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Dad’s 1970 Chevelle SS 396 Survivor


From Chad H – This is my father’s 1970 Chevelle SS396 4spd w/M22 Rock crusher transmission this car is a 100% original numbers matching with no paint or body work and with original interior. Found here in Michigan in a garage that was starting to fall down around the car. This is how the story went, the previous owner (dad is #3) drove by this car everyday on his way to work noticing the tail lights and bumper behind a half opened garage. Knowing the type of car it could possibly be he still drove by it several more months. One day he stopped in and asked the owner if he could look at the car and the guy said “sure but it’s my sons car that I purchased for him when he was serving overseas in the military but he now lives in Hawaii”. So he proceeded into the half falling down garage with dirt floors and found a once in the life time surprise…


Inside the garage he found this 1970 Chevelle 396 SS. Faded but all intact, he ended up purchasing the car as the son had lost interest and too many miles apart. After purchasing the car and cleaning, wet sanding and buffing this was the end result. This car went on to win 2 years in a row “Most Original Muscle Car” at the Detroit Auto show around 1984 & 1985. What an accomplishment! So one may ask how did my father end up with this car……..it’s simple. The owners wife was sick of car shows and wanted to pursue adventures on the Lakes of Michigan.


When my father purchased the car we had to take the entire package including full documentation from the order sheet to window sticker, bill of sale, all maintenance records in detail and many other great pieces of documentation. Also included was the letter the dad sent to his son overseas asking what car he would like to have for his return home, the reply letter back to dad asking for this exact car………except the son preferred a 454, however he gladly accepted the 396 power plant.


Also included was a trailer, Sun Diagnostic Center (6ft long) magazines, posters and all trophy’s and car show equipment (mirrors, door opening holders, signs and custom made flywheels with chrome pipe stands with Pistons on top for hanging the barrier chain around car when at shows. This was a whole package deal and to this day it’s hard to believe he owns this great piece of history. Please keep in mind we have added the newer rims and 17″ tires, however we do have the original equipment safely stored for its return to stock/original piece of history when the time comes. We’re not really sure what the “ole girl” is worth but would be interested in everyone’s thoughts??

P.s All interior accessories are 2 sided taped inside including lower gauge package under dash and tach. No unwanted holes in this car.


  1. David

    Pretty priceless. Getting all the paperwork from receipts etc….makes it worth more to me. If you ever do want to sell it have it appraised and tack on more because of the originality and paperwork.

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  2. JamestownMike

    I’d pay $20,000 CASH for it. Anyone else want to throw out a REAL cash offer?

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    • Russ

      To be honest he’d have to be out of his mind to take $20K for this car. This original, in this condition, it’s worth a LOT more than that.

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    Nice car, why no engine pics?

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  4. blindmarc

    Nice car. Couldn’t get a honest one like this for less than $25k.

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  5. jim s

    when your ready to sell this, put it back to stock. as stated above, get it appraised. then take the whole package to a highline auction house or put it on ebay with a reserve. i think this car will bring a lot of money. great story and find.

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  6. Ian

    I’m guessing +$50k .
    My neighbor has a 70 SS that went thru a ground up resto. All numbers matching. He told me his classic car insurance company appraised his at $80k

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  7. Fogline

    Not sure I have seen one unrestored with original paint at auction that is this nice. Add the documentation and it certainly seems like it could go for a nice sum. I would second over $50k for sure if it is as nice as it seems from the pictures. Since it seems like these are actually getting more than many Corvettes at auction these days restored, who knows. I would definitely look to get it to AZ for auction as it seems like that is where the money is for muscle cars.

    Of course, I want it, but would only be around 30k before my wife might kill me.

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  8. Dolphin Member

    Chad, these days original counts for a lot. Since your car is totally original and has won best in its category at a show, it would be a #2 car—better than a driver and a show winner, but not a perfect national show winner.

    The SCM Guide says a #2 1970 Chevelle SS 396 is valued at $35-$55K. But these values are sometimes out of date because the market moves so fast, so I looked in some recent SCM magazines.

    A near-perfect 1970 Chevelle SS 454 in #1-minus condition sold at Mecum’s Kissimmee auction this past January for $194,400.

    A near-perfect 1970 Chevelle SS 454 convertible in #1-minus condition sold at the Premier auction in Punta Gorda, Florida around early Spring this year for $132,68.

