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Real LS6: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

The great Jack Nicholson once famously asked, “What if this is as good as it gets?” That seems to be an appropriate question to ask about this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. Not only is it a rust-free classic that needs some cosmetic work, but it rolled off the production line with a storming LS6 V8 hiding under the hood. Now it needs the right person to grab hold of it and return it to its glorious best. The Chevelle is located in Cave Creek, Arizona, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has made it to $40,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

Black Cherry wasn’t the rarest color to grace the panels of a Chevelle in 1970, but only 13,350 cars wore it. This paint is pretty baked, and the Black vinyl top isn’t any better. However, this is an Arizona vehicle. That makes its external appearance no real surprise. The same dry heat that has destroyed the paint has paid dividends when it comes to the question of rust. To put it simply, there is none. The owner supplies photos of the floors and trunk, and apart from some dry surface corrosion, they are perfect. Looking around the panels, the story is consistent. Even the steel under the shredded vinyl top has managed to avoid the dreaded tin worm. Many of the badges and trim pieces have been removed from the Chevelle. It appears that most of these are now sitting in the trunk. The vehicle features tinted glass, and this looks to be in decent condition.

Okay, let’s get the bad news out of the way first. The Chevelle is not a numbers-matching car. Back in the 1970s, the original 454ci LS6 made one of those expensive noises that we all dread to hear from engines. However, the owner at that time replaced it with another genuine LS6. Hooked to the back of this is a Turbo 350 transmission, while a previous owner chose to install a 12-bolt rear end. The Chevelle also features power steering and power brakes. The LS6 is a monster of a motor and pumps out 450hp. That means that when it is in good health, this is a car capable of absolutely demolishing the ¼ mile in 13.7 seconds. Give it enough room, and it will wind its way to 139mph. That’s not hanging about in anyone’s book and is the reason why these Chevelles have become so legendary. The owner has got the engine running, and he says that it sounds nice. However, the SS is going to require a thorough check before it can be classed as roadworthy.

When you consider where the Chevelle has spent its life, the condition of the interior is a pleasant surprise. The owner claims that it is all original, which is pretty impressive. The upholstered surfaces need nothing, while the dash and console are in excellent condition. The pad is free from cracks, and the carpet has no significant wear or fading. There is a tach attached to the console. However, this is a GM product that could be bought over the counter at the dealership. This is the only aftermarket addition. Although the car isn’t loaded with luxury features, the original AM/FM radio is still in situ. That should relieve the boredom on those long journeys when you tire of the song being sung by that V8. What am I thinking? Who’d get tired of that?

The fact that this 1970 Chevelle SS is not numbers-matching has not deterred prospective owners bidding on the car. So far, there have been 46 bids submitted by 19 people. That’s some pretty intense action, and there is still time left on the listing. Given the fact that the most frantic bidding occurs during the closing minutes of these auctions, you have to wonder how high this one will go. Does anyone want to hazard a guess? More importantly, is anyone willing to bid?


  1. Avatar photo Pat L Member

    A Turbo 350 wouldn’t last too long behind an LS6. Double check the listing, I believe that it has a Turbo 400 in it.

    Like 35
    • Avatar photo Dan C

      I don’t believe tan LS6 ever came with a Turbo 350 behind it. Big blocks came with Turbo 400 transmissions.

      Like 13
    • Avatar photo BigBlocksRock

      If you build a TH 350 right it will more than hold its own.
      I have a injected BB 69 Nova that was drag raced back in the day. While its racing days are over & it has been rebuilt, since, never had any issues with it.

      Like 6
    • Avatar photo pete

      whoever wrote this article got 90% of it wrong
      go read the add
      and the seller has a no matching number car that probably doesnt have a build sheet so it mayas well be a clone

      Like 4
  2. Avatar photo Ike Onick

    “and apart from some dry surface corrosion” Help me out experts. Ain’t corrosion always corrosion? If I am not mistaken, it ain’t gonna get any better or heal itself. “Rust (corrosion) Never Sleeps”

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      Not all corrosion is created equally. True surface rust can be removed with a couple of passes of a Scotchbrite pad, think sunburned paint and associated “rust”. The problem is, dishonest sellers will call almost any rust that hasn’t yet created a visible hole through the sheet metal, surface rust.

