Special Order: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

The upcoming auction in Schaumburg, Illinois, has unearthed some of the most desirable classics ever to grace American roads. They range from sports cars to foreign exotics, with a healthy helping of fantastic muscle cars. I must thank Barn Finder Larry D for using his superb classic radar to spot a few of these beauties for us. This one is a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 that the seller indicates was a Special Order. They provide no further details beyond holding two Build Sheets as confirmation. The overall condition of this car is virtually impossible to fault, and the big-block under the hood ensures it can rightfully carry the “muscle” tag. It is listed here at Mecum Auctions and is set to go under the hammer on Saturday, October 15th, as one of their star attractions.

Some classic cars barely cause a ripple, while others possess a definite “wow” factor. This Chevelle falls into the second category, and I believe it has done little work since a restoration in 2013. It is unclear how extensive the process was, but I suspect the SS probably spent time on a rotisserie. Its single-stage Glasurit Tuxedo Black paint looks deep enough to walk into, coating panels that are laser-straight and rust-free. The gaps are the tightest I’ve seen for a long time on a Chevelle, suggesting the restorer spent considerable time on the finer details in search of perfection. I have included some underside shots in the gallery at the bottom of this article, and you could eat off any component under this classic. The Black vinyl top is in as-new condition, with no signs of bubbles or other problems. The chrome and trim glitter, adding a striking contrast to a dark and almost sinister exterior. The Chevelle rolls on a spotless set of Magnum 500 wheels wrapped in period-correct Firestone Wide Oval tires.

I’ve kept you waiting long enough, so let’s pop the hood and find out what all the fuss is about. The original owner was firmly focused on purchasing a car with serious performance credentials, opting to slap down an additional $263.30 above the sticker price for the LS6 version of Chevrolet’s 454ci powerhouse. This big-block produces 450hp, feeding to a 4.10 12-bolt Posi rear end via a three-speed TH400 automatic transmission. While the steering doesn’t feature power assistance, front power disc brakes are a sensible choice in a muscle car of this type. How fast would it be? If a ¼-mile ET of 13.7 seconds doesn’t impress you enough, its ability to nudge 139mph might seal the deal. The seller indicates the vehicle is numbers-matching, coming with two Build Sheets verifying its specifications and authenticity. We receive no information on how it runs or drives, but the visual indications are positive.

The original owner’s focus on performance becomes apparent when we examine this classic’s interior. You’re right out of luck if you crave air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, bucket seats, or a console. The sole creature comfort is a pushbutton radio, but who needs that when you can listen to the big-block pounding out its particular form of hard rock? The interior trim is Metallic Medium Gold vinyl, offering a striking contrast to the Black exterior. There is no evidence of wear or other problems, reinforcing my belief the car has done no work since its restoration. It is perfect and would gain plenty of favorable looks and comments at a show or a Cars & Coffee.

This 1970 Chevelle SS 454 is a stunning vehicle suited to enthusiasts seeking perfection. Finding fault with its presentation and condition is virtually impossible, and I believe someone will need to pay dearly for the privilege of parking it in their garage. The bidding will undoubtedly head firmly into six-figure territory, but how far will depend on how determined the potential bidders are. Its overall condition and specifications suggest the final price may have a “2” in front of it, and even if it is too rich for your blood, watching the auction could prove entertaining.


  1. Big_Fun Member

    Interesting color combo. I met a Vietnam vet at a car show that ordered that interior color with the bench seat -and a Cranberry Red/black stripes exterior. The standard 396, and a 4 speed. I took pictures with a camera with film, that was a few years ago. The tan dash pad and matching painted surfaces, and the constrast with the black dash surround is something you don’t see very often. Something you don’t forget.
    In 1970, if you deleted the stripes, you didn’t get Cowl Induction. Always thought that was odd.

    Like 6
    • Nick P

      The stripe package was an option that you could order. If you got cowl induction, stripes were included automatically unless you specifically said no.

      Like 8
  2. Stan

    139mph top-end accurate ? Short gears ⚙️ and the 3spd hrdromatic.
    What a beautiful Chevrolet. Unreal.

