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Don't Believe Everything You Read


100.gif (821 bytes) 8hspace.gif (810 bytes)The following is a copy of a letter dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)someone wrote to the magazine Chevrolet High dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)Performance and the magazine's reply. I'm amazed that a major magazine could be so dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)uninformed about their subject! Following their replydot_clear.gif (46 bytes) is a letter I sent them outlining their errors. dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)Think they'll actually publish it? :}dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)

8hspace.gif (810 bytes)I have a '69 Camaro that I'mdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) restoring with the X11 code. I believe that all this dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)X11 code means is that the car came with a style trim package that included chrome dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)molding around the wheel opening, a black body sill, simulated rear fender louvers,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) and roof drip molding. Just for reference, the cowl tag and VIN are included. How do you dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)tell if this car is a '68 or '69? Judging from the VIN code,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) I would say September 1969, but from the cowl, I'm not sure.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) Does the unit number (NOR113313) mean anything?dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)

ST 69 12347 NOR 113313
BDY 721 57 PNT
VIN is N681892

Phil Lowder
Dallas TX

8hspace.gif (810 bytes)It appears that the reader knows dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)more than the editor. He's right (for the most part) dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)about the X11 code, and his question is reasonable - he wants to know if his '69dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) was built in '69 or in '68. Here's the answer from Chevrolet High Performance:dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)


8hspace.gif (810 bytes)I would say your Camaro is a '68 dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)build by the early number of the VIN, 113313. dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)The "09A" date code, then, would be for September, 1968, the first week. As you know,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)the '69 model year production carried into February of 1970. The last 53,526 of the dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)'69 Camaros had a "0" as the sixth digit of the VIN for 1970. The body style was 1969,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) but they were 1970s by number. Chevrolet had alreadydot_clear.gif (46 bytes) dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)replaced the four-barrel 327 with a four-barrel 350 as the base SS engine. dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)We don't know the change-over date. (Does anybody out there know?) dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)We do know that Chevy replaced the 327 two-barrel on dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)February 14, 1970 with the 307. Your car has a 350. The early Camaro X11's dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)got 327s, and when they ran out of their supply of 327s, they phased in the 350ci engines.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)

8hspace.gif (810 bytes)Wow! Their answer is totally and completely wrong! Here's my response:

Performance Q&Adot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
Chevy High Performancedot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
Peterson Publishing Co.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
6420 Wilshire Blvd.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)


8hspace.gif (810 bytes)I picked up a newstand copy dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)of your July 1999 issue for the first time today and dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)was shocked at your answer to one of the tech questions. There were nine separate errors in dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)your answer! In fact, every part of your answer was completely wrong.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)The reader wanted to know dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)if his ‘69 Camaro was built in ‘68 or ‘69. You replied thatdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) it was a ‘68 build by the early number of the VIN, but you confused the VIN with thedot_clear.gif (46 bytes) Fisher Body number. The VIN is 681892 and the Fisher Body number is 113313. The dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)Fisher Body number started over at 100000 in August, 1969, while the VIN’s continueddot_clear.gif (46 bytes) in sequence from the 500000 starting number. This car was built the first week of September, 1969.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)You state that the ‘69 model dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)year production carried into February, 1970.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) This is incorrect. The last ‘69 models were built at the end of November, 1969, and the new dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)1970 model was introduced in February.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)You state that the last ‘69 Camaros haddot_clear.gif (46 bytes) a "0" as the sixth digit of the VIN indicating 1970. This is an old myth that was putdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) to rest 20 years ago. All 1969 Camaros were tagged, titled,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) and sold as 1969 models. There were no 1969 body style Camaros sold as 1970 cars.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)Then you state that Chevy dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)had replaced the 327 4-barrel with the 350 as the base SSdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) engine. Chevy never put a 327 into an SS at any time. They were all 350's or 396's. dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)In fact, until 1969 you could only get a 350 in the SS – it was not available with any dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)other model Camaro. You say you don’t know the change-over date,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) and that is because it never happened.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)You say that Chevy dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)replaced the 327 4-barrel with the 307 on February 14, 1970,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) which is also incorrect. The 327 was replaced as the Camaro base V8 in dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)November or December of 1968. The only engine that was changed in February of dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)1970 was in the Z28, when the 302 was dropped and the 350 LT1 debuted in the new 1970 model.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)You informed the reader thatdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) his car came with a 350, but there is no way to determinedot_clear.gif (46 bytes) that from the information provided. The Norwood code of "X11" means either dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)a base car with Style Trim or an SS350 with Style Trim. Without the original engine it can dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)never be determined if his car is an SS350 and he has to rely on pointers such as thedot_clear.gif (46 bytes) presence of other required SS options, such as disc brakes, 5-leaf springs, and a 12-bolt rear end.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)Finally, when Chevy ran outdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) of 327'sdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) (in 1968, not 1970,) they phased in the 307,dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) not the 350. There are also a few other things you missed. The body codedot_clear.gif (46 bytes) listed on the cowl tag is incorrect. It should probably dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)read 12437 which decodes as a V8 Camaro coupe. A "3" as the third digitdot_clear.gif (46 bytes) would indicate a six cylinder (meaning the car couldn't be an SS) dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)but there is no code of "47," only "37" or "67" for coupe or convertible.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
8hspace.gif (810 bytes)It is disheartening to see an automotive magazine so badlydot_clear.gif (46 bytes) misinformed about the hobby. Perhaps you should stick to hot rods and dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)leave the restoration questions to someone else, like the US Camaro Club.dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)


Greg McGann