Real Deal 1969 Camaro SS 396 Convertible!

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

In the world of holy grail Camaros, this find has to be pretty high on the list. Not only is it a real SS/RS 396 car, but it’s also a 4-speed convertible! This option combo puts it in a small group of cars built in 1969. Sadly, the car has lots of issues that will have to be dealt with to even get it back on the road. Given what it is though, there’s no doubt that someone will want to give it the restoration it deserves. You can find this big block drop top here on eBay in Miami, Florida with a BIN of $28,500.

This had to be one sweet machine when it was brand new! Can you imagine how cool the original owner much have felt the first time they took it out for a spin with the top down? Between the killer looks, the sound of the 396 and the Muncie 4 speed, it had to be one heck of an experience! The current owner runs a Camaro business and has owned this one since 1977, with plans of restoring it one day. Well, as things go, they just never got around to doing anything with it and the time has come to start clearing out the shop.

While it has been stored inside for the past 40 years, the car has rust issues in all the typical places. The worst of the rust looks to be in the floors and someone already cut some of it out. Replacement floor pans are readily available, but it will take quite a bit of work to replace them. To get to the rust, the seats were removed, but are still with the car and have their original white upholstery installed. All the SS gauges are present as well, but since the car doesn’t run, it’s hard to say whether they work.

Getting this Camaro back on the street is going to be a major undertaking, but it will be a worthwhile project for anyone wanting a big block convertible Camaro. So can any of our Camaro experts decode the engine numbers and weigh in on what it might cost to restore this car back to pristine condition?

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Comments

  1. elrod

    Amateurs and Dreamers need not apply. This one is for the Big Leagues. get your wallets out now gentlemen…

    24+
  2. slickb

    Great car!! its sad to see it so far gone but i’m sure someone will bring it back, sadly it wont be me, because i have my 67 rs ss but sadly its not a convertible.
    great find

    10+
    • Larry Stiner

      Wish I still had my ’67 SS/RS 350….20/20 hindsight.

      1+
  3. mark

    A guy my Dad worked with 35 years ago had a 69 RS Convertible with the 350 and 4 speed. Not sure whatever happened to it. It was in great shape then. It has to be worth a fortune now.

    1+
    • Jason Fowler

      About 80k!

      2+
  4. sir mike

    Has his own Camaro shop and has owned for 40yrs and never got around to it???

    46+
    • JamestownMike

      Lol, no kidding! This one would of been done A LONG TIME AGO if I owned a “Camaro shop”!!!! I’d LOVE to have this one! Wonder if he’d take $20k for it?

      14+
      • LAB3

        Maybe he would if you hired him to do the resto

        2+
    • Barzini

      I’d be reluctant to take my car to a restoration shop that would store a car this way.

      12+
    • whmracer99

      Had the same thought — if it was worth doing he’d had done it a long time ago. If a Camaro shop doesn’t think it’s worth fixing then ……….

      3+
  5. Kenny

    That’s a lot of rust for only 8 years on the road.

    27+
    • Andre

      Agreed.. not sure he’s cleaning out his “shop” or the forest behind it. Eesh

      20+
    • JamestownMike

      This car must of flew South for the winter! Probably a “Northern” car for the first 8 years.

      9+
      • Ted

        You bring up a great point. If anyone works at or has access to the General motors database like you see in the service lane’s, look up the vehicles VIN and that may provide some clues as to whom it was first titled to, city and state, subsequent warranty work etc.

        2+
    • Dovi65

      The car may have spent at least part of it’s youth in a northern climate. A whole lot can happen in 8 years in a northern climate. Back then they used salt on the winter roads. That paired with not properly washing that crap off makes it easy for the rust to settle in.

      1+
      • glen

        Back then?, it’s still used here in Central Ontario.

        15+
      • Andre

        Ya eastern Ontario here and my black Silverado is the lovely shade of salt block for the next 5 months.

        10+
      • Jason Fowler

        Wisconsin is uses it

        3+
      • John Ryan

        “Back Then?” Salt trucks are all ready for winter here on MN and everything still rusts here in 2017!

        3+
    • Jason Fowler

      I had a 640 original mile car you would be surprised how much rust can get on a car

      3+
    • Dave

      American cars rusted out fast unless you really took care care of them. That car probably picked up a lot of rust sitting in those conditions too

      0
  6. Dan

    Too high, time it is finished you will have more in it than it’s worth..

    14+
  7. Nova Scotian

    It’s cool alright. But it’s gonna take the purchase price twice again to rebuild it IMHO.

    6+
  8. Ben

    Interesting to me how much or little the guy wants to make on the sale. This same car, same eBay, name has had this same car listed a couple of times for a $75k asking price. $45k+ reduction in price now. Hmmmm, how much did he actually pay for the car, and what is a realistic profit margin? I like to make money like the next guy, but raking people over the coals, just isn’t right in my opinion.

    14+
    • Jerry

      I believe previos ebay list was restoration included

      0
  9. Gustave VonHindenberg

    As an avid Chevrolet collector, I sure hate to see these kind of “Heartbeats of America” turn into this. Yes Nova…you’re pretty close to that double the asking price just to get ‘er back on the road. And an average price of close to $100 an hour for labor? (Feel free to scold me for being way off on the “Per Hour Price”)And that’s just parts…He owns a Camaro Dealership? Really?
    Hmmm. 😢

    8+
  10. Jeffro

    On your mark…..get set……go spend some $$$$$$$$

    4+
  11. al8apex

    The engine “code” equates to a warranty replacement block

    It was one of the two low horse 396’s, likely the 325 horse, possibly the 350 horse, but no way a 375 horse

    12+
    • ACZ

      Right. A 375 came with an aluminum intake and a Holley, not a Q-jet.

