Garage Find: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS

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This 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS has spent the majority of its life in Florida. It was moved to its current location around 10-years-ago and has been stored in a garage ever since. It will require some significant restoration work, but it is a classic that comes equipped with some desirable optional extras. It now needs someone with the determination and vision to return an iconic pony car to its former glory. The Camaro is located in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $11,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The SS rolled off the production line finished in Hugger Orange, which was one of the most stunning and distinctive colors to grace a Camaro’s flanks. It is now showing the wear and tear of the past five decades, and the panels will require a fair amount of massaging before a repaint is on the cards. In addition to numerous dings and dents, there is rust to address. The owner states that it is in all of the usual places that you would expect in a Camaro of this vintage. This includes the lower rear quarter panels and the trunk pan. It is hard to determine the state of the floors, but the rear rails look to be okay. There is also rust visible around the inside of the door frame on the passenger side. There are no photos of the driver’s side of the vehicle, so it is impossible to determine how extensive the issues are there. Another hotspot for rust is the cowl, and while this doesn’t rate a specific mention, it is an area that will require special attention.

The 1969 Camaro offered buyers a few choices when it came to engine and transmission combinations, but even the entry-level 350ci V8 provided 300hp. When backed by a 4-speed manual transmission, this could launch the SS through the ¼ mile in 15 seconds. This Camaro still features its numbers-matching 350, along with the original 12-bolt Posi rear end, power steering, and power disc brakes. However, the original 4-speed has made way for a Turbo 350 transmission. This is a shame, because even ancillaries like the alternator, carburetor, and the radiator, are original to the car. It isn’t clear whether the engine turns freely, let alone whether it runs. I suspect that it probably doesn’t run since it has been sitting for so long. However, it might not take a lot of work to coax the notoriously bulletproof V8 back to life. In reality, any high-quality restoration is going to require the engine and its surroundings to be appropriately cleaned and detailed. That means that if the engine is going to be pulled to complete this work, it would be a good chance to treat it to a thorough examination.

Man, the interior of the Camaro must have looked pretty slick when the vehicle was new. Houndstooth cloth and vinyl upholstery is always going to be eye-catching, and that is what we find in this car. Throw in a Rosewood dash, a console with gauges, and air conditioning, and this would have been a pleasant environment when clocking up the miles. The owner states that the interior will require a lot of restoration work, but a surprising amount of it looks to be salvageable.  The dash itself seems fine, as does the console, and the rear seat looks like it might clean okay. The shopping list is going to include a dash pad, carpets, door trims, a headliner, and front seat covers. The next owner might choose to go the whole hog and replace all of the upholstery. If they did, then they would be virtually guaranteed an interior that would once again knock your socks off.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it. This 1969 Camaro RS/SS does require a full restoration. The only way to do it justice would be to dismantle the car down to the last nut and bolt to tackle it properly. I’ve seen people shortcut restorations in the past, and these have invariably come back to bite them. Sometimes that bite can be pretty savage, and I’ve seen cases where rectifying these failures has cost considerably more time and money than if the job had been completed correctly in the first place. The fact is that a fully restored and numbers-matching ’69 RS/SS will easily command prices well beyond $45,000. This one won’t feature the original transmission, but it has the potential for every other component to be numbers-matching. Add the optional extras into the equation, and this is a classic that would seem to be worth the time and effort.

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  1. Ken Jennings

    I like this engine/tranny combo. Good handling, and ample power. Hope it stays that way. The Chevrolet small block was a great engine, too bad they had big blocks as well to offer. Some things are so good, why tamper with them?

    Like 4
    • Chris M.

      Yea Ken, it’s a damn shame Chevy offered a 396 as an option in this car. Or eee-gads! The unfortunate soul who was the victim of a 427 COPO option! Wtf do you smoke man? Lol

      Like 10
      • Ken Jennings

        The fact that I don’t smoke what you refer to is why I have common sense. A car with 300HP and is nicely balanced (esp for those days), was pretty much perfect. So why add hundreds of pounds to the front end to throw off the balance and make a pure drag car vs a sports GT? What would have James Bond drove in those days? Of the two, I bet it would have been my ideal. He would have got the girl too. How many girls did you get with your big blocks? If any, I bet they sure were like Bond girls.

        Like 2
  2. Patrick Mercadante

    A couple of dumb questions. What kind of shifter is that? I assume they removed the clutch pedal, And the grab handle is that original? And the last question, is that you the master mind. Mr Jennings

    Like 3
    • Lynn Brayshaw

      Patrick , looks like the same shifter I had in a 68 C10 that was originally a column shift m/t….steel rod mounted directly to the trans shift arm . Push down or pull it up to select gear , manual shifting is not recommended!

      Like 0
  3. Mitch Grimes

    It’s an arrow shifter….have you not heard of those??

    Like 0
  4. TimM

    Rebuild the motor and put a 4 speed back in it!!!! Lot more rust here then it really looks like!!

    Like 8
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Gone! Says it has rust in the usual Places a camaro will rust; I sold one that had so much rust that there was no place on the car that wasnt rusted to some extent, but someone bought it and did it up. Unfortunately the clean registration that went with the car was lost. So it goes. Good luck with this one; I agree with Tim, would like to see the 4 speed go back in. Stay safe.

    Like 3
  6. Keith Eisenbrei

    Hope to see this car done in about three years.

    Like 0
  7. John Oliveri

    Nice car, even nicer w a 4 speed and a 396

    Like 2
  8. Dave Slater

    Current bidding at $11,000….most likely it will take $15-20,000 to buy this one! A restored one is $45,000…..this one will most likely cost at least $30,000 to restore to do it right….unless you really want an orange Camaro, why would you not purchase a restored and all original one? I certainly would pass on this car, it isn’t so special!

    Like 1
  9. Bilk

    Put the 4 speed. It ain’t hard to do. Linkage ,bell,.housing, flywheel, pedal assembly in trunk.

    Like 1
  10. Bill

    Put the 4 speed. It ain’t hard to do. Linkage ,bell,.housing, flywheel, pedal assembly in trunk.

    Like 0
  11. john hugh

    sad another car priced twice what its worth its a 69 camaro not exactly rare

    Like 1
  12. George Mattar

    Over priced. Needs total resto. As one guy commented here, 69 Camaros are a dime a dozen. Great combo. 396s too heavy and these cars are marginal handlers at that. Looks like a Florida rust bucket and Pennsylvania isn’t much better. I live in PA, and these were common while I was in high school in the early 70s. They rusted then as we drove our cars every day, in salt, rain, snow. After all, they were just used cars that could be had for $800 to about $1,500 for a mint one.

    Like 0
  13. JoeNYWF64

    I would have at least wiped the leaky differential & the garage floor. lol
    Hey 1st gen experts – did they build any ’67-9 RS automatics with COLUMN shift, or was the console & horseshoe shifter std on the RS?

    Like 0

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