Amazing Unrestored Survivor: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

While we featured some pretty astonishing cars over the past decade here at Barn Finds, occasionally, one will come along that stands out from the crowd. That is the case with this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396. You would be forgiven for thinking that it is a beautifully restored classic, but this is an original and unmolested survivor with a genuine 32,000 miles on the clock. It is hard to express in words how nice this SS is, although most of our readers will be aware of its desirability. The Chevelle is set to go to a new home, so the owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the owner has set a BIN of $79,900.

If ever a car had the “wow” factor, the Chevelle SS 396 fits that description. Chevrolet produced a vehicle that combined stylish lines with muscular good looks. That is certainly true of our feature car. It wears its original Autumn Gold paint with a Black vinyl top. The seller indicates that this car has never undergone any form of restoration and is as it left the showroom floor. It presents superbly, with a beautiful depth of color and shine and no evidence of significant flaws or defects. A close inspection will reveal some chips, especially on the hood’s leading edge. However, nothing would demand attention if the buyer wishes to retain the car’s original survivor status. The panels are as straight as you are ever likely to find on a vehicle of this type, with gaps that are tight and consistent. There is no evidence of rust anywhere on this Chevelle and no signs of bubbling under the vinyl that could be the harbinger of bad news. The original owner chose to spend $147.45 on a Cowl Induction hood. He was 1-of-28,888 buyers to do so in 1970, and it remains in excellent condition. The wheels and trim rings appear flawless, and the same is true of the Soft Ray tinted glass.

Lifting the hood reveals what separates an SS 396 from a bread-and-butter Chevelle. Our eyes feast upon the numbers-matching L34 version of Chevrolet’s fire-breathing 402ci big-block V8. This monster pumps out 350hp, which finds its way to the Posi rear end via a four-speed M20 manual transmission. Chevrolet offered more potent versions of the SS in this model year, but with this car capable of storming the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds, it was anything but slow. The vehicle remains original and unrestored, with the seller indicating that it has 32,000 genuine miles showing on its odometer. He doesn’t mention supporting evidence, but since this classic comes with its original Order Price Sheet, Owner’s Manual, and other documentation, I wouldn’t rule this out. Frustratingly, we received no information on how well this classic runs or drives. However, the seller encourages in-person inspections, which suggests that he has nothing to hide on that front.

Apart from a column-mounted Sun Tach, this Chevelle’s interior is as original as the rest of the vehicle. The original owner ordered this classic upholstered in a Black cloth and vinyl combination. The trim is in excellent condition for a car with more than five decades under its belt. The fabric exhibits some slight fading but no wear or physical damage. The dash and pad are spotless, as is the carpet. The faux woodgrain trim remains in good condition, with no lifting or other problems. The original Muncie shifter pokes invitingly out of the transmission tunnel, encouraging spirited driving that exploits this car’s performance potential. Apart from the cloth and vinyl trim, the original owner ordered this SS with an AM radio with an optional rear speaker. These remain intact, and everything inside this car works as it should.

While muscle cars disappeared from the new car market in the early 1970s, there were still enthusiasts that carried a torch for these classics. They have made a comeback in showrooms over the past fifteen years, but there’s no getting around the fact that the original cars that defined the genre are the most desirable. That is true for the 1970 Chevelle SS 396. Finding a good one today is like striking gold, and that’s what is available with this vehicle. It presents superbly and needs nothing beyond a new owner. Could you be that person?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member


    Like 27
    • Ike Onick

      What Bob said X10!

      Like 15
  2. George Mattar

    Wow is right. I went to Penn State in the late 70s. There was an Autumn Gold 70 Chevelle SS parked at one of the high rise apartment complexes in town. It was just a used 7 year old used car then. How times have changed.

    Like 8
  3. Stan

    Wow is right Bob
    This is a beauty big block 4sp. 3.31 rear gear. Off you go. Perfect set up.

    Like 9
  4. Tony Primo

    Cue all of the “that’s 132,000 miles”, in 3,2,1.

    Like 10
    • Rosko


      Like 4
    • jwzg

      The odometer numbers don’t line up.

      Like 1
  5. erik j

    That is amazing. Few to be found like this any more.

    Like 10
  6. TimS Member

    Worth a second look to me only because it’s not Requisite Red.

    Like 11
  7. Big Al

    I’ll take it !!!!!! Can anyone give me $80K ? Please

    Like 12
  8. Michael Berkemeier

    Awesome example of a truly nice car. I’m not a Chevy guy, but I’d love to own this one!

    Like 4
  9. Bud Lee

    I’d cheat on my wife with this car .

    Like 8
  10. trav66

    Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. This or the Torino SCJ posted the other day for $80,000? Oh, wait a minute, I don’t have $80k so I’ll stop worrying about it! Kidding aside, this is an extraordinary SS. Well worth the asking price, GLWTS.

    Like 1
  11. Mountainwoodie

    Admittedly stunning…………..but…but…..

    I’d be more interested in the cars backstory.

    Who owned it and how did it survive fifty plus years in this condition? How do dealers end up prying cars like this from the “original” owner? I would think an “original” owner could roll this across BJ and have all the gold chained fellas bidding it through the roof.

    Questions. Questions. It’s the internet after all.

    Like 4
  12. ChevelleSS

    Yes, it’s a beauty alright. I have to question a couple things though…. Like the wood grain on the steering wheel? Not on any Chevelle I’ve ever had/seen. Monte Carlo? Yep, but not a Chevelle. Then there’s the vertical trim bits on the center of the grill. Malibu, yes. SS, no. I can accept the trim under the headlight bezels because some had them, some didn’t.
    So yes, it’s a beauty but as they say, buyer beware!

    Like 1
    • Gray Wolf

      Had an SS we bought brand new, it had a woodgrain steering wheel.

      Like 2
    • Sam Shive

      Google shows some with the center trim on the grill. But that SS is BEAT AND PITTED BAD. Almost like the on I put on my 70 Impala. Lot’s of people liked my ONE OFF 70 SS Impala. But my initials are SS so I put them on the grill fenders and trunk lid. Just like the 69. You can make them what ever you want but they are only original once. LOOK IT OVER

      Like 1
    • 454RAT Member

      I’ve never, in my 65 years, heard of or seen a 70 with a factory wood wheel. I’m sure there is a story behind this one. The only way I would believe it to be original, would be to see the build sheet showing it. Not saying it couldn’t have happened, but ”show me”. I would love to know the story behind yours too, Gray Wolfe. You know what you had. I just wonder how it happened.

      • 454RAT Member

        I meant wood grain ”center”.

  13. Nova John

    If this was a car that was surrendered, due to a person’s sickness, passing, change of heart etc., how does it end up in the hands of a sheetmetal pimp? I would rather see it go to someone who will love it for its place in auto history, not someone who will profit on a cared for car like its a stock commodity. Old cars are to be treasured and it looks like someone treasured this one. What a doll! I hope like hell that it goes to someone who will carry on with its love and care, she looks like she deserves it. Sermon over ; )

    Like 1

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