The Other SS: 1970 Monte Carlo 454 Super Sport

The more pedestrian Chevelle may capture more attention from the bow-tie faithful, but the upscale Monte Carlo, especially a highly-optioned specimen such as this 454 SS, has a lot to offer the potential buyer. Named and designed to elicit an image of luxury with European flair, the Monte Carlo inherits design cues from the Cadillac Eldorado, GM’s premier two-door luxury coupe. Monte Carlo advertising included images of the Chevy craned onto a yacht in Monaco, the capital of the car’s namesake nation. If you can picture yourself living the high life behind the wheel of this powerful high-rolling muscle car, why wait? It only takes one click to win this Connecticut classic offered on eBay with a Buy-It-Now price of $5500.

Some sellers describe their cars as “loaded” if they have power *anything*, but in addition to the 454 cubic inch big-block, Power Brakes, Power Windows and Air Conditioning, this car has more interesting options like Air Ride Leveler, Strato bucket seats, Power Trunk, Cruise Control, and more.

When was the last time you saw this badge at a car show? Chevrolet only sold about 3,800 SS Monte Carlos in ’70 and about 1900 in ’71 after which the SS Monte Carlo was discontinued (until the ’80s). One caveat:  this coupe has some of the longest doors ever made. If you’re not careful and let one of those babies swing open you could take out a family of five. The seller states “Fixed fuel gauge, secured tank and drove it to a local cruise night.” You won’t find many loaded running big-block coupes under $6,000. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. jeff

    Wow…… with this being a RARE find , that runs and drives ……… Seems well worth the $ 5500 in my opinion.

    • JamestownMike

      It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a SS454 Monte, especially one with SO many rare options! The “buy it now” has been reduced to $5,000 with 2 hours, 15 minutes left in the auction.

    • Jeff

      Absolutely definitely worth that kind of money and more

      • Steve R

        This was the 5th time it’s cycled through eBay in the last month. Potential buyers see enough problems to them from pulling the trigger.

        Steve R

  2. JamestownMike

    Highly optioned!……..including the see-thru trunk floor option.

    • Cardiff Giant

      Haha! True. This is about as rare as my 2017 SS will be in 50 years.

  3. JDJonesDR

    If I had a shop………..

  4. JC

    That’s a great deal, don’t see a whole bunch of these.

  5. Retired Stig

    If it runs, why was it not possible to pull it out of the garage and take some decent pictures? Love to have one of these, price is attractive, but no.

    • JamestownMike

      Because the light will reveal LOTS OF RUST!

  6. Gary

    I once knew a guy years ago that had a similar Monte Carlo (SS, highly optioned), but, it was a factory 4-speed SS. Yes, it was real, and to this date, I have never seen one again – anywhere. His was a 402 engine, but it’s still a big block. They also shared the console top plate & shifter handle & pedals with the Chevelle. If fact, the Monte Carlo sits on a Chevelle sourced frame. More chatter about such rarities here: http://www.chevelles.com/forums/60-whats-worth/468393-1970-monte-carlo-402-4-speed.html

    Like 1
    • JamestownMike

      WOW! Only 123 1970 Monte Carlos were made with a 402 big block and a 4 speed Muncie transmission. Talk about SUPER rare! GM never installed the 4 speed behind the 454. I didn’t know you could get a 4 speed in a 70-72 Monte!

      • Dan

        Yes. You could get the 4 speed in a Monte only in 1970 and ’71, but only with a small block or the 402 big block. I had a ’71 402 big block, 4 speed. It was one of 80 in ’71.

    • Jerry

      Wow, thats cool. I had a 1972 with that 402 motor ( fast;)automatic, bucket seats, center console, vinyl top, duel exhaust, fender skirts. Heard it was rare. Have never seen another like it

    • Greg

      Gary,

      Not trying to burst a bubble but the Monte SS’s built in 1970 and in 1971 were never equipped with a 4 speed manual. I wish they did…

      SS Monte Carlos were only equipped with a 454 Big Block, TH-400, Air Level in rear suspension under the Z20 option package.

