1969 CHEVY CHEVELLE SS396 CHANGES
The ’69 Chevelle retained the same basic body shell as the ’68 with minor cosmetic changes, most notably the front and rear facias. The difference in tail lights is quite pronounced, the later ones wrapping around the rear corners of the car. The grille was also cleaned up nicely. But the biggest change was the elimination of the front vent windows, in favor of one-piece door glass. This necessitated the adoption of GM’s patented Astro Venitlation system to keep air moving through the cabin.
A CHEVELLE SS WITH A POST?
No longer a stand-alone model, the SS package had turned into an option, so for the first time in Chevelle SS history, you could order the Super Sport or SS option package on any 2-door Chevelle. That meant not just Sport Coupe (postless 2-door hardtops), Convertibles and El Caminos as before, now you could have an SS in pillared coupe and even in the lowly 300 Deluxe series. This was not a popular combination however and few were built. As the result, they are much sought after today by collectors.
The relentless march toward greater safety continued in 1969. The entire Chevelle line, including the SS396, got a new locking steering column and front seat headrests. Power windows and door locks, headlight washers and a rear defroster became optional for the first time.
More than 86,000 SS396s were built in 1969. They all came with the usual selection of 296 cubic inch big block V8s, with either 325hp, 350hp or 375hp. All SS396s got a special SS-only hood with twin power bulges, and a blacked-out rear facia panel with an SS emblem in its center.
1969 CHEVY CHEVELLE PRODUCTION NUMBERS
1969 turned out to be the best year the Chevelle line had up to that date, with 503,352 units built between all models. This was to be the second-best year ever for the Chevelle, bested only by 1970 with a whopping 633,944 units. But for the 1969 model year, 86,307 received the SS396 option package. Again, the Chevelle was no longer considered to be a model unto itself, but rather an option package available on any 2-door Chevelle, from the base 300 Deluxe to the top-of-the-line Malibu.