450 HP Beast: 1970 Chevelle SS 454

1970 Chevelle SS 454

The terrible photos provided in the listing could be the reason we didn’t notice this one sooner. The auction ends in a few short hours, and if the title didn’t grab your attention, the current high bid of $80k will! At that price, you know this isn’t any ordinary Chevelle. This black-on-black SS is a fire-breathing 454 equipped monster! The seller claims that it is the real deal and that it has only covered 50k miles since new. The build sheet is included, but we would want a little more documentation to prove those miles. It’s hard to be too critical here though because fast machines in original condition like this one don’t show up very often! Find it here on eBay out of Altamont, New York.

454 V8

There it is, the heart of the beast! That’s a LS6 454 V8 – the same big block found in the Corvette and a few other Bowtie bruisers. Printed materials rated that at 450 horsepower, but some believe that it was closer to 500! This engine is claimed to be original to the car. The rearend and transmission were swapped out at some point, but it was all documented. Hmm, I wonder why they had to replace them. Too many burnouts perhaps?

Bench seat and four speed

The photos may be bad, but this shot of the interior makes me want this car even more! The bench seat is unassuming, but that Hurst shifter let’s everyone know that you mean business. The best part though is that the shifter is attached to a 4-speed manual gearbox! Automatics are fine for Sunday cruises, but when you have this much power on tap, there is nothing more exhilarating than holding each shift until redline. You might be able to try that out right away too because the seller claims that the engine runs as it should and that it’s ready to drive!


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  1. jim s

    with 186 bids and at $80100 already a lot of people want this car. i wonder how many other driveline parts and rear tires this car has gone thru. car would be a lot of fun to take to oldies night at the dragstrip. great find

  2. Alan (Michigan)

    Um, yea….

    When I had my ’69 SS396, the neighbor girl 2 doors down from my folks house got engaged to a dude who bought one of these. I believe his was a ’71. Absolute fire-breathing monster. He installed headers, a fancy distributor, and upgraded the 4-barrel. Otherwise, the LS6 and the M22 did the job. Not sure which rear end ratio it had, but the fast 1/4 mile was the goal. It was known that he street raced selected applicants, and collected plenty on the better side of the wagering. That was “his” car, bought after “her” car was found to not be quite fast enough to win consistently. Hers was a SS396/375HP Nova. Both were silver. Those really WERE “The Days”, weren’t they?

    Like 1
  3. MH

    Always been a dream car of mine but not for 80K.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Yea, and they only go up from here, until all the guys who wanted one when they were new or nearly new are gone. Or, until there is virtually no fuel left to run them anymore. Either way, I’ll be long gone.

      I came of driving age in the thick of the muscle car era. It amazes me now to think of all the hot iron my friends and neighbors, and my neighbors friends, all owned. Every single one would now make enthusiasts swoon, or at least smile wistfully. What a time. If I’d have only known then how lucky I was. Oh, I sure enjoyed myself, and the car culture then. But somehow I think a little more fore-knowledge may have been beneficial. Too soon old, too late smart.

      One day I should think for a while, and list all of the Domestic Muscle that I count as part of my automotive history. It might surprise even me how much was there.

  4. JW454

    Over 80K to buy it and another 40K or so to restore it. I guess it would be worth it to someone. Trouble is, with this one it doesn’t have a lot of the desirable options IE: bucket seats, console, tach. dash, full gauges etc. Juyst sounds like a lot of money to me for a big ole’ motor.

  5. SoCal Car Guy

    450 horsepower (gross, not net as power has been rated since the ’70s) was optimistic for a truly stock LS6 in 1970, and 500 was a pipe dream.

    In the August 1988 issue of “Guide to Muscle Cars” automotive writer John Lawlor dug into his own archives for the photos and results on dyno-testing a stock LS6 engine, provided by Nickey Chevrolet, at Ronnie Kaplan Engineering (Kaplan and Co. built big block Chevys for Can-Am racers, among other things). The absolutely stock LS6, with the air cleaner removed, made a maximum of 377 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 433 ft-lb of torque at 3400 rpm. For comparison, Chevrolet claimed 450 hp at 5600 rpm and 500 ft-lb of torque at 3600 rpm. To get to 450 hp, it took a set of headers off of a big-block powered Can-Am car, colder spark plugs and the air cleaner base (to smooth air flow into the carb). Final results were 451 hp at 5500rpm and 478 ft-lb of torque at 4000 rpm. Net horsepower would’ve been approximately 345, Can-Am racer headers and all. That would’ve been a high 12s/low 13s quarter miler in a four-speed-equipped 1970 Chevelle.
    Not bad, moderately impressive for the era, but a lot more attractive and faster through the gauzy haze of four-plus decades of nostalgia. And, of course, the girls were all a lot cuter then, too.

  6. Dan A

    A close friend of mine in Reidsville, NC, is presently restoring his original owned 70 LS6 Chevelle. Similar to this one only nicer with only 22k miles on it. He bought it new after getting out of the AirForce back in the fall of 69…it’s gold with black stripes and fawn colored interior. He’s waiting now for the body man to be done with the paint so they can roll the frame back under it. It looks awesome so far, he’ll be glad to know what his car is worth, I’m sure well over 100k…I couldn’t believe he is painting it, the paint was in good shape.

  7. H. R. Wood

    Had the same car, except it was Automatic, was my first car when I came back from serving during Vietnam. Mine was geared so low top speed was 95 MPH but it sure got there quick. Got about 4 MPG but at around 20 cents a Gallon I could afford the gas, lol. It was the rear tires that got expensive.

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