      With that said, any 4 speed manual Monte Carlo is more rare than any SS built in 1970 and 1971. 4 speed manuals were sourced with 350 CI and 402 CI engines only.

      The rarest of the rare is a 1971 Monte Carlo 4 speed 402 Big Block with only 80 documented.

      They are an absolute blast to drive. I would highly recommend getting one if you see one for sale.

      Greg

      • KWT

        As near as I can tell, I have a 402 from a manual transmission 1971 Monte Carlo in my garage. CLA something or other stamped on the block. I pulled it from a k20 where it was obviously not original. It ran great when I yanked it 15 yrs ago.

  7. Patrick S newport pagnell Staff

    Just when you thought we’ve reached the bottom of the muscle car chip bag…

  8. Vin in NJ

    Bering a New England area car, I’d be weary of the rust issues that may be lurking underneath.

    Like 1
  9. redwagon

    favorite year mc combined with favorite transmission and a healthy dose of cubic inches what’s not to like?

    ah, the rust. as alluded to earlier make certain to check some vital spots underneath and know that you can or will do a crack ton of rust repair on this vehicle.

    at least it is not green on green. blue on black looks pretty sharp when finished.

  10. Dan

    I saw a black one in the 70’s that was black on black, 454 and yes a 4-speed…..and same gauge cluster as an SS chevelle, except with the wood grain…

    • Steve R

      No one has ever documented the existence of any factory built 4spd SS Monte Carlo’s. It’s an easy swap.

      Until one shows up with paperwork it should be considered a wives tale.

      Steve R

      • flmikey

        you are absolutely right…though, I am guessing there might be a few that were run through COPO….there may even be a few LS6’s out there…but like you said….paperwork is the key…

      • Dan

        When it comes to the 60’s and early ’70s…..never say never….I saw the black 454 SS in like 1972 (yes I’m old) and no one back then were doing the “clones” and all that stuff or repro emblems…..Real car, never touched….454-390 horse, and a 4-speed….only one I have ever seen….

    • Dan Janes

      All first gen Montes had the same dash as the Chevelle SS with the wood grain insert.

  11. sparkster

    Surprised not to see a factory tach

    • JamestownMike

      I agree!…….with all the options this one has, you’d think it would have the deluxe gauge package with factory tach and secondary gauges (with no dummy lights).

  12. JamestownMike

    Looks like there were NO takers at $5k. No surprise. With the non-matching numbers engine, all the rust and the overall condition of the car, I think it’s only worth $3k! What do you think it’s worth?

    • anthony nice

      Wow the person jc who bought this car is now trying to sell it to me for 14,500!! Never touched it as-is

  13. Dave Member

    Nice for sure. Too bad about missing the original mill. It could have possibly been an LS-6, but more likely an LS-5. My brother had a ’71 when we were growing up – same staple shifter, with a 350/350 combo. Cool car. Seems like everyone (and their brother) had a first-gen monte back then…

    • JamestownMike

      Original would of been an LS-5. The LS-6 never made it to the Monte.

      Like 1
  14. Mountainwoodie

    Man what a rust bucket. Apparently no one thought enough of this car to keep it from sitting outside in numerous winters. Till now. These Monte Carlos always struck me as the wheels for the young up and coming Mafia gunsel hoping to be a made man.

  15. CMARV

    I just sold this one : https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2012/11/1970–71-Chevrolet-Monte-Carlo-SS/3718581.html It brought a bit more than 4 times the price of this car , it took over 6 months to get it gone . Had it been a 70 SS 454 Chevelle it would have been a $70K car . I wouldn’t want to restore that car . You couldn’t get the SS Monte Carlo with a 4 speed , you could on a regular Monte Carlo with a 350 or 402 . The rocker emblems could be easily added . If you don’t have a build sheet or original order form you can’t prove the car is an SS . It is talked about in the above article .

  16. geezerglide85

    Back in the early ’70s I worked in gas station, one customer had a 1st gen. Monte Carlo (not sure what year) with a 350 and a 3 speed stick (three on the tree). Only one I ever saw. Too bad it was near beat to death then, i’m sure it is long gone.

