Steve's Camaro - Is my Camaro an SS?



The Chevy Camaro Super Sport, better known as the SS, was produced from '67-'72 and '96-2002. Basically, it was a performance package with some nice looks added to help identify them before you got to see their tail lights. Since the SS was a performance package, the engine is one of the most important parts of an SS Camaro. In most cases the original SS engine is required to identify the car as possibly being a true SS. Also, remember that having the original engine doesn't mean the rest of the car is still original. Check everything including dates, castings and partial VIN's. If the complete VIN says it was originally a 6 cylinder Camaro then you can guarantee it was not an SS so be sure to check the VIN. Unfortunately, these days it is so easy to fake almost everything on a Camaro - the more you know the better off you will be. Here is a good old saying that is never more true than for this ... if we had a nickel for every time someone said they had an SS Camaro (but did not) we would be filthy rich by now.

Identifying a First Generation SS:
From the looks of the emails we get on this subject we can sum it up by saying the best place to start to try to verify a first gen SS is by checking the engine codes and dates. We hope more people read this before buying a Camaro not after buying that so called SS. The standard engine in a '67 to '69 SS was a 350/295hp (300hp in '69). A big block 396 with either 325hp ('67-'69), 350hp ('68-'69) and 375hp ('67-'69). A first gen. SS either had a 350 or a 396 engine. Required power front disc brakes starting in '69. A 10 or a 12 bolt could be ordered with an SS. A/C was available on SS's unless the engine was 396/375hp. All first gen SS's could be ordered as a convertible.
There is NO code in the VIN that recognizes an SS in any first generation Camaro. A '67 Camaro has a code on the trim tag for an SS and a late '69 Camaro had an "X" code on the trim tag to identify some SS's. The X11 code is the only exception to identifying a true '69 SS Camaro because the code also means a plain Camaro. Unfortunately there are no codes on a '68 Camaro to help identify an SS. A Protect-o-plate can be helpful in identifying a first gen. SS but be careful because there are places that make reproductions of both trim tag and protect-o-plate.
The engine is very important to an SS Camaro but is necessary to identify all '68 and most '69 Camaros. Before emailing us in the hopes that we know some secret to identifying SS's check the engine codes at Engine Codes for SS horse power (HP) ratings see below. If the Camaro doesn't have the original engine then finding out whether it was an SS at one time just got that much harder and in most cases impossible. The only thing you can for sure determine, if your first gen doesn't have the original engine and doesn't have any documentation to help, is that your Camaro was not an SS. Before you start searching and asking questions be sure you want to know the answer. However, even if a first gen has everything that an SS had but doesn't have the original engine you can still not be sure it was originally an SS - see below for more on this.
YearTrim Tag Code?Check Engine Code HP get Help
VIN Engine Code?
1967YES350-295hp or 396-325hp, 375hp
NONE
1968NONE350-295hp or 396-325hp, 350hp, 375hp
NONE
1969Some X codes350-300hp or 396-325hp, 350hp, 375hp
NONE

Common things most people erroneously think makes a First Gen Camaro an SS and we get asked about all the time. Also known as FAQ's on SS Camaros being a true SS.
Option
Required for an SS
Available on base Camaros
Easily Purchased and Added
Special EngineYes (see above if not in list then not an SS engine!)No NO! Very hard to fake especially the casting number and casting date but engine code can be restamped so watch out!
SS EmblemsYesNoVery much YES!
StripesYesNoYes!
Special HoodYesNoYes!
Front disc brakes Yes on 1969's only '67 and '68 SS's could get drum drakes (Special front drum brakes in '67 were RPO J65 and SS only) Yes - but most got drum brakes. Drum drakes did not require power assist. Disc brakes in '68 and '69 did.Yes! Check that they are not after market though but applies to '69 Camaros only anyway. Basically brakes on Camaros should not be used as a determining factor of an original SS or not. Disc brakes in '68 and '69 required power assist (J50).
Special Instruments - Amp, temp, oil pressure, fuel, clock, tachNo - that's right NO not required.Yes - just required V8 and ConsoleYes! They were AC gauges. Also tach's were dealer installed or factory late in 69.
2 speed power glide AutomaticThe 2 speed power glide automatic was not available on big block CamarosYesEasy to change to another automatic but not easy to fake correct transmission with partial VIN.
12 bolt rear endNo but in '69 and on L48 only the rest was 12 bolt required.Yes - but check dates of rear endNot easy to find one dated for a specific Camaro build date but should not be used as a determining factor to identify an original SS if Camaro has a 12 bolt.
"X11" on trim tag on 1969's only350 SS only but a big NO for a big block SSYES! not all "X11's" were SS's. Check the engine. If not original then assume the "X11" was for a base Camaro.Not easily added but check VIN to make sure it was a V8 because trim tags are getting swapped out. Also have seen people selling reproduced trim tags so watch out.
Myth buster - 327 SS CamaroNO 327 SS Camaros and I've heard it all but NO sorry didn't happen!Yes base Camaros ONLY!Unfortunately these can be very easily restamped into a 350 SS code. A 327 has the same casting number as a 350 so watch out.


Source: www.chevy-camaro.com

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