Last Of The Breed: 1969 Impala SS427

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1969 marked the last year during the classic muscle car era that Chevrolet’s full size Impala was afforded the famous SS performance and handling option. Full size cars were attracting fewer and fewer performance minded buyers, who were favoring lighter, smaller, faster and less expensive models like Camaros, Chevelles and Novas. Buyers could still order performance in the full size lines, but the RPO Z-24, also known as the SS427, represented Chevy’s top of the line hi-po offering.

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In its swan song year, the only full sized SS model offered was the big block 427 in either L-36 and the higher horsepower L-72 configurations. Only 2,455 Impala SS427’s were sold in 1969. It’s not clear how many L-72’s were made as SS models, because it was possible to order the L-72 in any full size Chevrolet, but the total across the line was only 546, so very few SS cars were ordered with this higher output engine.

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Anyone interested in these big performance cars ought to visit the Full Size Chevy Muscle site, which is full of great information and history. According to this site, it’s all too easy to fake a 1969 SS427 and difficult to confirm one is original. Of course, the engine can be good evidence of an authentic car – every SS427 Impala was shipped with either the base L-36 or the optional L-72, so if an SS shows up with the lower power LS-1 427, it’s not a real one.

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Reader Michael T sent us this example for sale in San Francisco here on craigslist, and this one does seem at least possibly, maybe even likely, to be an authentic SS427. The seller is a bit terse with his description of the car: “True California Classic 69 Impala SS. It has a 427 automatic, matching numbers, all original. Complete car.” At least this gives us hope this car might be real.

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As far as condition goes, the description is even shorter: “Body and interior in fair shape.” The minimalist photos support these words. The car looks decent and very restorable, and if, upon inspection, the car can be verified to be a real SS427, it is probably worth something close to the $10,500 asking price.

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What a fun car this must be to drive – incredible power, comfort, and style. Handling, maybe not so much, but this is a great performance car I would surely love to own and enjoy playing with. Who about you?

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Comments

  1. Rick

    The SS 427 was always my fave, had the MPC model kit of the 68 SS 427 in 68 (I was 11 at the time) , and my next door neighbor was a total gearhead and one of his friends had a brand new red 69 SS 427 similar to this except his was a four speed, anyhow you never see these, the last one I saw was 67 SS 427 at a car show in NW Washington state last summer, all original and still owned by the guy that bought it new, needless to say, he was looking a lot longer in the tooth than the car, anyhow I think this car is worth every penny of the $10.5K asking price, has a lot of upside potential

  2. Dale

    I was told by a collector of these cars they are not Implalas. They are simply called SS427. There are no Impala badges anywhere on the car. He has 4 of them so I suspect he might know. Love these full size hotrods, the Pontiac 2+2 being another….

    • JIM

      that was in1967 only they were called SS427 and they never came with a automatic. 1968/69 and the 66 were called impala’s

    • Nick

      Of course it’s an Impala ….

  3. Chris

    Look by the side window (sail panel) – it says Impala. Hard to see in these pics, but they all do if you do a google search. I had a ’69 427 Caprice – it of course said Caprice on the sail panel…

    • Rocco

      It also says Impala on the dash trim in front of the passenger seat in one of the interior pics.
      Maybe the guy with 4 SS427’s took his off.

  4. piper62j

    Nice!

  5. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    had the 69 SS427 convertible….the big brute could move with the 390 horse motor…..girl ran a red light in a newer Monte Carlo….tboned the hell out of that M/C…..threw another front end on her but she was never the same…..race buddie finally talked me out of the motor and sold the body along with a Camero Z11 convert roller to a collector in the eighties…

    • Wayne S.K.

      My Brother had the same car, still. White, black top, red interior. We cruised what seemed like a million miles in that thing. A tree tried to run across the road in front of his…

  6. Metalted

    Ooooo, those were the days!
    O wait , with today’s cars and even better handling and better mpg’s.
    Nope !!! Ooooo those were the days.
    👍

  7. Joe

    I am beginning to appreciate these Impalas, especially with the SS 427. This one does appear to be solid and original as the seller describes. Price seems ok if true as described. Wonder if it could still light em up?

    • JIM

      that was in1967 0nly they were called ss427 and they never came with a automatic

      • Metalted

        They did come with auto.
        wwwimpalass427
        Lots of info in this site. And how to decode the vin.
        Not a Chevy fan, but cool big body.

      • Raj

        @Jim, As an owner of a 69 4-speed 427 non SS Impala the turbo 400 automatic was optional on the base L36 427 from ‘66-‘69 and optional on the L72 in 1969.

  8. Gary I

    Worth the $10,500 if it’s real, and you don’t see these as projects very often.

