The 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle was billed as “America’s most popular mid-size car” and rightly so. General Motors (GM) produced 439,611 1969 Chevy Chevelles in two-door hardtop, two-door sedan, 4-door hardtop, 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon guises, equipping 47,905 Chevelles with inline 6-cylinder engines and 391,706 with V8 engines.
Of these 391, 706 V8 Chevelles, a record 86,307 buyers opted for the Super Sport version with the 396-cubic-inch (6.5-liter) big block V8 engine, which is known as RPO Z25 or more commonly as the “SS 396”. Of these 86,307 SS 396s, some of them were exported to the Philippines, and one of them, this Fathom Green SS 396, eventually ended up in Cebu.
New for 1969
The 1969 Chevelle got minor styling changes to distinguish it from the ’68 model. Revised front-end styling included a single chrome bar that connected the quad headlights and a slotted bumper that held the parking lights. Taillight lenses were larger, more vertical and flowed into the quarter panels. Chevy’s exclusive Astro Ventilation made the vent windows of the ’68 redundant. New round instrument pods replaced the former linear layout while options included headlight washers, power windows and locks, and a rear defroster. All 1969 Chevelles got a new locking steering column and headrests.
The SS 396 was made an option package for 1969, available from the Malibu sport coupe and convertible, to the Chevelle 300-series hardtop and pillared coupe to the open-bed El Camino. The Super Sport option included a 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V8 beneath a double-domed hood, along with a black-out grille displaying an SS emblem and a black rear panel. But the options do not end there.
Real Authentic Muscle
Because the muscle car era was in full swing in the late ‘60s, buyers opted for either the base 325-bhp 396 or the 350-bhp L34 396. More than 9,000 buyers, another all-time high, ordered their Chevelle SS 396 with the 375-bhp solid-lifter L78 while an estimated 400 buyers opted for the L89 option, which fit the L78 with weight-saving aluminum heads. Our feature car has the L34 option.
Our feature car has the 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic, which was the only automatic transmission available on an SS 396. It also has the power front disc brakes, the F41 suspension and the free-flow chambered exhausts, that were includes in the SS 396 option list. With a 4-barrel carburetor, a factory-stock Chevelle SS 396 can accelerate from zero to 100kph in 6.5 seconds and run the quarter mile in 14.5 seconds at 101mph (162kph). Further tweaking can make it go even faster.
Now owned by a young Cebu-based businessman who’s very much into muscle cars, this ’69 Chevelle SS 396, underwent a little sprucing-up at Route 66. It was treated to a Yenko Super Car (sYc) upgrade, which included a stripe kit, sYc headrest logos and 5-spoke American Racing Torq Thrust wheels. These little period-correct upgrades further transform this SS 396 from a desirable muscle car into a meaner green street machine.