Barn Find 1970 Corvette 454 V8 With A 4-Speed!

Just at first glance, you can tell that this barn find is something truly special! Under all that dust is a rare 454 V8 and 4-speed equipped Corvette. And if that doesn’t make it special enough, it’s been with the same family since new, has covered just 10k miles, and has been parked since 1973! It’s a genuine time capsule that will take you straight back to the horsepower wars of the late ’60s and early ’70s. The original owner’s nephew has decided that it’s time to part ways with it. You can find it in Catoosa, Oklahoma where it’s being auctioned off here on Mr. Ed’s Auction Company.

In 1970, Chevrolet decided to cram their massive 454 V8 into the Corvette, turning the already quick Vette into an absolute beast. Unfortunately, they didn’t build very many Corvettes in ’70, total production was down to just 17k for the whole year. Of those, most were equipped with some form of the 350 V8. While you could get a seriously impressive 370 horsepower LT1 350, if you wanted more power you had to step up to the 454. This powerplant was good for 390 horsepower in LS5 form.

Not only did this Corvette come optioned with the 454, but it also received air conditioning, which is honestly a must in these cars if you are going to drive them at all during the summer. I’m sure it will need to be serviced, but as long as the rubber bits haven’t failed, you might be able to just have it recharged. I recently had the R12 in one of my car’s recharged and while it wasn’t cheap it sure made driving it this summer more of a pleasure.

The good folks at Mr. Ed’s Auctions, sent us a bunch of additional photos, including plenty of close-ups of the engine block. If you are going to spend good money on a big block Corvette, you want to make sure you are getting what you are paying for. The engine numbers seem to check out, but you will want to do your homework before bidding.

It sure would be amazing to know why the original owner put so few miles on such an awesome car! Perhaps it was too much to handle as a daily driver? Or maybe they bought it just for nice weather driving and by ’73 they simply stopped getting it out in the summer? We may never know the fully story, but all that matters at this point is that it’s a low mileage survivor that appears to be in good condition.

Getting this Corvette back on the road will likely require a full service and it’s definitely going to need a full detail. Given how long it’s been parked, it’s hard to say what all it might need mechanically, but hopefully, it won’t need a full restoration. With any luck, you’ll be able to just change the fluids, do a full tune-up, replace consumables and hit the street!

There aren’t too many cars built in 1970 quite as striking as a Stingray with side-pipes! As much as I love Ferraris and other Italian classics, in some ways I think this Corvette seems more exotic. It has killer looks and the performance to match. And it will cost a fraction of the money to get and keep it on the road than a Ferrari or a Lamborghini!

You don’t have to be a Corvette fan to appreciate the significance of this find! It isn’t every day that you find a big block C3 parked in a barn, especially one with so few miles. I just hope the next owner sends us photos of it once they have it cleaned up and back on the road. So, will you be bidding on this amazing find?

  • Location: Catoosa, Oklahoma
  • Mileage: 10,547
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 194370S415192

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Well Wilburr, I will not be bidding. And you will need that AC. Those side pipes, as cool as they are scare me. Getting in and out of my 72 I need every inch of that sill to get in anymore. Great find Josh!

    7
    • Bob

      nice find, probably going to end up going for around 28,000

  2. Anthony in RI

    That green 52 Chevy in the background looks to be in really nice shape

    8
    • Doug

      That’s more interesting than the ‘Vette. Sure it’s not a 51?

      3
      • Anthony in RI

        The moulding on the rear fender identifies it as a 52. Trunk lid emblem as well. My Dad had a 52 from 1952 to 1968. I remember it well

        4
      • CliffG

        That is the color combo I had on my 1952 4 door, my first car in 1968. We bought it from the used car lot of Bednar Motors, a Rambler dealer in Bridgeport, CT, $300. We had to go to a transmission shop to find out that the “automatic” tranny did not shift itself. And, we found out later that PO probably never had it maintained well, it burned several exhaust valves, but fixed those and it held up well until the synthetic cam gear shredded.

    • Frank D Ciliberto

      Yes, those side pipes can be a problem entering and exiting. I owned a 1967 427ci and many of my passengers burned their legs on them.
      From the photos, it doesn’t seem to have been stored very well. Engine compartment and interior will need some attention to get her looking good…

      7
  3. rpol35 Staff

    ’70 was a short production year, Jan./Feb. to Jul. with only 17,316 copies produced. The previous year, ’69, was much longer (Aug. ’68 to Dec. ’69) so there were more than twice the number produced that year.

    While ’70 was the first year for the 454 CI engine, power was down compared to ’69 where the the high water mark was a 435 HP 427 CI engine. There was a 460 HP 454 (LS7) planned for ’70 but cold feet kept it from production; the ’70 sales brochure references it. 1971 saw a return to higher power, 425 HP, but it was short lived with few produced.

