454 V8! 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

The 1970 model year would be the first for the Chevy 454 big-block V8, replacing the 427. The LS5, producing 390 hp, would find its way into a quarter of all the Corvettes built that year, including the one here. This beautiful survivor finished in Daytona Yellow has had just three owners, with the first in possession for 44 years. It’s located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and available here on craigslist for $45,000. Thanks again, Pat L., for another great tip!

Two events happened in 1970 that had an impact on Corvette sales. First, the price tag for the base coupe crossed the $5,000 threshold for the first time, and second, there was a UAW strike that idled assembly lines for a bit. The result was that just 17,316 Corvettes were built in 1970, the lowest sales number for the car in eight years. The coupe accounted for just under a third of all production while the convertible comprised the rest. For $289.65 extra, buyers could opt for the LS5 454 V8 which ended up in 4,473 units that year.

This ’70 ‘Vette was purchased by a doctor in Ohio at the end of the 1970 season. He babied it for years and finally sold it in 2014. The second owner kept it six years or so, adding just 2,000 miles to the 64,000 already on the car. We’re told that Corvette’s drivetrain is numbers matching and the scenery under the hood looks practically clean enough to eat off (but don’t try this at home, kids). Everything is said to work as it should, including the automatic transmission and cold factory air conditioning.

The car presents well and living in a garage during much of its life has helped. The color is said to be correct, but the wording suggests a repaint, and the black custom interior looks spotless. Everything is said to be original and tidy for the driver’s comfort. The seller has done his research, so his asking price is close to what Hagerty estimates a ’73 Corvette with a 350 engine to be worth. The 454 should be worth a premium on top of that.


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  1. Steve R

    It’s nice, but the pricing is pretty aggressive when compared to the 69 427 Corvette featured earlier today.

    The original invoice shows the dealer gave the purchaser $2,500 trade in on a 68 Camaro, which seems like a lot if it were a 2 year old base model. It would have been interesting if they had included more information about that car.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  2. R Soul

    Sitting real high at the rear end. Need to bring that down some, or it’s going to cause premature wear on the universal joints. Especially with that engine driving them.

    Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      I bet overseas or consolidated parts are responsible for that.

  3. George Mattar

    454s are rare and this is the 390 hp version. Cannot argue with 44 year ownership. Not a fan of yellow, but this car is all around better than some new pile of computer crap. I had a 71 LS5 coupe 45 years ago. Sold it to help with college tuition. Now I enjoy my 73 coupe 4 speed. Someone is going to get a very nice car. 70 is a low production year due to then already overpaid union idiots striking.

    Like 3
  4. MFerrell

    That’s a really big engine in a really small car. Gotta love it!

    Like 3
  5. Bob_NM

    1970 Coupes are one of the lowest production number Corvettes.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      ’70 convertibles are even lower:
      The total number of 1970 Corvettes built totaled 17,316, with 6,648 being convertibles and 10,668 being coupes
      Definitely a big drop from ’69 when they made 38,762 Corvettes

      Also, convertibles were cheaper than coupes:
      $4,849 versus $5,192

  6. victor Sanchez

    In 1974 I bought a 1969 Corvette with a 427 390 hp, 4 spd silver with a black interior. I had a friend that had a 1970 454 390 hp well to make a long stoyr short I beat him pretty bad in the stoplight drags. The part that got bad was that he put his car up for sale and told everyone that I cheated // oh well I had fun with the car and I wish I still had it , I currently own a 2014 Laguna Blue Pace car replica and a 1969 numbers matching Camaro Z/28 , wish I was a young man again but I’m close to 70 years old. If anyone out there has a Muscle car or Corvette that might want to trade for my Z/28 write back , I’ve had both knees and hip replaced along with 7 back surgeries so driving it is a chore. Take care everyone

    Like 3
    • Ken

      In stock form the ’69 (base) 427 and the ’70 454 were very closely matched engines, so if, as you say, you beat him bad I would have to chalk that up to you having better driving skills than your friend or to the cars having different trans/rear combos.

      Like 1

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