A local GM dealership owner took this car in trade about three years ago. He is very particular and certainly knows his stuff. He took great care as he made improvements and corrections to this great Chevelle.
He replaced the headers and over-sized exhaust system with the correct manifolds that were in the trunk and a pre-bent exhaust system that is used by restorers. The Edelbrock carb was replaced by a rebuilt Rochester, however, it is not the correct carb for the 350 HP 396 engine. He set aside the original set of wheels and old Firestone Wide Oval bias ply tires (they go with the car) and sourced another set of 1969 dated wheels with radials for driving purposes. The bottom of both fenders were repaired with patch panels and repainted by the dealership body shop. The cracked plastic inner fenders were replaced, but with steel versions and the plastics are not available. Belts, hoses, lines, brakes, battery, fluids and fuel sending unit were also replaced. Now it is a great driving car that is dependable and safe.
During the sending unit replacement, the factory build sheet was discovered on top of the fuel tank! It supports the equipment on the car. This is a true 396 SS with 350 HP engine and four speed. The rear end is still 3.73 positraction. All the features are exactly as specified by the build sheet.
This car was built at the Framingham, MA plant. It was sold new by Sahli Motors, Inc of Beaver Falls, PA. We have copies of the PA titles and have no reason to believe it was ever titled out of P.A. One of the titles, from 1987, list the mileage at 41534. Today the odometer reads 51669. We believe this is the actual mileage.
The condition of the car supports this belief. Most of the Lemans Blue paint is original, as is the black vinyl top. The trunk and door seals are original. The original trunk mat covers a perfect floor still showing the factory spatter. Residing in the trunk is the original spare and correct jack. From my assessment, the headliner and carpet are original. The seat upholstery certainly is. The shifter has changed to Hurst. It still has the T-3 head lamps and the original radio and lighter are working.
The engine has all the correct casting and date codes, however the block has been decked. It is likely original, but there are no stamped numbers. The M21 transmission has a partial VIN that matches. The differential displays correctly.
How has this car remained so nice? First, it was undercoated. It looks like a Ziebart job to me. The plugs are in the doors, etc. The underside was heavily coated long ago. There is grime on top of the undercoat. Not a speck of rust beneath. In addition, I would have to believe it was not winter driven and it likely was always garage-kept. Low mileage helps. Wanna bet it was not rained upon? And we know at least one of the owners was a women.
As mentioned, this car is a great driver. Better yet, it is very show-worthy. Many wont believe it is unrestored. It is a true survivor that is very original, with documentation and that has remained in wonderful condition.