1970 Chevelle - Chevelle Tech
What's it worth? & ebay/online sales discussions

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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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1970 Chevelle

Hi, new to the site. My wife and I are looking to buy my father in law a true 70 Chevelle SS for his 70th birthday, which is in August. Either a 396 or 454. Can be a project or restore. Any info on where I should start looking? What i should look out for and price range? Want it to be the real deal. Thanks everyone.
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 20, 11:34 PM
blm
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Cool Re: 1970 Chevelle

Your best bet is to do A LOT of reading in these forums and on chevellestuff.net.
I will give you a couple tips to start you off.
1. Stay away from classic car dealers unless you dont mind over paying from someone that knows little about the car they are selling.
2. You are better off buying a completed car as opposed to a car that needs restoration. It will be cheaper and your FIL can enjoy the car immediately.
3. If you insist on a real SS then do your homework on identifying a real SS. Plenty of fakes out there.
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I’ve been on several sites such as drivingithome.com and chevellestuff.net, among others. For the last month or so I’ve done extensive reading/research. But I’m assuming it’s nothing compared to actually inspecting the car in person. Thanks for the feedback however. So should I only look for private sellers? It seems as there is no true way of telling without the original build sheet, which most don’t have.
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 12:10 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

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Originally Posted by blm View Post
Your best bet is to do A LOT of reading in these forums and on chevellestuff.net.
I will give you a couple tips to start you off.
1. Stay away from classic car dealers unless you dont mind over paying from someone that knows little about the car they are selling.
2. You are better off buying a completed car as opposed to a car that needs restoration. It will be cheaper and your FIL can enjoy the car immediately.
3. If you insist on a real SS then do your homework on identifying a real SS. Plenty of fakes out there.
I couldn't have said it better than Brad does here^...I agree. I would only add one thing to his #2 point: I agree on the part about buying a completed car being easier to start with, but you have to closely look how the car was put together as far as any custom work or custom parts. If the car was previously restored as close to factory specs as humanly possible, then be preppared to spend BIG dollars to purchase the car, (which is ok if that's what you want).

But if the car was customized with aftermarket specialty custom parts, look at it very closely to see how things were done and how parts were installed as well as what parts were used, and exactly how they're different from the original factory OE parts. Because lots of guys who customize old classic cars like these, will do things the way only they wanted, which might be so unique it isn't how you nor how your dad, nor how anyone else would want it. And if it's a major part in question, or the frame or chassis was modified to install the part(s) in question, it might be difficult, expensive, or even impossible to undo what was done.

Here's one of the most obvious examples I can give you: ALL of the aftermarket custom frames for these GM, A-body cars I've ever seen advertised in catalogs, not only have extra steel in certain places to beef them up and make them more rigid and more sturdy than the original OE factory frames were, but they also have main frame rails that are shaped very different, and therefore have a built-in lower stance which PERMANENTLY LOWERS the vehicle ride height, and also makes it impossible to use stock replacement tail pipe routing over the axle tubes the way the Chevelle had from the factory, since there isn't room for them with these aftermarket frames.

But the sales people won't tell you that. So if you're looking at a Chevelle which has one of those new-fangled fancy frames, you will not be able to have a factory stock ride height, nor use tail pipes. Instead, you'll always have to have the exhaust empty out underneath the car, or have some make-shift turn outs that route the exhaust on the side of the car in FRONT of the rear tires.

70 Chevelle SS clone (632 CI powered).
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 12:38 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

Here's another example.....BIG BRAKES: If the car has disc brakes on all four corners, that's a nice thing IMO. If the brake rotors are 11" diameter, then most often, factory stock wheels can still be used, or 15" diameter aftermarket mag wheels can be used too. If your dad likes the old-school look, (like I do) then that's what he would like. But if the car has the BIG brakes that are made to stop the car from 100MPH like a Porsche or Ferrari, then they can be as big as 13" diameter, or 14" diameter rotors on there, in which case you're forced to use the "Chip Foose" looking 17" or 18" aftermarket wheels, (which your dad may or may not like).

In that case, keep in mind that if you or your dad ever wants to go back to 14 or 15" old school looking wheels and tires, you'll first have to spend the money to change out the brakes to the much smaller 11" brake rotors, which BTW will still stop the car much better than the old 1970 type drum brakes did.

One other examplewould be to look at the front ride height. If it sits low in the front, then a previous owner may have merely used shorter "lowering springs" in the front, (or in the rear also) to accomplish that lowered ride height, (which is relatively easy and cheap to change) or they may have installed "drop" spindles which by design lower the front ride height by two inches without changing the front springs. And there again, if your dad doesn't like that, then you/he would have to purchase stock spindles and steering arms to bring the car's ride height back up to factory. I hope this helps you out.

70 Chevelle SS clone (632 CI powered).
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 1:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, all of this info is great! I am located in Chicago but a buddy of mine in Dallas sent me this one near him to use as a starting point. Any feedback?

