Author Topic: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?  (Read 1476 times)

MichelleP68SSRS

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« on: September 25, 2023, 03:11:11 PM »
Hi everyone!  My name is Michelle and I'm a new 1st gen Camaro owner, as well as new to this site.  I bought my lifelong dream car last month, a Butternut Yellow, 1968 Camaro 396 SS/RS and I've done much research, but I am looking to definitively authenticate the fact that it is an original SS.  The car has a 396, but not matching numbers.  The transmission, a TH400, is also not original to the car (came out of a 1969 Camaro).  The car originally came with a 4 speed, I believe (based on evidence looking under the car and the fact that my car has a small manual transmission brake pedal).  The rear end, a 12 bolt posi with 331 gears, is however, original to the car.  Through my research, I've learned that without the matching number engine in a 1968, it is very hard to authenticate an SS as the body trim tag does not indicate an SS trim code.  I have a lot of evidence to suggest that the car IS an original SS, but I'm looking for the "smoking gun" evidence so to speak.  I've considered getting a Jerry MacNeisch report, but I don't think it's worth it as the car does not have a matching number engine.  Other than the engine and trans, the car is almost all original, down to the original rear quarterpanels.  Any help or advice on authenticating my 68 SS would be greatly appreciated.  Also, I apologize in advance if this topic has already been covered in another thread, I couldn't find it.  If there is another thread addressing this exact topic, please share it with me.  Thanks!!

David K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1155
  • Dr. Longblock
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2023, 04:45:11 PM »
Welcome Michelle. Nice looking car. Yes it's difficult to document without documents. Us 68 owners (the bastard year) have little to go on when it comes to verification. I doubt Jerry could tell you much more than what you already know. However, the rear axle codes can help alot towards that direction. It will take alot of time.to investigate. But since you now own it, why not. There are some subtle hints that can even help to note if it's a real or "properly installed" RS system as well. Also remember,  when you use the word "original", you are referring to it as never been replaced with another part. The term "factory correct" would apply more often than not. Ask away any questions. 

camaronut

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 692
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2023, 05:35:24 PM »
Not sure, but in 69 there was a separate plate that was used on the drivers side rear tire area where the exhaust pipe exits towards the rear.  68's might have that too.  If it's there, get a good wire brush and brush the areas where the welds are - or clear off the plate and see if yellow paint appears on the surface.  If there's yellow paint there (might not be a lot) that's one thing to check off the list of the car being a real SS.  Hiring JMN to come out and tell you what you already know is .............well...........what for?

The way I look at it - who cares if it is or not?  Enjoy it.....that's what you bought it for.  Since it's not a numbers car - who cares - build it to what you want. 

There's a lot of great information on this site, with many great folks who give honest / correct information......AND I suggest downloading the AIM and other related info / documents from this site - you'll find them in the upper part of the General Discussion area - under "Downloadable AIM's and some service manuals".  The AIM is a great start in deciphering options and manufacturing info.

Welcome to Camaroland - you have a great car!!!!!

cook_dw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4005
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2023, 06:25:47 PM »
There are no "exhaust plates" on 67 or 68's.  69 only.  What you will find are 2 holes (holes were for nut inserts for the tailpipe hanger) for the dual exhaust mounting on the frame rail.  Post up photos from all angles of the engine compartment, firewall and as David suggested post up the diff stamping and casting date photos. 

You can find more info on where to look etc here.  ====>  1967-1969 Drivetrain - Axle Link


You can also go here and start clicking around and reading.  It will help you and possibly answer any more questions you might have before posting questions that may have already been asked.  Good luck and congrats on owning the best 1st gen year (1968).

Camaro Research Group Index Main Page

bcmiller

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4035
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2023, 06:49:46 PM »
Michelle,

What is the information stamped on the front edge of the passenger side axle tube? What’s the assembly month and week from the body tag?
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 Camaro RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016

maroman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1072
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2023, 08:22:21 PM »
Wouldn't the heater tell if it was originally a BB? If so only BBs were available in SS package.
Doug  '67 RS/SS 396 auto I know the car since new

RAfbody

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2023, 12:04:37 AM »
If the car was originally a 4 speed car, the hole in the firewall where the speedometer cable goes through is different for a 4 speed muncie equipped car. The muncie 4 speed was only available in an SS car or a Z/28. If the muncie hole would be one indicator.
Russ

MichelleP68SSRS

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2023, 12:12:22 AM »
Thanks all for your responses.  A couple of things... the heater core is definitely for a big block (heater hoses on left side looking at the firewall from front of car).  The holes for the exhaust mount are there as verified by a guy I met at a car show who is a 1st gen Camaro guru.  Another friend of mine looked up the axle number and verified it is correct... it was manufactured about a week before the car was assembled according to the date stamp on both the axle and the body trim tag.  Also, in my opinion, the last owner, who had the car for 28 years, didn't make it a clone.  In fact, he took off the original SS hood and sold it as he needed the current cowl hood in order to clear the high rise Edelbrock manifold he put on.  If he were trying to clone an SS, he would have kept the SS hood.

