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Potent Project: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 Convertible

The owner of this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Convertible has commenced the process of transforming an already powerful car into a fire-breathing monster. He has set the groundwork and secured some of the more desirable parts, leaving the finishing touches to the next owner. Once complete, this classic will command respect on the street. If that sounds like a winning combination, you will find the Chevelle located in Sacramento, California, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the BIN for this Convertible at $40,000, and it has generated enough interest that sixty-two people are currently watching the listing.

There’s a lot to unpack with this Chevelle, starting with the fact that it originally wore Champagne Gold Metallic paint. The owner focused on transforming this into a desirable SS 454 tribute vehicle and decided that a different color should grace its panels. Therefore, he selected Fathom Blue as the new shade. He has justified this choice due to the documentation that he currently holds. He has secured an original Build Sheet and Window Sticker for a genuine SS 454 Convertible, and his goal was to reproduce a tribute to the car as it appears on those documents. They indicate that the original SS rolled off the line with a Cowl Induction hood, and the owner includes one of these as part of the deal. The remaining panels look pretty straight, but the buyer does have some rust to tackle before applying a fresh coat of paint. The trunk pan and drop-offs are rotted, and replacements will need to be sourced. The owner has repaired the floors, but the lower cowl, rockers, lower front fenders, and rear wheelhouses will also require repair. While it isn’t visible in the photos, the seller indicates that both lower rear quarter panels have deteriorated to the point where he recommends replacement. The bows and mechanism for the power-top are present, and the Soft Ray tinted glass looks to be in good condition. This Chevelle looks pretty promising as a starting point for a project build.

When a project build is at this point, it is no surprise that it doesn’t have an interior fitted. The owner has many pieces, but this is another aspect of this build that will require the buyer’s attention to present at its best. A pair of correct 1970 bucket seats, a rear seat, SS door trims, and a gauge bezel minus the gauges are included. It isn’t clear what state these seats are in or whether they will require a re-trim. The owner has had a Trim Tag produced that matches the documentation, and if the buyer follows this faithfully, the interior will eventually be finished in Ivory vinyl. The steering column is correct for a Chevelle ordered with a floor shift, but it is not a tilt item as per the Build Sheet. If the buyer does follow the owner’s plans through to fruition, their shopping list will include a console, a clock, a genuine factory AM/FM radio, and a rear speaker.

Everything we have seen to this point has been the entree, and now we reach the moment where we need to discuss the main course. This Chevelle rolled off the production line with a 350ci V8, an automatic transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes. The owner had intended to create the most potent version of the Chevelle that the company offered in 1970. He used the Build Sheet and Window Sticker as the source of his inspiration. He has secured a four-bolt 454ci engine block of 1969 or 1970 vintage and a set of genuine LS6 cylinder heads. While he also has a correct aluminum intake, the buyer will need to obtain the rest of the mechanical components, including the engine internals. There is no transmission, so the buyer will need to source an M22 four-speed manual and a Posi rear end. With all of those components installed, this drop-top should churn out 450hp, which is enough for this Chevelle to storm the ¼ mile in 13.5 seconds.

If the buyer of this 1970 Chevelle Convertible completes the work started by the seller, they will own a car that offers a stunning blend of muscular good looks and incredible performance. It is not a classic that would suit somebody with a focus on originality, but for somebody seeking a tribute car at a fraction of the price of the real deal, it has to be tempting. With what you’ve seen, is this a classic that you might consider pursuing further?


  1. Avatar photo Arthell64

    I don’t get the purpose of “He has secured an original Build Sheet and Window Sticker for a genuine SS 454 Convertible” or the fake trim tag.
    Seems like the only thing left is to find a LS6 block deck it and stamp the vin # on it or find a CE block and fake some papers saying it was replaced under warranty. The current owner may be honest but the next owner may not be.

    Like 17
  2. Avatar photo JW454

    If you plan to put this one on your Christmas shopping list, the only way I can help you is to let you know the steering column in this car is for a floor shifted automatic. It will not work correctly for a floor shift standard transmission without a modification.
    This will be a stunning car in the new color combination when finished but, don’t be a faker for profit.

    Like 4
  3. Avatar photo AMCFAN

    So the guy has been using his credit card at 1-800 build a car catalog and assembling parts to turn this incomplete 350 Chevelle into a fantasy make believe 454 because……. he has documentation from another car??? WTF?

    Too many sentences with the word correct equal not original to the car. This is too much. Why not simply restore the car the way it originally …..Answer SS means mo money. Makes me proud to be an AMC fan.

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo Bick Banter

      IMHO, Radwood is the answer to what ails us. Fun cars from 1980-99 that are (for the most part) still affordable. That part of our hobby is growing rapidly, particularly with younger enthusiasts.

      This car just illustrates one major problem with popular and expensive late ’60s to early ’70s muscle cars. Given the high value of these things, there are certainly tons of carefully disguised clones out there. We see evidence of this with the “data plate auctions” which are sadly common. And this is not to mention cars which may have their original VIN and data plate, but are so full of Chinese restoration parts, they cannot be considered original anymore.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo AMCFAN

        Bick, You nailed it. My son is in his 20’s. He works/goes to school. No way could he own a muscle car. Even if it ran and he could work on it as he went. When I was his age I bought a Rebel Machine and drove it home (no kidding) for $250. Today in same condition is $15,000. $40,000 for a Chevelle tub needing everything full of parts is a joke. It in many areas in the US would buy a starter home.

