1971 Chevelle SS 454: Real Deal Or Clone?

1971 Chevelle SS 454

When it comes to limited production big block muscle cars, you always want to make sure it is the real thing and not a clone. The seller of this 1971 Chevelle SS 454 believes it is the real deal, but doesn’t provide much in the way of proof. The 454 was the biggest engine offered in the Chevelle and was rated at 360 horsepower. This car has the cowl induction hood, which helps the engine breath and offers a little credibility to the seller. Whether it is the real deal or not, this could be an interesting project. It has a big block V8 after all! Find it here on eBay in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Do you think this Chevelle is a real SS or a clone?


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  1. Mark

    WOW…….almost 10K and it looks to need everything. someone is going to be way upside down, although it will be a gorgeous car if done correctly.

  2. flamikey

    …there are a gazillion ways to verify if it is real or not…so someone who has the knowledge will figure it out…and the seller claiming it is real because it has a “cow” induction hood does not help his cause much….

  3. Shilo

    One thing is for sure, the rust is real and lots of it. Could be a nice car but lots of work and money needed. Real Chevy guys will sort out whether it is what the seller says it is. Regardless, Hope it gets a full resto, Chevelle’s are pretty cars. Why did GM stop making such a cool car?????

  4. Bryan

    One wrong thing is the Buick chrome Rallys. Chevs were painted silver.

    Like 1
    • Nova

      Good eye Bryan!!

      I don’t see any mention of a 12 bolt rear end either…


  5. steve

    Curious how it’s numbers matching yet he can’t find numbers on the engine. It’s on the passenger side under the alternator. Part of view. Will be stamped. I had a 71 ss ls5 454 bench seat column shift, same color combo as this car and a mulsane blue 71 non ss with a 350. Here’s a good site: http://www.chevelles.com/shop/ss_ident.html

  6. Keith

    Why do people continue to claim their car is a one owner car when they bought it from the original owner. Are people daft? The car has had 2 owners!!!

  7. Joe Blow

    The LS5 was rated at 365 horsepower.

    • Utes

      Had there been a 4-speed behind that LS5; all ’71 & ’72 LS5’s were M22 equipped.

  8. junkman Member

    71 is a tough year, they just don’t get the same attention ( or money) as the earlier cars. I had one about 12 years ago, did a complete restoration except for the seats, which weren’t bad, it took me 2 years to get it sold and lost almost 10k.The friend with the guy who eventually bought it said ” I told you to buy one all done, it just doesn’t make sense to restore them yourself “. He was right on that one. Cost at least $20k for parts alone, add labor and you still have a 20k car. Note the sagging right quarter panel that’s touching the bumper. Get it for nothing and you still won’t make money on a 71 or 72. Sad but true.

  9. Jimbosidecar

    I thought the real SS cars VIN started with a 138. This one starts with a 136

    • James

      1968 is the last year of the 138 VIN SS Chevelles

  10. Vince Habel

    It is going to take serious dollars to do this right. I am not sure if it is real. A lot of cars had badges many years after they were new.

  11. flamikey

    …I think it is real…it’s got the round gauges in the dash…only the SS had those, and to switch that out would have been a lot of work…too bad he doesn’t have the build sheet…that is about the only to be 100% sure…

  12. Peter

    I have no idea if it’s real, but to quote “flamikey:”

    “……and the seller claiming it is real because it has a ‘cow’ induction hood does not help his cause much….”

    Well said, flamikey!

    I will say it appears the carpets have been and/or are WET, up under the dash.

    And that is an unusual amount of rust on the firewall, no? Maybe the “cow” has a leaky bladder?

    He definitely lost me at “[t]ake note of the cow induction hood…,” then he “…removes all doubt…” (to paraphrase Mark Twain) with his “I’ve updated the photo’s to add the cow tag from my 71 SS…..”

    The COW tag? Is that like a DAWG tag?

    There are definitely sound (marketing) reasons why GM had offerings like Pontiacs and Oldsmobile, as “upmarket” alternatives to “Chebbies.” Too bad GM killed those two divisions and left us with Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac…. (And doesn’t it seem like the hobby is “fully stocked” with Chevelles, or is that just me? LOL).

    As to the original question: (while exposing my ignorance) isn’t there some type of (online?) registry, to check the VIN against, or is the alleged “SS” status not coded into the VIN?

    More COW bell!

  13. Gary

    Nice find, looks to be the real deal but I would do all the research possible before I would drop a load of cash for this old muscle. If it was a one owner as stated chances are the old build sheet is still under the back seat. Most likely the original rear seat cover is still in place. This could shed some interesting information yet. A friend just recently bought a ’64 Malibu SS from the second owner and when he got it home and started a major clean up he found the original old build sheet under the rear seat. My brother has two ’72 Chevelle’s one a true SS with 4 spd. other a clone. He also found a build sheet under the rear seat of the cloned car.

  14. flamikey

    If I had that car, I would take out the 2 bolts that hold that back seat in and look for that build sheet…and get those numbers off the engine…if might be one of those fabled LS6’s that were rumored to be around…I know there was at least one, as my friend in high school bought one new in early 1971….

  15. Joe Blow

    FWIW, I don’t believe any LS6s were built. I’ll believe it when I see the documentation.

  16. flamikey

    …my friend that had the ’71 LS6 special ordered it….his uncle owned a Chevrolet dealership in Cleveland, Ohio….and he ended up wrapping it around a light pole racing it…

    • Utes

      According to Chevrolet records, though 14 were assembled @ Tonawanda, NO LS6’s were ever released for installation in any A-body’s in ’71.

      Like 1
  17. Clint

    #6 plug seems to be located between the fender & hood hinge…

    $9700 is a bunch of money for this car (as of 3 pm 3/13/15). Hope who ever gets it has a clue for what they’re in for.

  18. robert

    If this is a clone someone started right like the SS grill, wire clip hood pins,SS badges on fender.I believe it very well could be the real deal but only vin can tell for sure, maybe if lucky the build sheet if its still there!

  19. Uncommonsensesc

    I know I’m really, really late to the party but when I can’t sleep I look up cars – and tonight’s one of those nights. Anyone have the pictures to this car? I had a ’71 SS and I miss it more than any other car I owned. It had a Rockcrusher M22 with a Schaefer competition clutch (left leg had a kick like a mule). Cowl induction hood, hood locks, dark green with black stripes. I don’t know if it was a special order or not but my radio front folded in and it was an 8-track player! I didn’t find that out until the 2nd time I test drove and bought the car but that means the seller/car lot didn’t know it either. When you kicked in the 4-barrel, the rear end would “squat” down and you were gone!

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