169INDY

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1813
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2023, 12:36:04 AM »
Welcome. As a Fellow 68 SSRS396 owner (Since 1983) I understand your inquiry. They ARE very difficult to authenticate. Esp from a laptop or phone. The Nice thing is there ARE many many indicators that can be inspected or documented that can provide a chain of evidence to proof various RPO's and feature(s) that would indicate a vehicles equipment. This is also easier if supported by as found or disassembled photos PRE restoration. The Bummer is the Eng and Trans situation in this case.  They & the associated stamps would be of great assistance. Post up a Bunch of Hi res photos, Rear stamping as suggested, trim tag (* Yes it will provide a clue depending on build date for some REQUIRE RPO for the SS) Suspensions, Engine, Subframe, Brake and Fuel lines, Firewall details,

The Funny thing IS really there are potentially More clues to "definitively authenticate " it as a Clone then a genuine 68 SS.

It us a Good thing they "Made a Bunch of 68 SS" that year, Guys how many, anyone got a Camaro White Book Handy.

Enjoy this cool car for sure in any case

Jim
Jim
68 SS/RS L35 Th-400 LOS
69 Pace Car L48 Th-350 LOS
68 Z28 M21 LOS

MO

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1158
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2023, 03:57:30 AM »
Sorry to be Johnny Raincloud, but based on what you have stated, I'm afraid you are between the proverbial rock and hard place without paperwork. That doesn't mean you don't have a great car to enjoy and be proud of, it's just virtually impossible to verify it's origin. By all means, have Jerry inspect the car! He'd be able to find anything that may help identify the car.

Again, your car looks great! Enjoy it no matter what it is!

rare396bronze

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2023, 05:07:14 AM »
Did you get a warranty book with it in the glove box. The metal tag on the back of the book would help if it is still there. Good looking car!

David K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1155
  • Dr. Longblock
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2023, 05:11:58 AM »
Rare396-No protect-O-Plate.

bcmiller

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4035
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2023, 02:45:52 PM »
Thanks all for your responses.  A couple of things... the heater core is definitely for a big block (heater hoses on left side looking at the firewall from front of car).  The holes for the exhaust mount are there as verified by a guy I met at a car show who is a 1st gen Camaro guru.  Another friend of mine looked up the axle number and verified it is correct... it was manufactured about a week before the car was assembled according to the date stamp on both the axle and the body trim tag.  Also, in my opinion, the last owner, who had the car for 28 years, didn't make it a clone.  In fact, he took off the original SS hood and sold it as he needed the current cowl hood in order to clear the high rise Edelbrock manifold he put on.  If he were trying to clone an SS, he would have kept the SS hood.

What’s the axle code?
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 Camaro RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016

Vince

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2023, 04:19:37 PM »
Welcome. As a Fellow 68 SSRS396 owner (Since 1983) I understand your inquiry. They ARE very difficult to authenticate. Esp from a laptop or phone. The Nice thing is there ARE many many indicators that can be inspected or documented that can provide a chain of evidence to proof various RPO's and feature(s) that would indicate a vehicles equipment. This is also easier if supported by as found or disassembled photos PRE restoration. The Bummer is the Eng and Trans situation in this case.  They & the associated stamps would be of great assistance. Post up a Bunch of Hi res photos, Rear stamping as suggested, trim tag (* Yes it will provide a clue depending on build date for some REQUIRE RPO for the SS) Suspensions, Engine, Subframe, Brake and Fuel lines, Firewall details,

The Funny thing IS really there are potentially More clues to "definitively authenticate " it as a Clone then a genuine 68 SS.

It us a Good thing they "Made a Bunch of 68 SS" that year, Guys how many, anyone got a Camaro White Book Handy.

Enjoy this cool car for sure in any case

Jim

The Camaro White Book shows 30,695 '68 Camaro SS's. 

z28z11

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1853
    • View Profile
Re: Where Do I Start to Authenticate My New 68 SS?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2023, 01:10:28 AM »
I'll add a little clue list to look for - check out the engine frame mounts for appearance and part number(s), which are stamped on the top edge of the plate where it faces up towards the fenders. If they are correct, and not brand new in appearance or relatively newer in appearance to the subframe, that might give you some hope for original BB options. Check the condition of the trans tunnel where the 4 speed shifter would have mounted. Fuel line mounting and diameter over the subframe in the area of the upper A-arm ? Disc brake car ? Console ?  These are clues, not determining factors by any means, but will help understand how the car may have been optioned when it left the factory.

In any event, it's a pretty car, and I join the statement that you can be proud of it and enjoy showing it regardless of the authenticity/pedigree. I'm fortunate to be a '68 owner with documentation, but i understand your want to verify what you own.

Regards,
Steve
1968 Z28 M21/U17 BRG/W 1967 Chevy ll Nova SS 
1969 Z28 X77/M20/VE3 LeMans/W
1969 L78 X66/N66 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48/M35/C60/C06  1949 3100 5wd 235/6