    Like 10
    • TorinoSCJ69

      Beautful car and great write up.
      No 139 mph top speed.
      4.10 gearset puts the rpms at redline of 6,500 at 120 with that 3 spd auto.
      Even highway speeds would be miserable.
      What a legend and legacy to survive
      – I hope it pulls top dollar.

      Like 14
  3. Howard

    I was thinking the same thing. With 4:10 gears it would be running redline around 120mph. Maybe with low 3s or high 2’s would hit that speed.

    Like 2
  4. Ike Onick


    Like 3
  5. gbvette62

    I’m curious what makes this car a “Special Order”? While any 70 LS-6 Chevelle SS454 is special, I don’t see anything about this car that deviates from regular 70 Chevelle SS options or equipment.

    When a childhood friend of mine returned to California from his tour in Vietnam, he ordered a black on black, black vinyl top 4 speed 70 SS 454 LS-6 Chevelle. After his tour was up, he came back to NJ and use to love to show everyone the CARB emissions exemption sticker on the car. California had random road side emission testing, but since he wasn’t a California resident, he was able to order a car with 49 state emission equipment, which was exempted from the CA emission testing. He eventually took a job with a charter airline in Miami, and traded the LS-6 in on a new Datsun Z car. I was sick when he told me, I would have loved to have bought the SS from him. It was the fastest street car I ever road in.

    Another friend, that I met years later, also had a 70 LS-6 that he bought when he got back from Nam. His car was a gold 4 speed with a black interior and vinyl top. He was able to track the car down years later, it’s now on Long Island NY. but the current owner has no interest in selling it.

    Like 11
    • karl

      Every car Adam writes up he writes it up as a special order car. Even if its a base model , he’ll state ” the original owner ordered it with..”. I’m assuming he doesn’t know most cars sold are dealership lot purchases .

      Like 3
  6. Idiot Boy

    There was no Gold all vinyl offered in a Malibu Sport Coupe. It was 776 Gold Rivar cloth in a bench seat configuration as seen in the Classic White Penske sold LS6 featured here a month or three ago. 770 Saddle was the next closest thing in all vinyl. The Classic White/Gold car had 14K original miles and sold below $200K. This car has no business with a 2 in front of it if you’re hinting at the six figure range. The pancake flat and incorrect gold repro interior is a study in slapdash.

    Like 7
  7. 433jeff

    Mucho respect for any 70 chevelle, my ls6 was great. I agree with others, 4.10 rear runs out of gas before that mph. I prefer no vinal top Tuxedo black with white stripes, black interior or white interior ( im not sure which). Buckets no console. Definitely 4 speed. Cowl induction.

    Black cherry or cranberry with white stripes and white gut.

    Or aqua with black gut, i loved my 70 chevelles , but to me the 68 GTO just looked better.

    Like 3
  8. Greg Gustafson

    I always preferred the roofline style of the 70 and later Chevelles over the 68-69 models. Think how great that walk-in black paint would look sans the vinyl roof. I’m having a tough time buying the 139mph top speed. With the claimed 4.10 rear axle unless the engine can turn 9500 rpm.

    Like 7
  9. Michael DeRosa

    Beautiful car but bench seat, base steering wheel and auto will hold it back.

  10. Idiot Boy

    The steering wheel’s wrong, the door panels and seatcovers hail from Chengdu and the mismatched interior colors suggest the car might’ve began life with a Saddle interior which could easily be verified with a build sheet. The underhood presentation is much better and thankfully the restorer avoided the temptation of adding the popular for unknown reasons Ford “Caution Fan” sticker and plastic grating over the windshield flow-thru troughs. A highlight: it appears the trunk area is unrestored (credit where credit is due). Overall a very nice car but if you’re fortunate enough to be contemplating coughing up $100-300K for a ’70 Chevelle, the documented low-mile survivors are where the smart money’s at.

    Like 5
    • 19sixty5 Member

      Help me understand what is wrong about the steering wheel? The steering wheel is the standard-equipment wheel for the 1970 Chevelle’s including the SS. Optional was the 3 spoke NK1 wheel. I still have my original wheel and replaced it with a repro NK1.

