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Flashback Fridays – 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 Convertible

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 ConvertibleThe Chevelle was one of Chevrolet’s most successful brands for a long time. The Chevelle debuted in 1964, and its run extended until 1977.

The 1970 Chevelle SS convertible with the powerful 454 cu-in (7.4 L) LS6 engine and power convertible top was one of the quintessential muscle cars of its day.


Big Engine in a Mid-size Car

This race-worthy muscle car was built on GM’s new 112-in wheelbase, A-platform. It featured a double wishbone front suspension and a four-link live axle in the rear. Prior to the mid-size 1970 Chevelle’s arrival, engines of 400 cubes or more were primarily available in the full-sized muscle cars of the late 60s. The marriage of the Chevelle’s mid-size chassis and stock 454 cu-in engine was one made in street racing heaven.


New Engine for 1970

Chevrolet first introduced the 454 engine in 1970. Even the standard version was capable of 360 hp, while the 454 LS6 design was capable of a whopping 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. To deal with rising insurance premiums and increasing government attention, the horsepower of some muscle cars of this era was actually underrated. Some assert that the stock LS6 powerplant was really more like a 500 hp monster. Regardless of rating, it remained the most powerful Chevy motor of all until the 21st century LS7 was introduced in the Z06.


1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 Convertible – Engineered for Power

The added power came from a variety of sources, including a solid lift camshaft, forged steel crank, forged aluminum pistons, large port cylinder heads, four-bolt mains and a 4.25-in x 4-in bore and stroke. The big-block powerhouse featured an 11.25:1 compression ratio. The LS6 engine was mated to a Muncie M22 4-speed transmission, which came to be known as the “Rock Crusher.” Cowl induction was offered on the 454 Chevelles “to make our tough one even tougher,” according to the Chevelle brochure. During times of strong acceleration, the hood scoop would open to inject an “extra breath of cool air” into the air intake. Modern tests on factory stock LS6 Chevelles have recorded quarter-mile times in the low 12s at a top speed of 112 mph.

Only 4,475 LS6 Chevelles were built in 1970. Today, just 137 of these are listed on the Chevelle LS6 National Registry. In today’s classic car marketplace, the desirability of the 1970 Chevelle LS6 Convertible cannot be overstated. Expertly restored versions fetch auction bids well into six figures.

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