Home Cars How To Find Out If Your 1967 Chevelle SS396 Is Real or Fake

How To Find Out If Your 1967 Chevelle SS396 Is Real or Fake

Cameron Eittreim August 25, 2023

Few cars have cut as deep a mark on the auto industry as the Chevelle SS. The car was a true legend that merged performance with aggressive looks. GM built many memorable muscle cars during this era but the Chevelle formulated a following of its own. The SS396 took the performance numbers of the base models to a new level and gave the car an insane amount of performance for the time. True muscle car fans know the “Super Sport” lineup was uniquely unlike anything else on the road.

The Chevelle is a car that resonated with nearly everyone who came into contact with it. The bold styling and the burly sound from the exhaust truly changed the game. And one edition of the car stands above the rest. Finding a true 1967 Chevelle SS396 is worth tons of money nowadays. We looked at the clues that signify you have a true rare survivor via Motor Trend right here. Buckle up, because the Chevelle SS396 is a car unlike anything else from even that era.

Photo Credit: GM

1967 Chevelle SS396 VIN

The very first thing that you’ll obviously want to do with an authentic Chevelle or any muscle car is check the VIN number. There are specific features that an authentic SS396 will have that separate it. Like most muscle cars from this era, the SS396 was produced in very low numbers. You won’t find a lot of these still on the road, and the few that are available are usually in mint condition (via Motor Trend).

1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

These details are uniquely tailored to unaltered, genuine vehicles. The “13817” signifies the SS396’s two-door hardtop body style, “7” denotes the year 1967, “A” represents Atlanta, Georgia, and “175704” serves as the matching VIN sequence number for the engine stamp sequence. As long as the car that you’re looking at has these features, you’ve got an authentic ride.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1967 Chevelle SS396 Cowl Build Tag

The next place that you are going to want to check on a 1967 Chevelle SS396 is the cowl hood. You’ll be able to tell if the car is authentic by checking a few items under the hood. There should be five lines of code on the build tag that you’ll want to look for. These lines will denote that the car was built in Atlanta, it should say “13817” for the SS396 body style, and “729-A” will show the medium blue interior (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Another code that you’ll want to look for is”Q” for the Muncie M21 four-speed manual transmission. This was the specific transmission that was used in the SS396, and without it, the car wouldn’t be authentic. With these things in mind, you should be able to decipher whether a car is a clone or an authentic SS396 model.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1967 Chevelle SS396 Big-Block Engine Stamp

The Chevelle SS396 had a big block engine under the hood. Even though you might find one for sale with a big block, it might not be authentic. The SS396 had a powerful engine, and that was part of the appeal. Without that engine, the Chevelle that you are looking at might just be a clone. Most enthusiasts are going to look for the big block engine stamp right away (via Chevelle Stuff).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The SS396 had a powerful engine and finding an authentic model with the right engine is key. There was something special about this variation of the Chevelle and naturally having the right engine makes all the difference in the world. Checking the key details under the hood will ensure that you find an authentic number-matching car.

Photo Credit: GM

1967 Chevelle SS396 L78 Engine Block Casting Number

One important thing to check on the Chevelle is the engine block casting number because I will show you if the car is authentic. The engine block casting number is going to say “3902406” on the number. This means that the car has an authentic L35 engine, the one that was used in the car. Although there are a lot of engine choices from this generation the particular engine was specific to this car (via It Still Runs).

Photo Credit: Hot Rod

Looking for the engine block casting number isn’t hard, and it’s something that you’ll want to do. When it comes to finding an authentic muscle car the most important thing is to make sure that the numbers match. The Chevelle is one of the most iconic cars on the road and the SS396 is the holy grail muscle car in the segment.

Photo Credit: Hagerty

1967 Chevelle SS396 L78 Choke Horn Date/List Stamp

There’s another often overlooked area of the Chevelle SS396 that will tell you if the car is authentic. The carburetor should have a stamp on the top of it that will show you if the car is official. The code on the carburetor should read “3916143”, and this is the code that denotes if the car is an SS396. Finding an authentic Chevelle SS396 starts with checking this out (via SS396).

Photo Credit: Hagerty

The beauty of the SS396 wasn’t just the performance – it was also the upgrades that the car came with. GM packed a lot of performance into this car, as well as the stellar-looking appearance. When you think of an authentic muscle car the Chevelle SS396 is the car that defined the era.