      • Idiot Boy

        This is a 1969 wheel with the stadium (rounded rectangle) encircling the SS letters. The 1970 wheel features the SS emblem unadorned http://chevellestuff.net/1970/interiors/more/index.htm#ss_wheel

        Details matter, except when you’re trying to entice rich fools who don’t know any better to part with $200K. NK1 steering wheels were comparatively rare as original equipment, but the resto crowd can’t get enough of them thusly they flourish in 2022. Hopefully your repro wheel is USA Made at least; otherwise, put your Chakras in order and reinstall the rightful original. It is our responsibility to respect and preserve historical accuracy or those who come after won’t know ch!t from Shinola.

        Like 2
      • 19sixty5 Member

        Thanks Idiot Boy! This is why I asked, learn something new everyday!

        Like 2
      • Idiot Boy

        chevellestuff.net and yenko.net are two totally excellent old skool websites for the hardcore enthusiast and novice alike. A serious community of very cool, knowledgeable and giving people. Highly recommended.

        You’re welcome and God Bless, 19sixty5. Your username has me feeling a sudden strong urge to crank up some Rob Zombie Thunder Kiss ’65. Thanks…

        Like 2
      • 19sixty5 Member

        I do frequent both of the sites. I have a 70 Elco SS396, but the original engine is gone. Basically stock appearing, but with some minor mods, so I am not concerned with 100% originality. The 19sixty5 refers to my 65 GTO and my mid-engine 65 Corvair. I also have a 66 Corvair convertible that is in mid restoration into a nice stock appearing car. I’m pretty familiar with the Yenko site, but from the Stinger perspective. I have a couple friends with Stingers!

        Like 2
      • Idiot Boy

        Rite on. I have a ’70 L34 SS 396 M20 survivor Chevelle with 34K miles, disassembled ’73 Rally Sport 350 Camaro I’ve had since I was 15 that I took apart before half of the people alive today were born, an original 1994 Ford Lightning workhorse I bought secondhand with 4K miles as a young man, a dear and very well used unrestored 220K+ mile 1970 Buick Skylark Custom coupe, a time capsule 17K mile ’71 Pontiac GP, an 18K mile 2005 GTO 6MT bought new and an unusual non-air conditioned 1984 Mustang 5.0 GT CFI automatic bought new by my father but in less than stellar shape from sitting outside for decades. Corvair (and Kia!) Stingers are cool and the 1965 GTO is among my all-time favorites, but my stable seems to be somewhat overfilled at the moment. I would gladly live in a 700 sq ft house with a 2,000+ sq ft shop, but not too many others see it my way so such an arrangement is hard to come by. At any rate, appreciate all of my brothers who are keeping the faith.

        Like 3
  11. Desert Rat

    What a fantastic Chevelle, man it just doesn’t get much better than this bad boy. I struggle try to decide which body style I like the 66/67, 68/69 or 70/72, they all such great looking cars that I would love to have anyone. But when you see a 70 Chevelle SS well , there just isn’t a more muscular looking muscle. 70 wins

    Like 5
  12. Jack Pruett Member

    My 454 Chevelle had a different interior door. It had a double chrome strip on the door and a short vertical chrome strip in the middle of door. My side mirror was chrome and looked slightly different than the one in the Barn Finds picture.

    Like 3
    • Idiot Boy

      Yours was the real deal

      Like 3
  13. Michael Berkemeier

    139 mph, lol??? More like 113.9 mph before you blow the engine and it’s all over with.

  14. Jack Pruett Member

    My 454 Chevelle with the stock 3.31 gears and F70-14s was turning 3,000 RPM at 60 MPH and you knew it working by the sound when traveling 60 or more on the highway. A 4.10 gear might have been too much for the street or highway unless you were at the track. I did see several LS6s with automatics and the 4.10 gears on the dealer lots in 1970 that weren’t special ordered. Those LS6s were high option cars that all had cowl induction with the stripes. Back then I thought that was strange that the dealers would have a car with the 4.10 gear, but many people were into street racing and the drag strip. High performance cars with 4 speeds were what everyone seemed to want then. I used to check out the dealer lots in 1970 to see what options their Chevelles had before I ordered mine.

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