  17. Tyler

    I always preferred these first gen Monte’s over the later ones. About 1980, as a high school student, I worked at a burger joint called Jacks. The assistant manager had a gold 1970 Monte Carlo SS big block 4 speed. It was pretty faded, with a black vinyl top & black interior. I remember being amazed at what I considered at the time to be a family car having a 4 speed. Also remember him saying the engine was a 396. Of course it was a 10 year old used car, so it could have been a rare original big block 4 speed, or a previous owner did a swap. It had rust in the quarters even then, so it probably ended up as razor blades.

  18. JC

    I had to buy it, I’ll let you guys know what it truly looks like (rust wise) when I get it. I’m gonna drive it as-is and burn the tires off it.

    Like 1
    • Todd F. Staff

      JC – that’s great. After I wrote this up I said to my wife “Man I’d totally buy that car if I didn’t have my Mustang laid up.” Good luck – would love to hear how it works out!

      • JC

        I actually almost didn’t buy it because I have 4 Mustangs in the works, 6 more in the backyard and host of other junk cars I need to sell. I just couldn’t help myself with this one.

  19. Wayne

    Go for JC.
    Let know how bad it really is. And let us know about your tire bill!!!!

    • JC

      Will do.

      • George

        find a donor body!

  20. Tim W

    A first gen Monte was the first car I ever put a quarter panel on when I was a junior in HS going to Vo-Tech. Bright red, black interior, That was, let me think, 1978 lol

  21. KevinW

    I owned a ’70 with the 402, turbo 400, staple shifter with the console. It had power everything and even a light on the rearview mirror. Loved firing it up and feeling the rumble of the big block. Made driving to work a treat! Mine was gold, with gold half vinyl roof, and black interior. Lost it due to divorce and have wanted another one since then.

  22. Tommy D

    I suspect the listor of this car knows exactly what they have. Its so easy to get sucked in to an option list, and overlook that the car needs everything, but if you’re good at this – it will pay.

  23. Art M.

    Sad to see such a rare car so neglected. Still, I’ve seen much worse undergo restoration. Worth the effort, at least in my opinion.

  24. Tommy D

    JC, Awesome BUY!
    I was about to write that it was a no -brainer, and then it was gone.!
    My worthlesss advice? Take your time…find what u need, find the right body shop, pick your level of need, and fly! That is an awesome car…to enjoy or improve Save everything original possible.

    • JC

      Thanks Tommy. I figured BBC SS muscle with a pedigree, power windows and a bruiser look for 5k, how the hell can you go wrong ??. If rust scares ya, stay away from ’60-’70’s muscle. I’m gonna drop a stroked BBC in it with about 900+ hp with a decent stall and maybe a glide and take some Ferrari’s and Porsche’s out here on SoCal to the wood shed. I’ll probably destroy the rear and trans before it’s all over but it’ll get restored afterwards anyways. I have some guys on my street that own a couple Mclaren’s, Porsche GT3 and Lambos that I need to scare a bit. May have to put a stereo in it to listen to some ’80’s mix CD’s while I do it, lol.

  25. Dennis Losing

    I rode to work on a drilling rig of all places in a 1970 454 automatic if remember we hit 120 with the 5 of us in it! Black on black cool car then and now

  26. erikj

    Good buy JC, I was thinking the same thing about how could you go wrong! I would have pushed the button also, I just wanted to finish reading the latest BF listings.
    I have seen, bought and sold a good couple of hundred vintage muscle cars of this era, and only seen what I think was a real ss454 monte. once.
    It was that green, and a little rough but driven everyday. I always wanted to stop and ask if it might be for sale but never did. That was back around 1983-84.
    I think they are very rare and even a fake is hard to see.. Good luck and please let us know what it turned-out to be and your plans!!!

