Dave’s Frequently Asked Questions
The intention of this FAQ is to answer some of the more commonly-asked questions that I receive. The questions are in no particular order.
This question will have to be answered in parts as the location of both tags changed depending on the year of manufacture. The VIN tag is a small strip of metal about 1/2 ” high and 3″ in length for cars from 1964 to 1967 inclusive. The VIN tag from 1968 to the end of production is about 1/4″ high and about 2 1/2″ in length. The cowl tags are about the size of a credit card. Starting with the early cars:
From 1964 to 1967
The VIN tag is located on the driver’s side door pillar between the door hinges. The cowl tag is located under the hood on the firewall by the wiper motor.
From 1968 to 1969
The VIN tag is located on the driver’s side of the dash which can be viewed through the windshield. The cowl tag is located under the hood but was moved to the cowl above the wiper motor and close to the driver’s side hood hinge.
From 1970 to 1977
The VIN now moved to the bottom of the windshield. It can be found about 8″ or 20 cm from the driver’s side roof pillar. The cowl tag stayed where it was from the previous year until 1973.
In 1973 the cowl tag was on the move again. This time the cowl tag was moved to the passenger side of the vehicle where it remained until 1978. It can be found above the heater box bolt to the cowl by the air vents for the internal heater, below the passenger side wiper blade.
From 1978 to the end of production in 1987
The VIN tag was moved to a new location. At the bottom of the driver’s side of the windshield located in a box. The cowl moved again this time back to the driver’s side of the car. As in the previous year the cowl tag was bolted to the cowl by the driver’s side hood hinge.
I’m looking at a ’70 Chevelle SS, can you tell me if its a real SS?
This has to be the most frequently asked question I get over the Internet. During the early years of production Chevrolet made it easy to recognize a factory original car from a backyard clone by the model number of the vehicle. In 1964 – 1965 the Malibu SS (the early cars) and Chevelle SS (cars 1966 on) were model number 13800. However during the 1969 production run Chevrolet made the Chevelle SS an option package available on two different models that year: Models 13400 Chevelle 300 Deluxe V8 and the Model 13600 Chevelle Malibu V8.
To further “muddy the waters” Chevrolet then made the Chevelle SS only available on the Malibu platform from 1970 to the end of the line in 1973. These cars are Model 13600. So simple VIN tag decoding won’ t tell you. You need to find the original buildsheet, factory window sticker, or Protect-O-Plate documentation to verify the cars authenticity.
I have a car (’66 Malibu) with “Malibu SS” emblems – what gives?
Now to stem off the “there are no such cars!” exclamation from our American friends, let me point out that these cars do exist. The Malibu SS was discontinued in the US in 1966 and replaced that model year by the Chevelle SS. However in Canada, there was a heavy import duty on such vehicles and the factory here did not produce the Chevelle SS yet. So the Malibu SS model was to continue into production for another two years. You could get the same equipment in the Malibu SS as the Chevelle SS except the Canadian cars do not have the domed hood.
I’ve been told my ’67 Chevelle SS is an American car yet others tell me it’s Canadian built? Others tell me my car is a Malibu SS? Is that possible?
Yes, coming late into the Chevelle lineup for 1967 in Canada was the Chevelle SS. Until late in 1967 the Chevelle SS was not available from the Canadian assembly plant, so the Malibu SS could be ordered. It is also possible that your car is one of the few Chevelle SS models imported into Canada to help supply the demand for those cars. You will have to check your VIN tag to see if your car is Canadian or American built. If you need more information please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You promote Canadian cars, are there really any differences?
Yes there are some rather subtle differences between Canadian and American cars. Such things as air cleaners, oil caps, valve covers, the way the cars were painted, paint colours and interior colours used, etc.; just to name a few. You have to look rather closely but the differences are there to be seen.
How rare is my car?
This question basically breaks down along a national line. As stated on another page at our web site if you have a Canadian car then you have a rarer car than its American counterpart, no matter what the model. Canadian production varied from being 4 % of US production early on to about 15 % of production for 1972. See the graph of American vs Canadian production on our club web page. Now the bad news all the stated values for Chevelles are based on American cars and American production figures so…. The best way to value your car is to have it professionally appraised.
Your club also accepts Sprints, does that mean I can join with a 1988 Chevy Sprint? 🙂
The Sprints that our club does accept are the GMC versions of the Chevrolet El Camino. GMC started building these vehicles in 1971 and used the name Sprint from 1971 to 1977. With the 1978 model year the vehicles were then called a Diablo or Caballero, depending on what option package was bought.
Is there such a thing as Canadian-only Chevelles?
Yes, there are models of Chevelles that were only built in Canada for sale here and export to British Commonwealth countries such as: Australia, New Zealand. These models include the Chevelle 300 convertible from 1965 to 1967 inclusive, the 1971 & 72 Chevelle 300 Deluxe and the 1981 Iraqi Taxi’s (1981 Malibu sedans, special order) to name a few.
The Beaumont is the Canadian Pontiac sister car to the Chevelle. Now to end the dispute they are not, repeat not “Canadian Chevelles”. The Beaumont is a separate car line that shares a lot of its components with the Chevelle and the Pontiac LeMans, Tempest, & GTO. To further confuse our American friends the Pontiac Beaumont used a complete Chevrolet frame and drive train, which differs from their American counterparts of the LeMans, Tempest, & GTO.
Beaumonts first started out as the sister car to the Chevy II Nova in 1962 and continued as such until the introduction of the Chevelle in 1964. It is then the Beaumont made the move from the H-Body platform to the A-Body platform. Beaumonts were produced from 1962 to 1969 inclusive.