THE MIGHTY LS6: This Chevelle Showcases The Muscle Car Era

Written by independent automotive journalist David Neyens

This 1970 Chevelle SS will be ready to show it’s matching-numbers 454ci LS6 V8 engine off at the 2021 Houston Auction, selling with No Reserve.


After having unseated Pontiac’s GTO as America’s best-selling performance car in 1969, Chevrolet’s Chevelle SS continued its reign for 1970 with handsomely updated styling and a move upmarket. Now, all SS models were available only with top-of-the-line Malibu trim level and in hardtop, convertible and El Camino body styles. While the hugely popular RPO (Regular Production Option) Z25 SS396 option returned, the big news for 1970 was Chevy’s new RPO Z15 SS454 package, thanks to a change in GM corporate policy finally busting the 400-cube ceiling for its mid-size cars. Offered in two levels of tune, the new 454 was available in high-torque, 360-horsepower LS5 tune – perfect for street performance, while a relatively small number of savvy performance addicts and racers demanded the RPO LS6 mill.

Underrated by some estimates by as much as 50 horses, the 454-cube LS6 was advertised with 450 bhp and 500 ft/lbs of torque, purpose-built with all the right stuff to dominate the street and strip. Based on a stout 4-bolt main cylinder block with heavy-duty forged internals, the LS6 featured 11.25:1 compression, free-flowing “big valve” cylinder heads, a radical solid-lifter cam and booming dual exhaust system. Two transmissions were available – Muncie’s M-22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed or the hard-shifting M40 Turbo 400 automatic.

Depending on rear-end gear selection, LS6-motivated Chevelles pounded out easy 13-second quarter-mile times and trap speeds over 105 mph, with traction limited by hopelessly overwhelmed street tires. Lest one dismiss an LS6 Chevelle SS454 as “all engine,” the Z15 SS454 package included the excellent F41 Sports Suspension, power front disc brakes, F70 belted tires on 14×7 five-spoke “SS” wheels, chrome-trimmed wheel openings and chrome exhaust tips. A blacked-out grille and tail panels, plus bold “SS” emblems all around, made this bruiser’s intentions obvious.

Now packing the firepower to take on Chrysler’s vaunted 426 HEMI cars anywhere, the LS6 Chevelle SS454 prompted Hot Rod magazine road tester Steve Kelly to crown the mighty Chevy “Earth Mover.” However, despite great press and word-of-mouth street cred, Chevrolet hardly promoted the unruly LS6, yet they obviously decided to go out with a bang, especially against Chrysler, which essentially sold factory-built drag cars for years. Leading the Chevy charge was Truppi-Kling Competition in New Jersey, rulers of Junior Stock, who were now ready for the big time with a strange new combination for 1970 based on genius-level interpretation of the NHRA rulebook – an LS6-powered SS454 Chevelle convertible.

Race-prepped to perfection and beyond, the Briggs Chevrolet-sponsored T-K Chevelle was driven by New Jersey hotshot Ray Allen, and rose to infamy as “The Killer Car” by utterly dominating S/S in 1970 and winning the NHRA Dallas World Finals. Having proven its point conclusively in 1970, Chevrolet only offered the mighty LS6 once again, albeit with lowered compression and exclusively with the Corvette for 1971. Despite its well-earned glory, the original LS6 remains somewhat enigmatic, with 4,475 LS6-powered Chevelle hardtops, convertibles and Chevelle-based El Camino car/pickup hybrids built in all for 1970, plus an unknown number of spare engines built at Chevrolet’s Tonawanda, New York, plant. Regardless, the mighty LS6-powered Chevelle remains an unqualified legend today.

The product of a comprehensive, frame-off restoration performed to exacting standards by professionals in 2015, this LS6-powered 1970 Chevelle SS 454 was built at Chevrolet’s Van Nuys assembly plant and delivered new to Alaska Sales & Service in Anchorage. Power comes from its matching-numbers 454ci LS6 V8 engine boasting 450 factory-advertised horsepower and 500 ft/lbs of tire-melting torque, mated to GM’s renowned Turbo 400 3-speed automatic transmission controlled by a no-nonsense column shifter. Additional features include power steering, power brakes and a date-code-correct 4.10:1 CRW-code posi-traction differential.

Of particular importance to collectors, the car retains its rare original date-coded smog system, plus the original intake manifold, distributor, heads and 780 CFM Holley 4150 carburetor. Retaining original body panels, the Chevelle was restored using many NOS parts, including the bright wheel-lip moldings. Other highlights include installation of new brake and fuel lines, a restored original clock,

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: THE MIGHTY LS6: This Chevelle Showcases The Muscle Car Era
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/ls6-chevrolet-chevelle-houston-auction/
Published Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2021 15:40:31 +0000