Rusty Real-Deal 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

Initial thoughts: this SS ran so fast it tore the metal off the front of the hood! Sadly that rust is merely an appetizer before the main course of metalwork this car needs. However, it is offered as a real SS 454 Chevelle, a vehicle topping many enthusiasts’ list of dream cars. The seller calls this 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 in Hollywood, Florida a “total project,” and that’s no joke. The original big block motor is gone, but the “built-up” date-correct replacement runs from a gas can. Bidders here on eBay can choose Make Offer or Buy It Now for $9900.

The listing does say the “cowl and roof” are “very nice,” so relax; only the rest of the metal needs attention. All joking aside, the frame and other areas are described as solid, but it will be a while before this car’s ready for bolt-ons of the 1-800-hot-rod variety.

While the engine “sounds nice,” there’s no way to determine its potency or reliability. Still a running engine beats one that’s seized or won’t fire. Power steering and power brakes suggest the original buyer had more than quarter-mile brawls in mind for this hard-hitting SS. Purists will hold out for the 1970 version with numbers-matching engine block, but when it comes to horsepower, the later rat motor can be built well beyond the 1970’s chart-topping 450 HP.

Originally silver with black stripes, this Chevy looks fine in red. The aftermarket tachometer and shift-light suggest the Chevy’s last driver enjoyed the smell of burning rubber, a phenomenon more likely to occur just *after* shipping than just before thanks to the bountiful torque.

The missing trunk floor highlights the 12-bolt rear and suspension. Traction bars suggest the car received more than an occasional goose of the throttle to show off. Strikes against this car’s comeback include the momentous metalwork required, non-original motor, and being one model year past the ultimate 1970. Potential buyers include hobby enthusiasts with plenty of skills and free time, and perhaps with a sentimental attachment to the ’71, and/or a child or grandchild eager to apprentice. Would you summon the Petroleum Priest to administer last rites, or call for the jumper cables and shock it back to life? How would you write the next chapter of this car’s story?

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  1. dave

    So is this another situation where it’s better to wait for a decent, already finished one?

  2. Bob S

    Deal of the week!! $10k for a vin tag!!!

    • Steve R

      That’s where the seller has a problem. Without matching numbers, POP, or some other form of factory paperwork which has stayed with the car since new there is no way to verify this car is a real SS, let alone an SS 454. The only person that buys into his story is someone that hasn’t bothered to spend 10 minutes doing research online. Most serious buyers will have done so.

      Steve R

    • mjf

      LOL, I was thinking the same thing…
      Does have a motor though…

    • Vince H

      Swapping VIN tags is illegal.

      • Bob S

        Only if you get caught! Unfortunately a lot of people do it, and it’s usually the buyer that ends up with the grief, or worse yet, loses the car.

  3. Joe Machado

    Get some cans of Rust Eze from the movie, Cars. Wait, a pickup load of it.
    Smear it all over. Car be Gone

    • Patrick Farmer

      How about some Flubber.

  4. Brent

    All this temple of FeO needs is someone who is a skilled mechanic / metal worker / paint and body man with a fully equipped shop / paint booth and a banker for a brother in law and it can be up in top notch shape in no time. With luck he would only lose 60 cents on the dollar.
    Or the seller could get realistic and sell it for a parts car.

    • SMDA

      New body shell from a clone company, better off that way. Why bother with something like this?

  5. Ryan Hilkemann

    Looks like a massive undertaking. Not for me, has to be lots of parts cars at the local junkyard.

    • Del

      Actually this car has 1700 parts found in various junk yards.

      If you can call it a CAR

  6. Ike Onick

    “Bidders here on eBay can choose Make Offer or Buy It Now for $9900.”

    Or they can select Option 3.

    • Del

      Yup. Ignore it

    • Johnny Demonic

      Option 3: Put it back out in the farm field.

  7. Andre

    Being a ’71 it simply isn’t worth the project. ’70? Maybe you could argue it, but that’s still quite a stretch.

    • pugsy

      What’s with everyone and the 70 Chevelle?
      It has an uglier face and arse than the 71.
      Square tail lights and quad headlights that just don’t look right.

  8. Chris M.


  9. Joe

    I’d rather have the blue one with the 250 listed earlier

  10. NovaTom

    $9900? Hmm …. let me go see what the bank says.

    • Howard A Member

      I’d be more interested in hearing what the (ex to be) wife might say,,,this is great, posted solely for entertainment value. Clearly these postings are all jokes,,THEY’RE NOT??? Good heavens,,it’s worse than I thought.

  11. Benjy58

    Ok after a tetanus shot and having to wear a mask so your friends wont make fun of you all you need is a boat load of money.

  12. Troy s

    Imagine this in silver with black stripes, no rust yet, hauling arse down the highway, or out in the middle of nowhere open headers blowing off some would be street racer, cruising down the strip blaring a Deep Purple tune, laughing and carrying on. Now look at it… what a waste of machinery!

  13. Poncho

    Sounded interesting until the $10k price. Too much. I’m out.

  14. Dave

    Too much work, this car is a money pit, and the original engine is gone! Better to pay a little more and have something decent…and not have so much money and time invested.

  15. Del

    This car is DYNOMITE !!!

    One stick should do it…..

  16. pacekid

    What a POS.

    Don’t think it was ever in a showroom as the thought is too depressing.

    I think it should be entered into a local figure 8 race and let it die with a modicum of dignity.

  17. jerry z

    Since the car is from Florida, drive it into the ocean and let it become an artificial reef.

  18. Patrick Farmer

    Where did they find this sparkling example of American industrial genius, in the Gulf of Mexico? Is the barn on the beach. It’s a shame really. I would rather be beat up, in public, by a nine year old girl than to have to deal with this car.

  19. Mikey8


  20. Gray Wolf

    SS junk car=SS chicken coop = SS or as we know as AA eggs!

  21. Harold Wood

    I Had one of those my first car when I came back from Nam,. Good think gas was still cheap back then cause it got 4 miles to the gallon. Top speed was only 95 MPH, but it sure got there quick. When that cowl induction opened up it had a wicked sound. You could literally see the gas gauge drop when you punched it too.

  22. Arthell64 Member

    Looks like a parts car to me.

  23. Gary K

    A Chevelle is a Chevelle don’t matter the year it’s the name to me

  24. v

    not even the cowl induction is left. why do some people get a fast car and think they can turn it into a gem by starting at a corner and grinding the metal till you see sparks. at least the trunk section looks like it was cut with a straight line. but i suppose thats not guaranteed. as far as OEM engine even these cars had a red line. there might be 500 OEM 454 cars left in the whole world. that leaves the pickings for the rest of us. do what most of the other flippers are doing . strip it all of any valuable parts , list on ebay said parts, and then sell the shell for 10,000.00 thats how its done…the master cylinder leaks dont touch the brake pedal

  25. v

    i think racers turn there tach so the needle is straight up for telling if the revs of the engine are hitting peak. notice this tachs straight up is at 10 grand. i dont even think chevys 454 were survivable at 10 grand. maybe im wrong. just a thought.

  26. v

    the shootout was at high noon . chevelles clock says 12:05 .. guess who won. also nice stereo hack job.

  27. G

    A Kansas City built “SS” without the L on the trim tag, I think that says it all.

    • pugsy

      For us unknowledgeable about this, can you fill us in?

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