"Is It a Real Super Sport?"
- Excerpt from Chevelle SS 1964-1972, A Muscle Car Source Book, Second Edition
Several years ago at a local consignment shop, I was browsing through their inventory of old cars. And there it was, in all its glory, a gleaming Cranberry Red 1970 Chevelle SS with black stripes and black bucket seat interior. It had “buy me” written all over it.
This Chevelle was in good condition, showing only 55,000 miles on the odometer and was priced comparatively with the going rate at the time. However, there were no documents of any sort that came with the car. This should have been my first clue to walk away from the deal.
From the very moment I left the consignment shop, I started having second thoughts about the purchase I just made. Even though on the surface everything seemed to be correct, there was something that just didn't feel right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
After bringing the car home, I started giving it the once over, searching for pieces of the puzzle that would ultimately prove or disprove its authenticity.
Finding the first piece of the puzzle came rather quickly. It was in the form of the engine code stamped on the block. The code read as follows; T0421CKN, which decodes as a 330hp, LS3 Turbo-Jet 400, which was only available in non-Super Sport Chevelles, There was no doubt this was not the original engine installed at the factory if it was indeed a true Super Sport.
This brings me to the second piece of the puzzle. Mysteriously, the glove box door had been locked and none of the keys that came with the car would open it. However, the console was not locked and to my surprise I found a fifteen-year-old license plate renewal card from Nebraska. My curiosity got the best of me, and it became clear that I would have to find a way to get into the glove box. Was there more information to be found behind the locked door?
That evening I found my way into the glove box without completely destroying the door. Inside, I found the paperwork documenting a transfer of title in Florida from 1986. The odometer reading at the time of the transfer was 115,000 miles! As you can imagine, my heart sank at that moment.
The following day, I took a chance and called information to see if I could obtain the tele-
phone number of the person listed on the renewal card. Fortunately, there was a current listing. Almost immediately, I placed a call to that northwestern Nebraska town. Thankfully, the person who answered the phone was indeed the person I was seeking. He told me the Chevelle had belonged to his son while he was attending high school. He furnished me with his son’s phone number, who was now residing in Florida. It was all starting to make sense now.
A phone call to Florida that evening gave me the information I needed. His son could not have been more helpful supplying me with information and even mailed me copies of pictures taken years earlier when he owned the Chevelle.
Before the conversation ended, he was able to give me some good news, that in fact he had been the second owner of the Chevelle and it was indeed a real Super Sport.
Now for the bad news. When this Super Sport left the factory it was cranberry red; however, it had a white vinyl top and white band-aid stripes,
in addition to a white bucket seat interior. He went on to say that when he sold the Chevelle in 1986, the original 350hp 396 was still residing
under the hood.
Unfortunately, I found the Chevelle I had just purchased was not quite what I thought it to be. I do not blame the consignment shop in any way, as they can only go by the information the seller provides to them (which in this case was very little). I should have known better, having purchased it without thoroughly checking it out. Even though it was a real head turner and mechanically sound, I just could not live with the idea the Chevelle was not what I presumed it to be. After four months, I decided to sell it (at a loss) and started the search for another.
This time around, I was careful to check the cars out thoroughly. Quite frankly, I was amazed at what I found. On one occasion, I traveled over 100 miles to look at a 1967 Chevelle SS. During our initial phone conversation, the owner told me it was complete, including the original big-block motor. He went on to say everything was in good shape, but did need a complete restoration.
On arriving, I did not have to look too close to realize this was definitely not a Super Sport. A look inside revealed a bucket seat interior which was in rather poor condition. The headliner was missing and there were rips or tears throughoutthe upholstery. The dash panel had woodgrain trim rather than black trim, which was standard for Super Sports in 1967. Raising the hood revealed a 327 engine, not a big-block as the seller described over the phone. A quick check of the V.I.N. proved my suspicions were correct. This indeed was not a Super Sport. I closed the hood, thanked him for his time, and started the long drive home.
The following day, while on the return trip from looking at yet another Chevelle, I realized a consignment shop specializing in collectible cars was just ahead. On the spur of the moment, I decided to stop and see what they had to offer. While gazing under the hood of a 1969 Chevelle SS 396, someone came up from behind and asked me if I was interested in buying a 69’. He introduced himself as Jerry and told me he was looking to buy a street rod and needed to sell his Chevelle SS to help finance it. He said it was outside in the parking lot. We went out to take a look.
The car was nearly flawless inside and out and still had the original drive train. In just a short time, I knew I would be the next owner, providing he had the matching documen-
tation. Jerry reached into the back seat and produced the original window sticker, bill of sale, and the sought after Protect-O-Plate. To make it even better, the price was lower than I expected.
Later that afternoon, I went to his home to complete the deal. Upon my arrival and to my surprise, I found a pickup load of parts went with it. These were not just marginal parts that should have been discarded. It was an assortment of good used and NOS parts still enclosed in the original packaging. He also gave me a box full of receipts and other documents pertaining to the car. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
© 2004-2007 JC Publishing
Chevelle SS 1964-1972, A Muscle Car Source Book, Second Edition