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Calling the Hooniversal Detective Agency!

Peter Tanshanomi August 4, 2011 Mystery Car 79 Comments


The other day I came upon this bare chassis sitting outside a business in an industrial park, and went closer to investigate. Since I know much less about the undercarriage configuration various models than the average Redusernab reader, I was not able to identify what it might be.

Thankfully, the air cleaner was present, emblazoned with it’s marketing sticker. Even someone as uninformed as myself can read “327 Turbo-Fire 275 Horsepower.” That I.D.’s the engine as a late ’60s L30-code SBC. But what chassis is it mounted in? Chevelle? Nova? Camaro? Baby does seem to have quite a lot of back (frame overhang past the rear axle, that is) — could it be an Impala SS?

If you think you know your classic Chevys well enough to positively identify this car sans body, check out seven more photos after the jump.

Click on each photo for a larger version in a separate window.

  • Matt

    Most definitely a full size…

    • Jeano

      It's a standard GM A-body frame from the mid to late sixties, found under chevelles, el-caminos, and many olds, pontiac and buick mid-size vehicles.

  • Going with mid '60's Impala for the moment and now off to research. Not a Nova or Camaro, they where part full frame part unibody. Wrong front suspension for Chevelle…i think.

    • Before '64…

      • According to The Complete Book of Classic GM Muscle by Mike Mueller, The 275 HP/327 CID configuration dates it between 1966 and 1969.
        …Assuming that sticker indicates what it really is, and that it's the original engine.

  • MrHowser

    Mystery car drinking game – a shot every 10 minutes until tonyola identifies the car, and another one every 5 until muthalovin posts a picture of an NSX.

    • skitter

      When you've clicked on every link on the Wiki page of your first guess, finish the bottle.

  • Gotta be some sort of wagon with that rear overhang… I can't picture any sedan of the era with an ass of those proportions. Hell, it's nearly longer than the butt of my 67 Polara.

    • Bully for you. My wife drove a '67 Polara when we were dating in college, and my dad had a '67 Chrysler Newport when I was a kid.

  • SSurfer321

    You looking at it backwards. That overhang is the nose.

    <img src=";

    /trying to start my own meme

    • I think it will stick, Batman.

  • Joe Dunlap

    No clue, but two things stand out to me, besides the excessive length. 1, there appears to be no PCV/crankcase venting to the air cleaner. Assuming this is the original engine/chassis that would have to make it pre 64 (pre 63 in CA. ) The other is the Panhard bar on the rear axle. I cant remember any Chevrolets of that era having one, but Im no expert. Tony, grab your bat. Your up. 🙂

  • Joe Dunlap

    Ooooo, note also the notorious engine mount failure recall device. The cable and bracket that secures the left side of the engine to the inner pivot of the upper control arm to keep the engine from lifting up, thus opening the throttle all the way, thus accelerating you to a fiery death! I havent seen one of those in at least 40 years. Yeah, Im old.

    • pj134

      The rust colored thing or the black thing?

      /hedging my bets

    • pj134

      >POOF!<

    • pj134

      Wait… its the one silver thing on the whole god damn engine, isn't it?

      • Joe Dunlap

        ROFL, Yep!

        • pj134

          I was looking audience left and not stage left.

        • pj134

          … >poof< dammit

  • Matt

    1963 Impala

    • Nope. I did some digging, and the 58-64 full size frame was an "x -type," like this:

      <img src="; width="500">

      • tonyola

        The X-frame got a lot of criticism because it offered little structural protection against side impacts. It's one of the reasons why GM went to a perimeter frame for 1965.

      • I thought the X frame was just on the Super Sport models…

  • vwminispeedster

    Honda's early development with the NSX yielded little by the time the production model came out. I'd say they made a big improvement from this example.

    *this thread has been "muthalovin'd"

    • MrHowser

      No count! Still drinking!

  • Joe Dunlap

    Could this be a pickup chassis??

  • Joe Dunlap

    Or maybe not a GM chassis at all?

