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Vintage Drag Car: 1969 Camaro SS396

Finding a car is thrilling, but it is even more exciting when that old car has a history. That is why so many people seek out vintage race cars. They come with more than just service records. Reader James F just sent in a 1969 Camaro SS396 which has a very interesting past. Find it here on eBay out of Irvine California with bidding currently at $17,600.

This is what the car looked like when it was found by the seller. It had been sitting in someone’s backyard for quite some time. The tires were flat and the paint was oxidized, but perhaps there was more to this old Camaro. Racing slicks and some stickers gave the first clues of its past.

The interior was covered with a thin layer of dust, but underneath all that grim things looked surprisingly complete and in good condition.

An even thicker layer of dirt was found under the hood. A few more hints of this car’s past.

After a thorough cleaning this is what the car looks like today. It was made road worthy again and then some.

In the 80s the car lost its panel paint job as depicted in the first photo of this post. It was resprayed this blue color and the California sun has since had its way with it.

Turns out that this car was meant to be raced from the beginning and it did quite well in the NHRA. Since it was built to race, it never accumulated many miles, with only 500 on the clock. It was raced until 1992 before sitting for 15 years.

Sadly the original drive train is long gone, but we are sure this is more fun anyway. The seller installed a period 427 with a Tremec TKO600 five speed. Sounds like a great combination for daily driving.

Even Chip Foose checked out the car and liked it enough to draw it on the owner’s garage wall. Unfortunately, the wall is not included in the sale.

There is plenty of history to make this drag car interesting. Heck, even without all the history, it looks pretty good to us. The shabby old paint and the 427 under the hood make this backyard find stand out amongst a sea of common Camaros. A special thanks goes out to James for sending this one in.


  1. mike salinas

    this picture was takin at great lakes dragway in unione grove wi !!!!!! I’ve seen this car when I was a kid many times .. very cool old race picture ..

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    • Barn Finds

      Thanks for sharing Mike! That had to be a shock to see it online today.

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  2. Anthony

    Hi Barn Finds!

    And thanks for featuring my car; it’s been a fun car, but sometimes, as we all know, the most fun is in the hunt; time to pass this one on!

    I’ll check in periodically and answer any questions as I can if readers want to ask.

    Cheers all,

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    • Anthony

      …and BTW, great reading here too; keep it up!! Love to read about these finds!

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      • scot c

        ~ sorry, Anthony. i mis-clicked on ‘thumbs down’ and thought i had better own up to my mistake. it is absolutely the coolest you had Chip Foose drawing on your garage wall ! !

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  3. Gnrdude

    Wow I’d give that thing a Good Bath inside & under the Hood Tune it Up & see how it runs change the Fluids & drive it like it is.

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    • Anthony

      Yep, did that, replaced the motor with a 427 and added a Tremec 5 speed, and now it runs like a racecar again!

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  4. Dolphin Member

    As I’ve said many times, with old cars a lot of their value can be lost if there’s no documentation for special features or a special history. The great thing to see in the listing for this car is the way Anthony has documented the features and history of the car. You know exactly what to expect when you come to check out the car and the paperwork. The period photos not only show the car’s early history, but they brought out some comments from readers who recognize the car and the drag strip from back when the car raced there. This kind if validation is not only great for people who might be interested in buying the car, but it also brings its history to life.

    This listing is exactly how significant cars like this should be sold—with all the important information and paperwork, big set of good clear photos, and honest presentation.

    Congrats to Anthony for a great listing of an interesting car, and to BarnFinds for showcasing it so well. I hope buyer and seller strike a good deal for the car and that it goes to a good home where it will be appreciated and kept for Camaro fans to see every so often.

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  5. Anthony

    What a great comment Dolphin!

    Thank you!

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  6. Thomas Bailey

    Its my life dream to find an old muscle car that will be a project car for me Its my lifes dream to be able to find a beautiful car and make it my own

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  7. Anthony

    Hi Barn Finds Gang,

    I’ve re-listed the car with no reserve this time.

    Thanks again for the forum!

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    • Charlie

      Hey Anthony,

      I know it’s been a good six years but I was wondering if you could tell me the wheel and tire set up (size with back spacing). Also, what did the car end up selling for?


      Charlie Ford

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  8. Anthony

    Hi Charlie, the rear wheels on the finished car are the ones that it was raced with and shown in the as-found photo, they were custom 15×10 that the original owner (who has since passed away) had custom made (re-hooped them) early on just after he first prepped the car for racing, unfortunately I don’t know the backspacing, but he did have to hammer the fender lips and interior wheel wells hard to tuck the tires up in there. The radials I used were 295/50R15 and they never rubbed and filled the wheel wells up nicely IMHO. The front wheels were the stock, factory 14×7 which I put 225/70R14 radials on and they worked well.

    It didn’t sell on eBay, I sold it at the Grand National Roadster show the next year for $35,000. It’s gone through two more owners and is now in CO. And, from what I hear, is for sale again at $50,000 and the rear wheels and original front XTs are gone; it has period Halibrand magnesium wheels on it now.

    If you’re working on one; good luck and have fun! Sorry I couldn’t help with the backspacing question.


    Like 1

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