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1970 Chevy Chevelle SS Ditches Factory 396 Unit for Truly Great Modern-Day Big Block V8

The second-generation Chevrolet Chevelle is an iconic American classic, featuring a sculpted body design and high-performance V8 engines. This was a true muscle car, and to this day it remains one of the most sought-after vehicles of its era.
Tuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned off 37 photos
Photo: Bring a Trailer/autoevolution
Tuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned offTuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned off
On a slightly "negative" note, I’m not sure that the design of the Chevelle is to everyone’s liking. To most people, this car’s styling is a harmonious blend of brute force and sleek elegance, with sculpted lines that exude confidence. Add a potent V8 engine capable of making your heart skip a beat, and you’ve got it made in the shade.

Yet, the Chevelle is rarely mentioned among the best-looking muscle cars of its generation, and objectively speaking, you can’t really say it looks better than a late 60s Mustang Mach 1/Boss, Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, the 1969 Charger, or even the Challenger.

Say what you will about its appearance, but the Chevelle meant business once you got it out on the road, and the SS 396 is without a doubt one of its most iconic specs.

What you’re looking at here is a 1970 model year car, which left the factory wearing Fathom Blue and a 396 CI Turbo Jet V8 engine with 350 horsepower on tap. It’s getting auctioned off for the second time in less than 12 months, the first time being back in April of 2023 when it traded hands for $63,500.

Aside from the blue hue, you also get white center stripes, a cowl induction hood with pins, split black grille, quad headlights, a black tail panel, SS 454 fender badging, and a set of 15-inch Super Sport wheels with SS center caps and 255/60 BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires. Meanwhile, you get Wilwood four-wheel disc brakes to keep this baby in check, and replacement shocks and springs too.

Moving on to the interior, highlights include the white vinyl front bucket seats and rear bench, matching door panels, a Vintage Air climate control system, custom stereo, Hurst shifter, locking center console, a three-spoke steering wheel and auxiliary gauges. This interior was refurbished, and it really shows.

Tuned 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 getting auctioned off
Photo: Bring a Trailer
As for the engine, well, gone is that factory-standard 396 ci V8 (a great power unit in and of itself), replaced instead by a modern-day GM Performance big-block V8. It’s a 502 CI crate motor that’s fitted with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, an HEI distributor, an aluminum water pump, tubular headers, and Flowmaster mufflers. It sends its power to the rear wheels via a Tremec five-speed manual gearbox.

How much power? Probably a little over 500 horsepower and roughly 600 lb-ft of torque, but that’s just my guess – the seller doesn’t specify the output.

Compared to what this car was back when it first left the assembly plant, well, let’s just say this current iteration is a heck of a lot more spectacular. It’s also probably worthy of $50-60k.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
Sergiu Tudose profile photo

Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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