    6
    • OhU8one2

      I’m not buying the story that this Vette has only 10K miles. Too much wear and tear. Paint on the hood doesn’t match, and the ankle burners stick out too far. But what I do like is the fact that there is no luggage rack on the back. This car is going to need alot of work. Gaskets dry out, same with rubber and fluids all need changed. Brake calipers are done, along with battery, waterpump,etc. Make a mental list before you buy, auction hipe can get really crazy. Good luck to the new owner.

      21
      • Jack

        I knew a guy in college that disconnected his speedo cable off the transmission to keep the mileage down. He used his RPM to gauge speed.

        These low mileage claims are usual red flags. Best to check out yourself.

        6
      • Dirt Track Doug

        the ex-Chevy line mechanic ( 1968-1972) in me says whoa doggies! what’s with all the oil film all over the valve covers…-supposedly in 10,000 miles..? Yeah right…like what makes oil film ? crankcse blow-by…by compression leaking past the rings,…which did that with high RPM W.O.T. fun…that -some-body- done already had…
        (jus’ sayin’)

        I gotta nice bridge I’ll sell’ya alot cheeeper than that ‘vette… LoL!

        2
    • George Mattar

      Big blocks will command money. They look like Hooker side mounts. No factory side exhaust after 69s ugly heavy system. Why anyone would want that old truck over this is beyond me. In todays stupid traffic, you would get rear ended.

      2
    • Guardstang

      Funny how if some guy owns a 1970 Camaro they will call it a 70 1/2 but you never hear 1970 Corvette owners saying that. I’ve seen old ads listing the LS7 but it was only available in the parts dept. This car is cool, just don’t like those side exhaust sticking out.

      2
      • ruxvette

        I bought a 1970 Camaro in 2/70. My cousin bought a 1970 Vette at there same time. Camaros were called 70 1/2, Corvettes weren’t. I have no idea why.

        1
    • Novaman

      I agree with Doug. My dad has a 51 deluxe for the last 16 years .he just bought a 78 vette and wants to get rid of the 51.at every show and cruise people love that car.i luv vettes but they are a dime a dozen

  4. 71FXSuperGlide

    The 390 gross HP rating was the same as the prior ’68-69 427 with the single quadrajet, and you got additional torque on tap over the earlier cars. Although the SB LT1 was touted for better handling and balanced performance, the BB cars are a blast to drive.

    This car appears to have most of the correct equipment. Why anyone would let it sit so long – baffling.

    9
    • Redwagon

      Yes the small block LT1 was the car to get. In my mind most of those who took home the 454 were posers or uninformed. Now b4 you get all pissed off I am considering those who ordered their vette not bought it off the lot.

      The AC is needed and it’s weak. Oklahoma in the spring, summer, fall with weak AC and an engine prone to overheating? No thank you. That may be the reason it was parked.

      5
  5. jimjim

    Are the fender flares original? Those look bigger than factory.

    2
  6. Kevin Pfeiffer

    Looks like original tires and battery. So cool. Would love to own it.

    1
  7. MotorCoop Member

    I test drove one just like it in 1980 I got on it in 2nd gear around a corner and spun 360 it was one of the best amusement rides ever.

    5
  8. Jim

    Its going to need EVERYTHING…. everything is rotted, corroded, gummed up… this car was most definitely parked during the gas crunch…. I put my 427 Tri-power 69′ Vette up on blocks when I went overseas, I literally couldn’t afford to drive it then!

    17
  9. Air Boss

    Owner related to Gar Wood the famous boat builder and equipment designer. I wonder?

  10. DRV

    Who stores a perfectly good 10k mile car like this? For every minute spent doing correct storage a month of work could have been saved.
    There is rattle can black along the firewall and non original sidepipes. I don’t think anyone could put 110k miles on this in three years, so a mystery must be solved.

    1
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Who stores a 454 Vette in 73-74 regardless of the mileage? Anyone with a thirsty car that saw the advent of OPEC. I knew a guy that was single, had a good job and enough money to scratch his itch. He picked up virtually every Hemi car that came up at around 10 cents on the dollar and put them into a garage/shed he had. I suspect someone that saw the cost of gas going up by a factor of 2-5 or more when OPEC came about, gas guzzlers became very expensive to drive, assuming you could get enough gas to drive it. You could only buy gas certain days of the week and some places limited how much you could pump at any time. That pushed the econo-boxes to the forefront of consumer automobile purchases and gas guzzlers to the shed or used car lots.

      7
      • Chebby Member

        Bingo. 1973 was the Arab oil embargo and the end of good times for a long time for car enthusiasts. Not at all strange that someone would have parked this in ‘73, and five years later things hadn’t gotten any better and the most likely youthful owner was now in a new stage of adulthood, so it stayed parked. What is interesting is how it remained undiscovered this long.

        1
  11. Julian Mead

    Flares and exhaust non original, cover missing from distributor cap!

    4
    • Frank Sumatra

      Yep. No factory side pipes in 1970. 1969 last year for factory side pipes.

