396 And A 3-Speed!? 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

1969 Chevelle SS

This 1969 Chevelle SS 396 is in pretty rough shape, but it’s a numbers matching car. There’s a fair amount of body damage and it looks like the vinyl roof held moisture causing the roof to rust. The seller would like $7,500 for it and claims that it has a clear title. The car is located in Canaan, New Hampshire and there is no VIN listed. Thank you, AMXBrian, for the tip. You can view more on Craigslist.

1969 Chevelle SS

The original, numbers matching 396 cubic inch V8 is connected to a 3-speed manual transmission. It does have front disc brakes according to the listing and there is a 12 bolt rear end. As you can tell from the photos, the engine is missing elements that would make it come to life. It looks like it was parted out in some places, as you can see there is no radiator or wheel well. The car’s body is in really rough shape, as you can see below.

1969 Chevelle SS

That carries on into the interior as well. While there are no photos of it, you can see from one of the pictures that there seem to be some parts piled high in it. The windshield is cracked and depending on where this car was stored and if the windows were down, the elements and critters have more than likely destroyed the interior. The more one looks at the car, the more it looks like it might have been in an accident as well.

1969 Chevelle SS

If this truly is a numbers matching car, it could be worth saving, especially at the price. It would require a lot of bodywork with the front right and rear left quarter panels and then the rusted roof. The engine might be the easiest part of the restoration process that we can see because the interior is unknown. You will need lots of time and money to put this back on the road, or maybe it is more worthwhile for parts. That is up to you to decide.

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Comments

  1. irocrobb

    A car like this in the 1980s with a free sign in the window would not tempt me. Junk

    Like 14
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Too rough and too much money for what is basically a parts car. Buy it for less and then go get a decent ’69 Chevelle and swap out the drive train and VIN. There’s probably other bits and pieces you can salvage from this hulk which may help with the swap.

    Maybe you can bring this one back but it with take pretty deep pockets and a lot of time and considerable skill. This one needs everything either restored, rebuilt or replaced. If you can’t buy it as a parts car for a lot less, just pass on it.

    Like 7
    • Chris M.

      Good luck on swapping VIN tags. That’s considered fraudulent and is rewarded with a vacation at the state resort.

      Like 17
      • Steve R

        So true. A friend at the CHP that did VIN verifications once came across a convertible where the trim tag said it was a valuable musclecar. However the VIN showed it was a 6 cylinder car, the con-VIN showed something else completely. Since neither of the VIN’s came back stolen, they issued the car a new VIN and removed and kept the trim tag, which was where the majority of the cars value came from.

        Steve R

        Like 5
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

        It’s been done before, it’s not like a VIN swap has never happened. I’ve seen it done a few times myself.

        Like 3
      • JagManBill

        On an British car, you call it “re-body-ing”. In all fairness, whats the difference in getting a Dynacorn body and a VIN swap? other than a fine-line…..

        Like 2
  3. Dan

    I, for one, would not part with $7,500 to own this car. If the seller is not willing to drop the price, the car will most likely be reclaimed by the earth.

    Like 4
    • PatrickM

      Yeah. I might go $2,500.00 on this but, even that is painful. I hate being negative but, I must look at the facts. And the big fact about this car s that is not much more than junk. A donor car at best. And no apologies from me.

      Like 1
  4. JOHN Member

    I completely agree with the auctions and people with too much money trying to impress others with their overpriced big name auction cars. The only positive I see in the auctions is the continued interest in these cars, and it drives the support and restoration parts suppliers to develop and sell a wider variety of parts. But… compared to may other recent Chevelle’s here, this one looks fairly good, again, compared to the recent finds. No trunk, interior, dash, floor photo’s either are not a good idea. You would never see $7500 leave my hand for it the way it is presented here.

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      Have you ever watched any auctions? YouTube live streams many Mecum auctions. There are more than a few good deals, especially when cars cross the block without reserve. Instead of crying about auction prices, people should get out from behind their keyboard and actually work at finding themselves a good deal. Many of the cars featured on this site are being flipped, that means these guys got the “deal”. It strange that some people seemingly find deal after deal, while others never do. I wonder if it’s about effort, probably not, that would make too much sense.

