396/4-Speed: 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Three ninety six and four are always good numbers to hear together. This ’69 Chevelle is claimed to have left the factory with Chevy’s famous big block and 4-speed combo. Unfortunately, the original engine is gone, but the trany is still in place and the seller is throwing in a 396 block. There’s a few holes in the floor, but this might be a good project for someone wanting one of America’s most iconic muscle cars. Find it here on eBay where the bidding action ends tomorrow evening. What do our bowtie guys think?

Rust Holes

Look at this shot long enough and you are bound to get sick! I’m not just talking about the blurry photo either. That’s not nasty rust that is going to require some major reconstructive surgery. At least the seller is forthcoming with this information and mentions all the rust repair needs in their listing.

396 Block

The 396 is a bonus, but you will still need to make sure it is usable before rebuilding it. A quick trip to machine shop should confirm whether there are any cracks and if it’s worth cleaning up. The rest of the auxiliaries should be easy to find. As with most projects like this, it just comes down to time and money.

SS Steering Wheel

This is going to be a big project, but just imagine how exciting it will be to slip behind the wheel of this SS. Put you hand on the shifter, push the clutch in, and turn the key… You had better have a recording of the rumble that will come out of that engine when it’s done to keep you going. It will be a long road, but I have a feeling that the destination will be worth it.

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Comments

  1. Alan (Michigan)

    My sole muscle car was a ’69 SS396 Chevelle, but with a TH400 console shifter.

    I had always figured that the manual trans cars would be faster, but that car would holeshot virtually any car with a clutch, and never look back. Converted me, and I’d love to have another one.

    • Adam B

      An automatic may be quicker but still not as fun to drive.

      • Doug Towsley

        This car is a stick, and probably best to keep it that way. If you swapped in a late model LS motor with a 6 speed, well, I think that could be fun too. (Late model donor cars can be had a lot cheaper than buying piece by piece)

        Some of my cars with the T350 w/shift kit and a B&M star shifter were faster than stick cars. Use the auto or shift manual, Bang bang bang, I could out run any stick shift guy out there. I like the overdrive autos these days with a upgrade and shift kit, with the bonus is you can pull down good gas mileage and still have fun, But my wife was having none of that for her 69,, She commandeered one of my my Muncies.

  2. GaryI

    Why would it have a Malibu title as stated on EBay?

  3. grenade

    Maaaan, the more I hang around this place, the more you show me Chevy’s I actually like!

  4. SDSS396

    It is most likely a real SS as the Trim Tag has the “L” Code. Though not absolutely proven, only SS cars appear to have this code. Not all plants applied this code, but it is known the KAN plant did apply the “L” code.

    Also a Fathom Green SS. Very similar to the SS 396 I have. This one was built 2nd week of Dec while mine 1st week of Jan.

    Car is rough, but hope someone saves it!

  5. roger

    My first car was one of these.
    It was blue with white stripes.
    Wish I owned this car,I would like to fix it up like my first one with a couple exceptions.
    I would go for staggered 18-20 inch wheels and tires.
    And just keep 396 in storage.Then buy a 572 and put in it.
    Paint it blue with white stripes and I would have my first car back,except this one would be faster with the big 572 and cooler looking with bigger wheels and smaller rubber.

  6. crazydave

    Sigh. Drool. My first musclecar was a ’67 396 SS 4 spd. I don’t regret selling it, but I still sorta miss it. ( I made too many mods to it and it wound up being virtually undriveable – at least on the street!) With a 396 or 427, these were the ones to have in ’69! Later years might have even had a 454!

  7. Howard A Member

    While I have little, if any interest in these today, NOTHING screams “muscle car” like a ’69 big block Chevelle. They handled poorly, inadequate brakes, but boy howdy, these were fun in a straight line. LEO’s had a field day with these. Like fishing in a barrel. Great find for someone going through a mid-life crisis. Old farts like me, not so much.

    • Alan (Michigan )

      I’ll dispute part of your assertions. While not a sports car, my Chevelle was not a sloppy slug in corners. Good tires, stiffer than standard front springs, and high performance shocks all around helped it work adequately.
      There are now well-engineered front suspension systems which transform the cars.
      As far as brakes, my car had front discs. Really good aftermarket pads and shoes meant that stopping from high speeds was not scary, at least for the first couple of times. There are current upgrades available for that as well.
      Midlife crisis? If mid 60’s is midlife, then count me in!

  8. JW

    Knew a guy back in 71 that had one Black with White stripes and that car was unbeatable in our area. He was a real smart ass but his car was cool as hell. Sorry for the language but it was the best way to describe both.

  9. Alan (Michigan )

    Has anyone else looked at the ’68 Camaro this seller also has listed?
    Drag oriented, but way cleaner, and it runs, with a recent warmed-over small block.

