Is it a real SS? Did it come from the factory with those options? The list goes on and we’ve all heard those questions before.
While it’s been easy for fans of other makes and models to obtain factory documents (the Pontiac Historical Society for example) it seems that Chevrolet enthusiasts have gotten the short end of the stick for decades.
Take the ever so popular 1969 Chevelle for example. According to Team Chevelle the only way to tell if a car is a true SS is to either have documentation or the numbers matching big block. If the mill was replaced and the original documents have turned to dust good luck getting top dollar for your supposed Super Sport! With reproduction parts so readily available “recreation cars” are abundant. The auctions have shown us that a Chevy with a pedigree sells for more than one simply sporting SS badges.
Unfortunately these papers are usually either rotted away or misplaced over the years. This has never been a problem for fans of other makes though. If the owner of a Falcon can call up Ford with a VIN and receive a build sheet copy why is it that anyone bowtie blooded has had such difficulty procuring this ever so elusive paperwork? According to Hemmings Motor News, “Jim Perkins reportedly sent a team of employees on a quest for pre-1975 production records, either in paper form or on microfiche. Despite the group’s best efforts, the data was never uncovered, ultimately leading to the conclusion that the records had been scrapped without an accompanying paper trail.”
All hope may seem lost but the National Corvette Restorers Society may have a solution. They say that within three months they will be able to provide a documentation service for $50 per vehicle by checking out old shipping records which include the dealer codes, dealer names, dealer addresses, and build dates.
According to the NCRS’s Mark Lincoln, “One such shipment report led the owner of a big-block second generation Corvette to the still-in-business selling dealer. A former employee remembered the car well, and directed its new owner to the original buyer, who still held documentation on the car.”
Due to the popularity of Chevelles, Camaros, and Novas, Lincoln is worried that they will become overwhelmed when the program goes live but regardless the data is almost complete.
In the meantime you can check out shipment data reports for these three vehicles by heading over to ChevyMuscleDocs.com.