      Steve R

      Like 14
  5. Hans

    While it was some years ago, I bought my ’69 Chevelle for $1200! Rust free body (paint was shot). Engine was out, but it was the original block. 4 speed car. Required a complete restoration, but the body was in excellent SoCal condition. This one here, assuming the frame is in decent shape appears to need virtually all new body panels. Not cheap…

    Like 1
  6. JohnD

    Missing the tail panel with SS emblem. Methinks this chevelle got partly SSd, but they didn’t go all the way. That means it isn’t really numbers matching, then, is it????

    • Hans

      The only way to verify is to view the engine stampings and VIN to determine if the match. Emblems cannot be relied upon.

      Like 5
    • Andre

      Perhaps is you’re basing your research on methinks and a hunch. Anybody serious would know where to look to verify.

      Like 3
  7. Sal

    This looks like one of those places where cars go to die. At this point it is a rhetorical question, but what is the point of hoarding these cars until they are at the brink of uselessness? Surely whatever money this was worth 20 years ago would be worth close to $7500 today if properly invested….
    So why do they do it…? It can’t be out of love for old cars…

    Like 5
  8. XMA0891

    One of those rare B.F.’s that isn’t thousands of miles away from me. As ’69 is my second-favorite Chevelle year, I have to say I am intrigued, but not $7,500 intrigued. Also: Would this have been a column-shifted three-speed, or a three-on-the-floor?

    Like 1
    • Hans

      The standard transmission for the ’69 Chevelle SS was a HD floor shift 3 speed. Somewhat rare as most upgraded to the 4 speed.

      https://www.chevellestuff.net/qd/manual.htm

      Like 5
      • 68custom

        what most people don’t know is that the HD three speed manual was a Ford product. Goggle it! and yes the 3 speed manual was the stock SS tranny equipped with a floor shifter. this one looks kinda trashed!

        Like 4
      • Charles Evans

        The Standard Transmission on an SS 396 Chevelle was a Saginaw HD 3 Speed Manual with a synchronized first gear and Floor Mounted Shifter. It was not built by Ford. I spent 50 years with Chevrolet starting in 1967. This is a rare car and worth restoring. It would not be one for an amateur to take on.

        Like 3
    • 68custom

      Charles Evens do your homework because you are wrong. Goggle is your friend.
      From goggle (team Chevelle)
      The Muncie 3 speed was a Ford top Loader and much strong than a Saganaw. The Saganaw was available with overdrive, I’m not sure if Ford installed the BW Overdrive on their version or not. Find “tlowe” or ask this question in Transmission forum.

      • JOHN Member

        Can’t speak for the Chevelle, but I do know for a fact the standard 3 speed in the GTO was a Ford Top Loader, I would imaging the Chevrolet was as well.

        Like 1
  9. rpol35

    Well granted it has a 396 C.I. or a big block of some kind, but the rest looks suspicious as to authenticity and the owner has done little, pictorially or descriptively, to paint a convincing picture of legitimacy.

    At $7,500 firm, this is the type of vehicle that one should consider buying a burial plot for, right next to their own, as they will more than likely get buried with it.

    Major league pass.

    Like 9
  10. grant

    Certain writers on this site need to come back to earth and face the fact that $7500 for a roached Chevelle is not a “good deal.” I don’t care how original it is or how strange the power train combo is, this thing spend God knows how long buried to the hubs in mud. It’s a parts car, for MAYBE $2500.

    Like 11
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      It’s no use grant, it’s out of control. We had our fun the 1st time around with these when they were $500 dollar beaters and nobody wanted them. Let these folks sink the kids college fund, or heaven forbid, the “new kidney fund” that the plan doesn’t cover, into a wreck like this. I say, sit back and watch the hobby go down the crapper,,,

      Like 3
  11. CCFisher

    I always wonder about the back story of a car equipped like this one. Was the 3-speed a dealer error? Keypunch error? Factory error? Was it a cost issue on the customer’s part? If so, why choose a vinyl roof over the 4-speed? And why not start with a 300 Deluxe?