Photo Credit: Hagerty

1967 Chevelle SS396 L78 Deep-Groove Water Pump Pulley Stamp

A surprising place that you’ll want to check on an SS396 before you make the purchase is the water pump pulley. The L78 had a high level of horsepower over the outgoing models. When it came to serious performance, the SS396 was a beast. Yet it’s also important to verify that a car is legitimate. With clones all over the place, taking these steps is important (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

There were only 617 examples of the car built for the 1967 model year, so finding an authentic one is difficult. The pulley will have the code “3862774CW.” stamped onto it, and this will show you if the car is authentic. Any real authentic classic will need to be a number-matching car because you don’t want to invest in the wrong one.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1967 Chevelle SS396 L78 Ignition Distributor Date Stamp

The SS396 had a lot of unique features to it, but one of the most unique features was its ignition distributor. It had a specific code on the side of it and a date stamp that made it unique. When you look at a potential SS396 you’ll want to make sure that the distributor has the right date stamp on it. The stamp will read “7E26” (via Hemmings).

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Z16
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

This code denotes when the car was manufactured and what engine it had under the hood. These are two of the most important dates to look for when it comes to getting one of these cars. You don’t want something that’s a clone, and you don’t want to spend money on the wrong ride.

How Did He Keep His 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 for 52 Years?
Photo Credit: Motor Trend

1967 Chevelle SS396 Rear Axle Housing Stamp

Perhaps one of the most unique features of the Chevelle SS396 was its rear axle. It had an open-ended gear ratio which gave the car an impressive amount of performance, but it was also unique to this car. There is a stamp on the rear axle that will denote if the car is an authentic SS396. The code will read “KJ” and it will be one of the defining factors (via DIY Truck Build).

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

The axle housing and the design of the SS396 in general is what made the Chevelle one of the most popular muscle cars of all time. It was the interesting body styles that made the car resonate with just about every demographic. The car had a noteworthy appearance and nowadays it is one of the rarest and most expensive muscle cars on the road.

Photo Credit: Project Cars For Sale

1967 Chevelle SS396 Muncie M-21 Transmission Casting

Believe it or not, the interesting features of the SS396 traveled inside the car too. The Muncie transmission is one of the most notable features of the 1967 Chevelle. The transmission housing was specific to this model and it had a stamp on it as well. The stamp reads “P7H08”, and this denotes the date that the car was built (via Car & Driver).

Photo Credit: Mecum

You wouldn’t think to check the transmission housing but it’s there. It was the features that made the SS396 easy to differentiate. Most collectors know how to point these small details out. GM took special pride in building this car, and every inch of detail is there. Obviously, this was a special edition of the Chevelle that still stands out.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1967 Chevelle SS396 L78 Heavy-Duty Radiator Tag

Obviously, with all of this horsepower, the Chevelle had a heavy-duty radiator. This is especially so with the SS396 and there’s a heavy-duty tag you’ll find under the hood. This tag denotes exactly that the SS396 was an authentic car, and it had an authentic radiator. The tag is located on top of the radiator and the code will read “VH” (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Although there were a lot of different options on the Chevelle, picking out the SS396 from the crowd is easy if you know what to look for. Little details like the tag on the radiator were put in place for a reason. The car had all of the unique markings that made it stand out for a number of reasons.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1967 Chevelle SS396 Quarter-Panel Trunk Drip Rail Stamp

The SS396 had a lot of unique markings all over the car to ensure that it stood out. The trunk also had some markings that made it easy to identify a survivor. There will be a stamp on the inside of the drip rail that reads “13817”. This was the manufacture date of the car and the model code for it as well (via Street Side Classics).

Photo Credit: Richmond Auto

The Chevelle SS396 is the type of car that stands out from the crowd. It’s fun to drive and there are a lot of unique aspects to it, which is why finding these details is important. There were a lot of easter eggs that were used in the production of this car to let you know that it’s authentic.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1967 Chevelle SS396 Wheel Option Code Stamp

One of the most unique options about the SS396 was the unique wheels. So much so that there are unique wheel option codes stamped right onto the wheels. You’ll want to look for these if you have the option to have a car that has original wheels. The code to look for is going to be “A36”, and they should be 14×6 wheels that wear F70-14 tires (via Holley).

Photo Credit: Cars & Bids

If the wheels don’t have this unique code on them, then they aren’t the original set. You’ll want to focus on getting an original set of wheels, which is what most collectors go for when they get this car. Wheel codes were a unique thing used back then on classic cars, and the SS396 is one car that you need to make sure to check the wheel codes on.

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