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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Big Block Barn Find: Super Sport Chevelle roars to life for original owner after 30 years in storage

barn find 1970 chevelle ss
 
Unlocking a 1970 hot rod time machine.

The neighbors were startled when the 396-cubic inch Big Block Chevelle shook the walls of their home. The loud, blue, muscle car, belonging to Skip and Janet of Akron, Ohio, had remained silent and still for 30 years. The reclusive Chevy was purchased new by Skip in 1970, driven for eight years, then tucked inside a barn for safe-keeping. The barn, now in dire need of restoration, was no longer a safe haven for the family treasure. It was time to fire up the beast in the barn.


barn find muscle car chevelle super sport
A Fathom Blue 1970 Chevelle SS-396 emerges after decades in a barn.
 

Same but different 1970 Chevelle 
  Another barn find SS-396 caught Janet and Skip's attention soon after their dust-covered Chevelle saw daylight. While doing a little online digging, they stumbled across a junkyardlife Chevelle barn find story. To their delight it reminded them of their own blue, big block, 1970 Chevy barn find.
  Janet laughed. "We OWN a barn find like that!" Skip, Janet's husband, is the original owner of this 1970 Chevelle SS 396. "It just came out of the barn," said Janet. "It's been in storage for 30 years."




barn find disney world vacation yogi bear campground 1970 chevelle super sport
A vintage photo of the 1970 Chevelle at Yogi Bear campground in Orlando during the early-1970s. 


Family photo a flashback to 1970

  A photo taken at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort near Disney World in the early 1970s is proof that the Chevelle was the family car. Skip and his ex-wife and daughters made the 1,000-mile trip to Orlando from Ohio towing a Shasta trailer. The small travel trailer provided cozy accommodations for the family, while the Super Sport Chevelle hauled unforgettable muscle car memories. 



barn find 1970 chevelle super sport
Skip, the original owner of this 1970 Chevelle, was smart enough to leave it stored inside, safe from the harsh Ohio winters.


Barn and Car Restoration

  Skip and Janet's Chevelle was forced from its long-time home because the barn needed a complete renovation before it deteriorated any further. Removing the prized, one-owner Chevy took top priority before the tattered barn could inflict any damage on the family car. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to give the Chevelle a frame-off restoration as well. The barn and Chevelle renovation/restoration plan was set in motion.



barn find muscle car chevelle super sport 396
Beginning in 1970 the SS-396 now had a displacement of 402-cu. inches. Chevy held onto the legendary SS-396 name.


Get your engine running 
  The temptation to fire-up the big block one more time was too great for Skip to ignore. "He pushed the Chevelle outside before he turned the car over to the restoration crew," said Janet. "He just dumped some gas in the carb, filed the powder off the points and hooked it up to a fresh battery." Skip turned the key and it roared to life after 4 cranks.
  The SS fired right up after just a few minutes of TLC. The loud racket from the big block was enough to cause a commotion.
  "The neighbors were startled and came out to look because there are no pipes from the exhaust manifold on back," said Janet. "It definitely has that 'muscle car' sound... oooooh yeah!"



barn find 1970 chevelle super sport 396 restoration
Skip and Janet's ’70 Chevelle SS gets a frame-off restoration.


1970 Chevelle SS specs 

  When Skip bought the new 1970 Chevelle SS he paid around $4,000. "Big bucks at the time!," said Janet. 
  The big block brute is equipped with a column shift, Turbo 400 automatic transmission. Stuffed between the fenders is the original 396-cubic-inch engine, factory-rated at 350 horsepower. A Posi-Traction 12-bolt rear end gets the power to the road. Interior options were minimal on Skip's Chevelle. Simple pleasures. A black bench seat and Rally gauges.
  Skip and Janet's Chevelle is painted dark blue, known as RPO Code 28 or Fathom Blue on 1970 GM paint charts. It was delivered without stripes and they were never added to the bulging cowl induction hood. "Skip calls his Chevelle a "sleeper" because it looks like a family car, but it'll leave 'em in the dust," said Janet.



barn find 1970 chevelle super sport bench seat restoration
The ’70 Chevelle was dismantled before restoration. The original black split-bench seat will have new foam and seat covers. 

 
Chevelle's road back home 
  Anyone who has dealt with a classic car restoration knows that time and money are key ingredients but getting the job done right is the top priority. The SS was sent to a trusted, local shop for the rebuild. The photos below show the Chevelle’s current restoration progress. Skip and Janet are eagerly awaiting the Super Sport's arrival to their newly-renovated barn. Janet promises an update when this one-owner SS-396 is back home.

– Jody Potter, junkyardlife.com


Know of a car or a junkyard I need to visit or want to send me photos and info about a barn find, car or junkyard?  
Send emails to junkyardbull@gmail.com.


barn find 1970 chevelle super sport 396 restoration
Big block Chevelles are muscle car gold. Skip's one-owner SS-396 V8 engine was rebuilt during the restoration.

barn find 1970 chevelle super sport 396 new floor pans restoration
New trunk and floor pans added to the 1970 Chevelle SS during the extensive restoration.

barn find 1970 chevelle super sport 12 bolt positraction rearend
12-bolt Posi-traction rear end was rebuilt for Skip's ’70 Chevelle SS.

barn find 1970 chevelle super sport fathom blue restoration
This 1970 Chevelle’s 396-cu. inch Big Block engine was rated at 350-hp.

barn find 1970 chevelle super sport 396 project muscle car restoration
The Chevelle’s paint and body work is made easier on a rotisserie.


barn find 1970 chevelle super sport 396 frame restoration
Skip, left, checks on the progress of his 1970 Chevelle SS. Ray, right, is  spearheading the project.




1970 Chevrolet SS Production Numbers:

Includes Chevelle coupes, convertibles and El Caminos
  • 53,599 - SS 396 (RPO Z25)
  • 8,773 - SS 454 (RPO Z15
Total Super Sports, all engines: 62,372



1970 Chevrolet SS Production Numbers by Engine option:
Includes Chevelle coupes, convertibles and El Caminos
  • 51,437 - (350hp) SS-396 V-8, RPO L34
  • 2,144 - (375hp) SS-396 V-8, RPO L78
  • 18 - RPO L89 (aluminum heads option added to L78 engine)
  • 4,298 - (360hp) SS-454 V-8, RPO LS5 
  • 4,475 - (450hp) SS-454 V-8, RPO LS6 


1970 Chevrolet SS Production Numbers by transmission option:
Includes Chevelle coupes, convertibles and El Caminos 
  • 5,410- Muncie M22 Four-speed "Rock Crusher" transmission 



Know of a car or a junkyard I need to visit or want to send me photos and info about a barn find, car or junkyard?  
Send emails to junkyardbull@gmail.com.