396 Big-Block: 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and listed for sale here on eBay is this 1969 Chevelle SS. It comes with an Alabama registration and a Bill of Sale, which should allow the new owner to obtain a title in their state. This car is a case of “what you see is what you get.” There is no doubt that it represents a major restoration project, but it may be solid enough to warrant a restoration. Bidding has reached $2,625 at the time of writing, although the reserve has not been met.

As you can see from the photos, there will be a number of bolt-on panels that will need to be sourced as it is missing the hood, front fender, and driver’s door. The passenger door has a sizeable dent in it, and it also looks like there may be rust in both lower corners. There is also rust in both lower rear quarters, as well as rust around both rear wheel arches. The seller states that the trunk floor is solid. There are no shots of the trunk, but there are a few shots under the rear of the car and while there is plenty of surface corrosion, generally it may not be too bad. The rockers also appear to be nice and solid.

The seller says that the floors are solid, but the photos are a bit inconclusive. This shot of the rear floors seems to indicate that they may be solid, although there does appear to be a small hole behind the front seat where it rises up into the tail-shaft tunnel. The other thing to consider is that while a large proportion of the interior is present, it will require a complete restoration.

The front floor is more confusing than the rear. Personally, I wish that the seller had remover the rubber matting to give us a better view of it. He says that it is solid, but I think that I can see some holes there. It looks like there may be a hole on the passenger side where the floor meets the transmission tunnel. There also appears to be some holes under the driver’s feet.

Mechanically this Chevelle is incomplete. There is no transmission, but the original 12-bolt rear end is still in situ. The matching 396ci block is present. This has been cleaned and tested and is said to be solid. The seller is including a set of conrods and a set of 11:1 pistons. Otherwise, the new owner will have to source the remaining components.

The person who takes on this Chevelle is staring down the barrel of a major restoration project. Other than the question mark over the floors, the remainder of the car appears to be solid, and the frame looks like it may be okay under a layer of surface corrosion. Personally, I suspect that the best way to tackle this would be to strip it to a bare shell and perform a rotisserie restoration. If this was done then the end product could be a rather nice car.

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  1. RedBaran66

    A little bit of elbow grease and that paint will buff out just like new!

  2. Nick

    Daunting project, good luck to the buyer, if any. Hopefully it’s restored to original.

    • Sam Shive

      Once a car looks like this, and you have to add parts from 10 other cars, It Will Never Be ORIGINAL.

      • Bruce

        The percentage of totally original 1969 Chevelles is very tiny.

  3. Steve R

    I’d want the engine stamping verified as original, also look at the casting dates in comparison to the cars build date. If the numbers on the block have been stamped later I wouldn’t consider the car for any reason.

    Steve R

    • dgrass

      The seller is careful with their use of language. Numbers aren’t mentioned, they simply state “L78 project with matching block”.

      We tend to assume one thing, while they state another.

      Sort of like how the author assumed the car was solid, although the seller made no mention of this.

  4. XMA0891

    So $2,625 gets you a block and 12-bolt these days??? ’69’s are one of my favorite years of the Chevelle, but yikes. Restoration-to-original cost staggers my comprehension.

  5. ben

    It seems that it’s time to drag out all your parts cars from in back of the garage. A couple of years ago they were 100. dollar parts cars. Now they are rare treasures for the unknowing. This one will cost more than a nice example for sure. All I can say is you are buying a nice set of wheels and tires.

    • Jason

      They probably don’t come with the car

  6. Herc

    Block looks to have been restamped. They are uneven. You can still see the partial numbers under the stamping.

  7. Scott D Carey

    And just a bill of sale! In the western states, that is all but useless. Out here, it takes a title, like a deed to a house. I have dealt with theses issues before.

    • Saul

      If you’re lucky, the last registration is enough to get a title. Certainly if you are in Alabama. Other states may vary. Other ways to get a title but more timely are….


      That passenger door adds to the body panel count, so really we are indeed talking about a set of nice road wheels, a VIN, and a good rearend.