  27. John

    I owned a 1976 white with blue pinstripe Monte Carlo the hood was as long as my car is now used to drive to the top of the mall parking put up comforter on the hood lay there with my girl and watch the sun come up fun times but it was a dog and only had a 305

    • Steve

      Different gen car than this, still cool though. Your scenario sounds like a possible sequel to “Dazed and Confused”. LOL

  28. Paul Bell

    As stated by a few above, no Monte Carlo SS454 cars came from the factory with an LS6 engine or four speed manual transmission. IF a LS6 were a possibility, it would have been in 1970-because of the availability of the LS6 in 1971 to the Corvette only.

    I had an older friend that worked at a dealership back then who ordered a 1970 Monte Carlo SS454 with the LS6 option (it was actually on the order form) but despite numerous conversations with contacts at GM, he was denied and received a LS5 car.

    Also, because the SS454 package required and included the superlift rear shock system, the pump location prevented the installation of cruise control. Cruise control could not be had from the factory on any SS454 car or any car that optioned the superlift system.

    Center console top plates had the burled elm inserts making them different than Chevelle top plates.

    The rarest options in these cars is the fiber optic light sentry system, radio delete plate and the very early 1970 headlight washer system.

    • JC

      Paul, You seem to fairly knowledgeable with the GM cars. As you look at the engine bay on this car, you’ll notice that it has the bracket for the superlift rear system tank as well as cruise control. With your above statement that any GM car that had the superlift could not have cruise, are you stating that this car is not an authentic SS454, or that the cruise was added later by a dealer or ?? Although no build sheet has been produced, the air tank position doesn’t seem to get in the way of the cruise control mechanics and the car has quite a few other items on it that would be specific to a SS454 car that one could not easily add to the car or that anyone would considering the low value. Let me know your thoughts after you look at the pics. Thanks.

      • Paul Bell

        Yes sir, I did notice that. Dealers had been known to install cruise control which could be placed elsewhere. Factory installed cruise would occupy the spot the lift pump goes in. This was discussed on the Chevelles forums.

        I do believe the car discussed in this thread is a genuine SS454 car.

      • JC

        Paul, Thanks for the quick response. Was this specific car being discussed or the CC and Superlift issue ? If you could provide a link to the discussion or a good forum for these cars, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jim

  29. Dave Member

    I’m pretty sure you could get a special-order 1970 Monte SS with an LS-6.
    COPO or something of that nature.

    • Paul Bell

      Negative.

      Like 1
  30. Dave Member

    S’ok, an LS-5 is still a respectable beast, especially if you stealthily hop it up a bit. And although some nice long-tube headers are anything but stealthy, just keep the cast irons on the shelf…

    • Paul Bell

      Absolutely. Headers, a cam & intake wakes up any big block. Some big block COPO Camaros came with headers in the trunk.

      Like 1
  31. Paul Bell

    JC, I’d really have to dig around to find the thread-I’m away from decent WiFi service so give me a few days.

    • JC

      No rush, I appreciate it.

  32. Paul Bell

    This photo shows the correct as installed on the assembly line cruise control.

    I believe the fender skirt may have dimples where the bolts go, similar to the dimples on the trans tunnel where center console bolts go.

    As these Monte Carlo’s had plastic skirts (mine are gone) I’m not sure if there’s something like dimples or notches to locate accessory brackets.

    • Paul Bell

      Sorry, here it is.

      • JC

        Paul, Is there a close up of the cc mech and bracket, it looks like the one on this Monte is correct. I would be more interested in the location of the diaphragm as that would be the mech that intersects with the self leveling tank. I’ll check web posts to see if I can get a closer look and will know better once I get the car. I don’t think there are enough tank brackets out there for purchase for someone to install one on a car like this just to make it look as though it’s genuine but I could be wrong.

  33. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    The early Gen Monte Carlo Club has reportedly said that no factory SS454 Monte Carlos were ever built. However, if you happen to have one, they glady welcome the documentation to prove it so they can acknowledge it.

    • JC

      There are some real morons at the early gen Monte club as there are plenty of documented SS454 Monte’s and Chevrolet sold them. I’d avoid that gene pool.

      Like 1
      • Paul Bell

        I took RoughDiamond’s post as missing the word “LS6” in his text. The FGMC site clearly states that there were 3,823 S454 cars built and 1,919 in 1971.

