Is this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 too far gone?

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When it was shiny and new, this Green Mist 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 would have been a handsome car. Time has not been kind to it, but its listing here on eBay has generated a reasonable amount of interest. At the time of writing, the listing has 90 people watching it. It makes you wonder whether one of those people is going to hit the BIN button at $4,500, and then wander over to Millen, Georgia, to collect their new toy.

I’m sure that none of you are going to be surprised to learn that the new owner of the Chevelle is going to have some rust to deal with. In fact, you should probably replace the word “some” with the phrase “a lot of.” There is plenty there, and it is in all of the usual places. As well as the floors and the trunk pan, there is rust in virtually every external panel on the car. In simple terms, while it is a restorable proposition, the new owner is faced with a lot of work to whip the body of this one back into shape.

Okay, so there isn’t much to say about the interior of the Chevelle, apart from the fact that it will require a full restoration. The passenger side bucket seat is missing, but it appears that everything else is present. I chose to include this photo less to give you an overview of the interior, and more to give you a true idea of the extent of the rust issues that the new owner will be dealing with. That is nothing short of horrific.

The news doesn’t get a lot better when you take a glance into the engine bay. The original 402ci V8 and 4-speed manual transmission are also gone, but at least the 12-bolt rear end and the 1¼” front sway bar are still there. The Chevelle also comes with front disc brakes, but the wheels that are currently fitted to the car don’t go with it. There will be a set of standard wheels fitted to the car for the next owner.

I am an optimist when it comes to project cars, but there are times when you also have to be a realist. There is no such thing as a car that is beyond help, given enough time and money. This Chevelle is going to require plenty of both of these before it even gets close to a road again. Would you take it on, or is this one car that is beyond help?

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  1. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    WOW!!Between this and the Super Bee Charger, “I feel the need-the need for…”

    a bottle of antidepressants!!

    Like 1
    • Jerry Brentnell

      hey I got a river bank that needs scrap cars to stop it from washing away this heap would be a good start!

      Like 0
  2. Arthell64

    Never seen the entire transmission hump rusted away. AMD is going to love this car.

    Like 1
    • J_PaulMember

      At first glance I actually thought that was bright green shag carpeting. And then I realized…

      Like 4
  3. Steve R

    It may be a real SS, however, the seller never mentions a build sheet or Protect-O-Plate, which means they likely don’t exist. Since the original engine and transmission are gone, there will be no way to document the car without one or both of those items. This means nobody will ever pay the $60,000-70,000 he says a restored SS’s can sell for. This will always be considered a clone by many potential buyers and it will be priced like one, $30,000-35,000 on a very good day, if the car is nearly perfect. I’d keep saving my money until I could find something better.

    Steve R

    Like 2
  4. J_PaulMember

    When the owner says “60% complete” in the ad, i think he meant to say “remains”.

    And even that is wildly optimistic.

    Like 1
  5. LARRY

    I’d rather have the super bee..and don’t want least it has a transmission tunnel

    Like 0
  6. grant

    I think the passenger side seat fell out. Good Lord.

    Like 0
  7. Do I Have to Tell you?

    Why do you have to become a member to like or dislike?
    (Good job barnfinds on adding a dislike button:D)

    Like 0
  8. LARRY

    And it doesn’t even come with the nice wheels..seriously!?

    Like 1
  9. Jwinters

    its odd to me that it seems there are more “SS” cars out there today than were ever made.

    Like 0
  10. Chris In Australia

    I thought “Mmm, it’s not that rusty” Until picture # 3. Just imagine what the rust we can’t see is like!

    Like 0
  11. Mike

    Well, the headlights on/off knob and the tach needle borh seem to be in decent shape.

    Like 0
  12. sir mike


    Like 0
  13. Fahrvergnugen FarhvergnugenMember

    Seriously? Calling this an SS 396 is like marrying a genius with a lobotomy. Sure, he HAD an IQ of 160 before surgery…

    Like 0
  14. karl

    Looks like another long time junkyard resident purchased by a flipper , eventually it will be purchased by someone who will pull the vin# , ID plates and some base Chevelle will be transformed into yet another SS

    Like 0
    • Steve R

      The VIN and ID plate, aka trim tag, do not help dentify an SS in 1970.

