As a car guy, if you walked into a Chevrolet dealership in 1969, what would you have bought? I know what I’d order—an SS with an L89 396 cubic inch big block and a 4-speed, probably in bright red. I mean, from an investment standpoint knowing what I know today, yeah, I should probably order up a COPO ZL-1 or something, but if I were a typical buyer in 1969, THIS is the one that will rule the streets and put a wide grin on my face. Not off-the-charts expensive, but plenty potent, with a ton of horsepower and torque in a compact, street-race friendly package. There were maybe a handful of faster cars out there, but the 1969 Camaro was one hell of a well-rounded package, which probably explains their lasting popularity, even 40 years later.Well, we’re at the end of 2010, and here’s a chance to relive that opportunity you may have had in 1969. This ’69 Camaro is a real X22 SS396, carries a date code correct L89 375 horsepower 396, an M20 Muncie 4-speed, and a brilliant coat of Garnet Red paint. Full of date-code correct parts, it just received a highly documented frame-off restoration to show standards and is ready to start cruising or collecting trophies today. First off, the paint and bodywork on this F-body is downright spectacular. Looking at the restoration photos, you can see that this car was stripped to a bare shell, and every square inch of steel was repaired, straightened, smoothed, and massaged into better-than-new condition. Gaps are excellent, and the entire car fits together better than any original piece I’ve seen, and nicer than many of the reproduction bodies on the market. The paint is two-stage urethane which duplicates the Garnet Red properly, but with A LOT more shine. The black SS stripes have been buried under the clear, as is common these days, and the result is a great-looking F-body that will wow judges and show goers alike. Like the bodywork, the trim is beautifully restored as well. New pieces were used whenever the originals were not up to par, and everything is fresh. From emblems to the stainless windshield surround to the beautiful taillights in the blacked-out SS396 tail panel, everything is in excellent shape. The grille is gorgeous, the chin spoiler hasn’t seen a curb or driveway apron, and the headlights hide behind fully functional doors. This is a very well finished car.But the heart of any musclecar is always the engine, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The engine is a correct 396 cubic inch big block, carrying date code A 24 9 (January 24, 1969) and casting number 3955272, which puts it in the right window for this late February built car. The pad stamp is correct for a396/375 HP Camaro TO227JJ 19N608811. Up top, you’ll find a set of L89 aluminum cylinder heads wearing a 3919842 casting number, with the left side carrying date code 11/19/68 and the right side 11/09/68. A correct 3933163 intake manifold was installed carrying date code 09/25/68, and it’s topped with a Holley 4346 4-barrel, part number: 3959164 and date code 892 (second week of September, 1968). Fully rebuilt and highly detailed to show standards, this engine snarls and rips through the gears, yet idles beautifully. From the restoration photos, you can see that it was carefully prepped and assembled, and finished in correct Chevrolet Orange paint. All the details are right, from the hoses and clamps, to the production line paint stamps on the firewall. I don’t see any deductions in this engine bay, so this car is ready to judge at the highest levels.The chassis is equally beautiful. The Muncie M20 4-speed manual transmission has been rebuilt and features a correct natural finish. Out back, there’s a GM 12-bolt with a 3.73 gearset and Positraction. The satin black finish is uniformly applied and gives the car a correct, production line appearance. New lines and hoses have been used throughout, the brakes and suspension are rebuilt to new condition, and the exhaust system is a correct reproduction. Look a little closer and you’ll see paint daubs and inspection marks duplicated throughout, just as the guys on the assembly line would have done 41 years ago. It rolls on a set of reproduction Rally wheels wearing fresh Goodyear F70-15 Polyglas tires.Slip inside and you’ll find a passenger compartment that is virtually identical to the original in every notable way—except that it might be nicer. If you can touch it, it’s new, from the seats and foam, to the carpets, to the door panels and headliner. The gauges have been rebuilt (including the correct AC speedometer), the dash pad is new, and the wood appliqués throughout the upscale SS interior are fresh. The optional console houses the shifter for the Muncie and it’s topped by a correct shifter and knob. I think our photographer was probably the first person to ever sit in the restored back seat. The trunk is equally well finished, with spatter finish paint, a new correct mat, as well as a matching spare tire and jack assembly. I mean, just look at the finish in the door jambs and trunk opening of this car—someone spent A LOT of time sweating the details on this one.Documentation of the restoration is exhaustive. Look through the photos and you’ll see dozens of shots of the car before, during, and after restoration, giving you a very good view of how thorough the work was. The restorer took great pains to ensure that date codes were correct, as well as the physical details like colors, finishes, and markings. Despite what you may think by looking through our inventory, true #1 cars are extremely rare. I don’t often put a #1 on a car, but looking over this Camaro, I can find no issues that would make it anything other than a spectacular show-quality piece. The cowl tag verifies that this is a real SS396, and it was restored correctly with a ton of date-code correct pieces (which may very well be original to the car). Examine the photos closely, or better yet, come to the showroom and have a look. I guarantee this red Camaro will blow you away with its quality and attention to detail. Expensive, yes, but probably worth every penny because you’re not likely to find a nicer, more accurately restored SS396 anywhere else. Call today!

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1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS

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