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How to Identify a Real 1969 SS Chevelle

by Floyd Drake III

If you are looking for a genuine 1969 Chevelle SS and don't want to be fooled by SS details installed on a regular Chevelle, identify it by matching different ID numbers. The SS (Super Sport) option package consisted of special trim options and a specific engine set-up. As these options can be counterfeited, cross-referencing the engine ID number, the trim tag and various visuals is necessary to identify the real thing. Some numbers can be decoded immediately, while others need to be checked against a Chevrolet part number listing.

Identify the Chevelle by using visual methods. According to Team Chevelle, the only colors available in 1969 for the Chevelle SS are "Monaco Orange" (code 72) and "Daytona Yellow" (code 73). These codes must appear on the trim or "cowl" tag to be genuine. The trim tag itself must also be genuine.

Locate the trim (cowl) tag located on the firewall directly behind the brake master cylinder. This tag will give you the trim, or styling specifics of the vehicle. Since this tag can be removed, or replaced with a false one, further identification is needed. A genuine 1969 SS Chevelle will have "69" in the top left corner for the year and next to the paint heading, either code "72 or "73."

Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) located on a plate in the driver-side door jamb. Match this number with the VIN number located on the trim tag: both must match.

Inspect the car for other SS identification. As the Z25 SS-396 was the only SS package in 1969, things to look for include: black, white or red stripe decals on the upper sides of the body, SS/396 emblems, 14-inch SS hubcaps with SS center-caps and a twin-bulged hood.

Identify the engine ID number located on the front of the engine block above the timing chain cover. It will be seven to eight digits long, both numbers and letters. According to Nasty Z28s engine code listing, the last two letters on this code must be "JD" for it to be a 375 horsepower 396 c.i.d., the 1969 Chevelle SS engine.

Tips

  • When all of these items are positively identified, you are likely looking at a genuine 1969 SS Chevelle.
  • According to Team Chevelle, it was possible to order a Central Office Production Order (COPO) 427 Chevelle in 1969. This program allowed dealers to order equipment that was not usually available (such as special paint, special engines, etc.) These Chevelles had 427 engines installed at the factory. These models are rare and are the only exception to the 396 c.i.d. rule.

Warning

  • According to Team Chevelle, the VIN number in 1969 is useless as an identification tool because there are no specifics designating a 1969 SS. It is used here to match with the trim tag VIN in a process of elimination. Using all these techniques are necessary for positive identification.

About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.

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