Holy Grail 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 Emerges After 46 Years With Custom Paint

Whenever I hear about classic cars parked for over 30 years, I think about rust buckets that aren't worth restoring. But it's not always like that. Some vehicles get lucky, spend their retirement in heated garages, and emerge in solid condition. This 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle is one of those cars.
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 11 photos
Photo: Patrick Glenn Nichols Musclecar Barn Finds/YouTube
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS61970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6
Parked for unknown reasons in 1977, the midsize came out of storage in 2021. That's when it was discovered by 1970 Chevelle SS specialist Patrick Glenn Nichols. Perched up on a lift and covered in a thick layer of dust, the Chevelle was in surprisingly good condition and all original except for the custom paint job.

It still had the numbers-matching V8 under the hood, which is massive news given that this Chevelle is not a regular SS. The hardtop you're looking at is an SS 454 LS6, also known as the holy grail of 1970 Chevelles.

What makes it special? Well, for starters, it's a one-year-only model. Second, it left the assembly line with the most powerful V8 designed in the golden muscle car era. I'm talking about the 454-cubic-inch (7.4-liter) LS6. Fitted with a four-barrel Holley carburetor and a few other upgrades compared to the contemporary LS5, the LS6 broke cover with 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet (678 Nm) on tap. For reference, the mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI was rated at "only" 425 horses and 490 pound-feet (664 Nm) of twist.

The engine found its way into the Chevelle, Corvette, and Monte Carlo, but all three were built in limited numbers. This brings me to the third important thing about the Chevelle LS6: this rig is pretty rare. Priced at $767, the LS6 upgraded added a 28% premium over the regular Chevelle, so people didn't rush to buy it.

Chevrolet reportedly fitted the package in 4,475 cars, but there are no records as to how many were hardtops, convertibles, and El Camino pickups. However, most Chevelle experts agree that only around 3,300 examples left the assembly line with Chevelle badges. And, of course, far fewer than that survived to see 2023.

But there are a couple more things that make this LS6 special. Patrick says it's the earliest known 1970 Chevelle 454 LS6 with an M22 gearbox assembled at the Baltimore, Maryland, plant. It was also originally sold through the famous Byrne Brothers Chevrolet dealership in White Plains, New York. Finally, it has a small-block tach, a known factory mistake in early 1970 examples.

So, what happened to this Chevelle since it was discovered in 2021? Well, Patrick put it back on its "feet" by getting the LS6 running again and upgrading some of the old parts to make the car road-worthy. The vehicle is pretty much spotless inside and out, which means it's only a repaint away from becoming a factory-correct gem.

Speaking of the paint, this car left the factory finished in Tuxedo Black with white stripes, but it was repainted dark red with orange stripes sometime in the 1970s. The color combo is a bit intriguing, but I can't say that it bothers me. On the flip side, this Chevelle should definitely be returned to its original colors since black examples with white stripes are highly desirable nowadays.

Until that happens, enjoy a full walkaround and hear the revived 454 LS6 V8 purr in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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