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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Back in 1969 I ordered a 1969 Nova SS with the 396 engine, L78 option, from a dealer in San Marcos, TX.

Money was tight back then, and I opted for the THREE speed manual transmission on the floor with front bench seat.... No console or gauges.

I'm trying to decide what the option number(s) would have been for the transmission setup...

Per listing of options available for 1969, under the RPO's, I see a M11 option for the floor shift that I had, but what would be the transmission RPO number...? Would it have been the MC1 Heavy duty 3-speed manual transmission (production # of 2,287) ... or .... the M15 3-speed manual transmission, (production # of 42,938)...?

I'm hoping that Chev. would not have put the M15 behind a L78 engine....

Can anyone verify or confirm this...?

Thanks,

Robert R
Wharton, TX
www.Nova-SS.com


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407879



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Pretty sure a L-78 required a M-22 or a TH400, the 4 spd would be a better choice.
The solid lift cam was awfully radical for an AT, and the square port heads were too big for any street use on such a small cube motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pretty sure a L-78 required a M-22 or a TH400, the 4 spd would be a better choice.
The solid lift cam was awfully radical for an AT, and the square port heads were too big for any street use on such a small cube motor.
Thanks for the comment, but the car had a 3 speed manual transmission with on the floor shifting.... Pretty sure it must have been the MC1 transmission... Just wish I would have saved the window sticker...

Just was hoping to find someone else who order theirs the same way :)
 

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I am seeing conflicting (or vague) info in the GM docs I have. RPO M13 is shown as still being available in 1969, but a separate reference lists it as a HD clutch option, not a trans. I think you would have had the RPO MC1 trans, as that is listed as an option for the L48 350. And I could be reading this wrong, but MC1 came with an 11" clutch when paired with the L48. Same general specs as the 4-speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is there any way to determine how many Nova SS 396 L78 were built with the MC1 3-speed transmission...?

I used to drag race a friend to had a 1968 Nova SS with the 350HP 396 and 4 speed transmission. He never beat me and commented to me that because I had the 3 speed, and he the 4 speed, that he spent too much time having to shift gears :) while I steadily kept on going...

Honestly... once I hit second, it was a long time before needing to shift to third... that L 78 would turn some RPM's....!!
 

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1968 Chevy II Nova, Central Arkansas
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Crazy the things we had to do to save a couple dollars. I bet there was not a huge difference between a 3 speed and a 4 speed. At least you got the big motor!
 

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Is there any way to determine how many Nova SS 396 L78 were built with the MC1 3-speed transmission...?
Probably not as Chevy was terrible at keeping production records. Possibly the worst of all the domestic manufacturers at the time. Someone may have an educated guess. I defer to those who specialize in the 396 3rd gens.
 

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First generation Camaros (67-69) used RPO M13 and is listed as "heavy duty 3 speed" manual transmission. It was listed as available with big blocks. I suspect there would be carry over since the subframes were developed to be common between Camaro and Nova.
 
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