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Don’t Be Fooled: How To Spot A REAL 1970 Chevelle SS

MAY 30, 2017 - Patrick G. Nichols - HotRod.Com 

Photo: Motorious.com

The 1970 Chevelle SS is not only one of the most sought-after cars in the world, but it's also one of the most faked and cloned as well. There is nothing worse than hearing about a fellow car enthusiast purchasing a bogus car and becoming a victim of fraud. The purpose of this article is to show you how to check the VIN and identify some basic features of the 1970 Chevelle SS, which can help the average enthusiast detect fabricated features and lower the risk of making a bad purchase.

Titles or terms such as True SS, Numbers Matching, and Correct Original are frequently used as selling points for a 1970 Chevelle SS. This can be very misleading, as these terms are often used loosely—and even abused. With any assertion, there must be sufficient facts or documents to support the claim in order for it to be deemed accurate. We offer up some technical insight on these
terms as well as the supporting evidence that should be present to back them up.

Proving the authenticity of a 1970 Chevelle SS can be a very daunting task without the existence of sufficient documentation, such as the original assembly plant "buildsheet" or the vehicle's original warranty card (Protect-o-Plate). The vast majority of 1970 SS Chevelles in the "For Sale" market do not possess either of these documents; therefore, we will mainly focus on the physical characteristics of the 1970 Chevelle SS rather than the documents themselves.

When documentation is no longer available, a thorough inspection of the car's driveline components and body is imperative. The main purpose of this inspection is to check for the original existence of mandatory components that were standard equipment with the RPO Z25 SS396 and Z15 SS454 options. It must be noted that options such as front power disc brakes; SS-style, round-gauge dash; 12-bolt rear end; RPO M40 (if originally equipped with automatic transmission); and RPO F41 suspension do not prove a 1970 Chevelle to be an original SS model, but evidence to support that all of these options were originally present is mandatory. The RPO M40 automatic transmission was the only automatic available for both RPO Z25 and Z15 packages, hence the reason for including it in this list.

The following photos will assist in providing a better understanding of the physical traits of a 1970 Chevelle SS. A thorough inspection is essential to drawing well-informed conclusions based on your findings, and it will also enable you to make excellent purchasing decisions.

1970 Chevelle SS Spotter's Guide from HotRod.com

Do Your Homework

If you are considering the purchase of a 1970 Chevelle SS, you would be well-advised to do your homework by learning how to decode the VIN number before entering the vintage-car market in search of your dream car. Identifying and becoming the beneficiary of a good buy is extremely dependent upon becoming a knowledgeable buyer who is familiar with the vast level of information briefly discussed in this article, such as engine codes, rear-axle codes, transmission codes, driveline dating systems, correct part numbers, and casting numbers to all driveline components. It's also crucial that this information is stored into your memory, as you must be able to recite it at a moment's notice in order to capitalize on bargains when they present themselves.

The stealthiest of buyers are armed with a lethal amount of knowledge and won't need to research a car on the spot, which is definitely a recipe for missing the boat. The adage "luck is where preparation meets opportunity" definitely applies to the vintage-car market. Indecisiveness, apprehension, and doubt are ugly kin that will fog the sight of your ship when it comes in. Being prepared, experienced, and well informed will let you see your ship in high definition with your name written all over it, and you will most certainly jump on board.