      Steve R

      Like 13
  3. Avatar photo LandYacht

    I’m not a Chevy guy but nice find, but I’m kind of curious what’s that a Shelby I think parked next to it?

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo KNL

      Believe that is a Shelby parked next to it due to right rear window…

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo EricG

    It also should have had a 12 bolt in it. Not put in by previous owner. Either not well written or not an SS unless a build sheet is present

    Like 26
  5. Avatar photo doug

    Real deal with different engine, trans, and rear??

    Like 20
    • Avatar photo John

      And “unmolested” – LOL!

      Like 7
  6. Avatar photo Troy s

    The most notorious Chevelle, a 4 speed LS6 would make it the most notorious And desirable for some, actually many here. I dont know, sounds like this had more than engine problems at one time or another. Maybe that is the second 12 bolt rear end after the first got destroyed, same with the transmission which is wrong on this car. Turbo 350? Help us understand how that works on a long stroked big block Chevy on steroids.
    Not being a jerk here I am just really curious.
    Cool dark cherry paint color with the white stripes, black interior, tach seems low,
    and that’s a Shelby Mustang parked next to it in the garage, nice stash.

    Like 12
  7. Avatar photo Mr Dave

    I also saw the TH350, rather than TH400 transmission. Also, the previous owner put in a 12 bolt rear end? They are BORN WITH a TH400 AND a 12 bolt rear end. Also, how do we know it’s an LS6 454? I would need a build sheet, since the ORIGINAL ENGINE, TRANSMISSION, and REAR END are NOT in the car????? I also find it strange that it DOESN’T have a tachometer in the dash? Yes, it’s an awesome looking Chevelle, but it shouldn’t be called an LS6.

    Like 17
  8. Avatar photo mainlymuscle

    I set a Barret-Jackson record,when I sold my 1970 LS6 El Camino for $114k in 2018.The Elco was this same “Iridescent Black Cherry ” black top and interior ,and white stripes.I had mine for about 14 years,all the while casually looking for a matching coupe,and convertible.That would have been a cool trifecta !
    Lots of questions on this one,and they don’t bring the cash they once did,I think it’s fully priced now.

    Like 9
  9. Avatar photo David M. Sawdey

    I’d rather have the 66 Hertz Shelby parked next to it.

    Like 4
  10. Avatar photo Tom71mustangs Member

    I’d like to know if the Mustang Fastback is a Shelby Hertz Clone or not…

    Like 2
  11. Avatar photo Troy s

    The ad cleared some of the questions up about the driveline I’d brought up earlier. There is no reference to it having a turbo350 transmission ever, turbo 400 as expected but most like not the original one and the seller believes it was changed when the 454 was replaced in the early eighties. A bullet proof 12 bolt rear end was built and installed in this car in the seventies with 3.73 gears, the car originally had 4.10 gearing, which must’ve been lots of fun on street tires,
    There’s a lot of history about this car, even having been in Canada for a while, originally owned by a GM exec and there’s reference to it being a test car back when new.
    It goes on and on and makes for an interesting story. One things for certain, those old rear tires are melt down specials behind the four fifty four.

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo TruckeeMtnFords

    Neither the seller or writer of of this article can seem to get their information right. Turbo 400 listed in the Ebay ad, unmolested dash he says but it shows two big holes to the right of the AM Radio (not AM/FM as stated), looks like holes that would have held a mic clip (CB). Says he has paperwork to back up his claims but something does not make sense.

    Like 5
  13. Avatar photo martinsane

    I know i said it before but price the car not the mythos.
    What it used to be or was can never be again, so really who cares.
    Right now its a backyard resto mod in need of a full restoration and after you hemorrhage money to restore you’ll be forever upside down.

