Open Roads, August | Lot 221
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6
$120,000 - $140,000 USD | Not Sold
| Kintnerville, Pennsylvania
28 July - 4 August 2021
- Among the most desirable of all Chevrolet muscle cars
- Believed to be one of fewer than 4,500 Chevelles optioned from the factory with the LS6 Turbo-Jet 454 V-8 engine
- Equipped from the factory with vinyl roof, tinted glass, special performance front and rear suspension, power brakes with front discs, power steering, TH400 three-speed automatic transmission, heavy-duty battery, and push-button radio
Chevrolet first introduced the intermediate-size Chevelle in 1964, and it became an immediate sales success. A Super Sport, or SS, variant was part of the Chevelle lineup from the beginning, starting with the 327 cubic-inch V-8 engine, but the pinnacle of muscle-car performance wouldn’t come until 1970 with the introduction of the LS6 Turbo-Jet 454 V-8 option. The big-block engine produced an advertised 450 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 500 pounds-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm—reportedly the highest performance numbers of the muscle car era. Only about 4,475 buyers ordered the $263.30 LS6 factory option from their Chevrolet dealer, which amounts to well under 10 percent of total Chevelle SS production for 1970 by various estimates.
The LS6 engines were assembled to tight tolerances at Chevrolet’s engine production facility in Tonawanda, New York. Workers began with a special four-bolt block that featured pre-tapped holes for a track-ready external oiling setup. Inside the block was a forged steel alloy crankshaft that was cross-drilled to maximize oiling capabilities. Tied to the crank by 7/16-inch rod bolts were eight forged steel connecting rods. Eight forged aluminum pistons squeezed the fuel/air mixture to an 11.25:1 compression ratio. Heavy-duty 3/8-inch pushrods transferred cam timing to the valves through 16 sets of beefy dual valve springs. Feeding the engine was a big Holley four-barrel carburetor on an aluminum dual-plane intake. A modified distributor and deep-groove pulleys were fitted, along with a large air cleaner to take air from the cowl-induction hood (RPO Code ZL2). Mandatory options included the M22 Muncie four-speed manual or M40 TH400 three-speed automatic transmission and a heavy-duty battery.
The Chevelle SS LS6 offered here was delivered new to Rosenthal Chevrolet in Arlington, Virginia, according to an accompanying build sheet. It is finished in Champagne Gold with a Medium Gold River interior featuring front and rear bench seats with Metallic Gold cloth inserts. Besides the 454 cubic-inch LS6 V-8, the car was equipped from the factory with tinted glass, a vinyl roof, special performance front and rear suspension, power brakes with front discs, power steering, TH400 three-speed automatic transmission, heavy-duty battery, Firestone Wide Oval F70X14 white-letter tires, push-button radio, and windshield antenna, among other features. It is accompanied by two original build sheets that are partially damaged, a spare tire, a jack, and an owner’s manual.