Chevelle Super Sport
Frame Off Restored Chevelle SS Convertible 396 V8 TH400
Looking through our showroom here at RK Motors Charlotte, you'll find some of the finest Chevelles on the planet. It's almost like 1970 all over again because we have a wide selection of colors, options, powertrains, and prices to satisfy almost any collector. The latest addition is this lovely 1970 SS 396 convertible, finished in Astro Blue with a highly unusual medium blue interior and factory A/C. With a fresh restoration and only 41 miles since it was complete, it's an extremely clean car that's ready to show and drive immediately. And while everyone knows it's impossible to use the VIN or cowl tag information to verify a correct SS, this one has all the correct components, strongly suggesting that it is the genuine article. With that in mind, here's what the VIN and cowl tag do reveal about the car:
VIN decode:1 Chevrolet3 Chevelle/Malibu6 8-cylinder67 Convertible0 1970B Baltimore214564 Sequence number
Cowl tag decode:ST70 1970 model year13667 Malibu convertibleB Baltimore assembly plant494914 Sequence numberTR 764 Metallic Medium Blue bench seatPNT 25B Astro Blue with black convertible top07A Build date (first week of July)B Unknown (suspected to apply only to SS cars, but not confirmed)0527 Data processing tracking number
So we can conclude a few things here. One, it's a real V8 convertible restored in its original color combination, which is highly unusual all by itself. We also know it's a very late production car, just a few weeks before shut-down and retooling for the 1971 model year. And then there's that mysterious B in the options section of the cowl tag, which for many years has confounded the experts, and always seems to show up on real SS models. And finally, if you're going to build a fake SS to try and fool the unsuspecting, wouldn't you build a 454 and not a base 396? With all that in mind, I'll let you be the judge, but we are confident this is a real SS 396 convertible.
At any rate, the restoration work is fantastic, and the subtle Astro Blue finish on this car is a pleasant change from the Hugger Orange and Rally Red Chevelles we see so often. Like the old adage goes, if you really want to stand out at a show, don't paint your car red, and this one will definitely stand out in a crowd. It's getting to the point where there's just no excuse for a sub-standard Chevelle, and the abilities of restorers on these cars are impressive. Panel gaps are probably better than new all around, and the bodywork is straight enough to calibrate scientific instruments. With a fully functional cowl induction hood secured by hood pins, this car certainly looks the part of a big block muscle car and was definitely something to be wary of on the streets of 1970. The white stripes are correctly applied and add just the right amount of contrast to the subtle and sophisticated paint scheme.
The chrome is, of course, gorgeous. The bumpers fit well, and there are certainly no ripples or grinding marks. Correct SS 396 badges are on the fenders, and the trunk wears fresh Chevelle script. 1970 was the pinnacle of Chevelle styling and almost every enthusiast prefers the four-headlight nose to the later two-headlight setup that followed in 71. The word that comes to mind with this car is crisp, and all the details are extremely well executed to what really must be better than new standards.
The engine is a correct and nicely detailed 396 cubic inch big block. As I said before, if it were a fake, there would undoubtedly be a 454 sitting there, maybe even an LS6 version. However, the 350 horsepower L35 is no slouch in the performance department, with only 10 fewer horsepower than the bigger, more expensive LS5. The L35 also meant that A/C and power steering were back on the menu, so you could have your cake and eat it too. You can see from the photos that this is a nicely detailed car, and all the correct paint finishes, markings, and decals have been reproduced. The paint on the block is bright and vivid, and no factory engine ever looked this good. You'll note a significant investment in time and resources under the hood, with details such as the coiled lines for the climate control system, tower hose clamps, and even a Delco battery top that does a pretty convincing impersonation of the real deal. The bottom line is that everything is fresh, new, and works as it should.
With a fresh rotisserie restoration, you know the chassis is as clean as the rest of the car and every detail has been addressed. The transmission is a TH400 3-speed automatic, and to my way of thinking, it's the perfect companion for this SS: comfortable when you are just cruising, but able to click off some quick shifts when you need to dispatch a competitor. The floors are finished in beautiful satin black, and you can follow that new dual exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers all the way back to a rebuilt 12-bolt with a chrome cover. Brake and fuel systems are, of course, brand new, and it rides on correct 14-inch SS wheels wearing fat 245/60/14 BFGoodrich T/A radials.
Perhaps this cars most unusual feature is its interior. A medium blue bucket seat interior probably isn't all that unusual, actually, but combined with the Astro Blue paint, it's striking and unique. Most Astro Blue cars received Parchment or Black interiors, and this is another way this car stands apart from the crowd. Yes, it was originally equipped with a bench, but an upgrade to buckets during the restoration is a welcome change, especially with that console and horseshoe shifter. All the soft parts are definitely new, including the seat covers, door panels, dash pad, and carpets, and it has all been expertly installed so that all the seams and stitching line up exactly. Crisp, fresh gauges have been installed, including the optional tachometer, and the lenses are crystal clear. The original AM radio still lives in the dash, and matching blue rubber floor mats have been installed to protect the carpet. Overhead, there's a fresh white convertible top that shows no sags or wrinkles, and it is covered by a matching blue boot when it's stowed. The trunk is furnished with a full-sized spare, new mat, and a complete jack assembly.
The final piece of this cars puzzle is a large album of restoration photos that fully document the transformation, and it's impressive. You'll enjoy looking through the photos and comparing them to the finished product.
Without question, 1970 was the pinnacle of Chevelle styling and performance. When the base engine is a big block with 350 horsepower, you know the car is something special. And when the top goes down, that appeal only becomes more pronounced. With a first-class restoration and an unusual combination of factory options and colors, this is a Chevelle SS that stands outside the norm. If you're like us and enjoy the unusual ones, this might be a brilliant choice. It runs as good as it looks, and you'll be proud to pop the hood at the local cruise night or even at a major show. It's also priced right there are plenty of cheaper cars out there, but there's a reason they're cheaper. You could also spend a lot more on a car that isn't fundamentally different except for some numbers stamped on the engine. If you're a guy who just loves them because they're great cars, this is a wonderful choice. Call today!
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