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Mysterious 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Comes Out of the Barn, Turns Out It's a Rare LS6

As of 2022, tens of thousands of classics cars are likely wasting away in barns across the U.S. Most of them are mundane vehicles that wouldn't make a big splash if they'd come out, but a few of them are rare gems. Like this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle.
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 barn find 6 photos
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 LS6
Recently uncovered in Florida, this Chevelle doesn't look all that special. But that's mostly because it's in poor condition. There's no info as to how much time it spent in storage, but based on the way it looks, it must have been decades.

But while it may not look all that great, a closer inspection reveals that it's a rare muscle car from the golden era. As explained by Patrick Glenn Nichols, a 1970 Chevelle SS specialist, this sports coupe left the factory as a 454 LS6. That was the range-topping high-performance Chevelle trim in 1970 and one of the most powerful muscle cars ever built.

And it's all down to the LS6 V8 that Chevrolet dropped in these cars. A 454-cubic-inch (7.4-liter) big-block with a four-barrel Holley carburetor and heavy-duty internals, the LS6 generated 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet (678 Nm) of torque right off the showroom floor.

And as it was customary back in the day, the power ratings were underreported due to high insurance rates for high-performance cars. In reality, the Chevelle SS 454 LS6 came with more than 500 horsepower on tap.

On top of being more powerful than a Hemi-equipped Mopar, it's also one of the rarest vehicles produced in that era. Chevy hasn't kept specific records, but we do know that 4,475 vehicles were fitted with the RPO LS6 option.

GM offered this engine in both the coupe and convertible version of the Chevelle, as well as the El Camino pickup. With the drop-top and the coupe utility not exactly popular at the time, most experts estimate that around 3,300 LS6 cars were coupes. And many of them got lost on the way, so maybe fewer than half have survived to see 2022.

Unfortunately, this Chevelle LS6 is in pretty bad shape. It has notable damage to the body, significant rust to the rear fenders and side sills, while the white interior needs a serious refresh. But this Chevelle used to be a beauty back in the day thanks to its Cranberry Red paint with white stripes and white vinyl top (yup, the latter is gone).

Perhaps the worst news about it is that it no longers has an engine under the hood. It's not clear whether it still exists and has been removed, but if that's the case, the lack of a numbers-matching unit will prevent this Chevelle from becoming a very expensive, Concours-winning collectible.

But here comes the good news: this car will be restored. Already authenticated as an original LS6, this Chevy will be entered into the National LS6 registry and will receive a much deserved and long-anticipated, frame-off restoration. Kudos to the owner for doing the right thing. But until that happens, watch it stand proud as an authentic barn find in the video below.

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