454 4-Speed Survivor: 1970 Chevelle LS5

Chevelles are a lot of fun, and no matter which year model suits your fancy (no two years were alike!), they are all fun cars. This is exactly what comes to my mind when someone uses the term “muscle-car.” Having owned a Chevelle in the past, one thing I learned is that true Super Sport Chevelles are valuable on their own. Another thing I learned was that a true LS5 Chevelle is essentially the holy grail of Chevelles. That being said, after 1968 it became increasingly difficult to identify a true Super Sport from a clone as GM stopped using VIN designations, and you must possess the build sheet to prove it, and fortunately, this seller has exactly that and then some! If you have $72,500 lying around, this car can be had here on eBay.

This particular Chevelle has a documented 26,310 original miles on it, as it was stored in a heated garage from 1987 until just recently. The seller states that it covered only about 100 miles while in storage. The above picture is from 1979, when the car fell into the hands of the second owner. It is here that it becomes obvious that the second owner made some changes, and thus the car is not completely original. From the seller, “The 2nd owner installed a NOS cowl hood with correct solenoid and associated hardware to the car including the air cleaner set up.”

The interior is exactly as it was in 1979, the only noticeable change between then and now is that the steering wheel wrap is coming loose. I respect the seller trying to preserve as much originality as possible, however for $72,500 I think I would like at least a new wrap on the steering wheel! However, it is clear that this is a very well-kept and preserved vehicle. The green on green color scheme is quite nice, and really helps this car fly under the radar for what it is. 

The 454 under the hood of this Chevelle appears largely original, minus the cowl air cleaner. It looks clean, and well-maintained, and I doubt this car saw much abuse. The seller notes that this car has the original mufflers and full exhaust system, Protect-o-Plate, spare keys, owner’s and shop manuals, and pretty much any other goodies you could ask for. Only 4,298 1970 LS5 Chevelles were built, and this is certainly one of the nicest unrestored cars out there. With the amount of documentation provided, this car will certainly be quite the addition to someone’s collection. I would almost be afraid to drive it, but truth be told I don’t think I would be able to resist. What would you do?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Robbin

    I think you meant to say: “the LS6 is the holy grail…”

    Like 1
    • JamestownMike

      This car is a 360 hp LS5 454. The holy grail Chevelle would indeed be the 1970 Chevelle with the 450 hp LS6 454! By the way, you couldn’t order A/C in the 1970 LS6 optioned Chevelle.

      Like 1
    • Eric Gerren

      Exactly

  2. Car Guy

    I never was a fan of the metallic army green that all these cars seem to be painted back in the day. Adding the white Rally Stripes really helped the look of this one.

    However, I do like the green interior. i guess it’s because no one really offers much more tha black, gray, tan and on rare occasion red these days.

    Like 1
  3. Mike

    A lot of surface rust underneath, and the mufflers look blown out in one of the pictures.

    • BOB DUDEK

      This was MY car from 79 to 83.

      That’s not rust. The original owner from VA sprayed a red anti rust used on Navy ships..

      I added the Stripes and GM new cowl hood with OEM parts.
      Extemly strong running survivor babied since new…. I talked to the current owner in Texas to confirm history etc.

      You don’t want to know what She paid for it.

      I miss this beast big time.

      Like 3
    • Idiot Boy

      It’s amazing to find this car with its original exhaust – although it doesn’t have its resonators – as factory pipes rusted out in no time. This car must sound totally awesome. A seasoned factory exhaust is holy grail stuff. I wish my 34K SS had its thrashed factory exhaust vs the excellent Gardner system installed previous to my ownership, but at least the NOS GM tips are already rusting severely from the inside out just as God intended. They’re supposed to be holy and they spit out little shards of rusted metal whenever I start up the car just like the old days! Whoever gets this car should definitely reclaim, clean up and reinstall the factory gas tank and leave the exhaust alone.

      And all those big money guys paying six figures for restorations with horrid “close enough to factory” interior trim, etc. should look closely at the interior pics of this car – color, texture, pleating and so on. This is what an original extra cost all vinyl bench seat interior looks like.

      Like 1
      • BOB DUDEK

        Thank you for comments.!

