Numbers-Matching 396: 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS

The late sixties could be some fun times at your Chevrolet dealership when it came to the Chevy II.  The car finally dropped its former badge in 1969 and officially became known as simply the Nova, and the design team had really put their focus on performance when it came to the Super Sport models.  Upgrading to the SS only cost the buyer about $300 in ’69, and the smallest offering it could be equipped with under the hood was a 350 V8 producing 300 horsepower, plus disc brakes now became standard upfront.  Chevy also offered two versions of the 396 as an option, and if you like the idea of a big block in a smaller package this 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS may be a good car for you to check out.  It’s located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and can be spotted here on Craigslist with an asking price of $15,000.

Barn Finds would like to thank reader Pat L. for another great tip on this one!  The seller says this Nova was originally a Cortez Silver-colored car with a black vinyl top, but it looks like a long time has elapsed since the car wore either.  While the current patina may be patriotic, the finish isn’t exactly museum-quality, but it is kind of intimidating sort of in the same persona as a bully on the playground.  Not a word is spoken about the body of the Nova, other than the seller still has the steel hood.

Things are a bit crude in appearance inside, with the dash pad missing and that center gauge trio looking like it means all business, although I kind of dig the layout of the gauges in front of the driver.   Numerous wires are hanging down and one can only guess the story on those red seats, but the focus here seems to be on the drivetrain.  The 396 is said to be numbers-matching and includes an aluminum Air-Gap intake, aluminum heads, and Hooker headers.  There’s now a 6-Speed transmission plus a 12-bolt positraction rear end, along with frame connectors and a driveline loop.  The car may not get you there pretty, but it should get you there quickly.

We don’t get any photos from underneath, but the trunk area is looking reasonably solid and the battery has been relocated to the rear.  This is one of those cars I’d have trouble deciding whether or not to just beat on and enjoy driving like it is, or show it some love and get things a bit more in order cosmetically inside and out.  A run through the local car wash might be my first action as the new owner.  What are your thoughts on this 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS?


  1. RoughDiamond Member

    Looks like a wild beast ’69 Nova “SS” that would be fun to drive to Cars and Coffee if you did not have an electrical fire under the dash on the way. My guess is it’s spent more years in this configuration rather than in stock form. Hopefully someone saved the original muncie 4-speed, rear axles and axle gears that came with the car.

    Like 5
  2. Tony Primo

    You better hit the full service car wash as this Nova has the wiper arms removed.

    Like 2
  3. Melton Mooney

    Born on the 4th of July (well almost). My 69 Camaro was built the same week. A fair deal if numbers are matching, an even better deal if L78.

    Like 1
  4. 70SuperSport

    Driven gently only on the weekends to church…

    I have the small block in mine and have always wanted a big block version. Have to see the engine stamp to verify but maybe not even then…

    Like 1
  5. 19sixty5 Member

    No mention if it runs… kind of a big deal in my book. Assuming it does run and drive, if you were a 68-72 Nova guy and had a collection of miscellaneous parts, this “could” be an interesting project. I would go back to stock appearing wearing the original Cortex silver and the vinyl top, along with a return to a stock interior. Install a set of the SS wheels in a 15″ version, this would be a really nice looking car with power to match.

    Like 3
  6. gaspumpchas

    Like the Neanderthal speed and custom heater delete. Like the guys said, could be a good buy especially if the numbers match. Looker over good! Happy Motoring andd burnouts.

    Like 2
  7. joenywf64

    The timing of this ad is good – very patriotic.
    Looking at the top area of that dash, it might be better to/better looking to leave a cracking dash pad on an old car.

    Like 1
  8. Tim

    Won’t last long . I want it

    Like 2
  9. Jaye

    Whenever you hack up a car to make a drag racer, be sure to pick a rust free numbers matching SS big block

    Like 7
  10. Paul R

    Made up like a drag queen (no offence intended ).
    Put her back to stock and you have a beautiful car.

    Like 2
  11. Howie

    Too much to describe here, i guess they are very busy. Will trade up or down, so they want anything but this.

    Like 4
  12. Joe Bru

    What number matches? The block stamp CE is a replacement block! Also I’d want to check out the quarter panels, could be costly to change them if repaired in past with too much bondo, especially if over rust. Seen too many cars this way.

    Like 2
    • jwaltb

      Good eye, Joe!

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