  10. junkman Member

    Gonna cost well over 25k to make this a 20k car been there done that “pass”

  11. RoughDiamond Member

    This will make a nice Chevelle SS if someone just wants the fun of going from A-Z in the restoration. Restoration costs (paying a shop) has gotten so expensive you are truly better off buying the best vehicle already done. I bought one of these that was factory Maroon with a black vinyl top and interior. It was a factory 3-speed with the original flat stick MUNCIE shifter with the round black plastic shifter knob. When I bought it I was young and dumb and jumped on the vehicle for $600.00 which this was back in the late 70s. It wasn’t until I was showing it to one of my friends that reality struck when he commented “did you not see that the engine is chained to the frame”. Sure enough I hadn’t as I was so busy convincing myself that I needed that Chevelle. Then I remembered in the conversation with the seller that had he had commented he liked to drag race. It turned out to be a great car though and with the 3-speed I could get of the line pretty quickly.

    • Ron Engel

      Bought a 69 SS 396 4-speed 325hp, paid an extra $33 for special Pontiac green color. Car was unusually fast and put away a lot of 350-375hp cars. Never could explain why it ran like it did!

      • Doug Towsley

        The Force was STRONG with your car!.

        This car finished on ebay at around $7k, some may think thats high but maybe not.

  12. Doug Towsley

    Some one WILL buy this if the VIN tag and title have the right numbers, Which i dont care enough to try and verify just for entertainment. I have a 68 & 69 Chevelle sitting in front of my house, dont need more.
    The car has SERIOUS cancer, and will be a major frame off build. I could spend a week in my shop and have the body back intact and all real steel and not much out of pocket.
    There are plenty of patch panels for sale, and plenty of donors in my area I could cut nice metal out of the fix this car. (im cutting up a 79 Malibu right now for donor material for one of my Rat Rods,. Paid $300 for it, Sold $1800 and counting in parts off it, and still have some great parts i needed for my Ratrod).
    My wife did spread sheets and budget for our 69 malibu build and I can tell you, with the current prices for restomods and half-ass restos currently if you have skills, tools and the workshop, this car is a money maker if you wanted to build and flip. $20k car when done??? Not hardly. You guys need to do some market analysis and do some real world research on what cars are selling for. I just responded to the 68 Chevelle that was posted and listed just a quick search on CL for Ore & Washington. Look at those results. Better yet. Do some research on what better markets like LA and Bay area and see what a completed car like this model are going for.
    Theres a shop in Tennesee? Has a lot of muscle cars for sale, and some not well done, some decent. A car like this, but with late model upgrades is a $38,000 car. (and not even stock or numbers matching)
    Be interesting what this one sells for. I used to buy, build and sell cars and motorcycles like this. Real world numbers show someone will step up for this one.

  13. Doug Towsley

    Go to Autotrader and do a search in your own areas for completed cars, turn key and look at prices.

    See: https://classics.autotrader.com/classic-cars-for-sale?make=chevrolet&model=chevelle

    For my area Chevrolet Chevelle returned 497 listings. Adv search to 68-72 Chevelles narrowed it to 326 cars (Guess we verified whats popular) the bulk of the cars listed started in the Mid $30s and up to mid $40s, Now reconfiguring down to 100-29,000 drops the candidates to 93 cars. and some decent looking cars in that range.

    But that includes wagons too. You can do similar searches for CL, Ebay and the many other websites (Hemmings, Yahoo groups, Bulletin boards and forums etc.) There are even phone apps that will text you for new listings.

    Now personally, I like the 68-72 Novas better, but my wife wanted a Chevelle so thats what we got. If you folks are seeing cheap cars, buy em, Because the rest of the market in the US is much higher and good return on investment or, better, just keep and enjoy knowing your invest is gaining in value, Not losing value.

  14. Larry K

    Bought a numbers matching 69 automatic (the only downside) from Atlanta 5 years ago restore. Everything was there and original and it drove, stopped and started fair. No real rust but everything came apart. Not a particularly difficult resto. Rare Dover White factory color correct for 69 with the black stripes. Came out show condition throughout. Bought it for $14k and sold it for $36k. Net profit? About $2k and it went to Japan. Drove it about 1000 miles before selling it. This one would be tough to buy for me as there are others out there in better condition. Depends what the end game is and whether you have body shop talents or resources for low dollars.

    • Doug Towsley

      Larry, I think you hit the nail on the head. For some, like my wife its all about the dream car she always wanted. The costs are secondary. We are not going to flip or resell the car unless some catastrophy forced us. For us the limiting factor is cash to buy and build it if there isnt a payday down the road. Neither of us will do a project like this to go upside down but you wont be seeing her car at Barrett Jackson soon either. And she does not care what others think.
      However, IF you want to buy and flip these, if done right it can be done. But its the details that make or break you. Space does not really allow here but a break down on your costs, labor and parts would be interesting. On projects I dont already know a lot about I enjoy researching others and many good forums where people have detailed the projects, ups and downs, problems and wins. I would rather learn from others than reinvent the wheel.

  15. Alan (Michigan)

    Re-listed on eBay, no explanation given for the first sale not being completed.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/252413695214?ul_noapp=true

    The ’68 Camaro is also for sale again.
    Both cars look like worthwhile projects to me.

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