        For him it’s a Honda Civic. He can buy running cars on what he makes. Parts are very cheap, He can drive it a week and a half on a tank of gas. He can go to the junkyards and network on FB and get parts. One of his Civics (he built) a turbo no spray was tuned making 422 at the wheel. Driving it puts a smile even on my face. It’s amazing driving it around normal then reving it up to 8000 rpm (VTEC YO) and all hell breaks loose.

        I see the handwriting. I have sold off most all my muscle collection. My son appreciates them but clearly not his thing. I don’t force them. His choice over a GM anything would always be a Javelin or AMX. With his permission I sold. Leaving them to him would only cause guilt so I made it easy. In their place I have built a small collection of imports.

        We travel and have fun in large groups with his friends. We attend several large import only shows about three times a year. Last summer there were over 4000 cars on the ground. Much bigger than a Grey guys event. No judging no trophies. Above all no 50’s music blaring.

        Drag racing, Drifting and people enjoying cars. No one getting brow beat for bad bodywork. Everyone is an equal. The way it should be.

        So next time at the cruse in it should be noted. Don’t turn away the guys in their tuner cars and not make them feel welcome. Most are a younger version of us with a different style of car.

        Like 11
  4. Avatar photo RED

    to much MONEY for a non ss 454 and no why its for sale

    Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Russ Ashley

    I definitely agree with AMCFan about the music blaring. Who needs a DJ with a list of fifties music and speakers turned up so loud that it almost makes it impossible to talk to anyone. Last year I arrived early at a show and parked in a great spot in the middle of town. Just before the advertised show start time they set up a tent, amplifier, huge speakers, with an announcer who kept hawking the vendors between the 50’s songs. I had to move to as far away as possible to get away from the noise and chatter. I have seldom had anyone at a cruise-in say anything good about the loud music that always seems to be standard at a car show. I was a teenager in the fifties and I still love that music, I just like to hear it at the time and volume level that I want.

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Nolan Brandsma

    Bick and AMC fan, you guys got it. I’m 15 years old, yes, into the ‘80s-90s era. Young people these days are into the cheap Japanese cars because they’re cheap, reliable, and fun to drive. Most of us aren’t into muscle cars because there’s no way we could afford even the worse projects, much less a quality driver. It’s the same with you guys and Ferraris. Sure, they’re cool, but there’s no way most of you could ever afford one.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Bick Banter

      If it makes you feel better, Baby Boomers have been pricing muscle cars out of even Generation X’s reach since the mid-1980s. It was nothing like now but they began to increase dramatically in value starting around 1984-85 or so, when the economy started taking off again and gas prices went drastically down as the Reagan era went into full swing. There was a brief time from the mid-1970s to early-1980s when they were affordable.

      This will soon come back to bite this segment of the hobby. Love the cars but would not invest this kind of coin into one now.

      Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Steve Courchesne

    Seeing prices like this just makes me not want to bother reading Barn Finds any longer. Some of us who had many Classic cars in our younger days and did not manage to keep one can not even entertain the buy in price for a project now that we are retired. A few more years and there will be no more fossil fuel allowed so everyone enjoy what you have while you can! A few more years and they will be static monuments to one of the best ers’a to have lived in. It was fun while it lasted!

    Like 2
  8. Avatar photo Rix86

    I have to agree with Molan people like berret Jackson and mecum have ruined it for his generation how can someone his age afford to buy and build an old muscle car with the prices skyrocketing for oem parts I can’t stand all these classic car parts crap made in China someone his age doesn’t stand a chance

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Danny

    If you really think the big oil companies are going to roll over for some battery operated car that will go around 250-400 miles max you either have no clue of economics or politics! Gasoline engines will be available for decades in the future! Different administrations come and go. However big money talks, and I have no doubt my muscle car collection will continue to motor ahead in the far future!decades

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Neil Achatz

    I don’t know what the center hump in the floor is from but it’s not from a chevelle. Why in he world would you spend time patching the floor when you can buy a 1 piece floor, install it and the floor would look perfect not all botched up

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo George Mattar

    Bick Banter makes great comments on his posts. Face it boomers, we are getting old and 20 somethings in Hondas can blow our muscle cars off the road. Gas may be available 15 years from now, but from what I DO NOT, see are our beloved old cars actually being driven, what is the point of owning one. I have a 50 year old Corvette. If the roads are dry, I drive it everywhere. It is a car. This seller claims the hard work is done. BS. He is getting rid of it because he doesn’t want to deal with it. So you give him 40 large for a total fake. Good luck getting it registered. Then you dump another 50K just to finish it. Then it is so nice it sits in your garage. Stupid.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Steve Courchesne

      I agree George 100%. I owned 3 C-2’s and a C-3, 9 Camaro’s, 3 of them 69’s and one A Z-11 PAce Car. Many others as well. They were always my daily drivers. They may not have been show pieces but I bought them to enjoy them which means driving them at every chance possible. We took my 69 Pacer from Ontario to Vancouver and put 10 k’s on it for Expo 86. Not a regret. These are the best of memories. $40K for a major mediocre project?!?!?!? Maybe we have shot ourselves in the foot promoting these average finds. One of my best purchases was a 69 rust free Camaro I bought in 1980 for $200! It was a 6 cyl car
      but I dropped in a strong running 350 one weekend and enjoyed the car for the whole summer. Cloned it as a Z-28 with cowl induction and factory rally’s and painted it blue with black stripes. Everyone loved the car!

      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Al

    Now I know why someone back home in NE said their GM & HD stamps are worth their weight in gold. And then some!

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo skibum2

    Hahahahahaa… move along here folks, nothing to see here….

    Like 0

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