    Like 8
  14. Avatar photo Chas358

    Back in the day a friend of mine had a black with white stripes automatic car. He bought it new. With headers, tires, and a tune it went 11.21.


    Like 5
  15. Avatar photo John

    A flippers dream!

    Like 0
  16. Avatar photo David G

    One of only a few SS Chevelles I have seen without the factory full instrumentation, and the only SS 454 car I have seen without it. Great cars.

    Like 2
  17. Avatar photo john hugh

    40 K buy a 3 condition car for that with the right trans….way to much money

    Like 3
  18. Avatar photo george mattar

    Real LS6 cars are not rare. I hate that word. More than 4,400 were made, but truth be told, you better get bullet proof paperwork. Many fakes out there. These cars were $100,000 years ago, now they struggle to $70,000, except for near perfect “real” ones. Nice car, but anything past the price now at $42,000 is too much for non original engine and trans. The vinyl top kills it for me. Rust always under them. At least the seller is coming clean about the car’s shortfalls.

    Like 4
  19. Avatar photo Steve Bush Member

    Bid to $42,100.00 at 6 pm cdt. Reserve not met. There were 50 bids.

    Like 0
  20. Avatar photo Jack Member

    The 1970 Chevelle gauge package included a tachometer, water temperature and ammeter. The clock was a separate option. The LS6 would have had the higher RPM tach. The LS5s had the lower RPM ones.

    The Turbo 350 was shorter than the Turbo 400. My friend used a Turbo 350 in our Blazer that we raced in the mud bog. We replaced every aftermarket transmission part that was available in1993. We never had any trouble with the transmission, but tore the 12 bolt out on the first run and had to go to a 14 bolt rear which solved that problem. The Turbo 350 seemed to live up to its name as having very fast shifts after we put in the shift kit with those rubber balls. Driving around at low speed the transmission would jerk your neck sometimes. It felt like the transmission was slamming the gears in a four speed when it shifted. The owner of a transmission shop told me the Turbo 350 might have been an underrated transmission and you could do a lot with them that you couldn’t with a Turbo 400.

    Like 2
  21. Avatar photo Moe

    LS6 would have boxed rear Control arms Heavy duty sway bars.. F-41?
    Full gauge package .
    My Thinkin.

    Like 2
  22. Avatar photo Jack Member

    Moe, I think the only difference between LS6 options and the LS5(Z15) options for 1970 were that you could get air conditioning on a LS5. Everything else between the two engines were identical except the horsepower. GM only had two choices of rears, the 3.31 and 4.11 for the SS454s. Except for the automatic, the M22 “rock crusher” 4 speed was the only transmission available with the SS454s. I have seen a 454 clone at a car show that listed the M21 on his side window not knowing it was never available in a SS454. The SS454 with the LS5 was a bargain at only $59 more than the SS396(402). The real bargain was the LS6 which was about $263 more than a standard SS396. You could get both 454s with the optional gauge package which was listed at $84.30. The optional clock was another $15.80. The LS6 had the 6500 redline tach in the gauge package.

    Like 4
  23. Avatar photo PRA4SNW

    Made it to $42,100 and didn’t meet reserve.

    Come on now!

    Like 0
  24. Avatar photo Johnny

    What I see is a way over priced car.That will take alot of work and money to bring it back to like new again. Then what do you have ? Rip the vinyln top off. Repair the HIDDEN RUST. Paint it,get it running everything checked over and fix everything that needs fixed and run it like it was made for. The hell out of it AGAIN. Everyone knows this car was ran hard. The guy doesn,t have to say it wasn,t molested. 2nd engine? 2nd rear-end ? I guess no one broke the back seat in either? The saler built the car up,but never said what all it needs. If he was a lawyer. He,d know if you wanted to PROVE SOMETHING–YOU HAVE TO SHOW PAPER WORK. Since he does not have it-its hear say and no good. The vinlyn roof and automatic transmission-turned me away. I like the old school–3 or 4 speed. Automatic,s are what women drive.

    Like 1

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