Flintstone Muscle: 1970 Chevelle SS 396

Sitting since 1980, this 1970 Chevelle is said to be a real SS 396. Unfortunately, the original engine block is missing but there still seems to be enough left to make a decent project. For sale here on Hemmings in Lynchburg, Virginia for the asking price of $5,000. So why “Flintstone Muscle” in the title? Keep reading and you’ll see why.

Yep, that’s grass you can see through the floor pan, just like in Fred Flintstones’ car.  The ad has pictures of holes in front of the drivers seat and rear seat, so your passengers can help get it rolling. The seller also describes rust around the rear window. It’s apparent that the most difficult part of this project will be the extensive rust repair.

The body panels don’t look like they have suffered the same level of rot as the floors. Perhaps there were some leaky seals that contributed to water sitting in the low spots in the floor? I’m guessing since the engine was removed when the car was only ten years old, it probably suffered a major issue. The ad does say that the car comes with a carburetor and intake along with miscellaneous parts of the cooling system and other components. Hopefully they are the original equipment parts.

The interior looks pretty typical of a car that has sat for over thirty five years. It will need a full restoration, but there seems to be a lot of parts that can be refurbished instead of replaced. The best plan for the new owner may be to find a solid donor non-SS car or maybe a base Malibu to take parts from. If this car is really an SS 396, it deserves some effort to be saved.

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  1. Glenn

    Is there a motor and transmission for that car

  2. T-bone

    Whew! She better be a real SS, and I’ll just leave it at that. Best wishes to the buyer, these projects are fun and bittersweet at the same time, but always gratifying when it’s done!

  3. jaymes

    easy fix!

    • Nova Scotian

      …haaa..made me laugh! Easy fix, not really. Certainly not presentable.

  4. Steve

    My brother and I bought the twin to this car back in the mid eighties For $400. South Texas Gulf Coast weather rusted it to pieces. Same color. Original 396 also missing. I swapped the non cowl induction SS hood, disc brakes and gauge dash into my non SS 71 El Camino. Never got around to swapping the 12 bolt before I sold the EC and later sold it for $750. I stripped all the SS emblems as well, but didn’t put the on the SS. I still have them in my barn.

  5. Chris

    Just a Malibu without a buildsheet.

  6. Keith

    Salty dog ! Northern cars and salt in the winter don’t mix .

    • Tom Member

      Keith, where do you live that Virginia is a Northern state?

      I don’t know a lot about Virginia but it is, to the best of my knowledge, not a winter salt state like Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, etc……I don’t think I missed anything saying the car came from the Midwest either.

      This car was exposed to moisture for a looonngg time. Now that I think about it…probably under a tarp, as so many have pointed out in many articles as being the kiss of death, for a long time to protect it and turned it into a sauna instead!

  7. Dan

    It has the round SS gauges….and my favorite color, but you can buy a running driving car for what it would cost to fix this one….

  8. Steve R

    There is a good chance the car is a real SS, the problem is, if there is no build sheet no one can prove it is. Once restored it will look like every other clone.

    Steve R

  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    I always bristle when I see a car with the engine missing. Like it’s still supposed to have some significance. In a lot of restorations the biggest challenge is finding the proper motor.

  10. Jim

    Atlanta car. Check the passenger door panel for the build sheet. Has the right dash for an SS.

  11. Vin in NJ

    The rims on the right side are rusted, but not on the left. My guess is this car sat in water and the frame has as many holes as the floor

    • Tom Member

      I am with Vin. This type of rust is not in line with Virginia. additionally the interior panels have seen excessive moisture in how they are all distorted and shrunken.

      Were there are floorboards, the rust on the inside of the car is not common.
      I am in Chicago and even Midwest salt rusts and rots cars differently. Every body panel has rust and rot issues, that probablay means the rockers and structural are a soft rotted mess too.

      I don’t offen say this but t will take twice the amount to restore this one or more than it could ever be worth = not worth restoring.

      SS, AC Power brakes. That is about the end of the “well optioned” list, that is IF you can prove SS which it probably is. Automatic, bench seat on the column, green on green, no original motor = not good.

      $5K for a VIN and VERY few useable parts.

  12. Dt 1

    What a mess best just leave that car where it is

  13. ACZ

    Boat anchor.


    Great example of parking car on either dirt or gravel. Moisture comes up and eats the floor out.Hard to believe that his car was parked after only 10 years on the road.

  15. Walter Joy

    This would be something someone would dump money into and have an awesome cruiser. I want to hopefully do something like that with an AMC SC/Rambler I found that’s in similar condition to this, but with less floor

  16. Peppy

    The most tempting motorcycle resto mistake is a”bike in a basket”, the take apart project that gets abandoned. For cars it’s the bar find or backyard project. Best to appraise your goals without Rose colored glasses.

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