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Discussion Starter #1
When evaluating Chevelles, what priority should be given to model(SS vs Malibu), matching #s and 4 speed vs automatics?

Given the variety of choices out there, and regarding long term value, what is considered to be more important, matching #s, 4 speed vs auto, a SS rather than Malibu?

For the following examples, what would be better to have? a matching #s car in a Malibu or a non-matching in an SS?
How desirable is a turbo 400 compared to a 4 speed?
 

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Since there were less SS produced they usally take priority over the Malibu. Same with the four speeds, there were less produced with the four speeds than the automatics. Unless the car is #s matching Ill usally try and pass on it, unless they are asking a fair price. In a lot of cases you get people that have say an SS396 body and interior, but not original motor and tranny and they expect full price as if it was numbers matching, just because it has SS body/frame and interior. If you plan on a build up buy a non numbers matching car IMHO. Its almost a crime to change out motor/tranny on a true numbers car. Most of your questions all fall back on you, on what you want and want to drive. Some people like the turbo 400, some like the 4 speed, if its not numbers matching its simple, get what YOU want.
 

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I'm not a numbers person, so I won't dwell on it. If you have a numbers car, that's great, and it does help the value. But, for many reasons it is not practical or possible to keep everything matching. The engine, for example, may not be rebuildable if it is bad, so it has to be replaced. Maybe a car has a 307 and the performance is just completely unacceptable and a 350 would be just the ticket. By going from SB to SB, essentially everything is retained that was originally on the original engine.

As far as trannys go, I bet most of you know where I stand. Four speeds! Without question, the autos are more common and more people prefer them, even drag racers. I know that. And here is where I step out on a limb and stir up some controversy. FOR THOSE PEOPLE , SUCH AS MYSELF, WHO WANT A 4SP, a 4sp car that is identical in every way to an auto car WILL, REPEAT, WILL bring more money. Maybe as much as $1000 over an auto car. And, while I'm at it, I'm going to stir up more trouble. On this entire planet there is only ONE car that I would ever consider owning with an auto (we're talking classic type cars), I could live with a HEMI car with a Torque Flight. I could not, under any circumstances, own a GM car with an auto. It has to be a 4sp, and I would pay extra to get it.

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I agree with DZAUTO 100%.4-speeds are the way to go and bring a premium over automatics all the time.

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Dean Ciampi
Autumn Gold 1970 LS6 Chevelle
Team Chevelle Gold #52 Aces #3094
 

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In terms of the auto enthusiast hobby in general, our beloved Chevelles are only reaching their adolescences. Bone stock cars are still on the road, some are restored - some are not. OE parts are still availible but getting rarer everyday.

Compare this to cars from the 10's, 20's, and 30's. The people who own these cars as hobbiests have a significantly more difficult time finding correct bits and pieces (even large items like tranny, axle, engine, etc.) You don't see very many "numbers match" cars the farther back you go in automotive history. It is unreasonable to expect high wear items to last for 60-80 years. The focus then shifts from "numbers matching" to "correct for the model". Simply stated, the proper engine block for that year/model, not necessarily the piece that the car came off the line with. If you think finding a working T3 headlight is difficult, try finding a good condition tranny for an early Hudson/Packard/Dussenburg/Jaguar etc. You get the idea.

Our favorite cars are young enough to still enjoy the fact that a very good number of them are still original or their appropriate parts are easy to find. Therefore seeing numbers matching cars is both fairly easy and highly desirable for people who are going to mothball the car (not that I advocate mothballing, these cars beg to be driven.) There will come a day that "numbers matching" will be replaced by "correct for period". It will be a long slow process, but in the year 2030 my bonestock (it may go back to that one day, maybe, who knows) Chevelle SS396, 4sp, buckets, console will *demand* a spectacular price.


BTW, 4sp all the way. I wouldn't drive a muscle car ANY OTHER WAY!

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??michael j Team Chevelle Gold #77
70 Chevelle SS396 4sp, Fathom Blue/White Stripes - Canadian built
 

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As far as matching #s go I agree with DZ too, however I like chrome, I like louder than stock pipes. I like to add what I want to my 66 and dont have to worry about the originality of my car, like a cam, intake, coated headers, Flowmasters, Centerline rims, etc. Its a 66 with a 396 and 4spd muncie, Its a original 4spd car w/buckets and the engine has a 66 date code on it but came from an Impala. I dont plan to "cut it up" in any way, this is a restification project. But since the engine is a correct year, I feel that I have the best of both worlds.

Chris R.
 

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While its true that 4 speed cars may bring more money on the market, I do not look at my cars as investments. There is no way that money can make up for the hours spent putting these cars back together,and I build mine for me and if I want a non stock part I put it on. As for the 4speed vs auto thing, I like 4speeds for the fun of driving, but I usually run built automatics with the correct stall converter for the engine, cause I like to drive my cars HARD. I dont care if its matching numbers or not, when it comes time to line em up nobody can shift a 4speed faster than an automatic. These arent stock slushboxes, were talking rubber leaving shifts, and Ive beat faster cars where the driver just couldnt drive his 4speed car as hard as he would need to beat me...just my 2cents...

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70 chevelle ss396 conv
66 chevelle ss396 hdp/conv
 

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I've wanted a '67 SS for about thirty years, but the practical side said I couldn't. You know kids and such. So when it came time for me to make the purchase I went with fully documented matching #'s. I'm not in it to sell it, it's for the love of it. I also opted for the equipment that make it a pleasure to drive, air, p.s., p.b., tilt, am/fm, and yes TH400. All ordered on the car from the factory. It boils down to what "YOU" want. Just my 2 cents worth.

Rickster
67 SS 396/325
TC Gold 257
 
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