Big-Block Find: 1970 Camaro SS 396/4-Speed

Frustratingly, this is yet another case of an amazing find that’s advertised in a less than satisfactory way. The 1970 Camaro you see here is claimed by the seller to be a factory 396 4-speed model that retains it’s numbers matching components. If the claim true, than this is a rare car and may just be worth the asking price. You can find this Camaro, located near Dayton, Ohio, here on craigslist with an asking price of $16k

1970 was the first year for the second-generation Camaro and many consider these metal-bumper clad cars to be the most desirable of the ’70-’81 model year F-bodys. The SS badge adorned 12,476 Camaros in 1970 according to with the vast majority of these being equipped with a 350 C.I.D. small block. Only 1864 rolled off the line with a L34 350 HP 396 C.I.D. big block and a mere 600 of them were L78 375 HP 396 C.I.D. big block equipped from the factory. Consider further that these figures include both automatic and 4-speed cars and you can start to see why this is such an amazing find, that is, if the seller’s story of a factory 396/4-speed combo holds water. You would think that the seller would have at least popped open the hood to show off the car’s biggest asset, but this is sadly not the case.

Unfortunately there is no VIN provided in the very short ad and there are only 4 pictures, none of which capture the condition of the interior, motor, or undercarriage. One picture shows the driver floorboard that will need attention but isn’t as bad as it could be. The exterior looks like it cleaned up decently, but there is some surface rust on the driver front fender in front of the wheel well and there appears to be some rust in the rocker and in front of the rear wheel on the driver side if my eyes don’t deceive me. Between the shadowy pictures and classic copper exterior paint, this Camaro could be hiding a lot of problematic areas. All of that said, what do you think about the Camaro? Is it worth $16k?

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  1. Des Ryan Member

    1972-1973 grille, 1971-73 seats….hmmmmm

    • Dan

      No low back bucket seats but wrong grille…yes….

    • J_Paul Member

      Good call on the grille not being right. The rear spoiler also points to this being a later car (or using later parts)—I’m pretty sure the 3-piece wraparound spoiler wasn’t used until 1971.

      More information and more photos would be helpful here.

      • Des Ryan Member

        Just got off the phone with him – good candidate for resto. Small amount of cancer, and numbers do indeed match. Bird hit grille in late 70s so was replaced. Owner was 6′ 3″ so the low back buckets got tossed in favor of the later high-backs. Yes, spoiler obviously changed out too. The high COPO 9676 spoiler was rare and this ain’t one of ’em. Current owner is a straight shooter.

  2. David

    That’s a nice one no matter the specifics. 4 speed, and that color! Best factory GM mags in my opinion. Hey Tyler; your a paid reporter… why not give the listing a call?

  3. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Dave….with you on the wheels……..this one’s enough to make you jump ship !

  4. John Brescacin

    Had one exactly same colour with factory L78 ,4 speed , 12 bolt diff. Australia.

    • Bills65

      I had a ’73. And this one appears to be identical to mine. The only difference is-is that I didn’t get around to dropping in the 396. Believe me once again I had one, once upona time. And if once that big ol’ 396ci was to ever be dropped in I know there is no way to do a proper tune-up without pulling the motor. I’m not believing what I’m reading at all. Now once again I have seen the F body with a 396 in it and the owner had said to me he wouldn’t do it again. There is about the same amount of realistate as in a late 60’s to early 70’s Mousetang trying to jam in a Cleveland in it between the inner fender wells and shock towers.

      • Al

        But dropping a 396 in shouldn’t be any different than dropping a 400 or 455 in a 70-81 Firebird, no?

  5. Bill OBrien

    This is priced well, if I had the room to keep it inside I would buy it

  6. ccrvtt

    Best looking Camaro of all time, better than the split bumpers. And I agree on the factory ‘mags’ being one of Chevy’s better designs.

    The original equipment list rarity makes this car a candidate for complete restoration. But the availability of these 2nd gen Camaros makes them ripe for individuals to re-create whatever drivetrain and options one could choose. It’s a perfect canvas for the hot rodder. I know a guy who’s in the middle of a build right now using a 5.3 LS motor.

    Not enough info but thanks to Des Ryan for filling in the gaps.

  7. Ted

    Good guy or not, you just leave the house where you bought this, straight to the local wand wash, and and then take four lousy snaps that Stevie Wonder would be ashamed of. I’m going to open a Curber College, where fundamentals such as how to use a camera, vacuum, and a wash bucket after you remove the vehicle from the trailer are going to be taught. Anyone want to invest?

    • Chucks49

      Yes…Make so I can see what you are selling. Makes me feel like he’s hiding something. If this is all true, what a nice car this could be. I want lots of pics. Let me know what I am up against. Just sayin…..

  8. Al

    I don’t get it, why is it that many 2nd Gen. Camaro fans don’t like the split bumpers? I always thought that was the coolest thing going! Born in ’60, I Always wanted one of these! My 1st car in ’77 SHOULD have been my cuz’s 69 302, dark green, white stripes,4sp. My mistake was bringing dad, as when he fired it up, lol, forget it,lol! Only $900!!! Talked with him few yrs ago, sold it then for $1100. This was it here.

    • Des Ryan Member

      NICE Z!! Dads suck! LOL. Yeah, agreed, the 1970-73 split-bumper Camaro RS is one of the nicest front end treatments of any American car, ever in my opinion.

  9. Alexander

    Nice color, nice options, shame about the car wash photos and while not clad those wheels with new rubber for a bigger payback? Always liked the 73 grilles and high back buckets but with the one shot of the interior you can tell the steering wheel is appropriate to 1970. Kinda wish he’d swapped out the wheel with one from a 73 Camaro as well. Always liked the quad-spoke design and 100% padding for safety’s sake.

  10. poseur Member

    lots of possibility with this one!
    don’t think i’ve seen more than a couple big block 2nd gen Camaros in my life & then only at car shows.
    best looking year plus 4-speed & 5-spokes for the win!
    even love the understated color.
    this would be a fun project if i had half a clue how to fix it up….too expensive to pay somebody else to do it.

    • Al

      Done the resto process a couple times. Even as a bargain hunter on new & used with patience, when all is done, your still out at least 1/3 of what you put in. I’d rather buy one all done up rather than do that again, especially on a classic. These painters thinking they are all Rembrandts, getting $8k-$15k, just to paint, it’s a bit ridiculous but they know there are suckers out there that would.

  11. Rick Willis

    I had a ’70 Camaro SS with a 350 in high school in 1980. Split bumper, low buckets, & itty-bitty original spoiler. Prefer the quarter bumpers hand down to the full bumper, and the round park lights looked way better, too. Still miss that ride.

  12. George

    the SS isn’t even in the right spot on the fender, and what happened to the set on the rh side? no photo for all we know could have a six between the rails!

  13. Alexander

    SS badge is in the correct location, George.


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