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Thread: How to tell if a car is a true ss car

  1. #1
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    How to tell if a car is a true ss car

    I am lookin for 70 chevelle ss what am I looking to know that it is a true ss I dont think it matters to much about the macthing numbers we are looking for a car to do shows and drive. Something we could take out and do cruzs with.
    Thank you for you help
    CPT. Ron 8) 8) 8)

  2. #2
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    The VIN Number is the only real way to know for sure....The most obvious diference is the dash...although they are easily changed that is one place that many times doesn't get swapped when someone turns a malibu into an SS. The Super Sports had three circles in the dash with gauges and the plain Jane cars had the wide swooping speedometer.

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    Moderator RACING JUNKIE Harbone's Avatar
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    here is a link to a cowl tag decoder website...

    http://www.chevellestuff.com/1970/trim_tag.htm
    Chris

    As close to "Normal" as I can get...

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    rsrs:

    I might be wrong, but i am pretty sure that the VIN has to have a "138" code in it to be a true SS.
    "I would walk through hell on Sunday before I fear the enemy"

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    tod74 is right you cant tell by the Vin tag on a 70 chevelle it doest specify the difference in the sport couple or the SS the dash very seldom gets changed in those cars number one they are hard to find used and the cluster is totally different and the wiring harness is also different but there is some unreal clones out there that would cost as much as a true SS .

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    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Sorry guys, I too want to know about this one too...

    I am confused... Tod said : "The VIN Number is the only way to know for sure"

    rlmotorsports says: "tod74 is right you can't tell by the VIN tag on a 70 Chevelle"

    I get the part about the dash cluster (round guage vs sweeping spedo, etc..) but how would a VIN on a 70 -vs- 67, 68,69 etc... having a 138 be an SS differ from a 1970SS?? Is the 70' VIN using a different code than the rest? I am curious myself as this is one of my favorite years of Chevelles. Scooter
    "I would walk through hell on Sunday before I fear the enemy"

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    I'm sorry about the confusion on that tod74.
    But still you can not tell by the vin on a 70 model here is a little more info for you though.

    In 1970, there were two different SS packages available. One was the "Z25" SS-396 and the other was the "Z15" SS-454. There were only two engine choices for the SS-396: the 350 and 375 horsepower versions. It was a confusing year for 396 buyers. The 396 engines now actually displaced 402 cubic inches, but were still called a "396" when installed in an SS. There was also a new 330 horsepower "LS3" big-block "400" engine option available for the non-SS Malibu and El Camino Custom. To confuse things even further, there was a 400 cubic inch 2-bbl small-block available (only in the '70 Monte Carlo).

    The Malibu "400" big-block was also actually a 402, and was basically an overbored version of the 325 horsepower 396 motor that had been available on the '68 and '69 SSs. The "Malibu 400" package, produced from '70-'72 on the Chevelle and El Camino is fairly scarce today. The reason is that many of these big-block vehicles have been converted to SS clones. In stock form, the Malibu 400 and El Camino 400 carried "400" emblems on the fenders.

    A very limited number of SS Chevelles with the 375 HP 396 and the "L89" aluminum heads were produced in '70.

    There were two engines available for the '70 SS-454 : the 360 horsepower "LS5" and the 450 horsepower "LS6". The '70 LS5 Chevelle is actually rarer than the '70 LS6 Chevelle. The LS6 was only available in the '70 Chevelle, the '70 El Camino, and the '71 Corvette. It was never available to the public in *any* other cars. The '70 LS5 motor used in the Corvette was identical to the Chevelle LS5, but for marketing reasons the Corvette rating was 390 horsepower. There was purported to be one known LS6 Chevelle with the L89 aluminum head option, but it is now generally believed that this car (and its documentation) is fake. Chevrolet also had an experimental LS7 engine that was supposed to be available in the '70 Corvette, but never materialized. However, the LS7 heads were available over the counter at GM dealers in '71 and '72. No factory built LS7 cars were ever sold to the public.

    The '70 & up SS now had a completely different dash than the non-SS models. The '70 SS would have either "SS/396" or "SS/454" emblems on the fenders (and on the tailgate of the El Camino). The Chevelle SS had a white "SS" logo in the black rubber pad on the rear bumper. Both the Chevelle SS and El Camino SS had a large "SS" grille emblem (without any engine size).

    The SS models also had a hood with a large bulge in the rear center. Hood stripes were an extra cost option with this hood. There was also a "Cowl Induction" option available. It had "Cowl Induction" emblems on either side of the bulge and a door on the top of the bulge that would open automatically when the engine needed extra air. The Cowl Induction option was NOT standard on any SS - it was always an extra cost item. The Cowl Induction option came with hood stripes. You could, however, delete the Cowl Induction stripes at no cost.You could get the stipes without the Cowl Induction option (at additional cost). All of the '70-'72 SS cars came with hood pins, except for some of the early '70 models (those built around April of 1970 or earlier) that were not ordered with Cowl Induction.

    The '70 SS came with the same wheels used on the '69s.

  8. #8
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    Thank you rlmotorsports

    rlmotorsports you are the man thanks for the good info its guys like you that keeps guys like me into cars. Thanks again
    CPT.RON 8) 8) 8)

  9. #9
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    rlmotorsports, Pretty nice job there. Trying to determine the identy of an actual 1970 SS is tough, but here are a few more area or clues that may help you.

    Another area you can look at is the lower and upper rear control arms, If this had the f-41 rear suspension like all 70 SS chevelles had you will notice that these control arms appear to be boxed in. In the non SS versions the control arms look like a channel, or 3 sided.

    Look beneath the underside of the rear seat for a build sheet to ne fastened to the heavy wire frame of the seat and also look behind the front dash near the radio heater area as well.

    The vin number of the car is located on the vin tag and the rear left frame rail about a fott back from the rear bumper. Check to see that these vins match.

    The dash & guage cluster is another helpful item. The standard malibu guage package way a long and narrow version that streached from left to right. the SS version had three distinct round guages and several other small guage clusters.The manual transmission SS package came with a factory tach I can not remember what guage replaced the tach in the automatic transmission version.

    Also two types of SS steering Wheels, both with ss emblems
    4 spoke and 2 spoke.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigsby
    Sorry guys, I too want to know about this one too...

    I am confused... Tod said : "The VIN Number is the only way to know for sure"

    rlmotorsports says: "tod74 is right you can't tell by the VIN tag on a 70 Chevelle"

    I get the part about the dash cluster (round guage vs sweeping spedo, etc..) but how would a VIN on a 70 -vs- 67, 68,69 etc... having a 138 be an SS differ from a 1970SS?? Is the 70' VIN using a different code than the rest? I am curious myself as this is one of my favorite years of Chevelles. Scooter
    My statement that you could tell by the VIN was just an assumtion....apparently an incorrect one. Used to a look at the dash was almost a sure fire way but anymore they sell those dashes everywhere (reproduction) and it isn't hard to change.I've had mine out (72 Chevelle). My car isn't a true Super Sport and the dash is the ONLY give away. I have the boxed control arms, disc brakes, sway bar on the rear etc.


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