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Sport utility version of an SS Chevelle L34 L78 LS5 and LS6 454

58,761 MILEAGE


1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS 396 factory 4-Speed!

1970 SS 396 4-speed El Camino. All original drive train. Factory Cranberry red SS with black vinyl top and saddle interior! Runs and Drives. Needs interior, paint, and finishing.

This is not a clone, tribute, or replica. This is the real deal. Date coded and numbers matching original 350 horse 396 motor, factory muncie M-21 close ratio 4 speed transmission, and original 12-bolt 3.31 posi traction rear differential. In addition the SS is equipped with disc brakes and tach and gauges.

The market is flooded with SS clones. People bolt on a cowl hood and some SS emblems on almost any Chevelle or El Camino these days and try to pass it off as an original without a shred of documentation.

The El Camino runs and drives. The motor has less than 5 miles on a professional rebuild. The SS has been off the road since 1997.

The overwhelming majority of 1970 SS chevelle and El Caminos were equipped with automatic transmissions. It's quite difficult to find a factory 4 speed car. In addition it's extremely hard to find one with all of the original drive train still in intact. They almost always have a motor out of a 74 caprice or a transmission out of a 77 camaro because the originals were blown up long ago.

Vin Decode:


1 = Chevrolet Division

36 = Custom El Camino V8

80 = 2dr sedan pickup

0 = 1970

L = Van Nuys California Assembly plant

207839 = Sequential number

Cowl Tag Decode:

ST 70-13680 BL 07689 BDY

TR 770 75 B PNT

07C 080207 160079

70 = 1970

13680 = Chevrolet El Camino custom 2 dr sedan pickup

BL = Van Nuys California Assembly plant

TR = Trim

770 = Saddle bench seat interior

75 = Cranberry Red exterior

B = Black vinyl top

PNT = Paint

07C = built 3rd week of July 1970 (very late 1970 production. One of the last 100 cars built in Van Nuys for the 1970 model year)

The SS is a 3 tone color combination. The exterior is the very desirable Cranberry red paint code 75 with a black vinyl top and Saddle interior. This is a very rare color combination. Many people paint their sport El Caminos Cranberry red. This one was actually cranberry red from the factory!

The 396 motors in 1970 are actually 402s although Chevrolet continued to call them SS 396s. The driver's side rear of the block is cast 3969854 which is a 396/402. The passenger side rear of the block is cast "E12 70" which means the block was cast May 12th 1970.

The front Passenger side of the block behind the alternator is stamped T0707 CTX P686 (see pics).

T = Tonawanda engine assembly plant

0707 = July 7th assembly date (1970)

CTX = 350 horse 396/402 equipped with a manual transmission equipped in a Chevelle, El Camino, Camaro, or Nova only. CTX is only used in the 1970 model year. it only comes in front of a mandatory 4 speed muncie transmission.

Often the vehicle vin is also stamped on the same pad on the front passenger side of the motor next to the usage code. On SS vehicles built in the Van Nuys California plant the Vins were often stamped instead of the driver's side of the block near the oil filter. That part of the motor is rough cast instead of machined. It's often very difficult if not impossible to read the numbers because of the rough casting area. I can just barely make out the numbers "7839" stamped there. The last 6 digits of the Vin should actually be stamped there, but I only see four. If the motor was out of the vehicle I could check more closely, but with the motor in the SS and the 4 speed linkage in the way it's very difficult to read. Nevertheless having the last 4 of the sequential number stamped there ties the motor to our El Camino.

The heads are both cast 3964290 which are used in 1969 and 1970 396/402/454 only making them correct for the car. There are aftermarket aluminum roller rockers on the motor currently. They do not fit under the stock valve covers thus the 396 is wearing aftermarket ones. I do have all of the original rocker arms in a sealed bag and I do have the original chrome valve covers that come with the vehicle.

The Intake manifold is cast 3955287 which is used on 1970-71 396/402/454 so it is correct. The intake is also cast "E170" meaning the intake was cast on May 17th 1970.

The exhaust manifolds were thrown in the trash long ago in favor of period correct headers. The carb and distributor are brand new. Both are date coded 1970, but neither is original to the car.

