Live Auctions

49k Original Miles: 1969 Cheverolet Chevelle SS 396

Over the past decade, we’ve seen plenty of examples of the 1969 Chevelle SS 396 pass across our desks here at Barn Finds. Their condition tends to range from the pretty ratty and tired through to beautifully restored vehicles that appear showroom fresh. That is what makes our feature car slightly different. This SS is an original classic that has managed to survive for more than five decades without being molested or succumbing to rust problems. It has a genuine 49,000 miles on the clock and exhibits the hallmarks of a car that has been treated with care and respect throughout its life. The time has come for it to find a new home, so the owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. Located in Fayetteville, Georgia, intense bidding has pushed the price to $35,101, although this figure remains shy of the reserve.

When you examine the Chevelle production statistics for 1969, you discover that Dover White was one of the preferred shades for that model year. Frost Green was the most popular color by a pretty wide margin, but 33,152 buyers selected White on their Order Form. That is what we find gracing the panels of this classic, and it presents nicely. The owner claims that most of the paint is original, suggesting that the car has received some minor touch-up work during its life. The panels are as straight as you are ever likely to find on an original classic of this vintage, with no significant bruises or signs of previous accident damage. The gaps are tight and consistent, but perhaps the best piece of news is the lack of rust in this Chevelle. That could be the mortal enemy of these gems and could exact a high toll if left untreated. It seems that this Chevelle has never had any issues in this department, with all of its steel being original from the factory. The floors, frame, and trunk pan are rock solid, meaning that the buyer won’t need to break out the grinder and welder with this classic. The exterior trim is in excellent condition, as is the glass.

Because this is a classic muscle car, you will rightfully expect a pretty potent drivetrain. What the buyer will get for their cash is a numbers-matching L35 version of the 396ci V8 that churns out 325hp. Those ponies feed through a four-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels, while the original owner selected power steering and power brakes as part of this package. Chevrolet offered more potent versions of the SS 396, but that wonderful big-block should still launch the beast through the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds. That sort of figure makes it crystal clear why the Chevelle SS 396 commanded respect when new and why it remains highly sought today. The seller indicates that this V8 has never been touched or pulled and has received nothing beyond its regular servicing. He says that it runs and drives unbelievably well, with no rattles, squeaks, or other issues. If you’re searching for a classic where you could fly in and drive it home, this SS is a strong candidate.

Another aspect of this SS that impresses me is its interior. The owner claims that the upholstery and carpet are original, and if this is accurate, its overall condition is well above average. The Black vinyl shows no evidence of wear or deterioration, while the same is true of the carpet. The dash and pad have avoided the cracks that can plague Chevelles of this vintage, and the gauge cluster includes a factory tachometer. It appears that someone has swapped the factory radio for an aftermarket stereo, but I don’t believe they have cut the dash to do this. If that’s the case, sourcing and reinstating an original unit shouldn’t prove difficult or expensive.

If you have your heart set on parking a 1969 Chevelle SS 396 in your garage but don’t want one with rust issues or a vehicle that has been chopped and hacked within an inch of its life, this car deserves a closer look. Its presentation is impressive for an unrestored fifty-three-year-old survivor. Its odometer reading places it in elite company, while its drivetrain combination holds the promise of scintillating performance. Given its overall condition and originality, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the bidding sail past $40,000 before it passes the reserve. I also believe that the price could top $50,000 before the hammer falls. If a ’69 Chevelle SS 396 is on your Wish List, perhaps it might be worth watching this auction closely.


  1. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I agree, 50k for sure on it. The condition looks amazing and a 396 hasn’t been beat to poo

    Like 5
  2. Jerry

    It’s great to mention it’s rear drive. This way nobody thinks it’s front drive.

    Like 10
  3. scott

    Great looking survivor but: no pics of the underside/exhaust, control arms etc.
    No mention if he is the original owner, build sheet or protecto plate. I was of the opinion that the air cleaner assembly was black for the 396/325hp engine.

    Like 2
    • 19sixty5 Member

      If I remember correctly, the air cleaner base was the typical black snorkle type, but with a chrome lid. The suspension (lower control arms) would be of the typical design (not boxed) unless you ordered the optional F-41 HD suspension, which included the boxed arms, shocks, springs, etc. Beginning with the 1970 SS 396, the F-41 suspension was standard equipment, except on the El Camino.

      Like 1
  4. Stan

    I thought these were awd ?

    Like 2
  5. Jerry

    I can’t figure out why the mileage is shown on the clock instead of the odometer.

    • 19sixty5 Member

      The odometer is incorporated into the speedometer housing. This car has the optional instrumentation, the tach in the right pod surrounded by the gas, ammeter, oil pressure and temperature. The clock, which apparently was not ordered on this car would be in the center of the dash.

  6. Claudio

    Beautiful, timeless design
    I had a few of these in my thirties and didn’t care much for them , i found them too big !
    Age and experience seem to have altered my views
    Now i think that i want one but it must be a drop top
    But yesterday’s prices are no longer …

    Like 1
  7. vincent falasca

    I have seen this car at a Copart yard for sale a month or two ago…

    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      They stay online for a while, can you find a link to the listing?

      Oh, and the eBay listing was ended, the old “No Longer Available”

  8. Joe

    This car wasn’t what was described. There was no way it was worth anything over 40,000 more like 20,000.

    • Ron Hambrecht

      You saw this car in person? Please respond. Very interested your findings

      Like 2
    • Ron Hambrecht

      Joe did you see this car in person?

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