      4
  12. ruxvette

    I don’t know where everyone gets their information but the stock hood is on the car (how can anyone tell the paint doesn’t match?) and it shows an aftermarket “hi-rise” leaning against a wall. The flares are as it came from the factory, as is the “rattle can black” on the firewall. More pictures of the interior would be nice but what one can see looks nice.
    Being picky, the side-mount headers are obviously aftermarket, it is missing the ignition shielding, and the exhaust holes are still in the rear valance.
    The auction is at $14,000 but has 51 days to go! Wow.

    5
    • moosie moosie Member

      ruxvette, they are key board commandos that get off by being experts (in their own mind) on every car manufactured.

      2
  13. Stangalang

    My uncle had one of these in black 454 4speed..told me one day to get in and drive. Keep in mind that I was 16 years old just got my permit and was used to driving my dad’s old f100…I almost crapped my pants when I put it in first let out the clutch and floored that evil automotive monster!! I was smoking up what was left of the back tires and my uncle was laughing so hard he peed his pants…he still has that vette and it hasn’t been driven in probably 20 years

    17
    • Ike Onick

      That would be a very rare 1970 Corvette. No black in 1970 unless it was a Special Order “No Paint” and then painted black by the dealer..Has your uncle checked the trim tag? If it says “No Paint” I’ll give him $4200 for it.

      4
      • Redwagon

        Yes the small block LT1 was the car to get. In my mind most of those who took home the 454 were posers or uninformed. Now b4 you get all pissed off I am considering those who ordered their vette not bought it off the lot.

        The AC is needed and it’s weak. Oklahoma in the spring, summer, fall with weak AC and an engine prone to overheating? No thank you. That may be the reason it was parked.

        1
      • Stangalang

        Ike he didn’t buy it new it was a few years old when he got it..I guess it got a respray for some reason..seeing this one just brought back some great memories

  14. Ruxvette

    Auto-crossers, neither posers nor uninformed, bought the big block for the torque.

    2
  15. canadainmarkseh Member

    I’d rather have the green Chevy in the back ground.

    2
  16. gearjammer63

    Mr. Mortensen, could you e-mail me privately? I have a question and a comment that are not germaine to the subject here. Thanks.

  17. Bob McK Member

    10K miles? If that is true, they were really hard miles. Looks more like 110K miles to me.

    1
    • Frank D Ciliberto

      Yes, really hard miles, poor storage, and 0 maintenance… I don’t believe it’s a true 10K vehicle.

      1
  18. Skippy

    What the heck is “Mr Ed’s Auction Company?” Is it real or is it like these well thought out car-for-sale-cheap web sites that are actually a front for fraud? Why would anyone with a legit 10k Corvette choose to list their car on such an obscure website? Something very fishy about this one….

    4
  19. Desert rat

    Well for me I always prefer a big block over a small block any day , that’s why my 32 ford roadster has a 454 with a four speed, so to me he bought the vett just the way I would have back in the day, and as for that 51 or 52 ugly green Chevy in the back ground I can’t belive some of you guys think that looks more interesting than the corvette, oh well to each his own.

    3
  20. jimmy the orphan

    Ever drive a big block Corvette like this more than 10 miles with those stupid side pipes? I have. The guy parked it because he went deaf ! Who ever welded those pipes on there was on glue. I could weld better when 12. There’s nothing wrong with the fender wells BTW. Jim is right EVERYTHING ! on the car needs attention. This things a mess. Who can say why people do what they do with their cars. Maybe some people think that if you put a car under cover for 45 yrs. than go to sell it the thing well still start up and go like the day you shut it off. That’s dust on the hood. This car will bring big bucks. I’d have to fly back and look at it before I’d bid on it. There’s only a few C3’s I’d really want and this is not one of them. I don’t like big blocks much. It was a sad day when GM stopped making fuel injection in favor of cubic inches. But don’t get me wrong I love this car just because it is a Corvette ! and looks to me like its all most all there Ask the guy about the shielding. Hopefully its sitting in a box there somewhere. With some good old hard work this will clean up ok. good luck to the new owner !………………………………….JIMMY

    2
  21. TimM

    I like the car!! Great color and a big block with a 4 speed!! No doubt the coolant needs to be changed along with the gas and rebuilding the carburetor!! Oil is a must as well, plugs plug wires!! There’s a ton of work just to hear it run!! Side pipes got to go!!! Could be a great ride with some elbow grease!! Oh and by the way the vette is much more desirable to me than the green Chevy in the background!!!

    1
  22. victor Sanchez

    Well guys here we go I had a 1969 427 390 HP and the car was an absolute beast a friend of mine had a 1970 454 and one evening going down Central ave in Albuquerque we got it it on and I beat him by just a little, the strange thing my 69 was silver with black upholstery( with a luggage rack ) his was the twin silver with black. The cop that pulled us over was a car guy did not give us tickets he just said to keep it down. This car needs a ton of work but when finished should be nice

    3
  23. Dino

    The hood on the Corvette looks like a big block hood. The hood against the wall to me looks like an L88 hood??

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