Real Deal Survivor? 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

Whenever a 1970-ish Chevelle SS 396 pops up for sale, the first question usually revolves around whether it’s authentic or a clone. Because RPO Z25 was an option on the Malibu, it’s hard to settle this debate without a build sheet or MSRP sticker. This nice ’70 SS 396 looks like the real deal, but the seller doesn’t engage in any “what ifs”. Located in Alpine, Alabama, this sweet-looking Chevy is available here on craigslist for $32,500 OBO.

Chevy gave the mid-size Chevelle a styling refresh in 1970 and the car continued to sell well, especially the Malibu Sport Coupe. When you ordered the SS 396 package, you got a 402 cubic inches V8 even though the car was still marketed as the 396. Two horsepower outputs were available, either 350 or 375. For those who wanted even more muscle, a new 454 engine was available, the largest ever offered by Chevrolet. The seller’s version has a TH-400 automatic transmission though the 4-speed manual was quite popular.

If the seller’s automobile is a real SS, it’s one of more than 53,000 that were so equipped, before the muscle car market segment would begin its downward spiral in the 1970s. The overall condition of this car is quite good, especially since the odometer is coming close to turning over. No mention is made of a repaint or any interior work, and the black vinyl roof covering looks stout. The Champagne Gold paint is nice and shiny, but the lighting in some of the photos hints at light grey primer in spots.

We’re told that the muscle machine runs and drives as it should with no issues. And we assume the factory air conditioning blows nice and cold. The seller indicates that delivery is available, something you see more often with dealers rather than private sellers. And no trades will be considered. But you will have to get a new spare tire — this one is down to the threads! What’s your take on the car? Is this a real SS or a well-done earlier clone?