1969 Impala Convertible Mystery Car - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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1969 Impala Convertible Mystery Car

Hello Folks- This is my first post here, so let me first say "hey!". This looks like a really active community, so looking forward to spending some time here.

Now the long story.

In the early 80's my father bought a very nice looking blue 69 convertible Chevy in Washington. It appeared to have original paint, and generally be a very original looking, numbers matching car (factory finished interior, etc.). We enjoyed this car for many years in the pre-internet era. Eventually he made a gift of the car to my wife and I on our wedding day, so now it's mine.

Here's where it gets weird. The car is an SS badged, 1969, Caprice Convertible. The astute amongst you will quickly say, "there's no such thing". I tend to agree. The rest of you will say "No way it's an SS427", and frankly I could almost care less except for the following:

A couple of years ago the car was stolen from my house. It was ultimately recovered, but in very poor cosmetic shape (paint stripped, decals and trim removed, etc. etc.). The whole drive train, etc. were still intact, but it was a shadow of it's former self. I put it back together the best I could, but was never really happy with the result. Which brings us to present day. I want to bring the car back to it's original form. Something really nice and tight. Unfortunately, I don't know what that is!

The VIN decodes as a 69 Impala Convertible Big Block. The car has a numbers matching 427 block (390HP variant). It's badged as an SS and has all of the SS equipment as far as I can tell (wheels, trim, disc brakes, etc.). It's also badged as a Caprice, and has all original Caprice equipment and interior as well as hide away headlights, hood mounted turn signals, remote locking trunk, etc. etc.

And that's all I know. Anyone want to venture a guess as to what this car actually is? I'm linking the VIN and Cowl Tag in this post. I've looked every conceivable location for the Build sheet and none still exists.

Thanks! Comments welcome.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 06:39 PM
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Welcome to the Team!

Sounds like a customer ordered car. Somebody wanted an Impala SS and then went and upgraded the interior to Caprice level is the way I would look at it. I don't see that combo having to have Vince Pigins sign off on it as it is a readily resalable car which is all the factory worried about as far as special orders go.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 06:42 PM
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Sounds like a cool car. How about some more pics so we can see the whole thing
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Welcome to the Team!

Sounds like a customer ordered car. Somebody wanted an Impala SS and then went and upgraded the interior to Caprice level is the way I would look at it. I don't see that combo having to have Vince Pigins sign off on it as it is a readily resalable car which is all the factory worried about as far as special orders go.

Big Dave
Thanks!

Yes, more than one person has proposed that at the solution. Just wondering if there's any way to narrow it down further.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 07:10 PM
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Back in 69 you could order what you wanted.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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I can definitely take some more photos, although I'll have to annotate some of the original equip (like the hood mounted turn signals, etc.) as a couple small things were lost in the theft.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 06:14 PM
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Can you post more pics? I wondering how it has emblems for an Impala and Caprice? If you post the engine pad numbers, that will tell for sure if it is a real SS427.

Warren
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Where is the engine pad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAR6569 View Post
Can you post more pics? I wondering how it has emblems for an Impala and Caprice? If you post the engine pad numbers, that will tell for sure if it is a real SS427.

Warren
Thanks Warren. Yes, I can. Although much of the original badging is gone from when it was stolen. When purchased, the car had a Caprice by Chevrolet trunk badge in the factory passenger side location, and all the SS specific badges (front grill, in front of the doors on both sides, and the trunk).

Can you tell me where to find the engine pad numbers? That would be awesome to know whether it's an SS or not. I remember some years ago finding a number stamped on the block that somehow correlated to the VIN that convinced me it was the original block, but I don't recall where that was. Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 04:59 PM
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On the block ID pad cast into the passenger side of the block. The partial VIN, date built, and application code are all stamped on that flat surface.

Big Dave
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
On the block ID pad cast into the passenger side of the block. The partial VIN, date built, and application code are all stamped on that flat surface.

