Few people bought Chevy’s SS when it was new, but as today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe edition proves, there’s still time to gain an appreciation. We’ll just have to see if its price proves depreciation enough.
Francesco Baracca was Italy’s most accomplished fighter pilot in the first world war. His talent and exploits so impressed a young Enzo Ferrari that he would adopt the emblem Baracca had affixed to the fuselage of his plane—a black stallion in a raised stance on its hind legs—as the identifier for his racers and eventually for his eponymous auto company.
Yesterday, we looked at one of that company’s post-Enzo era products—a 1995 Ferrari 456 GT. That car not only carried the famous prancing horse logo on both nose and tail but expressed in its front-mounted V12 engine the performance ethic for which the badge has long been known. At $59,998, it also carried the day, earning its plebeian Mazda dealership a narrow but undeniable 55 percent Nice Price win.
When J.D. Salinger wrote Catcher in the Rye he created an indelible representation of youthful rebellion, angst, and disaffection. The story’s main protagonist, Holden Caulfield, has become an archetype for the challenges of stepping through the doorway into adulthood. The book itself has become a rite of passage for many teen readers.
Oh were it so that General Motors’ own cantankerous offspring also named Holden had enjoyed such staying power. Instead, the production lines at GM’s Australian subsidiary went dark in late 2017, ending over a century of local assembly.
One such car built there, and whose lack of success in America may have had an influence over Holden’s car-building demise, was the Chevy SS. This was a rebranded Holden Commodore and was offered here in the States from 2013 through the 2017 model years. A previous edition had been sold under the Pontiac brand name as the G8, but that too found few takers and died with its adoptive parent during GM’s brand banishment phase.
Chevy is obviously still around. And, as evidenced by both the Camaro and Corvette, the brand remains interested in projecting an image of performance passion. That was evident in the LS3-powered SS as well, however, Chevy could find few takers for its big RWD hot rod. And, with Holden ending all car production in Australia, the low financial viability of moving SS production elsewhere doomed the car to an untimely end. Over its four model year production run, just over 12,000 cars were built and sold. That doesn’t make the SS particularly rare, but suffice to say you likely won’t see one on every corner.
One you can see is this 2014 edition and it’s a pretty entertaining sight at that, owing to its body mods and bling-heavy wheels. This 81,000-miler also features a number of engine and suspension upgrades, so it’s not your run of the mill SS. Not that there are all that many run of the mill SS’s to begin with.
The ad notes the car to be in ‘mint condition’ and to come with an accident-free history to date. The hood has been replaced with an aftermarket carbon fiber unit featuring a center vent in its dorsal elevation. A revised grille sits ahead of that and above an extended front air dam, while out in back there’s a complimenting deck lid-mounted wing to really tie things together.
Speaking of ties, the seller certainly seems to have a lot of moolah tied up in their garage and all the toys therein. I wonder if they would consider adopting an older child?
Anyway, back to the car at hand. Beneath all the add-ons and such sits aftermarket wheels that emulate Z28 rollers and showoff the upgraded Brembo brakes behind their chromed spokes. The aftermarket also provided some suspension updates, including lowering springs and revised control arms and frame stiffeners. The seller says there’s ‘tons of powder coating’ throughout too.
The Red Hot 2 paint looks to be in excellent condition and is complemented by the black leather interior. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of mods in here, but the SS branded mats are a nice reminder for your feet of the car’s intentions.
Those intentions are made mandate by the Corvette-sourced LS3 V8. The only gearbox available in the SS this model year was the 6L-80E six-speed automatic, but you can paddle-shift that if you pine for something other than steering for your upper body workout while driving. The seller says the engine has been given a state 2 cam and that, along with some totally tubular headers, supposedly gives the car 486 horses at the back tires.
That’s a lot of ponies and may finally make people sit up and take notice of the SS, something that seemingly up to now has not been happening.
What we need to notice is this particular car’s price, which is $29,500, or a little more than half what the stock car went out the door for when new. Now it has all the mods, all of which are claimed to have been added within the last 6K or so, and all that history of having been one of the last in the long line of Holden products to have been built.
What do you think, is $29,500 a fair price for this fairly well massaged SS? Or, does that price tag make you as ambivalent to the car as Holden Caulfield was to life in general?
H/T To Gerry D for the hookup!
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