The Chevelle was a very popular nameplate in the late 1960s. With 464,699 units delivered, the midsized reached an all-time high in 1968. However, only 55,309 of them were ordered with the desirable SS396 package. Many of these muscle cars are still around, but many more of them have been left to rot away in barns and on fields.
This rusty SS396 is one of those unlucky Chevelles that had a rough life, losing its front clip and everything inside the cabin after it was abandoned in storage. But amazingly enough for such a wreck, it still has its number-matching, 396-cubic-inch (6.5-liter) V8 engine.
There’s no word as to how the Chevelle ended up like this, but it doesn’t look like it was involved in a crash. So most likely the front clip was dismantled and used on another car. The same goes for the interior, which is missing everything but the dashboard and the center console.
But is the 6.5-liter under the hood an authentic numbers-matching mill or is the owner just trying to earn a few extra bucks with this wreck? Well, the number stamped into the front of the engine block matches the car’s VIN, so we’re looking at the real deal.
Sadly, the engine is also in terrible condition, plagued with rust spots and missing quite a few components. The seller states that he still has the heads and the intake manifold, but this engine needs to be taken apart to find out if it’s salvageable beyond the iron block.
So is this car worth saving? It’s difficult to tell without a closer inspection and a full inventory of parts, but I’ve seen cars in far worse condition being returned to their former glory. The good news is that both the frame and the floor haven’t been eaten away by rust. The body is actually salvageable and a front clip wouldn’t be too difficult to source given how many Chevelles from this era populate junkyards and fields.
Rebuilding the interior might also be a more challenging quest, but it’s the engine and the small bits and pieces that it needs that will create a lot more problems. Assuming that it can be rebuilt, that is. If the answer is yes, then this Chevelle is worth saving as a numbers-matching collectible.
Listed by eBay seller “crazecars,” the SS396 has attracted a high bid of $2,125 with eight days to go. There’s a reserved price to be met, but the seller is also willing to part ways with it for a “buy it now” sticker of $8,500. How much would you pay to take this Chevelle home and put it back on its feet?