        This was my Weekend ride for years with an occasional blast down Raceway Park NJ 1/4 mile. High 13s 101 mph on G60 radials!.. From a 15 roll it smoked the tires through 3rd gear..

        It has a M22 rock crusher 4sp. Loved the sound of the trans!

        Like 1
      • Idiot Boy

        It’s a beautiful car, Bob. Fortunate to have been so well taken care of by all of its owners.

        I love the rock crusher, too. There was a woman in my neighborhood when I was a kid who had a ’71 SS 454 M22 and when I heard that car coming I’d just drop everything and stand there reverently watching it pass by. She helped ignite a life long passion in me for these cars.

        Like 1
  4. Pappy

    Wasn’t there an LS7 (450 hp) 454 or was that the LS6? I know there was one more highly powered/rare than the LS5 though.

    • JamestownMike

      Your thinking the LS6. The LS7 never made it into the 1970 Chevelle.

      • Steve R

        The LS7 never made it into any production car. It was solely over the counter.

        Steve R

      • BOB DUDEK

        I bought a (new) open chambered LS 7 long block for my 66 SS Chevelle. Ran high 10s on 10″ slicks automatic and 850 Holley.

  5. Kent

    I was not aware the SS came in any configuration other than buckets, but, I guess back in the day one could order a car anyway they wanted. Sweet machine…

    • JamestownMike

      Bucket seats weren’t part of the SS package. It came with a bench seat but you could order buckets if you wanted. Actually, most SS Chevelles were bench seat cars.

      • ChevyTruckGuy

        Not only were the bucket seats an option, the center console was, too. So you could order the bucket seats, but didn’t have to take the console.

    • BOB DUDEK

      My obsession for too long.. This exact car.. I never thought I’d see again!..
      Especially at 75 grand!!

  6. Doug Towsley

    My grandfather had a Chevy with that same interior, wasnt a chevelle though, but fond memories of riding in the back seat. Cool car, but too nice to drive.

  7. Dan

    I had 2 LS6’s…..bench seat auto on the column….paperwork…..no 4 speed took the fun out….geez…

  8. 68 custom

    with no 4 speed all you had too do was stab and steer! nice car and I bet it will fetch the asking price.

  9. Tim Chetwynd

    While the LS6 was more desirable the made fewer LS5s so it’s a rarer car

  10. geomechs geomechs Member

    That does look original. I laugh at the number of guys who insist that their car is 100% original yet they manage to get a set of headers in there instead of the high-flow manifolds. I just came back for a major gearhead blast over three days. I saw half a dozen ’70 Chevelle SS 454s, all of them running headers. I asked one of the guys why he ran headers and he couldn’t give me a good answer except that he bought the car with them–but it was still original. Call me a troublemaker if you like but I tend to avoid headers. Unless you’re running the car on the strip all the time they’re completely redundant; you never get the benefit of having them. But you do get the benefit of a super heated engine bay and burned off spark plug wires, even those that are designed for high temperatures.

    • Whaddacrock

      Two words for you: ceramic coated….

    • Bob Dudek

      Back in the 70s we had no idea what the future held.. So the mods on those muscle cars went unabated.. They were sub $5000 cars remember..

      + When we were at 195 dollar a week salaries…!

  11. Doug Towsley

    Well, some people go to great lengths to recreate the factory chalk marks and grease pencil scribblings from the factory but I think thats way overkill. Headers have their use. I would not put them on a original car like this, but I install them on most of my 4 wheel vehicles and usually the first thing people do to a Motorcycle is update the exhaust.
    There is proven, tangible and documented power benefits from headers. I agree some are poorly crafted. My German friend who restomodded his BMW 2002 and a stickler for original German stuff happily installed a stainless high zoot set of headers on the 2002 and it was a happy occasion. The stock manifolds radiate heat like crazy (Lots of those 2002 vapor lock) and eliminates the tell tale heatshield that doesnt work, and rattles like crazy.
    But on my hot rod V8s,.. first thing i do is fit headers. I am a BIG fan of cramic barrier coatings and a header coated inside and out passes 80% of the heat OUT the pipes not radiant. I hate pipe wrap and destroys exhausts,, but ceramic coatings work and work well.
    As Werner said.. “When pulling off the freeway the stock manifolds are always glowing orange!, With the (Ceramic coated) header pipe NOTHING! I put my hand down there and still no heat!”

