One-Owner Shed Find: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

There are a handful of cars that define the muscle car movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s and the 1970 Chevelle SS 396 is one of them. Hugely popular then with nearly 50,000 units sold new in 1970 alone, the SS 396 continues to be highly sought after today. This one appears to have been languishing in an open shed for a number of years and the seller wrestled it away from the original owner’s widow. It’s located now in Dothan, Alabama and available here on eBay where 16 bids are up to $10,100. And the reserve is still waiting to be met.

Chevrolet rolled out the Chevelle in 1964 as a competitor to Ford’s mid-size Fairlane. The car soldiered on across three generations of production from 1964-77. The Chevelle’s platform helped launch two other nameplates, the revived El Camino and the Monte Carlo. The most popular iteration of the car ran from 1968-72 and – in my humble opinion – the 1970 edition was the most attractive. Of the 634,000 Chevelle cars built that year, 49,000 of them were the SS 396, an impressive percentage of total production and a testament that muscle was still “in”. The SS 396 actually came with a 402 cubic inch V-8 (but still called a 396) that put out 350 horsepower, a “power dome” hood, enhanced suspension, and sport wheels. If this weren’t enough, you could opt for the 454 V-8.

This 1970 SS 396 was built in the GM plant in Atlanta, Georgia and found itself a home in Alabama. It was a well-equipped edition, with automatic transmission, factory A/C, power steering, power brakes and an AM/FM radio with 8-track player (shazam!). The car saw some 78,000 miles of use before coming to rest in this shed in 1982 where it was until recently. The seller tells us the car has its original Protecto-Plate, owner’s manual, dealer invoice and build sheet.

The body is about as good as you could hope after 38 years of shed life. The original color was code 78 Black Cherry, but the front clip and the rest of the car colors don’t match. Likely the car was in an accident and new sheet metal was required (perhaps that’s why it was taken off the road and then repairs got stalled). The grill is missing but the headlight extensions have survived. According to the seller, the car has solid quarter panels, doors and floors, but the front passenger fender has a bit of rust.

We’re told the interior is in good shape, but the seller’s photos don’t help much there. One of the door panels in not installed, but is in the trunk (also no pics). We’re told the dash looks good, so the sun didn’t have its way there. The car purports to have the original engine and tranny combination and neither have ever been out of the car. It does not run, but neither is the engine locked, either. 38 years of inactivity will be hard to come back from without a rebuild. The interweb suggests that $61,000 is the median value for a 1970 Chevelle SS 396. I’ve seen them go for much higher, but those were extremely nice examples.  What’s the ceiling on this car in its present condition?

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  1. TimM

    Looks like it’s been sitting in that hole for some time!! It is a factory A/C car but it certainly needs every nut and bolt address!! I would have some concerns about the frame sitting on the ground that long!! Seems to me that 10,100 is about where it should be!!

    Like 8
    • Micheal B

      I’ve owned 2 SS Chevelles, they are very excellent vehicles. After sitting as long, all suspension needs attention, along with all the other items. Very fun ride

  2. Troy s

    Almost thought that was a 350 at first, too early I guess.
    That SS hasn’t seen the road in a long time, I’ll take a guess and say since the late seventies (?) Kinda funny, only a little over 9000 SS 454 Chevelles were built that year yet they get most all the hype when it comes to the ’70 Chevelle. There are probably three times that many 454 Chevelles nowadays.

    Like 2
  3. Juan

    So how much for the 70 Chevelle

  4. Travis Wallace

    How much is this car plsese

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