    • M vickery

      Alabama cars of this age don’t have titles, they weren’t required. What would happen if someone moved from there to a state that requires a title? I don’t know. I do know I’ve never had a problem getting a good title in Mississippi for a car from Alabama, as it’s well known here that older cars from there don’t have, and never had a title.

      • Scott D Carey

        About 20 years ago my wife and I bought a 1973 cj6. We could not ever get a title for it in California once we had it shipped it was on a bill of sale only. And we ended up just having it scrapped it was sad we parted it out and broke even almost but California would not recognize just a bill of sale. They treated it as a deed to the house a bill of sale just says somebody sold you something but there’s no record of it.

  8. John C

    My friend had one in high school, surprise, surprise the girls were all over him because of it.

    When I was in kindergarten I brought home a clump of yellow clay . My mom said, “ Oh, its beautiful, what is it?”

    I kinda feel the same would be said by my wife if I bought this one home.

    But man this is a project and a half. I would really have to toy with this one as parts car.

    The amount of money and man hours are, ouch!

    No doubt can be pulled off. But likely very upside down in it depending on what you paid. But my gut saz that is the outcome.

    But if you are a wizard and have the time and money then one more classic car returns to the road.

    More power to whoever takes this on.

    Btw, it was a chicken. Come on I was five.

  9. Lance Nord

    Hemmings is advertising a low mileage, numbers matching 69 Chevelle SS 396 vehicles for less than $50K; why on earth would anyone take this car on as a project?

    • Steve R

      This one is claimed to be an L-78, if it could be verified and has the original block you would probably tach another $25,000 on to its value compared to a lower horsepower SS. The stamping don’t look right, but someone will pay for them regardless.

      Steve R

  10. Dave Mika

    Does Dynacorn make a body for this one?

  11. H

    Not the original motor. Looks like a restamp block. Buyer beware.

    • Keith

      Yes I agree . A restamp ….. Incorrect font .

  12. Vance

    These are like rolling “Potemkin Villages”, all you need is an interior,engine, transmission, wiring, a couple of fenders, door , glass, paint and , and voila, you have a car. We all have seen better in a junk yard. What a waste of time.

  13. Mark

    That car has had a hard life! I see it has bucket seats with a column shifter which seems odd unless it was ordered that way from the factory.

  14. Emsea

    I can’t see a solid section of sheet metal. If you have the talent and time why would you waste it on this? Once again this is looking like a second hand parts car.
    $3125.00 reserve not met!

  15. Matt steele

    Definition of reserve= a ridiculously inflated dollar amount dreamed up by an individual with greed beyond comprehension by normal people

  16. John Jubie

    As I get older I just can’t help thinking, who has the time, money or patience for projects like this!

  17. Daniel Singh

    Poor thing

  18. DAVID6


  19. Saul

    stop shouting!!! not the place to sell your car david6. follow instructions below. thx

  20. Grant Parker

    No, uh-uh, not a chance.

  21. Rick Rothermel

    When I was growing up in Alabama back then it seemed guys always treated their new Chevy SSs rougher than any others did other brands. This is one that got pounded and trashed but didn’t end up deep in the woods.

  22. Andy

    Trash, plain and simple.

  23. Troy s

    Would have been the foundation of a project street rat or maybe even one of those roundy rounders some years ago, doubtful that will happen here…

  24. RoughDiamond Member

    I live in Chattanooga and I don’t think I would even drive two blocks to look at this Chevelle except to see if it’s as bad as the pictures indicate. I think the frame is seriously tweaked. I know ’69 Chevelle “SS”s are popular, but $3,500 in bids for this and the Reserve not met? I’m guessing the local pick-up first because it does not run and second because there’s no telling how many parts might fall off of it on a transporter.

  25. P T Cheshire


    • John m leyshon

      LMAO, fits alright ! Had to copy and save that one

  26. Mark2

    Incredible that anyone would abuse such a great car. Looks like they were trying to destroy it and they came close.

  27. ACZ

    A little high priced for something that used to be a Chevelle.

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