      Steve R

      Like 0
  15. slickb

    I would buy it just for that license plate cover

    Like 0
  16. P.L.

    Not a big Chevelle guy, but I thought a 136 was a Malibu and 138 was a Super Sport

    Like 1
  17. canadainmarkseh

    And here is what will ultimately happen to any one of these fabulous patina cars. Isn’t this just advanced patina? I noticed a second post today same car more or less. It has paint on it and is a jewel next this heap of patina. The one thing that is good about this scrapper is it shows that leaving them rusty is just a lack of maintenance. I’d think the best thing for this car is the crusher. If I brought a car like this home I’d be living in the garage with it. As for the wheels on the car if your sell this with differant wheels than put them on the car before you take the pic’s this Is miss leading advertising.

    Like 0
  18. TimM

    I guess WOW is the word on this one!!! Driven hard and put away wet!!! Really wet!!!

    Like 1
  19. JOHNMember

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an original SS car, many desirable cars were put out to pasture back when they really weren’t collectible. That being said, without the original drivetrain, this car isn’t anywhere near the value the owner claims when restored. Even the roof is rotted out at the drip rails, this car needs everything. Makes you wonder what shape the frame is in. This car doesn’t have factory gauges, and it appears to have the original AM radio. The section of a cut out floor tunnel provided has nothing to attach it to. I bet the cowl is rotted away also. The reason so many watchers is curiosity to see if the car sells… I don’t think there are any serious buyers.

    Like 1
  20. Kevin Oliver

    I’d like to know why everyone with a rusted SS and no engine or trans is worth so much

    Like 0
  21. Gordon Duncan

    The article mentions the original 402ci motor is missing, was the 396ci engine considered a 402ci by you experts or by GM?

    Like 0
    • ThisGuy

      The 396 was bored .030 over at the factory to meet emissions standards. But, I didn’t think that happened until 1971.

      Like 0
      • JOHNMember

        402 came out in 1970

        Like 0
  22. shanahan

    Probably the most valuable piece on this hulk would be the VIN tag.

    Like 0
  23. D Sludge

    Imagine fixing just the stuff needed to get it through inspection, and the face of the inspector when he realizes he has to let this corpse pass…

    Like 0

    Hello; 138 designation stopped with the 68’S, owning a real 69 SS Convertible with the build sheet found under the back sear bottom as I the second owner in 74! I have pro-tecto-plate in the owners manual too! have made a lot of men upset when Iv’e called them out on the differences that I found that they had a base chevelle and made it into a CLONE and most dont like it but I stand my ground with them even a hugger orange at last years MCACN show! they usually dont disspute that I found their flaws , and I dont tell them exactly everything I found wrong either! Any 69-72 can be cloned as the cowl tag or VIN has nothing to do with being a true SS 69 SS CONVT 350HP L-34 even has a RPO code of ZL-3! Keep finding more? YES GS is reall 14667 vin!

    Like 0
  25. Karl

    I might have been into this one BUT when I read the wheels are not included it completely destroyed the potential profit in this car!
    Ha Ha Ha!

    Like 1
  26. Striperon

    I had a ’72, candy apple red with white interior. My pride and joy, living in CT. It was a daily driver. Too soon the rust came through at the bottom of the rear window. Major disappointment. Mildew smell in the trunk. Sold it before it completely fell apart.

    Like 0
  27. Bodyman68

    That pantera can’t be saved but this is just another chevelle with more rust then usual. Not worth the time or money, parts only .

    Like 0
  28. Stevieg

    I actually strongly doubt this is a real SS. Wrong rear bumper, drivetrain missing, to me all evidence points to a Chevelle coupe, nothing more. It is a parts car at best.

    Like 0

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