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The little stabbing twinge of jealousy we’re feeling can be blamed on Patrick Nichols, who both owns and operates Chevelle Supercars and Supersports, and scored this crispy-fresh, four-speed, big-block coupe that is a high-performance variant of a high-performance variant of an already kick-ass 1970 Chevelle.


Nichols earned this car by knowing his facts at a mega-geek level and staying involved in the cause by liking every Chevelle-oriented Facebook page he could find. One day while scrolling around, he saw a few storage-lot photos of what looked like a standard SS396 Chevelle. What got him out of the chair was a single interior photo showing a high-redline (6,500 rpm instead of 5,500 rpm) tach, a sign that the car was equipped with the high-horsepower version of the 396.

“After looking at the pictures, I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Nichols says. “There were some clear telltale signs that this was a real SS396 L78 solid-lifter, high-performance-engine Chevelle.

“Only the 450hp LS6 and 375hp L78 had the special tach, standard 396 engines were rated at 350.”

1970 Chevelle Barn Find from Hot Rod 0104
Nichols quickly emailed the guy to see what was up. The owner responded that the car had been parked in 1983 in a storage lot in Fresno, California, and hadn’t moved since. Nichols flew out from his home in Clarksville, Tennessee, to look at the car in person. “I checked for a single fuel line, the Muncie M21 transmission numbers, and the CKK stamp on the rearend indicating a 12-bolt, 4:10:1 Posi. That was enough to identify it,” Nichols says. “It was definitely a 100-percent authentic L78 Chevelle.”

The L78 featured an aluminum low-rise intake, solid-lifter cam, 11.0:1 compression, square-port heads, and a Holley 780-cfm carburetor. Later in 1970, the L78 was replaced with the LS6 option making all 1970 L78 Chevelles early cars. This kept the production down to 2,144.

“This is a true California car. It was built at the Van Nuys, California, assembly plant and was sold new at Merle Stone Chevrolet in Tulare, California,” Nichols confirms. Van Nuys plant assembly workers placed the build sheet on the gas tank and the photos looked like the tank had never been removed. When Nichols pulled the tank, the document was there. This dealership is still in business today and is only a few hours’ drive from Fresno. The car had been in the area since new.

1970 Chevelle Barn Find from Hot Rod 0130
According to the sheet, the car was optioned with raised-letter tires, auxiliary lighting group, the cowl-induction hood, bucket seats, and a center console. The original color was Cortez Silver with a black interior.

“It was optioned the way I would want one; four-speed, cowl, 4:10, and solid-lifter big-block—all the cool options,” Nichols says.

So now what? “I believe these cars are now a part of our culture and need to be preserved so I am not going to restore this car. It will be left in its ‘as-found’ condition,” says Nichols. That’s what we would do, how about you?

This story originally appeared in HOT ROD.

Read More Here: Take a Look at This Unbelievably Cool 1970 Chevelle SS396 Barn Find - Automobile
 

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what part is unbelievable? What did he pay for it, that is the question. if he paid a lot it is not big deal, cars are found in garages, barn and storage every week. It is no big deal unless it was bought at a bargain price.
 

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what part is unbelievable? What did he pay for it, that is the question. if he paid a lot it is not big deal, cars are found in garages, barn and storage every week. It is no big deal unless it was bought at a bargain price.
Yes, the deal is everything.
 

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From what I hear the owner got the car for what I would say was a good deal.
 

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Yes, I'd try to leave it close to as found condition, but get the car road worthy. It deserves it.
 

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The problem is that 'as is' it will continue to rust away. I'd be tempted to restore it.
 

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If the buyer was/is a true Muscle Car enthusiast and a business owner promoting the hobby, I'm sure he fully disclosed to the owner what the car was/is and very likely he paid/offered "fair market price" for it.

People like that aren't looking to "turn and burn" a car like this. The opportunity to own a piece of history, not make a quick buck is what motivates them.
 

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If the buyer was/is a true Muscle Car enthusiast and a business owner promoting the hobby, I'm sure he fully disclosed to the owner what the car was/is and very likely he paid/offered "fair market price" for it.

People like that aren't looking to "turn and burn" a car like this. The opportunity to own a piece of history, not make a quick buck is what motivates them.
I tend to differ with this, especially the first part of your post. An educated buyer has put in the time and energy to know the difference between the mundane and the rare. He's prepared to move quickly with transportation, time and resources to secure what he speculated could be desirable. All of the above costs time and money. He would have saved a lot of both by just emailing the owner and letting him know: "Hey, you might have an L78 car there, maybe check it out and get back at me". The price of the car then doubles or goes up considerably. The buyer and the seller have responsibilities to know their respective interests. It is not theft to pay someone their asking price for a vehicle, even when you speculate it may be worth more based on your knowledge.

The second part of your statement is probably true for many of us who enjoy and cherish the cars and the history of them. That being said a buyer who knows his stuff shouldn't be penalized for putting his knowledge to use and capitalizing on it. "The seller" in this case, may just be a flipper, who scored big time because he has done his homework. I think what you are referring to is greed, which is a reprehensible behavior. In the end, the buyer and the seller hopefully are both satisfied with the outcome.
 

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Uh, no.
Restore it to original condition.
Use all the parts that are on it though.
No repops, or after market unless no choice.
What good is a scroungy barn find?
Wouldn't even look good in a museum.
If it were an old coin, it would be different.
This car could be worth 1 mil or more.
But, not the way it is.
 

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Give this rare car the concours body off resto that it deserves using all of the original parts. The car is amazingly complete!
 

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I tend to differ with this, especially the first part of your post. An educated buyer has put in the time and energy to know the difference between the mundane and the rare. He's prepared to move quickly with transportation, time and resources to secure what he speculated could be desirable. All of the above costs time and money. He would have saved a lot of both by just emailing the owner and letting him know: "Hey, you might have an L78 car there, maybe check it out and get back at me". The price of the car then doubles or goes up considerably. The buyer and the seller have responsibilities to know their respective interests. It is not theft to pay someone their asking price for a vehicle, even when you speculate it may be worth more based on your knowledge.

The second part of your statement is probably true for many of us who enjoy and cherish the cars and the history of them. That being said a buyer who knows his stuff shouldn't be penalized for putting his knowledge to use and capitalizing on it. "The seller" in this case, may just be a flipper, who scored big time because he has done his homework. I think what you are referring to is greed, which is a reprehensible behavior. In the end, the buyer and the seller hopefully are both satisfied with the outcome.
I agree with this guy. If you don't know what you have then more power to you. Who ever sold the car should know what he has. I didn'[t get any money back when i found out my car needed a over haul. Now if you are dealing with some old lady that doesn't know what she is doing. i'd consider paying a little more to help her out.

I've seen a lot of guys NOT sell a car because they thought it was worth all the money. Myself included. I've also sold cars for cheap and double guessed myself after.

This car should be restored. rust is like cancer. it will just keep going and going.

Also i believe its a storage facility. My friend has the same concept and owns a tow yard with hundreds going to the dump. he finds it easier to just trash a car then trying to part it out or find it a new home. infact he has a 1970 malibu shell and drive train sitting there right now. its going to the shredder. its rusty but there is a title for it. it belongs to his mechanic. and the mechanic is getting rid of it. i'm hoping to get the chrome trim and door panels.

anyways nice story.
 
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