  12. Doug Towsley

    just saying..

  13. BOB DUDEK

    This was MY car from 79 to 83.

    That’s not rust. The original owner specifically ordered it after coming back from Vietnam.. He was from VA and sprayed a red anti rust coating on the undercarriage used on Navy ships..
    He checked the 454 box because he was confident that it would pull the AC better.

    I added the Stripes and GM new cowl hood with OEM parts.
    Extemly strong running survivor babied since new…. I talked to the current owner in Texas to confirm history etc.

    You don’t want to know what She paid for it.

    • AMX Brian

      So what happened to the original hood?

      • Bob Dudek

        Sold!!

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      That is awesome! It is super cool to hear from the mysterious second owner of this beautiful car. I’m glad you brought up the rust-colored undercoating, because I couldn’t quite figure out how it could have that much rust. I bet this car is a lot of fun!

    • Pete howe

      Does anyone know who bought this car or if it sold? I’m real interested in finding a legit LS5 4 spud car.

  14. Normsled

    The seller is Dennis Collins. How does he find these things?

  15. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Hello Bob Dudek and welcome to Barn Finds. Thank you for your input and I can sure see why you miss this beast. I am confident that someone will pull the trigger on this Chevelle soon.

  16. Brian

    Seriously, what is this car actually worth?

  17. BOB DUDEK

    Thanks for the memories..

    … It was gone.. I lost track of it..
    And then.. POOF!

    .. like a long lost first love (!) it reappears 2500 miles away!

  18. stillrunners lawrence Member

    So Bob you provided the documentation to the next owner ?

    • Robert DUDEK

      It never left the car, since day 1.

  19. Big Mike

    What a big price for an 1970 Chevelle SS, I would like it, but of the 4,298 1970 LS5 Chevelles built, I already own 1, so I think I will keep it. This was a frame up resto that I did, which included a full overhaul of the motor and tranny, total replacement of the interior, even had to replace the steering column because it was damaged, this was the last project that Dad and I did together so it has some special meaning to me, if you all can understand, we did it after he had official retired except for the little work he did in his old shop in behind their home, it is the pride and joy of my collection.

    Like 1
  20. Pa Tina

    IMO the best looking muscle car of the era.

    Like 1
    • Idiot Boy

      One of the best looking automobiles of all time, regardless of era.

      Like 1
  21. Mark

    Nice I like it!! Original radio, 4-speed, T-3 headlamps, original exhaust, and original papers and older pictures from back in the 1970’s!!

  22. Don H

    Think it looked better with out the stripes , it was at least not like every other ss

  23. sparkster

    Ok Bob I have read all the comments, how much did this beauty cost you back in the day ? As a kid growing up I would roll through the Chevy dealer in 1970 on my StingRay and read the windows stickers on these. Usually they were going for $3500 +/- depending on options.

    • Robert DUDEK

      Ill comment on that after the current owner sells it.
      I dont want anyone becoming nauseous !

  24. LAB3

    “The seller states that it covered only 100 miles during storage” Did a tornado move the building it was in? Crustural Dynamics in a siesmic hot zone? Levitation? Guess it could have been in a trailer…

  25. Doug Towsley

    Eats shoots leaves semantics

  26. Mike Peterson

    First car was a ’70 SS396. Mist Green Metallic with dark green interior and full vinyl roof. Factory Air, AM Radio, Power Steering, Power front Disc Brakes were only added options. Had the Bench Seat and Auto on the column. All SS’s had a “domed” SS hood, but the stripes/Cowl Induction were an option my car did NOT have. It was a true “sleeper”, and oh-so-much fun! Looked like the one in the attached picture…

    Like 1
  27. ROBERT J. DUDEK

    Still miss this car…
    But now I have to go to big block separation therapy.. 😢

  28. Jack Pruett Member

    Robert, I am glad you had many good memories of the 1970 SS Chevelle. I still have my fond memories of it too, since I was the original owner who ordered it very late in 1970. The new 1971’s were going to be detuned and I preferred the two headlights and rear end of the 70’s to the 71’s. Everyone has their opinion of what should have been ordered and I put a lot of thought into what to order back then. I tried to get as much as I could without going overboard. I ordered all the performance options that were considered necessary for this type car. Since “money doesn’t grow on trees like my grandmother said” I decided against the high priced buckets seats and the separate console which was sold as an option. I also rejected the high priced AM/FM radio options and opted for the rear seat speaker($15). FM radio was not popular at all in my city in1970 and there were only a few stations which had violin music. I also could live with the high priced electric windows then. I found the original handwritten order form several years ago and I think the cost was about $4343.

