Cowl Induction: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

In the world of classic cars, there will be exceptions to every rule that you can imagine. Take this 1970 Chevelle SS 454 as a prime example. If I told you that it had spent its life in the drier climes of Texas, you would typically expect to find a car that potentially had some surface corrosion issues but was otherwise solid. However, if I turned around and told you that the location was a coastal city fronting onto the Gulf of Mexico, that is potentially a gamechanger. As you will see, this is a classic that needs plenty of TLC, and it will take a dedicated enthusiast to return this highly-optioned SS to its former glory. If you feel up to a challenge, you will find the Chevelle located in Austin, Texas, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has raced beyond the reserve and currently sits at $7,700.

A life spent on the Gulf has been pretty unkind to this Green Mist Chevelle. The combination of that paint shade and the optional stripes would’ve made this a car to turn heads in its heyday. It is now a shadow of its former self, and the rust that we see in the panels is the tip of a corrosion iceberg. It looks like there is also a good collection of problems with the floors and trunk pan, so I see plenty of cutting and welding in the future if this body is to be returned to a structurally sound state. The seller provides no information on the state of the frame, so hopefully, it has no significant problems. There’s no arguing that the buyer will be facing a full nut-and-bolt strip-down if the Chevelle is to become factory-fresh once again. I suspect that even the teardown will consume plenty of time and patience because more than a few seized bolts will require a light touch if they aren’t to snap along the way. On the positive side of the ledger, the original owner ordered the SS with a Cowl Induction hood, which appears to be intact.

Lifting the hood reveals that the original owner liked their cars to go hard and wasn’t afraid to spend some money to make this a reality. They ordered the SS with the LS5 version of the 454ci big-block V8 that would have produced an impressive 360hp. They chose to back this with a 3-speed Hydramatic transmission and a 3.31 Posi rear end while also equipping the car with power steering and power brakes. Pointed at a ¼ mile, the Chevelle would’ve blitzed it in 14.4 seconds. Sadly, that was long ago, and things have deteriorated significantly over the past fifty-one years. From a positive perspective, the owner claims that the car is numbers-matching. I noticed that the V8 wears aftermarket headers, but I can’t spot any other changes. There is no indication of whether the engine turns freely, but the sheer quantity of surface corrosion visible on the engine and ancillaries makes me slightly nervous. Given the potential value of this SS, if restored, I think that the buyer will need to resign themselves to the fact that this big-block will need a rebuild if it is to pump out those high horsepower figures once again.

When this Chevelle was shiny and new, its interior specifications were nearly as impressive as its drivetrain. The original owner picked up a pen and the Order Form and then went to town. This car featured bucket seats, a console, the AM/FM/8-track player, and the comfort of air conditioning. It seems that everything remains intact, but it’s also evident that it follows the familiar theme of requiring a total restoration. The bones are generally good, and with trim kits readily available, whipping the interior into shape has the potential to be the least expensive aspect of this restoration.

Now that you’ve had a chance to look at what this Chevelle SS 454 has to offer, I’m not going to insult your intelligence by saying that it represents an easy restoration. The truth is that it has some significant rust problems, and addressing these will take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. I’ve often said that virtually no car is beyond salvation, but it comes down to the question of whether such a project is financially viable. Restored to a high standard as a numbers-matching vehicle, there would be no reason why this SS couldn’t eventually command a value beyond $70,000. Whether it is worth the effort is something you would have to decide for yourself. However, with seventeen bids submitted at the time of writing, it appears that there are a few people who are willing to give it a shot. Would you?

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Comments

  1. Joe Machado

    Wait, it’s so rusty, it can’t be a cheeby, must be Charger.
    Nope, it’s a Chev, complete with rot, not just rust.

    Like 5
  2. Vance

    This car makes me sad and angry at the same time, what a waste. This car has been a classic for a long period of time. Why do people let it get into this condition, and then have the balls to ask 8 large for it? This is to everyone who has a Classic car in their possession and doesn’t care to even roll up the windows, please sell it, let it go. You had your fun, let somebody else love and care for it, You have your memories, let someone else create new ones. I have owned a Pinto, and I have owned Mark VII, I took great care of both of them. This car is too far gone, but you did get me with the Cowl Induction Photo, always one of my favorites.

    Like 21
    • Steve R

      The seller isn’t asking $8,000, it’s listed as an auction with an opening bid of $2,500. As for him letting deteriorate, he isn’t responsible for that either since he recently bought it.

      Steve R

      Like 10
    • James Kalka

      I agree with Vance. How could you let this car get to this stage of life!!! It’s a crime!!!

      Like 4
  3. Terrry

    “O return this car to the deep, so that the beautiful corals will have a place to rest.”

    Like 12
  4. 433jeff

    Hmmmm new Dynacorn or tiawan welded to 50 year old rust.

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      Dynacorn body’s aren’t suitable for restoration. A friend has a restoration shop and has been approached by customers wanting him to use a new of those body’s, he refuses and sends them on their way. There are differences in the substructure that are easily identifiable to knowledge enthusiasts during a thorough inspection. He said they are great for pro touring projects or race cars, but only a shop run by fools would open themselves up to potential legal action by being being associated with anyone using one of these in a restoration.

      Steve R

      Like 7
  5. Bick Banter

    Holy cow that thing is rusty. Why did they pull off the data plate?

    Like 2
  6. Vance

    My point is whoever has owned this car let it get to this condition. Not the current owner, but someone let this car get to the sorry place it is currently. It’s just a waste and it’s a shame.

    Like 2
    • Paul S

      Crush it !!!

  7. John temple

    Austin texas is nowhere near the gulf coast.

    Like 2
    • Brad

      Title picture says Port Lavaca.
      It’s salty down there, but I’m from Austin & I’ve never seen a classic rusted out this badly here.

      Like 4
  8. PaulG

    Apparently they left it out during hurricane season. An underwater car is pretty obvious to spot…

    Like 6
  9. Ike Onick

    Possibly saw use as a shrimp boat.

    Like 15
  10. Jeff Adema

    Look what we found after the waters retreated. You should of seen the clam that had this pearl….

    Like 4
  11. Chevelle SS

    :-(…..

    Like 1
  12. Gary Rhodes

    What A Turd

    Like 1
  13. local_sheriff

    OK, I realize a legit ’70 SS454 is on top of many car guys’ list… still I simply cannot comprehend the $ level this POS has reached + there are 9 bidders…

    Personally I would’ve much rather put another 20k on the table – which anyone is BOUND to spend on this one (at least) – and driven off with the ’70 GS from yesterday. The GS is both a better + lot more unique muscle car.

    I can only hope for the winning bidder that he/she has the skills and/or $ to pull this through

  14. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Gulf car. I wonder how many tropical storms and hurricanes this has seen

    Like 1
  15. hommerstang

    WOW!!! Who in wide, wide, world of sports would in there right mind bid on this gawd awful POS!!!

  16. Scott C Williams

    A life spent on the Gulf? or *in* the Gulf?

    Like 3
  17. Rex B Schaefer

    What a “roach”!

  18. Dennis

    Anyone remember the race driver Sam Posey ( I think ) doing a test drive around some track for a car mag ? I remember the writer stating, while fearing for his live, Sam calmly said look at his neat flap opening and closing on the cowl induction.

  19. RL

    It’s a VIN / Title purchase

    Like 3
  20. Jeff L.

    It’s truly amazing what some people will ask for what is essentially a pile of scrap metal.

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