Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is my Camaro an SS? -OR- I want to know if this Camaro is a true SS? -OR- How can I tell if my Camaro was a true SS? Our Favorite: This Camaro has SS emblems on it is it an SS Camaro?
(Below is a brief summary of some things to check but is by no means complete.
A. 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.
|Year||Trim Tag Code?||Check Engine Code HP get Help||
VIN Engine Code?
|1967||YES||350-295hp or 396-325hp, 375hp||
|1968||NONE||350-295hp or 396-325hp, 350hp, 375hp||
|1969||Some X codes||350-300hp or 396-325hp, 350hp, 375hp||
Required for an SS
Available on base Camaros
Easily Purchased and Added
|Special Engine||Yes (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 Emblems||Yes||No||Very much YES!|
|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, tach||No - that's right NO not required.||Yes - just required V8 and Console||Yes! They were AC gauges. Also tach's were dealer installed or factory late in 69.|
|2 speed power glide Automatic||The 2 speed power glide automatic was not available on big block Camaros||Yes||Easy to change to another automatic but not easy to fake correct transmission with partial VIN.|
|12 bolt rear end||No but in '69 and on L48 only the rest was 12 bolt required.||Yes - but check dates of rear end||Not 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 only||350 SS only but a big NO for a big block SS||YES! 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 Camaro||NO 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.|
Identifying a Second Generation SS:
The base engine for an SS was a 350 up until the SS option was discontinued in '72. In '70 a 350/300hp, in '71 350/270hp and in '72 350/240hp. There were two big block SS engines available in '70 a 396/350hp or a 396/375hp. In '71 only one big block SS engine was available which was a 396/300hp. In '72 again only one big block SS engine was available which was a 396/240hp. Required power front disc brakes. A/C was available on SS's unless the engine was 396/375hp. Starting in '72 the engine was coded in the VIN.
Third Generation SS's:
No SS's were available from '82 to '92.
Identifying a Fourth Generation SS:
Starting in '96 an SS could be ordered again. RPO code R7T was available from dealers but was a non-Chevy modification to a Z28 by SLP Engineering. In 1998 the SS RPO code changed to WU8 but was still a non-Chevy modification done by SLP. In 1996 and 1997 SS's received the LT1 engine and from 1998 to 2002 they received the LS1 engine which was the same engine the Z28's in those years received but with the SS version producing more horse power. The SS option bumped the Z28 350 engine hp up over 300hp. The RPO codes list or Service Identification Label can be found in the glove box or possibly on the door. If the RPO code for the SS option is not on the cars Service Identification Label then it was not originally an SS. Check the beginning of our RPO codes section for information on what to do if your Fourth Gen Camaro doesn't have a Service Identification Label.