Storage Unit Find: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396

You really have to love the whole idea of finding a special car hidden away in a storage unit, and that’s precisely where this 1969 Camaro SS has spent the past 17-years. It is now out of storage, and it’s looking for a new home. It looks like there are a few people who really want the Camaro because bidding has already reached $8,350, and I’m a bit surprised to find that the reserve has already been met. You will find the Camaro located in West Creek, New Jersey, and listed for sale here on eBay.

Being an unpreserved and unrestored Camaro from this era, there was always a reasonable chance that there was going to be rust to deal with, and the Camaro doesn’t disappoint on that front. However, the frame looks to be rock solid. The Camaro will need all of the usual areas attended to, including the floors, the quarter panels, rockers, doors, and lower fenders. The windshield is also badly broken, so will need to be replaced. The car is fitted with an RS grille and a good collection of Z28 badges, but the owner does verify that it is a real SS.

The interior is essentially complete, and it does feature some nice little detail items. The floor console with the gauges looks like it is in good condition, as does the Rosewood dash trim and wheel. The dash pad also looks like it has escaped any cracking. The rest of the interior looks to be complete, and while some items like the rear seat look to be in pretty decent condition, there is going to be a bit of restoration work required to return the Camaro to its best.

While the owner has confirmed that the Camaro is a true SS, he doesn’t specify whether it actually started life as an SS396. Regardless, the original engine is gone, and in its place is a JH suffix, 1969 L78 396ci V8 which produces 375hp. This is hooked to an M22 4-speed transmission with scatter shield, and a Posi rear end. The owner doesn’t refer to these items as original or numbers-matching, but he does call them correct. The engine is said to turn freely, and it shows good oil pressure when it winds over. The owner also says that the engine does try to fire, but there is an array of kill-switches fitted under the dash, and he thinks that one or more of these might be stopping the car from actually firing up.

I probably don’t need to tell the vast majority of you that this Camaro is a desirable car, and that’s why the bidding has been strong on it. There is a lot of potential locked away in this car, and it’s just waiting for the right person to come along and unlock it. By liberating it from the storage unit, the owner has already taken the first step in the process. The rest is going to be up to the next owner, and regardless of who that person is, it looks like they could finish up with a pretty amazing car. Is that someone going to be one of our Barn Finds readers.

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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I saw no way to respond to the update from Jessie on updates so I will post my thoughts here. I stream audio most of the day so I have a number of windows open in the background. Instant updates are great! I can surf through them as they come in. If I remember, there was an option on how you wanted to recieve your updates. I will probably drift off getting all updates at once. Spring and wrenching and driving is so close here. I will be outside. Continued success, take care, Mike.

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @leiniedude – It turns out that a lot of people miss the instant alerts so we have turned them back on! Thanks for the feedback.

      Like 2
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Great news, thank you! Makes me want to have a green beer. Happy St. Patricks day to all, Mike!

  2. Capriest

    Interesting that someone liked the z/28 so much that they sort of cloned one from an SS 396 4 speed car. I’ve seen this done plenty of times on a base or RS, but can’t say I’ve ever come across a de-badged SS. Even being that it was no doubt done in the 70’s or 80’s it’s still odd.

    Like 13
    • Dustin Lisner

      The 68 Z28 Camaro that I’m restoring with my father was debadged and badged as a ss350 when we found it, the owner believed it to so we got it for dirt cheap.

      Like 17
  3. Arthell64 Member

    Does not have the bbc heater box so probably started out as a sb car.

    Like 18
  4. Rock On

    The steel cowl induction hood is a plus.I doubt that these were being reproduced yet when this car was put away.

    Like 6
    • Dan

      You could buy cowl induction hoods over the counter at the dealership as I did several times in the late 70’s…

      Like 8
      • Steve R

        Most everyone I knew with a 1st generation Camaro bought a GM cowl incustion hood. They were available new at least into the 1990’s.

        Steve R

        Like 7
  5. 71FXSuperGlide

    “Car is missing the trim tag”


    Like 8
    • Nick

      Immediate deal breaker in my opinion.

      Like 1
  6. Ron

    An SS would have power brakes, small block heater box, the rear spoiler is mounted incorrectly. I believe this is just a base small block car with deluxe dash and door panels with standard seats.

    Like 8
  7. Rik

    I’m curious as to how the owner “confirmed” that it’s an SS if the trim tag is missing?

    Like 8
  8. Rick

    wrong heater box. wrong crossmember motor is 67-68 vintage
    lots of red flags

    Like 6
  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Back in the day, worked with a guy that had a true 69 SS 396 4 speed (bought new). It was a straight-line beast. Used to bet at times, take a $5 bill and tape it to the dash. If the passenger could grab it in the first 100′ or so it was yours. If not your wallet was $5 lighter. I actually got it once, but lost more times than I won.
    It was hard on tires and rear ends, tires especially. He could sure drive that thing.

