If you could step back in time and buy a classic Chevrolet right off USA-1’s bright showroom floor, what would it be? For a lot of Chevy fans, it’d be a second generation Chevelle Super Sport that’s equipped with a storied big block/4-speed combo. Sure, there are still a few of those authentic, untouched gems around. But with the six figure prices they command, fully enjoying them is a risky endeavor. That’s why a lot of gearhead’s favorite pastimes involve buying solid Chevelle coupes, building factory spec powerplants and creating fun, well-rounded cruisers. And this awesome Cortez Silver Super Sport, one such build that leaves no box unchecked, is the ultimate classic for parading, parking and showing!
As with any high caliber muscle car, this Chevy’s paint and bodywork are first-rate throughout. Its correct GM code 55 finish was accurately duplicated, including slick black stripes and a glossy clearcoat shell that creates killer, unbroken reflections. That pigment highlights a roster of straight steel which, combined with the car’s clean frame, documents a history of little rust and no significant damage. That steel’s reboot is extremely well done, featuring finish work that’s befitting an ultra-rare show queen. And naturally, everything was carefully color-sanded and buffed to a mirror-like shine.
By 1969, Chevrolet’s Chevelle had earned the tagline “America’s most popular mid-size”. And GM, knowing not to mess with a good thing, rang in the new model year with minimal aesthetic changes. At the front of this coupe, a stainless-trimmed grille centers a fresh “SS396” emblem between bright headlights, clear parking lamps and a new chrome bumper. Behind that grille, an SS-exclusive hood props finned louvers between a flashy Chevelle script and pristine greenhouse glass that’s framed in straight stainless trim and fresh black vinyl. At the sides of that hood, traditional door handles and correct mirrors perfectly complement fresh door guards, dent-free wheel trim and bold fender badging. And at the back of the car, a Satin Black valence centers clear tail lights and a prominent “SS396” emblem between a second Chevelle script, a second chrome bumper and mirror-like exhaust tips.
Lift the double-domed hood and you’ll find a correct, 396 cubic inch L34 big block. As one of the most powerful and memorable Chevrolet engines ever created, this cast iron mill utilizes oval-port closed chamber heads, a forged steel crank and traditional hydraulic lifters to turn stout 10.25 to 1 compression into roughly 350 horsepower. Oxygen and fuel enter the block’s combustion chambers through a chrome, freshly decaled air cleaner, small Summit pressure gauge and big Quadrajet carburetor. Below that carburetor, a sea of brilliant Chevy Orange covers the block from the base of its Edelbrock Performer intake to the base of its stamped steel oil pan. At the back of that intake, a traditional points distributor shoots fire through loomed MSD Super Conductor plug wires. Below those wires, bright chrome valve covers reflect ceramic coated Hooker headers. And in front of those valve covers, classy chrome pulleys spin behind a heavy duty radiator, pliable GM hoses and familiar tower clamps. Aesthetically, this road ready Chevelle’s glossy exterior paint perfectly contrasts a smooth, Satin Black bay. High quality extraneous bits, like a vintage Harrison compressor and correct Delco Moraine brake booster, are present and accounted for. And if you think this description sounds good, just wait ‘til you hear the engine run!
Under this impressive A-Body you’ll find a fully sorted chassis and super solid floorpans that, like the car’s clean exterior panels and lust worthy engine, have been restored to very high standards. At the center of those floors, a rugged Muncie 4-speed twists torque to a rebuilt GM 12-bolt that spins stout, 3.55 gears. Holding that stellar drivetrain in place is a beefy F41 suspension that features modern power steering and correct power front disc and rear drum brakes. Exhaust floats from the long-tube headers to aluminized pipes that cap aggressive Hooker Aero Chamber mufflers with spotless stainless tips. Power flows through attractive Super Sport wheels to modern 235/60R15 BF Goodrich Radial T/As. And, in keeping with the 396 up top, much attention has been paid to making sure everything under the car is clean and 100% road ready!
Open this Chevelle’s solid doors and you’ll find an attractive black interior that appears to have been completely replaced during the car’s extensive restoration. In the middle of that interior, a trio of fresh bench and bucket seats suspend plush headrests over clean covers and bright stainless trim. Below those seats, like-new carpet centers a traditional Hurst shifter inside a factory-correct console and thick rubber floor mats. At the edge of that carpet, fresh, fade-free side panels, which are branded with vintage “SS396” emblems, give the cockpit some much needed pop. Above those panels, a snazzy chrome mirror fronts a tight black headliner that shows no signs of drying or fading. In front of the driver, a tilt steering column spins a standard black wheel around chrome-trimmed foot pedals, a correct Delco radio and Super Sport-specific dash trim. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk sandwiches a correct jack and full-size spare between a new mat and correct decklid decals.
The sale of this super cool Super Sport includes an original Protect-O-Plate, a pile of restoration receipts and a few restoration photos.
It’s probably fair to throw the term “over-restored” at this Chevelle, but certainly not in a negative way. If you’re going to spend this much time rehabbing a car, making it look better than the factory was capable of is completely understandable – ESPECIALLY when it turns out this nice. If you find the idea of owning an impossibly clean big block/4-speed Chevelle overwhelmingly appealing, don’t miss the chance to park this Chevy in your garage!