  • Matt

    el camino

  • RichardKopf

    I am going with Impala/Caprice. There's something about where the exhaust exits that makes me think so.

    edit: `65-`69.

  • Joe Btfsplk

    70's because of the dual circuit master cylinder. It's a 1971 Wonder Bread delivery truck!

    • dukeisduke

      The dual master cylinder came along in '67 (Federal law).

  • Joe Dunlap

    OK, heres something else wrong with this picture. I cant remember ANY GM vehicles in the past 60 years that ever used anything but a complete one-piece wishbone lower control arm. This thing has a lateral link with a compression/tension strut. FORD??

    • Mike_the_Dog

      The rear end looks sorta 9-inch-ish, but I really can't see it well enough

    • gearhead

      Good point. Steering is in the wrong place as well. Who else used Chevy engines?

  • TurboBrick

    Here's a neat picture from chevellestuff.net that sure looks similar. Notice the reinforcement up front. I'm going to say it's a Chevelle / El Camino. Can't really tell what sat on top of it without measuring it, the station wagons and El Caminos are slightly longer.

    <img src=";

    • I also happened across chevellestuff.net, but did not see this, but I did find this shitty picture from the internet:

      <img src=";

      Says El Camino. Who knows?

    • P161911

      I agree with Chevell/El Camino. The long looking rear overhang makes me thing El Camino or Wagon. Also, I think somewhere around here GM went with rear leaf springs on a lot of cars.

  • ’65 or 66 El Camino.

    • gearhead

      As pointed out, suspension is wrong, so I'm going with 65 or 6 Studebaker.

      • Mike_the_Dog

        I'm pretty sure all Studebakers were unibody by the mid-sixties.

  • You got the chassis, I got the frame:

    <img src="; width=550>

    • TurboBrick

      We're going to have to cut that hood a little bit after we set this down.

    • pj134

      … Isn't the frame a part of the chassis?

      I would call that the body.

      • Make sure to correct my grammar too. I think I might have mispelt chasis.

        • pj134

          Huh, didn't know that would offend you.

          You bring the Small Block Chevy 350, I've got the engine:
          <img src=";

          • And we shalt mount them together, in harmony. Thus, the Chevy 700 V16 was bornt.

    • OA5599

      Not Sitting on X-frame

  • Joe Dunlap

    Well, just when I thought I was on the right track, I was wrong. or right. or whatever. Apparently Chevrolet did have a T/C strut lower arm. Heres a link to a page with a pic of a 65 Biscayne that matches. So, 65 Chevy full size chassis must be it. …

  • Joe Dunlap

    Now, what do I win? 🙂

  • Jim-Bob

    1965-69 Chevy full size convertible. GM used a three link rear suspension on the standard performance models and added a top link on the big block cars. The front suspension threw me at first, but then I did an image search and found this pic that confirmed what it is. Why is it a convertible ( I may be wrong)? The center section of the frame is boxed. GM usually used an open section in the middle on sedans and coupes because the body shell added in the rigidity the convertible lacked. They would have also used a convertible frame on a big block car to take the abuse no matter what body was on it.

    <img src=";

    • This photo has got to be mid-bounce at the Lowrider competition.

      • Alff

        Or it could be sitting on a lift. Maybe a blue one.

        • HEY! Let me live in my land of delusion, okay?

  • sportwagon

    I have no idea what it is, but all it needs is a milk crate to sit on, a steering wheel, and pedals.

  • AteUpWithMotor

    The rear suspension looks to have a Panhard rod, which I believe would make it a full-size station wagon. If I'm remembering correctly, sedans (and convertibles and hardtops) had four trailing arms (with the upper arms angled inward for lateral location), wagons had three with the Panhard rod.

    • Alff

      According to Chevytalk, many if not all full size mid-60s Chevys came with Panhard bars.

  • Joe Dunlap

    But this has 4 and the Panhard rod. The uppers are longitudinal which would make the Panhard rod necessary

  • Joe Dunlap

    Somebody call Tony. He knows. 🙂

  • I'll be back over in that part of town this afternoon. I'll try to stop in again and see if there's anybody there who can tell me the real deal.