      1+
  12. Dougie

    It’s onmy worth 10 grand as your going to put 80 plus it to the restoration.

    0
  13. Del

    Someone that owns a Camaro resto shop should buy it. Nyuk Nyuk

    21+
  14. Michael Mansfield

    People that are paying these kinds of prices for cars like this is why these sellers are getting away with these ridiculous asking prices! Do not pay these figures and reality sets in and the prices come down!

    9+
  15. Jason Fowler

    Show me a couple more like this for sale?

    1+
  16. Tyler

    $28,500 for a mostly complete car seems like a bargain when compared to this from last year…

    https://barnfinds.com/the-most-valuable-firewall-ever/

    1+
  17. Mi!chael Mansfield

    I am seeing 5 grand maybe? Its not a 375 hp. And your looking at 35 grand restoration to possibly bring 40k on a bidding war day at mecum? Maybe 40k at best? Keep saving and buy an investment

    4+
    • Jason Fowler

      Way off

      0
  18. Maestro1

    It’s a big number to get the car straight but there is upside potential if it were to be given to certain Auctions or sold in specific media.

    0
    • Mi!chael Mansfield

      Again its a low hp model! Never going to be a solid investment! Sorry guys this one is a cruise night piece not college money for the kids

      3+
      • Jason Fowler

        Collage money for the kids you need to break the bank to buy something. Wonder if you would pay 80k for a ZL1?

        0
  19. Hide Behind

    At my age I would not even attempt to bring this back, I’d be older than Methuselah before finishing it.

    3+
  20. GP Member

    Should fix the roof on that inside storage. Anyone that likes Camaro’s a little bit would not let this car get in this condition.

    0
  21. Troy s

    What a waste of machinery. Just look at that mess of what was once such a nice ride. Hopefully someone will bite the bullet and fix it up for at least a driver.

    0
  22. David

    Know the car, place and owner. Very nice gentleman that has ran a Camaro parts business for decades. When you are in the business you buy and sell, and some cars you part out. This one for obvious reasons was not parted out. I do not believe he was the original owner, he acquired it most likely in rough condition. As long as l can remember it sat in the shop with his other Camaros. At some point in the game it is time to punt. Others he is not ready to part with.
    If this is your dream car and you have deep pockets go for it. But it will be a PROJECT. Even in the condition it is in it is a good looking car. I believe he had the white seats intact.

    3+
  23. crazyhawk

    Everyone complains about old Mopars rusting. Sorry, it’s obviously universal

    2+
    • glen

      If you looked long enough, you’d see the rust spreading on Dads’ 70 Ford Country Squire!

      0
  24. Jay E.

    30K to spend. This car or the Plum Crazy Challenger a couple of days ago. Decisions, decisions. I’d take the Challenger…

    4+
  25. Michelle Wyrick

    My cousin had one just like this one. I remember it.

    0
    • Tim W

      Hey Michelle,
      This is Tim Wyrick. What part of the country are you in? Any relatives around Rich Hill, MO, or the greater KC area?

      0
  26. Tim Hanson

    Anybody who knows anything about running or owning a service related business knows that the owners stuff always takes a back seat to all the other people who walk in the door. That being said that is a beautiful piece of history and I don’t even really like camaros. A bit on the high side price wise but we’ll worth still putting back on the road. No matter what most all of us would consider this a great car if it was ours.

    4+
    • Jerry Alberts

      I’d think anyone with an ounce of sense, would never let a rare piece like this go to waste. Give it to someone who cares. Money’s not the only thing going on here. REALLY?! ?!

      1+
    • Miguel

      Whatever makes money takes priority.

      Considering the prices of these cars over the last few years, if the car was worth fixing, it would have been.

      If the guy runs a Camaro parts business, he would get everything at wholesale and save a bunch of money.

      Somebody else is going to spend a fortune just for the parts let a lone the labor.

      0
  27. russell spreeman

    I always wonder, how do cars that start out as awesome vehicles like this end up looking like such junk. If I bought a car like that new it would have stayed looking new til the day I sold it.

    0
    • Jason Fowler

      Because people buy cars back then for transportation, not to collect.

      0
  28. Oingo
    1+
  29. Pete

    Clearly most of you do not realize what happens in Florida. Yeah you have sunshine most of the year and no salt sprayed roads by the DOT for snow. However Mother Nature provides plenty of salt all year long and this car has survived numerous hurricanes during it’s life. You are still allowed to drive your car on the beach in Florida especially in Daytona. Now imagine that Camaro flying up and down the beach on the hard sand and running through the sea spray. That is how a nice car ends up looking like this. I caution anyone doing business with people in FLA. They tend to be less than honest and want full pop for what they have, also there is always rust on any car except a brand new one and even that is suspect if it has been on the lot for a year. I have been burned 3 times dealing with folks in Florida. Oh yeah and you have to pay to park every where including Home Depot and 7-11. Totally ridiculous ya ask me. Oingo has the right idea though. Buy a dyncorp body shell and save your self a years worth of work.

    1+
  30. EHide Behind

    Was finger cruising and found where one can purchase a complete brand spanking new Camaro convertible body.
    That would probably be less expensive in the long run than trying to bring this one back from being parted out the junk grave yard.

    0
  31. Alan (Michigan)

    Recalling a day from long ago, when my brother came home breathless with a tale of a “find” from the lot of a dealership, near the end of 1969. He had stopped and looked at a NEW yellow RS/SS convertible, 396/375 4-speed, with a white top and interior, equipped with a radio as the only other option.
    The car was on “Special” at a reduced end of year (and beginning of cold weather in Ohio) price.
    But my brother could not get dad to bite. His take was “Why would anyone need an engine that big in a Camaro?”
    For the best, probably. I was an overconfident and risk-prone driver in those days, and I might not have survived.

    0

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