Classic 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 Review Jun 22, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
Among those interested in classic muscle cars, the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 LS6 stands out. The Chevelle was a favorite muscle car throughout its production, but the LS6 was among the most popular variations and remains that way among collectors. The Chevelle LS6 is the product of a time when power was in high demand. After all, back in the 1970s, turbochargers weren’t the answer; displacement was the only answer.
There's No Replacement For Displacement
Reviews and time tests say that the 1970 Chevelle LS6 was able to complete a quarter mile in just 13.12 seconds and reach up to 108.17 miles per hour, depending on the publication. 1970 was a big year for automakers, and they expanded their engine offerings; for the first time, Chevrolet upgraded their 427 cubic inch engine to 454 cubic inches of displacement. Chevy offered drivers a hydraulic lifter LS5 with 360 horsepower or the solid lifter LS6 (the RPO Z15) with an estimated 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. While the LS6 shared a block with the LS5, it had an 800-cfm Holley four-barrel instead of the Rochester Quadra Jet. This powertrain also had four-bolt mains on the beefy bottom end, rods made from forged aluminum, and a forged steel crankshaft. Because of federal emissions standards, the LS6 also got an Air Injection reactor that added extra air in the exhaust system to reduce emissions. Of course, you are unlikely to find that system in a classic model sold today as most owners removed it immediately. With this much power under the hood, the SS 454 LS6 was the king of the road—the baddest muscle car of 1970 and neck-in-neck with the Plymouth Hemi Road Runner in drag races.
The LS6 Chevelle Requirements
Since the Chevy Chevelle LS6 wasn’t the base configuration, it required a large number of upgrades. Drivers had to order the SS 454 with the RPO Z15 production code. Nearly all models you find today will have bright engine accents, a black grille, power front disc brakes, a dual exhaust featuring bright tips, a special rear suspension, and the “power bulge” hood. All of these features were necessary to get to the SS 454 Package, and then buyers had to add the LS6 454 engine, further increasing the price tag. To put this in perspective, a base Chevelle cost slightly over $2,800, but all these upgrades added a minimum of $988.55 to that base price in 1970.
Power and Style
Assuming you find a classic 1970 Chevelle LS6 that still has its original interior styling, you will notice a front bench seat although bucket seats with a center console were optional. The dashboard came from the Monte Carlo with a flat-faced panel for the gauges and HVAC and radio controls to the right, along with the lighter. The exterior of the Chevelle had sculpted lines on top of the wheel openings and a blacked out grille with horizontal splitting and an “SS” emblem. Remember that the LS6 was an upgraded version of the SS. You may also find a model with wide “Stereo Stripes.” If you are in search of your own 1970 Chevy Chevelle LS6, you should know that the automaker only made 4,475 of these models throughout the years. These road beasts were rare and often received modifications by their owners. As such, you may have to look fairly hard to find this champion of the muscle car wars.