The SS is equipped with power disc brakes (standard on 1970 SS models) and is equipped with manual steering! The "rag joints" on the steering columns differ on big block and small block cars. The El Camino has the correct bolted on rag joint found on an SS instead of the pressed on rag joint normally found in small block cars (see pics of steering box). Thus we have the correct steering shaft for an SS.

The transmission is an aluminum case Muncie 4 speed (as opposed to a cast iron case saginaw transmission). The body of the case is cast 3925661 which is for muncie 4 speed 1970-74. Thus it is the correct vintage case for a 1970 SS.

The small tag affixed to the driver's side of the transmission (see pics) is stamped 3968011Wl which decodes to 1970 muncie 4 speed M21 (close ratio).

On the passenger side of the transmission case we see 2 sequences stamped. The first is POH18B. This decodes as follows:

P = muncie

0 = 1970

H = build month. H is used for June

18 = build day

B = M21 close ratio (A is for M20 wide ratio, and C is for M22)

The transmission was manufactured on June 18th 1970 just a couple weeks before the rest of the car was assembled.

The last sequence is 10L207839. It matches the Vin number of the El Camino. This is what people mean when they say "numbers matching." This definitively links the transmission to the car. The Muncie M21 close ratio could only be ordered behind the 350 horse 396 L34 motor. Lower horsepower motors could only be ordered with the M20 wide ratio and the LS5/LS6 cars were mandatory M22 when ordered with a 4 speed.

The 12 bolt rear differential carrier has casting number 3969278NF which is correct for a 1970 SS. The build date casting is K289 which decodes to November 28th 1969. This is the date when the carrier was cast, but not the date of final assembly.

The differential is stamped on the passenger axle tube CCF 1208B1. This decodes as follows:

CCF = 3.31 gear ratio with posi traction.

1208 = build date for the completed rear end. December 8th 1969.

B = Buffalo assembly plant

1 = first shift

In 1970 3.31 ratio is the standard ratio in an SS 396 car. Not only does the SS have the correct 12 bolt rear end casting, it also has the correct 3.31 ratio and stampings.

Putting all the build dates together the body was built 3rd week of July 1970. The Block and intake were also built in the first half of 1970. The Motor was assembled July 7th 1970. The Transmission was assembled June 18, 1970. The rear end was built December 1969. The components were built before final assembly of the completed car which is very important in a number’s matching muscle car.

The SS is also equipped with tach and gauges. The gauges come with 3 different red lines depending on which motor the car was equipped with. The SS has the correct 5500rpm redline. Original tachs have 3 screws on the gauge face. Reproduction tachs only have 2 screws on the gauge face. This has the correct 3 screws. The dash is uncut. It still has the original AM radio.

The SS has the correct 4-speed "hump" in the car with the 47 year old seam sealer still covering it. The floors are rock solid in the El Camino. They often have rust issues in the bottom of the cubby hole behind the driver's side of the front seat. This does not.

The doors shut nice. They do not have rust issues. The quarters are super straight and free from rust. The door glass and wing windows are out, but they are included with the vehicle. There is a bench seat in the El Camino, but it is not the original seat. The seat is in very poor condition.

The SS needs most of the interior. It has the original dash, and dash pad but that's about it. The previous owner was going to convert the Elco to black interior and he painted the original dash pad black. You can clearly see the saddle color underneath. The dash pad is not cracked.

The body is very solid. It does not need any rust repair. The body is also very straight. I can see the factory red paint over spray on the insides of the doors thus i'm confident they are original. As far as I can tell all of the bed sheet metal is also original. The fenders are nice and straight and do not have rust issues.

The tires are very old. They hold air, but I would not drive the vehicle any distance due to their age.

Prospective buyers are welcome and encouraged to come inspect the El Camino before bidding. I’ve done my very best to describe the SS as accurately as possible, but there’s no substitute to looking at it in person. The car is located approx. 1 hour south of Seattle. Please be certain you are happy with the car and condition before bidding. Returns are not possible. Price adjustments will not be made after the fact. Once you own the car it’s yours. Buyer responsible for shipping.

I am available via phone (253) 948-7756 to answer questions about the El Camino. The SS has clear Washington state title. Acceptable payment methods are cash or wire transfer only. No paypal or checks accepted.

Thanks for viewing!


Item location:Buckley, Washington, United States
Model:El Camino
SubModel:SS 396
Trim:SS 396 factory 4-Speed!
Interior color:Tan
Vehicle Title:Clear