April 2012 Chevy High Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland Feb 22, 2012 0 Comment(s)

Chevy II Cowl Decode

What number in the vehicle identification number tells if a ’66-67 Chevy Nova is an SS or not? This would be either a Chevy II or a Nova. If not in the VIN, where would you look to find the number? Thanks!

Rick Cross
Via email

Many of the early Chevys don’t designate if it’s an SS or not. For instance, the ’67 Camaro has no designator in either the VIN or on the cowl tag to call out if it was originally an SS. You must evaluate all the information you can glean from the cowl tag and the VIN to see what options were placed on that vehicle. Then you can only guess if it was truly an SS or an RS.

As for the Novas, they had clear identification in the style code in the cowl tag. In 1966 and 1967, there was never an SS Chevy II produced. Only Novas were optioned with the Sport Coupe designator. For both 1966 and 1967, the SS six-cylinder cars had a style code of 11737, and for the SS V-8 cars they used 11837. In 1966 there were a total of 21,000 SS’s built, and in 1967 they finished off the first-generation Novas with 10,100 SS cars built.

If you’re serious about decoding your early Chevys, you need to pick up Mark Allen’s Chevy Decode books. The information above came from the Chevy Cowl Tags 1950-1975 decode book. These books are invaluable when identifying your prize Chevy, or when you are trying to protect yourself on a purchase. Give Allen a call to pick up a full set of pocket decode books for your flavor of General Motors vehicles. Happy decoding!

Source: msa-1.com

Simple Crate

I have a daily driver ’87 El Camino with a tired 305. I’d like to put a crate 350 in it. Nothing radical, just a stocker with maybe 200-250 hp. It also must pass California smog. I remember reading an article (four to five years ago) about a crate motor with an Edelbrock manifold, carb, and a 305 cam, but I no longer have the magazine. Any suggestions? Thanks,

Doug Cole
Via email

Doug, for a simple crate 350 engine swap we recommend going with a factory GM Goodwrench crate engine. GM has been offering this engine forever. They were originally called the Target Master Crate engine and were renamed when GM started branding itself Goodwrench. GM has built millions of these engines over the years, and we’ve used them for truck and passenger car replacement engines, and whipped them on the dyno for run after run, without even a whimper. Give our good friend Ken Casey a call at the new John Elway Chevrolet (800.345.5744) for pricing and freight for a 350 Goodwrench engine (PN 10067353). This is a direct replacement engine for ’71-85 applications. This will drop right into your ’Elco and all you’ll need to pick up is a standard-balance 153-tooth flexplate (PN 471529). Yes, you will need to truck the engine out from Colorado, but Casey is very competitive with his pricing, we’re guessing under $2,000 for a brand-new engine. All this and a factory warranty on the engine for two years and 50,000 miles!

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