Matching Numbers: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396

There’s nothing quite like finding a genuine 1st Generation Camaro SS 396 that retains all of its original drivetrain. It gets even better when it not only has a known ownership history but comes loaded with a heap of desirable optional extras. That is the case with this 1969 Camaro, which its second owner has decided to sell.  Therefore, you will find the SS located in Spring Hill, Florida, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $39,100, but the reserve isn’t met.

The dealer must have absolutely loved the original owner of this Camaro. Dealerships make a healthy margin when they can load optional extras on a new car, but they make a lot more money when the owner requests after-sale changes to their recently acquired toy. As you will see, the original owner returned the car to the dealership on multiple occasions to make changes to better suit his taste. After taking delivery of the Fathom Green Camaro, the owner chose to have the dealer install a cowl induction hood. The SS stripes were removed, and the dealer applied Z28 stripes in their place. As you will see, that isn’t the end of the story. The vehicle spent its early life in New York before it relocated to South Carolina in 1984. It has always been stored in a climate-controlled garage, and this is reflected in the lack of significant rust that is present. There are some small spots under the Black vinyl top, along with a small spot in the lower front fender and a small area just behind the wheel well on the driver’s side. Of course, the fact that the car rolled out of the factory with an undercoat has helped the floors and frame to remain rust-free. Most of the paint is original, although the replacement hood did receive a coat of Fathom Green before it was fitted. The original Rally wheels are in excellent condition, while the chrome and the tinted glass are also close to perfect.

The SS 396 was a car that blurred the line because while it was technically a pony car, that big-block gave it muscle car performance. What we find lurking under the hood is the L34 version of the mighty 396ci V8. This would be pumping out 350hp, which finds its way to the 12-bolt 3.31 Posi rear end via a 3-speed Turbo 400 transmission. Also included are power steering and power front disc brakes. This is a classic that should pack quite a punch. In this configuration, it should be capable of blitzing the ¼ mile in 14.8 seconds before finding its way to 137mph. The SS is a numbers-matching car from end-to-end and has had no aftermarket additions beyond a new dual exhaust. The engine has never been out of the vehicle, although the transmission has been treated to a rebuild. The original radiator was also pulled, and this was rebuilt before being slotted back into place. A complete service was recently performed, new hoses have been fitted, and the carburetor has also been rebuilt. It seems that the Camaro has been parked since 1984, so it will probably still need a complete check before any extended journeys are attempted.

The interior of the Camaro presents superbly and would seem to need nothing. Harking back to my earlier point about the original owner and his tendency to make changes, the interior was the other area that came in for attention. Early in its life, the vehicle was returned to the dealership because the owner didn’t quite like the Medium Green interior trim. The dealer replaced the seat covers and carpet, and they then dyed the remaining trim to match. It has remained untouched since then, and the fact that it has survived so well is a testament to the quality of the work. As well as looking great, it does come with some nice optional extras. These include air conditioning, a tilt wheel, an AM/FM stereo radio, and an 8-track player with four speakers. The owner claims that only about 1,500 Camaros were fitted with this last option, although various sources suggest that the number is 6,239. Still, when you are talking about a production total of 243,085 Camaros for the 1969 model year, that remains a low take-up rate for that option.

This 1969 Camaro SS 396 is quite a car, and I admit that I will envy the buyer. They will become the proud owner of a true American motoring icon, and it is one that is guaranteed to be coveted by many enthusiasts. Its story is an interesting one, with an original owner who appears was prone to change his mind about what he wanted from his car. If I bought it, I would address the rust and leave the rest of the car untouched. The hood and interior color change might not make it a 100% original survivor, but they add to its overall charm. Would you follow the same path, or would you attempt to return it to its original appearance?

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Comments

  1. Troy s

    Good looking machine up there as it sits, great color and I’m glad the owner had that cowl induction hood set up installed. Kind of wished he had avoided the Z stripes and left the SS stripe but that’s hardly a complaint. This thing was ordered for Lots of time spent behind the wheel, lots of options. Leave it as it sits in my opinion, fixing only what’s absolutely necessary.

    Like 12
  2. Steve R

    It would be nice to see some documentation such as a build sheet, window sticker, Protect-O-Plate or at least a picture of the trim tag. In the 1980’s it was really common for owners to add as many factory options as possible. A friend has a 69 SS/RS Camaro convertible which he added many of the same options as this one has when he restored it in the mid-80’s.