    A 1969 restored Chevelle SS 396 hardtop in #3 condition (some defects) sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction in April this year for $71,500.

    Those are the only comps I could find in a quick search, but I would say that your car would probably sell well at a big auction like Barrett-Jackson, and would probably bring at least as much as the ’69 above sold for, maybe more, if there were at least two people in the room who wanted it.

    And the way things are going, likely it will be worth more next year.

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  9. 1969Deuce

    I couldn’t afford it, but if I could, it would go out of my driveway sideways at least once.

    Then back on the trailer.


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  10. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    70s are more popular than 69s, this would go over $80k at BJ, probably more. Awesome car, I remember wanting a 70 SS 396 in early 80s, blue with black stripes, nice shape, guy wanted $2500.

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    • Russ

      In 1972 I had the chance to buy a mint 69 RoadRunner, 383 automatic, 24,000 miles, for $1500, from my brother’s best friend. Had the chance for a 69 Barracuda fastback 340 ‘S’ 4-speed for $900. Bought a ’66 Impala convertible from Georgia, zero rust, for $175 and sold it for $100 when I was afraid to bring home yet another car and needed money for something. Sigh.

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  11. OhU8one2

    I just wish it was a Pontiac. Still a very nice car overall. Great color’s.

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  12. krash

    …..mighty purdy ride…..

    great story!

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  13. gunningbar

    Its a great story…I hate to say this.. but I flinched as soon as I saw the wheels and tires.. just not right on this time capsule.

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    • Rocco Member

      I totally agree. Yuck!!!

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      • mkieffer

        Beauty is in the Eye of the beholder. I like the stock wheels to but that car looks great.

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    • Russ

      That car needs the original wheels on it. Period.

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  14. mkieffer

    What a great car. I love the look! The rims look great on it. The important thing is that you kept the original stuff. I have a 66 GTO and I have the original rims for it in the boxes that my Cragar came in

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  15. A.J.

    Get the wheels off as soon as you can. They ruin the story and hurt my eyes. The 454 comps are not relevant as they trade with a premium over the 396 cars – especially the LS6 engined ones. Otherwise, I think that 396 Chevelle’s trade often enough that you should be able to get a gauge on value.

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    • Dolphin Member

      Yes 454 comps aren’t *directly* relevant but still relevant if you’re an owner or a buyer.

      If I owned a 396 that I thought was worth a lot I would want to know what a 454 was worth. That’s because prices paid for top models lead, but as they get into the stratosphere they drag up the lesser models because most folks can’t afford the top models anymore. The result is that the top models show where the lesser models might go, eventually. This happens to collector cars a lot over the years, especially the best/most desirable, and where the top cars go might tell you whether you want to hold onto you lesser model car a bit longer.

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  16. mtshootist1

    I had a buddy in high school who got one of these brand new in 1969, with the 396, had a three speed on the floor, as I recall. We took it back to college one time, at night, on the interstate I was driving and running 120-130 mph, beating several Corvettes that tried to keep up. I ran this way for about 150 miles pretty much full out, listening to the 8 track play Steppenwolf. . A year or two later, he was coming around a curve by my dad;s farm, and flipped it end over end. He got out with bruises but no broken bones, It was a damn shame. There wasn’t a quarter panel roof, hood anything that wasn’t bent up.

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    • Russ

      Top speed on a ’69 SS396 was about 115 with typical equipment – top speed on a base Vette that year was 122. It’s hard to imagine a Corvette that couldn’t do over 115 – I still have a photo taken in my 69 Chevy wagon w/ 300hp 350 showing the speedo at 112 mph. And I had the A/C turned on.

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  17. Chad

    Guys as I mentioned before we have all the stock items for this car, tires, wheels etc. this was just a way to make it stand out from others when taking to fun car shows. A Chip Foose kind of look.

    I appreciate the input on value as my dad always argued its worth around $55k my 2 cents was 70-75k due to the original paint, build sheet, window sticker etc and history in writing from original owner and his son. There can only be a handful out there that’s still in their original work clothes and looking like this car. In my opinion it’s the originality that makes this car stand out from most. Not saying there are not any better just saying there are not many like this still in existence.

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  18. Blindmarc

    I’m with you chad.

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