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0116042350725/
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 1:41 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

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Yes, all of this info is great! I am located in Chicago but a buddy of mine in Dallas sent me this one near him to use as a starting point. Any feedback?

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0116042350725/
The first three things that come to my mind are these:

#1. do NOT EVER go by internet pictures alone. There's plenty of software and even simple Windows OS programs which can be used to alter pixels of pictures to make cars look nicer than they are. So you have to either look at this car yourself in person before you buy it, or better yet, there are places on the net that I have personally used, for $140 to $300 that will send a mechanic to inspect the car on site, go through a check list, as well as take detailed pictures, and send them to you via email. They will also start the car up, and drive it too, to make sure of what works and what doesn't. You get a detailed report within a few days.

#2. If you would be replacing the engine, or opting for a complete rebuild,then this following point won't matter, but if you plan on using the block, and bottom end of the engine as is, or the heads as is too, then for that price, I would want the mechanic I send there to also perform a compression check on all 8 cylinders.

#3. If you do end up buying this car, (or any other 70 Chevelle which needs a paint job) and you want the factory type stripes to be painted on the hood and trunk lid,(be they black or white) definitely go to the Stencil N' Stripes website, and spend the small amount of money for their stripes stencil kit, and bring it to the body shop that will paint the car. I did this when I had my 70 Chevelle painted, and not only did the stripes come out perfect, but the guy told me that the stripes kit worked great and made his job much easier.

http://web.archive.org/web/200604190...r_chev_cec.asp

70 Chevelle SS clone (632 CI powered).
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 1:50 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
Yes, all of this info is great! I am located in Chicago but a buddy of mine in Dallas sent me this one near him to use as a starting point. Any feedback?

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0116042350725/
A quick look to me says keep looking. Just a look at that drivers door opened, it looks like the whole bottom corner is all putty. And most likely its in a lot more places. Your 70 yr old dad wont want a project that can easily turn into years to fix. Keep looking
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 2:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the insight. I’m willing to be patient and take my time on this. Do you all have any recommendations on where to look since the general consensus is to steer clear of classic car dealerships?
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 2:24 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

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..... Your 70 yr old dad wont want a project that can easily turn into years to fix.
That there^ is an excellent point. I agree. If this will be a B-day present, you won't want to give him a project. These 50 year old cars can really take many many hours, days, months, and even years of labor to complete. Yes, they're simple cars compared to new cars, but it's only when you crawl underneath them, and begin working on them, that you fully learn that even these simple cars can sure require lots and lots of work when they've sat for a long time, and/or have been repaired incorrectly. If it were easy, everyone would own a Chevelle.

Unless you ofcourse you have an unimited budget and finances to throw into this b-day present. But even then, the body work and painting won't be done as soon as you drop the car off somewhere. In many cases, you will be placed on a waiting list that lasts from 6 to 7 months, up to a few years.
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 3:56 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

I would go to a area car show and ask around. A neighborhood one would most likely be at a better price than having to drive to look at. And some may not be selling unless they knew a person wanted it.
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 8:09 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

Let me expand on my reason to stay away from dealers. Its not that they cant have good cars. Its that the cars they have are generally overpriced and sometimes by $15K-$20k or more. These dealers have little to no knowledge of the history of the cars they are selling. What they dont know the make up. In addition where did these classic car dealers acquire their inventory? From the private market as by sometime in 1971 the vast majority of 70 Chevelles were in the hands of private owners.
Another good point to keep in mind when looking for a car to buy. Be very cautious of cars with new paint jobs, which means cars with paint newer than 3 years. Reason being a newer paint job can be hiding lots of rust issues or poorly done body work. A car with a 10 year old paint job is hiding nothing.
Paint and bodywork is by far the most expensive item to remedy. It can easily run $20K-$50K and turn into a trying and frustrating process.

Last edited by blm; Apr 6th, 20 at 8:39 AM.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 8:54 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
It seems as there is no true way of telling without the original build sheet, which most donít have.
A 70 Chevelle with a numbers matching 396 or 454 would be an SS as those engines were only available in an SS. One must watch for restamped engines which if someone can restamp an engine and add $$ to the value of a car there has been historically an incentive to do so by unhonest people.
It may be easier in many cases to disqualify a fake SS by small details than to verify a real SS
Numbers matching big block, real build sheet, real protecto plate, and although not considered proof original dealer paperwork depicting the SS option would help suport SS status
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 9:10 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

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Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
Hi, new to the site. My wife and I are looking to buy my father in law a true 70 Chevelle SS for his 70th birthday, which is in August. Either a 396 or 454. Can be a project or restore. Any info on where I should start looking? What i should look out for and price range? Want it to be the real deal. Thanks everyone.
Curious what you are prepared to spend? Any compelling reason to not consider well done mechanically sound tribute or restomod?
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 20, 10:03 AM
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Re: 1970 Chevelle

Hi Mark,

Buy the highest quality, already finished car that you can afford. This one is very nice, not perfect but ready to go as an example:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-Chevro...53.m1438.l2649

1970 SS454 LS5
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