. If there's too much different or not number matching, then your imagination can take you far, and you may end up with a machine worth more than a numbers matching wagon. If it were mine, I'd go for one of the new, brilliant, gold, orange or blue super metallic colors and add shiny chrome wheels. I guarantee you'll get lots of looks on the highway.

As for current book value, Hagerty's "Cars That Matter" lists the 327 V8 model in your car's condition at $11,800 for the 250 horse L73 version and $13,900 for 275 horse L30 option, while the 6-cylinder models go for just $5,800 to 6,500, a whooping 50-percent drop. Thank goodness it has the 327 under the hood. Notable is a very rare 327 with 325 horses (L79), and if you have this one, add another $5,000 to the price.

Production finds only 14,788 Malibu V8 4-door wagons produced that 1968 model year out of a total of 464,669 Chevelles built in America. There were other Chevelle Wagons, ranging from Nomad to Chevelle 300 to Concours, but these totaled less than 25,000 V8 models combined, so even with your 14,788 build number, the total V8 wagons are less than 40,000. (I'd say very few are left today).

A 1968 Malibu Wagon in professionally restored condition books for $23,000 for the 250 horse, $27,000 for the 275 horse or $33,000 for the 325 horse version. Remember, these are book values, not guaranteed prices.

Burt, the choice is yours as to how you rebuild and renew you wagon. However, when it's finished it will be a show car winner and boulevard attention getter, regardless of choice.

(Greg Zyla welcomes reader inquiries at 116 Main St., Towanda, Pa. 18848 or e-mail him at extramile_2000@yahoo.com).