A Chevelle Malibu SS 396 with a 136 VIN?


GM of Canada Built a Chevelle Malibu SS 396 with a 136 VIN Code

When talking about a Chevelle or Malibu SS, one of the things you’ve probably heard is that the surest way to identify it as genuine is to check the VIN number. The conventional wisdom states that a 138 VIN number means you’ve got a real Chevelle SS on your hands. Cars On Line has even touched on this subject as part of our How to Identify a Chevelle SS feature article. The use of the 138 VIN codes to identify an original Chevelle SS is so widely used, that the rumors of a 136 VIN Code 1966-1967 Chevelle Malibu SS 396 are often dismissed or disbelieved. As it turns out, if the Malibu was built by GM of Canada, you might want to take a second look.

While the United States pushed all SS production onto the 138 VIN of the 1966 Chevelle, GM of Canada introduced the SS “Super Sport” option to the existing 136 VIN code Malibu. Frank Agueci, a 24-year GM of Canada veteran and representative for Vintage Vehicle Services tells us that, strictly speaking, the “SS” option was coded as A51 and was mostly an appearance option. It meant you could get your 1966 Malibu with bucket seats, console, P01 wheel covers and even a 6-cylinder engine.  In addition to the standard 194, 230, 283 2-barrel and 327 275-horsepower 4-barrel engines, buyers could select a 360-horsepower, Turbo-Jet 396 V8.  Mike Crown of MysteryChevelle.com goes on to explain that the Canadian SS big block did not get the VIN stamped on the deck pad either. Only the assembly date makes an appearance, making identification of such vehicles that much harder.


The confusion rises from the difference in production and marketing methods used between the United States and Canada. The U.S. enjoyed a markedly higher production rate and decided to add the SS 396 option as its own model, under the 138 VIN code.  GM of Canada continued to use the 136 VIN code regardless of options until a mid-year conversion in 1967. As a result, it’s quite possible to find a real 1966-1967 Chevelle Malibu SS 396. It all depended on what the individual buyer decided to order their car with, and it’s why modern-day collectors will have to do a lot of research to confirm the identity of one today.

Modern restoration efforts have made things even more difficult. With so few people realizing that the GM of Canada-built Chevelle Malibu SS exists, some restoration projects end up referencing the models produced in the United States, and devalue a rare Chevelle Malibu SS 396/360 with incorrect modifications.

If you are considering the purchase of what you believe is a rare GM of Canada-built Chevelle Malibu SS 396, or if you suspect what you thought was a clone to be one, you’d do well to invest some time in additional research. Services like Vintage Vehicle Services and Mike Crown’s books available at MysteryChevelle.com can help.

CLICK HERE to read more How to Buy a Car Online installments!

, , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses to A Chevelle Malibu SS 396 with a 136 VIN?

  1. Mike Bedard March 22, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    so true as i have owned 1 of these cars it was purchased here in town. i sent all #s to GM canada and they sent all documentaton on car, Colour,ext colour,int-who it sold to 6cyl- 283- 327-396 hp of the motor that came with that car how many were produced. Hope this helps

    • Dean July 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Just bought a 67 chevelle malibu ss 327/glide here in Saskatchewan Canada. It is a Oshawa
      Built car with A51 code. Try and tell most people and they laugh and think you are lying or have wrong info or got ripped off. HA! Waiting for my GM of Canada package to arrive. I have an early
      McKinnon 327/275 engine. I have been told that it is a 327/300 hp engine. Plan on taking it to the US and freaking some car heads out,LOL.

  2. maurice July 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    My dad bought some land when i was ten (10) years old . Now im in my forty’s . Theres and old car on the land in the woods that i would like to restore .how can i get a title for it.

  3. Alex March 18, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    Thanks for the great article! Here’s the universal VIN decoder http://www.vindecoderz.com/ – It shows extended tech info and list of factory options. Hope the tool will be helpful for car owners.

  4. Steve March 29, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    COOL,I have a 67 -350hp WITH AIR,TH.400 SS MALIBU.12 BOLT POSI REAREND,342 GEARED.

  5. Barry Harsh December 27, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    I have a 66 Chevelle Malibu SS – A51 option code. I have the documentation from Vintage Vehicle Services that my chevelle was built with the 283 – 195hp – powerglide. When the chevelle was restored back in 2012 a rebuilt 396 installed with a Muncie 4sp. I bought the chevelle knowing it was a Canadian built car. When I resell the chevelle being a Malibu SS with documentation does that help with resale value? The guy I bought it from just told me it was a Clone, but was built in Canada. Everything was restored back to original color, vinyl top, interior. Has the SS 396 emblems with doomed hood.

    • gerry September 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

      Canadian SSs never came with the domed hood or SS396 emblems, flat hood, standard Chevelle grill, big block fender emblems(396 turbo jet) and Malibu SS emblems on rear quarters

  6. Darrell November 19, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    I own one. It is Malibu SS 396. It is a 136 code and it comes with flat hood

  7. DENVER JARRELL January 12, 2017 at 5:30 pm #


  8. gordon sutherland January 28, 2020 at 2:36 pm #

    Gordon from Calgary, Ab.
    Bought a new canadian built 66 chevelle malibu ss 396 4spd. body code 13617 in Dec 1965, sold it July 1967, and some 52 yrs later purchased my original car back, on June 2019 still about 75-80 % original

Leave a Reply