  9. Gary I

    Worth the $10,500 if it’s real, and you don’t see these as projects very often. I can’t remember the last time I saw one, not a real 427 car.

  10. Doug Towsley

    WOW! This one i am conflicted on. If legit a true survivor. And should stay that way. But holy cow those were UGLY cars. Used to call big cars like that “Tuna Schooners” as in Big Boats that trolled. But price wise if that motor is legit would make it very attractive for someone building a Camaro or Chevelle and as many collectors know,, if thats a legit car, all the casting numbers are correct 69 parts which has already been noted on that Camaro Pace car posting is very desirable for someone building a Vette or something. Hmmm. My wife has a 1969 Chevelle sitting out front,.
    But nope, We are staying Small block and Muncie 4 speed. Im about 10 hours north of there, but have a lot of gearhead friends in the bay area if you need a contact on the ground to go check it out.
    Now,,, if you ONLY wanted the rolling chassis and would prefer a nice small block, I could be talked into it. If gas stays under $2.00 a gallon I am sure I could talk my wife into a trade for her Chevelle motor. The guys that work at her Machine shop are already jealous of some of our toys. She rolls in with a 427 firebreathing 69 Chevelle they will lose their minds.

    Like 1
    • Logan Peterson

      Why do people like you have to put down cars you may not like. A lot of decent big block Impalas got their engines pulled and bodies scrapped because of tools like yourself,

      Like 2
  11. Jubjub

    Only ever heard of these ’69 SSs. Brother had a hoodlum friend back in the day with a ’68 SS427 4 speed. Rotten little sh** was always tearing it up! IMHO, the ’69 is way nicer looking than the ’67-68. Interesting that they went to the formal top for this SS.

    Like 1
  12. AMC STEVE

    Big red ugly car with cool console and engine. I bet these cars didn’t sell back then because they were ugly.
    GM really dropped the ball in the design dept. these years for the impala line.

    • 70Olds442

      They “only” sold 1,168,300 (as in MILLION) full size Chevrolets in 1969.They were everywhere back then!

      Like 1
    • keith carson

      The ’70 was a better looking, cleaned up, refined Impala imo.

  13. Moparmann Member

    (IMO)There is only one way this could have been WAY COOLER: if the concealed headlights had been available as an option!! :-)

  14. Vernon Huffington

    Nice looking car! Too bad it’s not a 68 model, wasn’t really into the 69’s.

  15. Mike

    My Grandma had a 69 SS427, when they bought it, it had been ordered in for the Dealers Son, at the Chevy Dealer in Charleston, Mo. Grandma saw it coming home late one night she went home got Grandpa, they drove back looked at it and call the owner, he came out that night did the deal and she drove it home. It was a Dark Blue w/White Top, with White leather interior I remember riding in it with her and believe me you hung on, she always drove like a Bat out of you know where. She had it a couple of years and traded it off like they always did.

    Like 1
  16. Bill Maloney

    In 67 and 68 you could order an SS 427 and there were No Impala insignias on them anywhere. They could be had with an automatic or a 3 speed or a 4 speed also. They could be had with bucket or bench seats or split bench seats. They could also be ordered in fastback, Custom roof or convertible roofs.
    However you could also order an Impala SS with a 427 engine BUT that is not an SS 427.

    • Dale

      Thanks for the clarification…

  17. DENIS

    I like those big body/big engine cars…

  18. Helge

    I just found this article and found out it’s the car I bought a month ago… Got the brakes done and can’t wait to drive it!

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks for writing in! Be sure and post some pictures for the readers to see!

      • Helge

        I will! I am in Germany so give the car a month to get here… Can’t wait to see it in person.

        Like 1
  19. Jerry

    I had a 69 Impala 2dr 427/425hp w 4spd trans that was not an SS. Was supposed to be a COPO car and was displayed at the Tulsa State Fair Sept 68. I knew the previous 2 owners (original owner and second owner, me being the third) It had around 72000 miles on it when I had it. Was still very potent for a big car and fun to drive. I traded it to a boat builder in 1982 and the427/425hp engine was rebuilt and put in a jet boat and the car got another 427 and returned to the road. Was red with white top and interior. May have been the most rare auto I have owned.

    Like 1
  20. Jim Jackson

    At 20 years old I was one of the proud owners of a brand new 1969 Impala SS427 L72 4 speed. Maroon with white interior. And with what was probably a rare option – “liquid tire chain” – a pair of vacuum operated canisters in the trunk which held pressurized cans of resin and a button on the dash – press the button and spray the rear tires with nice sticky resin – designed for snow & ice but really at home on the drag strip. Lol…. Lord I wish I still had that beast…!!!

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