Trying to find out if i have a real 1971 chevy camaro ss??????

Asked by May 19, 2012 at 07:36 PM about the 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

Question type: General

I have aquired a 1971 chevy camaro from my friend. It has a column shifter, factory a/c, 402hp 396 engine. Vin # shows that it is factory 1971 8 cylinder camaro built in van nuys,ca but the factory body plate DOES NOT SHOW Z27 in the build. The car has the ss emblems on the steering wheel and fenders. Could this be the real deal with options added later by the factory???????

9 Answers


If it was an original SS 396 then it should have either a L34 or L78 RPO code. The Z27 code was for the 350 engine SS.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks for the reply. There is no RPO code. Maybe because it was built in the van nuys plant?????


If the seventh item in the vin is a L it was built at the California plant. If it is an N it was built at the Ohio plant.

Thank you for your reply. Here is the problem i have with the camaro it has an automatic column shifter, ss emblems on steering wheel, 396engine, factory a/c but the body plate shows no RPO CODE at all. The vin # does say that it is a 8cyl. Is this a 1971 chevy SS??? Or perhaps this was special order from the van nuys plant???? Is there other codes on the vehicle that could determine this other than the vin or body plate????? THKS


Without paperwork like the build sheet to prove otherwise it sounds like a clone. Any emblems can be easily added to make a normal v8 model appear to be a SS.


I've never seen a column shift SS before and i'm pretty sure they never made one. Probably a base model 350 motor with a transplanted 396 and aftermarket emblems. Shouldn't your friend know?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

There are column shift ss/rs/z28's out there. They are uncommon but do exist. It was the standard option so unless a console was added it remained.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

chevy never had a396 w/402hp .It had a 402cu.engine. 71 396 had 300hp , check the engine code on the front of the engine on the passenger side there's a pad just below the head. you should see a 3 letter code,that will tell you what you have.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

here's more info , the factory didn't add any options once the car was built. most V8 camaros had floor or console shifters . sounds like a put together. check the third digit in the VIN if it's a 3 or a 4,let me know. also on the data plate it should have z27 stamped on it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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