Easy Project? 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

As projects go, this is one of the nicest rollers we’ve seen lately here on Barn Finds. The paint and body look good as does what we can see of the interior. It still has its drivetrain, too, but doesn’t crank, and the gas tank and a few other key items are missing. Without a lot of trouble and a little bit of luck, maybe this won’t be a tough project car to get back on the road. Located in Valley Head, Alabama, this Chevy is available here on eBay where the no reserve auction has been bid up to $16,688.

As best as we can tell, this Chevelle is a real-deal SS 396, which saw the production of more than 86,000 copies built in 1969 even though it was no longer a series but an option. We don’t know which version of the 396 cubic inch this one has, the RPO L35 (325 hp), RPO L34 (350 hp), or RPO L78 (375 hp). Since 70% of the cars came with the less potent version of the motor, we’ll assume that’s the one here. An astute Barn Find reader might be able to shed some light on this.

We’re told this SS 396 has the TH-400 automatic transmission, a 12-bolt rear-end, and power front disc brakes. The car has the Strato bucket seat interior and console with SS badging, The automobile appears to be complete except for the fuel tank, exhaust system, and driveshaft. Why those items are missing is unknown and why other items weren’t pilfered, like the motor and tranny. The seller tells us the engine does not crank or run but will turn by hand.

If rust is an issue with this Chevy, it’s well hidden. The floors, trunk, and sheet metal are said to be solid and the yellow paint is in presentable condition. If you can cure the mechanical shortfalls, you might have yourself a nice SS at a reasonable cost. Both NADA and Hagerty suggest one of these cars in Good Condition could be worth $60,000, so is this Chevelle a bargain in the making? If you’re looking for a title, however, you’ll have to settle for a new Alabama registration and Bill of Sale which the seller says should enable you to title the vehicle with your DMV.


  1. RoughDiamond Member

    Nice ’69 Chevelle “SS” project. I think missing just the fuel tank, exhaust system and driveshaft is just about the craziest thing I have ever heard of regarding missing parts.

    Like 27
    • Stan

      No kidding.

      Like 7
  2. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Nice SS. I wonder if it will make it up to 34K like the red ’66.

    Like 1
  3. ACZ

    Not an L78 as it has factory A/C. Nice builder.

    Like 11
  4. Mark

    My friend had a 69 L78 Chevelle, 4 spd with 4:11gears and it was strong. I never see him race anyone in it but, it pulled hard going through the gears (rockcrushers sound great).

    Like 2
  5. ZZT

    Looks like a sweet build for the price now, could soar before its all over!!

    Like 3
  6. Gary

    Probably was in a body shop and the parts were lost or stolen.

    Like 2
  7. Troy

    Sweet ride

    Like 1
  8. wMotor

    In Illinois having no title is a nightmare.
    I’ll pass.

  9. trav66

    Something’s fishy. Why not get a title if there’s no problem getting one, especially for a true SS that you’re auctioning off? No driveshaft indicates it might have been sucked up quickly on a rollback in the middle of the night. Repo possibly? Solid Chevelle but too many questions.

    • Tyler

      There are several states, Alabama & Georgia that I know of specifically, that don’t issue a title for a vehicle built before 1980.

      Like 1

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