    Like 2
    • JOHN Member

      3 speed cars are out there, and they are rare, but not as valuable as a 4 speed. Back in the day, you generally paid more money for insuring a 4 speed over a 3 speed car! Automatics were also less to insure.I remember a bunch of Chevelles, GTO’s, Mustang’s, etc that still had the base 3 speed transmissions. They were quickly swapped out to a 4 speeds. Back then, quite a few cars “donated” their 4 speed transmissions overnight, both at dealerships and in residential areas! Midnight Auto…

      Like 8
  12. Troy s

    Been a long time since this clunker was on the road. Oddly enough it appears to be in worse shape than the much older cars in the vicinity. Too bad too as a ’69 SS Chevelle is one heck of a car, one of my favorites.
    Only reason these old muscle cars sell for so much is that there are people out there willing and ready to pay, it really is that simple.

    Like 5
  13. Jamie

    Part it out to the el Camino guys and be done with it. It’s not worth $75…. you’ll get more if you part it out.

    Like 1
    • JOHN Member

      What’s up with the El Camino guys?

  14. TimM

    Looks like another battered child!!! Beat to heck and no good home to go to!!! $7500???? Is the price of scrap up?????

    Like 3
  15. mjf

    Gosh, sounds real pricey for a pile of junk

    Like 1
  16. RoughDiamond

    I believe this ’69 Chevrolet Chevelle “SS” concerning future work needed and money invested is like an iceberg, there is more you can’t see than you can.

    I remember how awesome it felt to find and quickly negotiate within 30 minutes a deal on my factory ’69 Chevelle “SS”. The car was sitting in the yard of a home that sat up off the road and was not easily seen. It had the original Maroon paint (faded) with black vinyl top and interior, 396/325 engine and flat stick “Muncie” engraved 3-speed shifter with round black plastic knob. It ran great, however, the inside squeaked and rattled a bit and the valve guide seals were bad. I had spoken with the Seller (long time owner) at length about the car’s history. No red flags. That is until after I went to pick it up. I cannot remember why I had the hood up, however, standing in front of the car and glancing down into the engine compartment I noticed a short somewhat rusty heavy duty chain running from the engine block to the frame. Yikes! The passenger side was the same so the car had obviously seen drag strip time and or had just had the heck driven out of it.

    Like 1
  17. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What Kieth said……..

  18. Paul

    Move on,this one is not worth bringing back.

    Like 1
  19. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Some of you more knowledgeable Chevelle guys should be able to answer this question for me. With that mill and a 3 speed gearbox, would there be some advantage during stoplight drags? Would the gearing (assuming the driver knew how to use the clutch properly) be about the same as a Chevelle SS with Turbo-Hydromatic?

    Like 1
    • 68custom

      Fairly sure 3.36 was the stock gearset regardless of transmission, faster in stoplight drags? Probably not.

  20. Del

    This car will never drive under its own power again

    • JOHN Member

      I wouldn’t, but people have restored much, much worse! All it takes is cubic money…

      Like 1
  21. Ray Chartrand

    Numbers matching junk is still numbers matching junk!

  22. MOTION69SS427

    Since “SS” became an add-on option to any base model Chevelle beginning in 1969, it could be difficult to prove originality without the original build-sheet and owner paperwork. These cars are very easy to “clone” with the right parts otherwise. Make sure you compare the partial VIN stamped on the engine block casting pad located on the block just below the front of the passenger side head. Make sure this partial VIN matches the full VIN on the top of the driver’s side dash near the base of the windshield, as well as the VIN on the vehicle’s trim tag located on the driver’s side cowl. With a little bit of research, the other numbers on the engine block casting pad will tell you the original displacement and horsepower rating of the engine, as long as these numbers haven’t been fraudulently forged or tampered with. If you’re really feeling industrious, you can scrub off all of the oily grease and grime covering the engine block casting number cast into the top rear of the block behind and just below the intake manifold. Good luck!

  23. Bob

    Here it is June of 2020 and he’s still recycling the same ad. I’m looking for a 68 – 70 Chevelle and keep seeing this one on the local CL page, refreshed daily it seems. It’s always posted “A day ago”

    Like 1

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