    Like 10
    • Ron

      LOL, that’s an old one, ive heard that story a hundred times

      Like 11
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        I was young, stupid and down about $25 before I wised up and in those days that was a lot of money. That was back when gas ran about 30 cents a gallon for regular and 40 cents for premium.
        Chevelle Malibu’s started off around $2500, a Red Lobster sampler platter was around $4.00 and a cheap date was an evening at the drive-in.

        Like 5
  10. Johnny

    How bout a pic of data plate…

    • Hans

      Trim tag is missing per the seller…. :-(

      Like 1
      • Karl

        Only one reason I have ever seen to have a scatter shield on the trans and that is the car was drag raced for a period of time. Could also explain the big block when so many other things are pointing to a SB?

        Like 4
  11. Camaro Joe

    Nice Camaro Dustin. In those days you took the badges off if you wanted to race people without admitting what you had. If you wanted to look cool, you bought badges for the car.

    The exception was mid 1960’s Mopars. I used to race people with my Mom’s 65 Coronet, 383/727 TF/3.23 Sure Grip in 1969. Other than dual exhausts, the only way to tell what it is was the little “Commando” badge through the V-8 emblem on the front fenders. I beat a lot of unsuspecting racers because it looked like “Mom’s car” with white wall tires and hub caps. I never even used a lot of tires because Dad taught me how to launch it as hard as the 7.75-14 bias ply tires would take without spinning. Damn I miss him.

    Like 15
    • Dustin Lisner

      Thank you, it still has a long way to go we got a correct dz engine in it now we need to find a m22 trans. My uncle drove the car throughout high school and gave it to my dad in 73 the my dad traded it for a vette in 74. In 2016 he found it by looking at it for a friend that wanted his input on it. It will eventually be repainted again in british green like it was new

      Like 6
      • Ron

        A 68 shouldn’t have a DZ motor, should be a MO

        Like 2
  12. Dale Miller

    wondering if it is an X code car or an early model without the X code……if it’s the early model guess it could be whatever they want it to be. Can’t imagine someone trying to turn a real SS Big Block car into a Z28. Didn’t look like it had an SS steering wheel which is usually the first dead giveaway. Would like to see the trim code.

    • Hans

      Based on the VIN # 124379n657385, it was built at the Norwood plant (which used the X codes, the Van Nuys plant did not), in the June of ’69 timeframe, which implies the missing trim tag should have an “X” code on it…but since the tag has gone missing, who knows what it was…

      Regarding the interior – it has a rosewood wheel, which would not have had an SS logo on it and it has rosewood dash inserts. And interestingly, it has Deluxe Door panels, so the interior code would have been either 712 (deluxe comforteweave) or 713, deluxe houndstooth.

      Like 1
  13. Hans

    No trim tag per seller comment. Trans is out of ’69 Chevelle. Not a true RS (missing washer pump atop of the windshield wiper motor). Missing power booster. Small block heater core. Not worth more than the collection of parts, if that…no way to ever prove/validate it’s a true L78.

    Ideally, the seller could have posted pics of the rear-end, better engine bay pics, fuel lines (single 3/8″ line?), left rear wheelhouse to determine if there is an exhaust bracket/brace, and more….

    Like 4
  14. Scott

    To many red flags for me to take a chance at 10G’s without a trim tag could also be why it’s sit in a storage unit for 17 years. Hard to believe its never had eyes laid on it all that time, most cars that are the real deal hit the rumor mill.

    Like 3
  15. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Can we goggle ” how to hot wire” – a 69 Camaro ?

    Like 1
  16. John

    “Three days scouring parts at a junkyard, and me and Cleetus found all of the parts to build a dang near perfect 4-speed SS/Z28 396/427 that no one can tell from the real thing”. Once it gets a paint job it’ll be worth a hunnert grand for shure. It might be one of them Yenko things. Where can we buy a new Number Plate?”

    Yada, yada, yada. Some barnfinds should be left where you found’em.

    Like 5
  17. Bodyman68

    Too bad no one knows the story behind the car . Ill bet it was raced and on the street as in the 80s-90s we took all badges off the cars for street racing ! The best part was no one knew what was under the hood . Yes its not a bb car as heater core outlets are dead givaway but who cares . Too bad seller isn’t a mechanic as a hot wire to coil will fire that bb up in a heartbeat ! Im sure it isn’t stock so a good rumble would be heard . If it was raced im sure all useless parts would be removed for weight reduction. I personally would just get it roadworthy and have some fun with out any badges ,would be alot of fun !

    Like 4
    • Kevin Kendall

      Odds are,car was rally green when new👍

  18. Brad G

    Has anyone else noticed there’s no trim tag?

  19. TDM Member

    Who cares what engine is in it. Just drive before they try to take our cars. I love the camo layout.

  20. George

    is that algae all over the interior? where’d they find it the Hackensack river?

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