  • Joe Dunlap

    Hurry! The hoons grow restless. We may have an insurrection on our hands….

  • buzzboy7

    Through my mastery of GoogleFu I'm going to say it's a 65-67 era "The Road"
    You couldn't get a 327 after 67. Also, because that auto isn't a powerglide(and if it's original) it would mean the car is a 67 as it was the first year of the 3 speed auto in the "The Road".

    • Jim-Bob

      Actually, you could get a 327 until 1969. The 350 was a Camaro exclusive in 67 but didn't fully replace the 327 in other models until 1970.

      • buzzboy7

        There I go believing what I read on Wiki…

  • Snap_Understeer

    looks like a Veyron frame

    • Joe Dunlap

      Looks like a……wait for it…….. Snap Judgement? 😉

  • Joe Dunlap

    Looks like a………..wait for it…………Snap Judgement? 😉

  • Joe Dunlap

    You know , it just occured to me that only a bunch of true hoons could have this much fun with a rusty piece of metal.

  • pj134

    Considering SBC's have been in everything from Gremlin's to Rolls Royce's, I'm calling a misdirection.

    (Awesome: … )

  • facelvega

    Maybe it used to be an El Camino, but to me it looks like a prime candidate for wienermobile conversion.

  • McQueen

    I would have to say that frame looks like a '68 Pontiac LeMans/GTO frame I only say this is because I did a frame off build on a '68 LeMans turning it into a short track car that only turned left ( I know how boring ) but the rear suspension was a three link and this apears to be something else 🙁

    • McQueen

      And that upwards curl at the back of the frame is unique

  • McQueen

    I'm gonna run with an Olds Delta 98

    • tonyola

      Sure it's not a Buick LeSabre Park Avenue?

  • Abe

    It looks much like the frame that was on my brothers 1968 Impala Custom 2 door. Much like this minus the bling.

    [youtube j4SubTy57e0 youtube]

    • McQueen

      I found a pic of a '67 frame and the rad support mounts look correct but in '68 GM changed the rear suspension so that the trailing arms were inboard (make a v shape if looking from the front) and this chassis has the "sport link" set up were the trailing arms are directly to the frame not a cross member

  • toebitus

    the fuel tank filler tube (?) would be in the notched area of the rear cross member behind the license plate (probable not a station wagon)

  • dukeisduke

    It's a '67-'69 full-size Chevy, and I agree it's a convertible. The B-Body Chevys used a track bar (Panhard rod), where the A-Body cars (Chevy and BOP) did not. The A-Body cars just used a four-link setup, and the lower links were boxed with a plate on the bottom if the car had a rear sway bar (the sway bar mounts to the inside of the lower links, with two through bolts and nuts on each link). It's at least a '67 because it has the dual circuit master cylinder (FMVSS 105).

  • I am surprised at the number of easily checked wrong answers on here.

    Its a 65-70 Chevy Full sized frame, most likely a 67+ because of the 2 circuit master cylinder, but those are very easy to swap and were often done in the name of safety by owners/drivers in the 60s and 70s once the parts were readily available. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a factory retrofit kit back then. No idea which cars had 4 links and which had 3, I would suspect there was some sort of factory rule on it like 4 links on all convertibles, big block cars, heavy duty (police) versions, and anything with Positraction, 3 links on everything else.

    It CAN NOT be a Camaro or Nova, they all had leaf springs until the 1982 generation, and were unibody cars with bolt on subframes.

    It CAN NOT be an A body Chevelle/Malibu as they all used converging 4 link rear ends (much like a Fox body Mustang) with coil springs on the axle and no panard bar (none needed, that is the whole reason for the trailing arms being diagonal).

    it CAN NOT be a 58-64 because all of those were on the X frame, though this chassis is very similar but with a perimeter frame.

    It CAN NOT be an El Camino because except for the 59 & 60 (which were X frame full sized chassis) all the Elcos were on the A body chassis.

  • jason

    ^^^^^^^^OWNED!!!

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