Big Dave
T1010LI 1C010479

Pictures coming. Partial block vin matches dash vin tag.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAR6569 View Post
Can you post more pics? I wondering how it has emblems for an Impala and Caprice? If you post the engine pad numbers, that will tell for sure if it is a real SS427.

Warren
More pictures.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 04:59 PM
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LI is for a 1969 390 horse 427 in front of a TH400 installed in a SS427 Impala.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
LI is for a 1969 390 horse 427 in front of a TH400 installed in a SS427 Impala.

Big Dave
Thanks Dave. So it looks like it's a legit SS427 convertible with numbers matching power train, with a Caprice interior and hideaway headlights etc. Awesome.

According to the cowl tag the original color was actually yellow (40).

I noticed in a previous thread that you indicated that there is a way to contact GM of Canada and get documentation on cars built there. If I'm decoding the Vin correctly, this car was. Do you (or anyone else on the thread) know how to go about actually getting that documentation from GM?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-17-2012, 11:25 PM
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Silver,
Here is the link to get you documentation for a Canadian car.

Call or Email George:

http://www.vintagevehicleservices.com/options.html


Vintage Vehicle Services Inc. - Authorized Documentation of General Motors Products
T. 905 440 7697 • TF. (Canada) 888 467 6853 • F. 905 440 7644 • Email: [email protected]

64 Impala SS 327/300 survivor
67 Impala SS 327 triple black hardtop
67 Impala Bench Seat 4 speed
http://craigaacars.shutterfly.com/pictures
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 10:30 PM
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Wow, I can't believe this is a real SS427, that's great. Seems like 75% of the 69 Impalas you see with SS badges are 335HP clones! I added it to the SS427 registry. It's the 200th US built Z24 I have entered into the list!

This car was built in Southgate, CA not Canada so they will not have any docs for it. Your best chance would have been finding a handwritten piece of paper under the back seat(s) or inside the bench seat that would show some handwritten RPO codes. The build sheets were never tucked away in Southgate 69's unless it was a wagon. The handwritten paper would be great to see as it might show power windows and power door locks which it looks like the car has. Has it always had hidden headlights since your father bought it?

Can you post a full list of options the car has? I'd be interested in the date codes for the TH400 (on metal tag) and axle on front of rear axle tube.

Warren
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 12:26 PM
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335 HP 427?

The 427 in 1969 had a few offerings with horsepower differing by model as some cars had freer flowing exhausts than others (either that or Chevy inflated the numbers for Corvettes to stroke the owner's ego). The 390 horse was the oval port Passenger headed version and the 425 and 435 horse motors used the rectangular port HiPerf cast iron heads (differing in the 425 horse having a single 850 cfm Holley vs. the 435 horse having an 1150 cfm Holley Tri-Power set up.)

To my knowledge there was no 335 horse variant.

The 396 had a 325 horse a 350 horse and a 375 horse in 1969. The 325 was the base model with a low rise cast iron Q-Jet intake, with the 350 horse having a slightly hotter flat tappet hydraulic cam, and a Holley carb on a mid-rise cast iron intake; both used the oval port Passenger heads. The 375 horse had HiPerf rectangular port heads with a solid cam and a bigger Holley with dual feed carb on top of an aluminum high rise manifold.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 12:39 PM
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Here you go, Dave:

http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/...ml?printable=1

Just google "335 hp 427" and you'll find lots of info
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 12:57 PM
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So is the 335 horse a 390 horse variant similar to the 325 horse 396 vs the 350 horse? If so it woulf be equipped with the low rise Rochester Quadrajet manifold and the mild cam. I do not think the 390 horse B-body car got the Holley carb. I believe it had a Rochester Quadrajet on the same low rise manifold but with a different cam (only because I never saw a Holley on a B-body motor in all my years of crawling junk yard stacks; though I would have sworn there was never a two barrel BBC made until I came across two of them made in Canada on top of a 454). I would have to check Chevrolet by the Numbers to figure out what Chevy produced that year.

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