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						Ls6 Chevelle
LS6 SS Survivor

1970 LS6 Chevelle SS 454 survivor

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

Boasting 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, the LS6 Chevelle SS 454 topped the race for displacement for stock engines in the muscle car era. Those power numbers were considerably more than Ford’s road-going 427 FE, along with published figures for Chrysler’s 426 Hemi. As one of the undisputed kings of the muscle car era, the LS6 Chevelle SS is an American classic, and a true blue-chip collector. This unrestored survivor on Craigslist remains in fantastic original condition today with just 64,000 miles on the clock, and could be one of the best in existence.

Like most great things that emerged from the 1960s, the LS6 Chevelle's story begins with the baby boomer generation. See, a new group of car buyers was beginning to dominate the American market by the late 1950s and early ’60s, and they wanted to go fast. It soon became clear that tail fins, big chrome and white walls didn’t sell cars anymore, and American manufacturers rushed to build the fastest, flashiest cars they could to attract younger buyers. Bucket seats, four-speeds, mag wheels and bright paint became the new must-have design cues, not to mention the biggest cubic inch engines your engineering department could whip up. But Chevrolet was late to the party, having hamstrung themselves with a 400 cubic inch limit on their intermediate car bodies, leaving bowtie buyers to settle for 327 and 350 small-blocks while Ford was building 406 and 427 ci FEs and Chrysler was peddling 440s and 426 Hemis.

Chevrolet started wising up by 1966 and offered the 427 Mark IV big-block in Corvettes and full-size cars to the tune of 435 hp and 460 lb-ft, along with the introduction of an optional 375 hp 396 package for the Chevelle. But it wasn’t enough to undo the Hemi’s street dominance, and GM finally lifted the 400 ci limit for intermediate platforms in 1970.

Chevrolet response was the new-for-1970 LS6 Chevelle SS, boasting 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. To achieve the mammoth 454 ci displacement, the 427 ci engine’s stroke was lengthened to 4 inches, and the engine was fit with an 800 cfm Holley four-barrel, an aluminum intake manifold, forged 11.25:1 rods, a forged crank and solid lifters. Transmission options included the Muncie M22 close-ratio four-speed, or the strengthened M40 Turbo Hydra-Matic.

Around 3,700 LS6 Chevelles rolled off the line in 1970, and they’re firmly in the blue-chip collector category today. If you value originality, than this unrestored survivor car on Orange County Craigslist should be near the top of your list. The seller reports that the car retains about 88 percent of its original paint, and has just 64,000 miles on the clock. Furthermore, the original LS6 engine and Muncie M22 are in unmodified original condition as well. The car is finished in cranberry red, and the seller reports that the original black seats were swapped for white in accordance with the original purchaser’s wishes before it left the dealer floor.

The seller is asking $135,000 for the car here on Craigslist. When compared to Hagerty’s price guide, this car is priced as a strong #2, Excellent condition, vehicle, which it probably falls a bit short of. However, you have to take the originality into consideration here, and I think we’re nearing the day when original cars will bring more than an equivalent restored car. In some cases we're already there, but probably not with this Chevelle, as the underside shows some age. But going out on a limb, I'd guess that changes within the next 10 to 15 years.

Overall, I'd say this one's just right to enjoy sparingly. I wouldn't be afraid to take it on a short weekend drive, or to a local car show, but it still holds strong value as a highly original muscle car king.

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Chevrolet Muscle Cars