    I did order the positraction rear which was $42 which is a must-have option for this car. The dealer had a special sale on air conditioning then which would add $300. My dad wanted me to order it with air and I did knowing the car would be a little heavier. I took my dad’s advice on the air conditioning and decided at the dealer to add the 454 engine option which was only $59 more than the 396. That turned into a very good last minute decision as the 454 option is the more desirable model. I think the matching Forest Green vinyl interior was a $12 option then and quite a bargain. This interior in my opinion seems to be better looking than many I have seen in many restored chevelles with cloth interiors and strange color schemes. In 1970 it didn’t appear that all SS Chevelles came with cowl induction and stripes like most have now. The cowl induction and the stripes were two separate options which I considered expensive and not needed because I was trying to save money. I preferred the clean lines of the 1970’s without the stripes and still think this car is more attractive without them. That was Rustoleum Damp Proof Primer #769 that was hand painted on two-three Saturdays to the bottom parts of the chassis that didn’t have any factory undercoating. The car was never driven in the snow and taken out of regular use after 1973. It was too special and had to be preserved.

    The LS6 is no question a beast and the pinnacle as far as the 1970 Chevelles are concerned. I was going to drive my chevelle on the street and to work in traffic. I didn’t want the LS6 which idled at been 1,100 and 1,500 rpm with its 11.25 high compression ratio and more radical solid lifter cam. I optioned for the tamer version rated at 360 HP and the same LS5 engine in the Corvette is rated at 390 HP. The LS5 and LS5 both had 500 foot pounds of torque which were wonderful to drive with a four speed like the M-22 rock crusher. Mine was very responsive and you never had to drive it hard to feel all that power. Actually on the street with all the torque you didn’t need third gear and I would skip it a lot of times. I don’t ever remember the car cutting off when you started off. My wife tried to drive it one time and let the clutch out without giving it some gas and it moved forward jumping some, but it never cut off. She never got to drive it again.

    I think they might have replaced the original tailpipes and resonators on the car. The original system with resonators had a very good deep tone with out being too loud. It was quiet traveling at highway speeds and at low speeds the sweet sound of the M-22 would dominate takeoffs. You would have to drive it to appreciate how much fun it was to drive it.

    Like 3
  29. sluggo

    what a nice follow up!

  30. Robert DUDEK

    You’re the one that sold it to my brother-in-law and Mark as far as I know you lived in Virginia with this car is that correct?

  31. Jack Pruett Member

    Yes, I sold this chevelle to Mark in 1979. Mark flew down and inspected it at the VA airport and wanted it without driving it. When we left the airport for my house I remember Mark giving out a very loud yell.as he drove it through low gear for the first time.. Mark did not run the car and shifted to second before skipping third otherwise we would have been flying. He could feel the high horsepower and instant response of the car because by 1979 cars and trucks had become pretty weak and I think Mark may have commented on the vehicles being produced at that time. I think Mark might have said you can’t buy anything in 1979 with the performance of his old 1970 Chevelle and that was the reason for looking at this one. Mark also said the fact that the original Muncie shifter was still in the car told him I was not using it for racing. In 1979 the original two rear two tires were still on the car and I had replaced the front tires due to wear from alignment. I noticed that most of the SS Chevelles seem to have racked up very high mileage in the first three years they were driven so it is not surprising that many did not survive.

  32. Jack Pruett Member

    The picture of the car without the stripes is 40 plus years old and has faded
    somewhat and don’t represent the true color of the car. The older pictures make the car appear much darker than it really is.

    The car was a real sleeper without the stripes. It attracted a lot of attention in
    1979 as most of these cars seemed to have disappeared by that time. I am bias and still think it was much better looking without the stripes.

  33. Jack Pruett Member

    This 2014 picture of the car is closer to what it really looked like. Forest Green is a metallic color which made an attractive match to the optional vinyl interior.

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