Sitting For Years: 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

Barn Finder Levi A has been keeping an eye out for some classic cars for us to take a peek at, and he spotted this ’69 Chevelle, so thank you for that Levi. This is a car that will require a full restoration, but given the prices that these are currently achieving, it might just be worth it. You will find this Chevelle listed for sale here on Craigslist. It is located in Statesville, Tennessee, and comes with a clean title. The price for this one? $5,000.

She’s a fairly sad looking sight, this Chevelle. However, there are a couple of things that might give us some hope. It appears that even though the car has spent some considerable time outside and doesn’t have much glass, the tarps indicate that it has at least remained covered from the rain. That should mean that the car hasn’t spent time as a water feature in this garden. While there’s a fair amount of surface corrosion present, actual rust on the panels is quite limited. Of course, what we can’t be sure of is the condition of the floors and frame. If the frame is solid, we know that dealing with rusty floor pans is not the most difficult of issues.

The owner states that the car originally had a black interior, but I think that this is probably a moot point, as that will need a complete restoration or replacement. We do get this tiny peek at the engine, and there’s not much that we can tell. We don’t know if it is the original engine, or what condition it is in. The car reportedly had traveled 68,000 miles, but it has been sitting for years. The amount of corrosion that can be seen on the engine indicates that there will be some work to do under the hood. What we do know is that the 396 is backed by an automatic transmission and that the car is also fitted with power disc brakes.

Okay Barn Finders, the verdict is over to you on this one. We know that a nice genuine ’69 SS 396 will set you back at least $40,000, and from there the sky is the limit. This one will need a complete restoration, and we can’t be sure whether it is a numbers matching car. If it is, would you take it on?

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  1. flmikey

    I’m guessing that’s a 325 version of the 396…single snorkel air cleaner gives it away…that is, of course, if the engine is original…looks exactly like the one I wrapped around a tree in 1974…

    • STM

      I heard from several people that they can jumped out at the last second.

  2. 71FXSuperglide

    You’ll definitely want to look at this in person, assuming you think it’s worth the $5K. Yikes.

  3. Gaspumpchas

    Could have seen some time underwater. Would need a thorough inspection, Sure is a shame to see one of these beauties in this condition is. I dare say if it was a 4 speed car it might be worth it?? Not versed on the values but the 69 to me says it all–Great looks and big engines!! Good luck to the new owner.

  4. Herbee

    this project is not a good candidate for a restoration everything would need a complete overhaul including wiring everything. Factory vinyl top imagine what lurks under that. sellers not trying to get rich a fellow would go broke trying to restore that car.

  5. Steve A

    Enough to make a grown man cry 😢

  6. Green66

    I’d restore this if I could get it for a grand or less. 325/396, auto on the column, just doesn’thave the same collectability as a the 375/396 with a console mounted shifter or a manual. It has spent its time outside probably over dirt so this car would need to go to bare metal and start from scratch to make it worthwhile.

    • Herbee

      Good evening green 66 it is I Herbie and yes I would like to see you get that car for a thousand or less and maybe it could get restored.

    • SumtingWong

      You start first .

  7. Mark E Hirsch

    I had one in the early 70s It was broad sided by a mad girl friend Sad😢

    • Herbee

      Good evening mark it is I Herbie wondering you’re any relation to the Hirsch automotive company they sell Auto Engine paint a lot of restoration supplies I know it’s a shot in the dark I just wondering if you’re related to them. personally I really like their spray on engine enamel its not in aerosol it requires a gun and a man its its really nice engine paint. My last question to you sir is after the sideswipe incident from The Irate girlfriend did you drop her please tell the truth

  8. Patrick B

    Right hand tailpipe looks almost plugged with red mud, I just wonder if it has been moved, & was sunk in the mud on the right hand side to the floor boards before ?

  9. Jim

    It is sad to see a car like that in such bad shape. I don’t know if it’s worth restoring or not. Maybe if someone has a ton of money and doesn’t want to see it die. I had a 74 nova that of course I planned on fixing up. Had it since 1981. And just sold it for 1,200 bucks so it could have a better home. Way better shape than this.