    I’d be concerned about the amount of rust, this is an expensive car, the last thing a new owner needs is to do significant body and paint work.

    Steve R

    Like 7
  3. TimS Member

    I pass right by almost every Camaro I see without a second glance, especially first-gens. But that green will stop me every time. The rust is scary, no matter the color or options.

    Like 5
  4. K Gun Offense

    I live outside Spring Hill and am bot familiar with this car. Big area but typically lots of things going on and people come show off their car. My big question is how did the dealer get away with changing the badges on the car to z-28. 67-69 Z-28’s only came with the 302. Seems to me that the dealer if the paperwork backs it up is trying to turn a Rs/SS into a Z-28 which it is not and why would anybody want to do that in the first place. Yes it says it has been undecorated. Myself, I would check that under eating to make sure it is not hiding rust especially since at one time it was a New York car!! Lot of money to spend to find out there is a lot of rust. Overall a nice car, I would just want to see the documentation for everything that has happened. Really, does not add up to me! Also, why would you remo e tbe big block good for the Cowl?? Just a lot of questions I would have before I put down that kind of cash!!!

    • Steve R

      No one is trying to pass this car off as a Z28. It still retains all of its SS and 396 badges. The only reference to Z28 pertains to the stripes which are not actually limited to Z28’s and were listed under option code D80 on this cars trim tag. Also, at no point in the ad was Rally Sport (RS) even mentioned.

      Steve R

      Like 16
  5. Timmerz

    Pretty-much my dream car, right there!

    Like 3
  6. Brian Devore

    Out of all the barn finds I’ve seen, this is my favorite of all of them and I’ve seen a ton of them.

    Like 4
  7. Frank Sumatra

    Seeing this just reinforces the fact that owning (And abusing) a 1969 Z-28 in 1972 when I was 19 (Tears rolling down cheek now) was the stupidest thing I did within a litany of stupid things.

    Like 12
    • Frank D

      I did the same thing with my 67 Mustang, 65 Corvette 396 and my 69 Corvette.

      Like 5
      • Frank Sumatra

        LOL! My 2nd stupidest move was rinsing and repeating with a 1970 Boss 302 a year later.

        Like 3
    • Lynn Dockey Member

      If u only had a crystal ball

      Like 3
    • ACZ

      Frank, I’ve had a lot of cars that I wish I still had. One satisfaction is that at least I did have them. Not a lot of people can say that.

      Like 7
    • Troy s

      Go easy on yourself, Frank.. that ’69 Z-28 you owned was meant for a hard life, not crashing it all over the place or beating it with a hammer, but really aggressive driving. That’s what they were for so it wasn’t stupid at the time. Thumbs up for driving it!
      That’s what made cars like these so notorious/the nostalgia is very real.

      Like 4
  8. John

    I love the way the vinyl top molding flows with the window trim and top of the rear fender. And A/C!
    If anyone here needs a tax write-off you can buy me this car and list it as a donation!
    It’s OK, I won’t feel bad about being a charity case –

    Like 5
  9. JCA

    With all those changes, you sure the original owner wasn’t a “she” and not a “he”? :-)

    Like 1
  10. Larry

    All s s 67 ,68 ,69 camaro s I have seen the back up lamps were in the valance panel not in the tail lamps

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      Reverse light in the lower valance are part of the Rally Sport (RS) package and would not be on an SS unless that option was ordered separately.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  11. Desert Rat

    Nope only on RS trim are the lights in the valance.

    Like 5
  12. JW454

    Looks like the new owner is going to need a chrome peice for the right quarter panel and a cap for the power steering pump.
    Otherwise, it’s a fairlt nice car.

    • JW454

      “Fairly” nice car

      Like 1
  13. JoeNYWF64

    I guess this is not a Calif delivered car – no air pump.
    I hope that’s not STRAIGHT 40 wt oil in the motor.
    That 8 track on the console i guess can double as an armrest.
    Gotta be dangerous as all hell to operate while driving. lol

    Like 3
  14. Robert C Member

    With all that time and money spent, you would think at least, they would have painted the rear stripes correct??? The end CCU on the spoiler with curved corners. Not all the way to bumper!!!

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