Want Bruce Springsteen’s 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396? It’s For Sale
The Boss sure knows how to pick his muscle cars. This is Bruce Springsteen’s 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 convertible. It has it all, racing stripe down the sides, Cragar mag wheels, a nice rake, and a four-speed, of course. It’s a fine example of a classic early-1970s muscle car. And if you like it, and want it, it’s for sale.
Does the Chevelle match the Bruce Springsteen lyrics?
Springsteen wanted a car that matched the lyrics of his “Racing in the Street” from 1978. The lyrics are:
I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a three-ninety-six
Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
She’s waiting tonight down in the parking lot
Outside the Seven-Eleven store
We don’t know about the “fuelie heads” which refer to small block Chevy engines in the 1950s and with an updated system in the 1960s. But other than that, this could be the car he’s singing about. And though there weren’t BF Goodrich Radial T/As until later, raised white letter tires were all the rage, so the visuals come very close.
How fast is the Bruce Springsteen Chevelle?
The engine is a 396 ci big block with 390 hp. A Muncie four-speed is hooked to it, sending power back to the 12-bolt positraction rear end. These are the most heavy-duty rear end for almost all big block cars.
Updates to the engine include electronic ignition, an MSD tachometer, a serpentine belt system with billet aluminum pulleys, and ceramic-coated Hooker headers tied into the stock dual exhaust. The alternator also appears to have custom mounting brackets. There is a period radio in the car, but it is not currently working.
When did Bruce Springsteen own this Chevelle?
Bruce Springsteen began looking for a suitable Chevelle in 1981. He has a personal mechanic that fronted for Springsteen to keep the buyer’s identity hidden. Otherwise, the price tends to shoot up dramatically.
He kept the car until 1987 when he gifted it to his recording engineer Toby Scott, as a Christmas gift. Scott performed those duties for almost 20 years for The Boss. He had it restored in 1988 Chevrolet, changing the color from the Midnight Black that Springsteen had it painted in, to its original factory color of Lemans Blue. Finishing it off is the contrasting white interior and convertible top.
Where can I buy it?
Springsteen actually did use the car, including throwing a surfboard in the back to go surfing. The Chevelle and that surfboard were reunited and then displayed together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2020.
Springsteen’s Chevelle is appearing at Mecum’s auction in May, in Indianapolis. For provenance, the new owner will receive a letter from Springsteen confirming he owned the car. There is also written verification from Springsteen’s mechanic friend, which describes purchasing it. And finally, a picture of the license plate from when Springsteen owned it.