  10. Darrun

    I think it’s in Statesville NC.

  11. 433jeff

    I would not be surprised if at 68 k miles the 396 will run , and possibly run good as is. It looks like its dry , no hood open scenario, if the mice didn’t get past the air cleaner you could have a great motor as is. Ive also seen low miles tight motors sieze up tight.

  12. 433jeff

    I would not be surprised if at 68 k miles the 396 will run , and possibly run good as is. It looks like its dry , no hood open scenario, if the mice didn’t get past the air cleaner you could have a great motor as is. Ive also seen low miles tight motors sieze up tight.

  13. B

    The green Tenn/Ala Chevelle 396 SS a few days ago was a much better project for the money, however it was an automatic and 325 HP as well.

  14. Mike

    Oh my god some of these sellers really think they have gold!! 5 grand really!! Any one stupid enough to pay that kind of money needs there head examined!!

  15. 68custom

    In 69 all SS chevelles were equipped with disc brakes, same for novas and camaro s for 69. It was also the first year for single piston calipers on the same. Not bad deal if the corrosion isn’t too prevalent. Nice color combination as well.

    • Carl

      In my personal opinion don’t care much for the big body chevelles I would much rather have a 68 camaro?

  16. Herbee

    I would like to say I gave this car a second thought and maybe a third or fourth and this is what I came up with the owner needs to get the engine running and the car will sell but then again if the owner gets the engine running is he or she going to think they’re sitting on a gold mine even if the engine gets running there still so much that needs to be done and it would take a lot of time and money

  17. Chris

    In this condition, it presents a great opportunity for the average guy who’s working on a budget, much like me, to get into the hobby with a project that could be returned to “driver” status. Negotiate another $500-700 off the asking price and get to work.

  18. AMXBrian

    This thing is so crusty I would probably bead blast it with engine still in it.

  19. pugsy

    Gone. SS title and tags…pure gold…..

  20. Rustytech

    I’d want a good look at this car, but the quarter panels and rocker panels look decent. Those are typical places for rust in these. The rear window area I can’t tell. If the floors and trunk are solid this could be a good project. I’d be more comfortable at around $3k.

  21. v

    this car is so close to being lost. it needs someone attention immediately. it looks like an old girl friend got hold of this car and started smashing all the lights and glass.1st 3500. that came by id take it. but im not partial to chevelles either. if there were some nice interior pieces id say take 5000. but the engine has got to be free to justfy that price . if it had a 12 bolt that would surely be a plus.keep it covered or get a carport for it before everything is lost. and those cheap tarps are no help. you need 14 mil tarp or better . start spraying rusty parts with transmission fluid or hydraulic oil to convert that rust to useable metal. including those hood hinges. and then that may give you negotiating time.

  22. Alexander

    Could be mud daubers in the tailpipe. Lots of them down here! This is a true redneck special and speaking of red…look at those RED hoses in the engine bay that have faded to pink. This must have been a looker when new. The silver with a black vinyl top would have been sedate but cool. I’ve never heard of Statesville, Tennessee so I will go with North Carolina. Adam gets a pass this time….

  23. ACZ

    Statesville, TN is below Lebanon.
    5 grand for this junk??? What a sense of humor!

  24. Alexander

    Listing deleted by author. It looks like the white Chevy box truck is the only thing keeping this car from leaning to the left and sinking back into the ground. Nice treatment of the car for the photo shoot–damn shame someone broke out the taillights and hasn’t thrown a couple inflated tires on this thing. No interior shots.

  25. Walt

    Would cost 50K to restore this car. I would rather find a nice one and finance it. This way avoiding the stress and drama and spend the time enjoying the drive instead.

  26. Maverick

    Over priced flood damage. Probably rotting from the inside. Bought a nova same condition .motor complet rusted.junk as well as.the rest.

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