        The FGMC site is a wealth of accurate information and has many knowledgeable owners and restorers.

        http://www.firstgenmc.com/tech/productionnumbers.shtml

        Like 1
      • JC

        That would make more sense.

      • Aaron

        As Paul said, there is a great group of knowledgeable people at the FGMCC web site and message board. http://www.fgmcc.com.

        Like 1
      • Dan Janes

        I’m one that’s offended by your “morons” statement. Some of those members have given you alot of accurate information here. As soon as somebody posted wrong information, supposedly from our group, you made a rude post. I have to assume you made no attempt to check the information at our website.

        For your information, the load leveling option was part of the Z20, SS454 package, but it was also offered as an option on all 70-72 Montes. It’s a very rarely seen option on non-SS cars, but it was available on them.

        The truth is that you’ll the most accurate information available about first gen Montes at the FGMCC.com website. There are alot of very knowledgeable people there that are willing to share the knowledge they’ve gotten from decades of loving, owning, restoring, and studying these cars.

        We invite all to join us.

        Like 1
    • Tommy D

      Wikipedia disagrees…”SS 454s, however, did not sell so well in 1970, with only 3,823 of the 1970 Monte Carlos being the most powerful model in the range.”

    • Aaron

      RoughDiamond: That is not what the fgmcc web site says at all. It states that there were no SS454s with an LS6 or a 4-speed. Here is the FGMCC tech page related to the SS454 package: http://www.firstgenmc.com/tech/ss454.shtml

      Like 1
  34. George

    in the 70’s the little old lady down the street had a beautiful white one she bought new. SS454 on the tail and the rockers, then the kid that lived me bought it and took out a pole in Paramus NJ with it. The whole neighborhood practically lined up to slap him.

    Like 2
  35. Dan Janes

    In the write up, it mentions the long doors. They are the same length as the Chevelles and Malibus. The doors are the same as Chevelles, except for the outer sheetmetal and the door panels. Montes have a very large number of parts that interchange with Chevelles.

    Like 1
    • Tom

      But if you’ve ever seen that fan shroud….that’s a different story!

  36. George

    JC never got back to us with his results!

  37. Dennis Galan

    Hello every body,,.I was checking out the first gen monte Carlos and ran across this thread. Very interesting. I grew up in my father’s garage/gas station during the 60s & 70s . We had a lot of muscle cars coming in there.My brother and I worked on a lot of them. It was around 1977 or so,that I had a chance to trade one of my big block Camaro s for a 70 ss monte. I almost did but I was so wound up in the one that the guy wanted to trade me for , I didn’t do it. Now I wish I had..lol. The guy said this car was all original except headers. I looked it over, and it appeared to be as far as I can remember. It was a 70ss monte,triple black. Bucket seats,gauge package, Ralley wheels,,I remember the air pump under the hood, but can’t remember all the little odds and ends. But I do remember that it had a 454LS6. 4 speed,positive 12 bolt, can’t remember the gears. I do remember that the engine looked identical to one of my buddies 70 LS6 Chevelle., Right down to the aluminum intake. I don’t think that car was faked . Thanks everybody for all your info, comments.

  38. Joseph Hughes

    In the late 1980s I was in high school and owned a 71’454 SS M20 car. I had it in an auction in Atlantic City in 1989 during my 2nd year of college. I also owned a 70′ 350 4 barrel TH350 bucket seat from 85′-86′. A couple guys from GM Corp saw the listing of the car and came to the auction and told me I had cloned the car. I had all the paperwork and had bought three car from the uncle of the original owner. The original owner and hid father both worked at a NY Chevy dealer and ordered the car. I even removed the carpet to prove the tunnel hadn’t been modified. They still denied thr car was real even after it sold for $17k at auction and added to someone’s central Jersey collection and a few years later I had heard that all his possessions were seized due to his involvement in a wall street scandal

    Like 1
  39. Grant MacPherson

    if it has factory cruise it is not an SS. The auto leveling compressor sat in the same spot.

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