Rolling Restoration Project: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396

This 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 is a car that is in need of a lot of TLC, but it is also a car that has generated its fair share of interest since it was listed for sale. Located in Ridgefield, Washington, it is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the car has been quite spirited, with 9 people submitting a total of 46 bids so far. This has pushed things along to $7,000, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The first thing to consider with the Chevelle is the rust issues. The owner believes that the floors and underside of the car are fairly solid, with only minimal rust. When you look at the photo of the engine bay, you will see some pretty significant rust in the cowl. The owner does have a good secondhand replacement for this. There is also some rust around the rear window opening, while the driver’s side quarter panel has enough to justify panel replacement.

Apart from a lack of carpet, the interior appears to be fairly complete. With no carpets to obstruct the view, you can see that the floors do look to be pretty good. The gauge cluster, complete with factory tachometer, is present, while the rest of the interior could be classed as serviceable as it is. Non-original items seem to be restricted to the dash housing, which was sourced from a 1972 model.

Sadly, this is not a numbers-matching car. In fact, the original engine and transmission are long gone, and the original 12-bolt rear end has been replaced by a 10-bolt unit. The car was originally ordered with air conditioning and front power disc brakes. While the discs are still present, the brake calipers are also gone. The owner does have a partial build sheet verifying what this car was when new, but the next owner will be starting from scratch, as there also isn’t any wiring in the vehicle.

There’s no doubt that this Chevelle represents a lot of work for the next owner, but that doesn’t appear to be a prospect that deters some people. If it is returned to its original specifications, then it would be a pretty nice piece of equipment. It will be interesting to see if we have any of our readers who are willing to take it on.


  1. Joe

    It has a 72 dash

    Like 5
  2. Hans

    Nice color combo – Cortez Silver/Black Stripes. And has AC with a big block – which makes for a great summer cruiser. However, while it has the partial build sheet that lists 396 – 350hp, it appears to be missing the VIN on the build sheet, so can’t really confirm it came out of that car. And without the original engine/trans/rear-end, really hard to prove it was originally an SS 396 Chevelle….so how much is someone willing to spend to restore this potentially nice ’70 SS396??

    Like 7
    • Boatman Member

      Way too much, apparently.

      Like 9
  3. Steve R

    This was probably a parts car at one time and was stripped of anything with value.

    -The seller didn’t title the car in his name and essentially says it’s up to the next owner to deal with it themselves.

    -It has a 1972 dash

    -The build sheet doesn’t have a VIN number, so it offers no proof.

    -The original engine, transmission and 12 bolt rear end are gone.

    -It has extensive rust.

    -The bidding is at $7,000 and the reserve hast been met.

    It seems like a bargain, after all, what could go wrong. It’s an SS just because the seller says it is. It should also be a piece of cake to register, after it has passed through an unknown number of owners, none of which saw fit to go to the DMV and sort out it’s title.

    Steve R

    Like 17
    • Mike

      Don’t be such a downer Steve. Think positive thoughts like “I don’t have to bid on this” or “let someone else get in over their head”.

      Like 9
      • Steve R

        My positive thought is, I’m a value shopper. I’d rather have a 6 cylinder or 307 Chevelle with faded original paint than this car, those are a blank canvas which sometimes can be found at reasonable prices.

        The problem is, I have several friends that have bought cars like this one because they are enticed by a relatively low entry price for what they consider to be a real SS and let the “deal” overwhelm their decision making process. It’s part of the learning curve, everybodys made them, except nowadays lapses in judgement cost many thousands of dollars more than they used to.

        Steve R

        Like 16
  4. Scott C

    Once the original drivetrain is gone it’s a Chevelle body. Period.

    Like 7
  5. don

    And to think we used to buy hulks like this for $50.00 or less to make stock cars out of !

    Like 6
    • MFerrell

      Or demolition derby cars! Yikes!!

      Like 3
  6. TimM

    $7000 and the reserve not met!!!
    Oh what a surprise!!!
    No numbers matching on this one!!

    Like 4
  7. Purple sky

    HUGE problem with these pre 1972 GM cars… No verifiable paperwork and missing numbers matching pieces. Next to impossible to prove what they were originally. Besides, if legit, she’s a 396 auto bench seat car. Not on the top of the list for Chevelle lovers, at least not for this much cash..

    Like 3
  8. Gaspumpchas

    Yea Timm- hard to believe, and the parts that are rusted are one humdinger to fix, not for the inexperienced, would even make a seasoned body man run for cover, good thing is its so much an hour to fix, write the checks/ Still trying to figure out what the redeeming features are here, this one has been stripped like a turkey carcass after thanks giving. Good luck to someone brave enough to take this on!!

    Like 1
  9. Chris M.

    Looks like a great start for a bracket race car. It’s way past the point of any sort of resto back to what it ‘might’ have been.

  10. PatrickM

    Are cars with no proof of claims really that valuable? Not out of this boy’s wallet. IF there was a power train, and IF there was documentation supporting claim, maybe….. Not really interested in this car. That’s as positive as I can get.

    Like 1
  11. Bodyman68

    Original drivetrain gone theres no value its as worthless as a 6cyl pg . In the north east rust is nothing and common , so its just more metal work . All depends on the wallet of the owner , and how good shop is . These cars are easy to hang panels on, like most cars its just time .

    Like 1
  12. George mattar

    Parts car. I have been through GM cowl and roof rust. $$$$$$$ Only a fool boys a base engine column shift car. It can be saved but not worth much done.

  13. Burn 'Em Up

    “Money Pit”.

  14. Del

    Another s-crap mobile

  15. James Martin

    But it’s a 70 chevelle! Woooooo! See 10 of them at every car show. Big deal. And for 7000 and reserve still not meet. No way Jose. People are to hooked on a name.

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