The owner of this awesome 1970 Chevelle is Victor Mcintire, a native of Clarksville, Tennesee, and an autobody technician by trade. Mcintire is also a long time gearhead with an interest in big-block Chevrolet musclecars that dates back to his youth.
"I have always been reluctant to talk about the Chevelle because it has never been for sale and I just simply didn't want to be bothered," says Mcintire. After having a few laughs and some great conversation about old Chevys, (big-block Chevelles in particular) it seemed to energize Mcintire to the point of a very rare invitation to the backyard shed to see the Chevelle in person. Once we made our way around the house and entered the old shed, we saw one of the coolest and rarest 1970 Chevelles ever built. A SS454 LS5, the driver-friendly sibling to the infamous LS6, and just as rare.
"I bought this car in 1981 from Stanfill Auto Sales on College Street in Clarksville," says Mcintire. "It had a fresh red-with-black-stripes paint job, was a real SS454, the price was right, and I was sold." This car retains its original buildsheet and warranty card to prove its authenticity. "It was assembled at the Lakewood Plant in Atlanta, Georgia, and sold new at Cumberland Chevrolet in Carthage, Tennessee," Mcintire confirms.
Mcintire, like many of us during our early adulthood days, made some very unwise decisions. "I lost my driving privileges in 1986 but I continued driving the Chevelle," says Mcintire. It wasn't until one night after outrunning the authorities in the Chevelle and facing jail time, that he decided it was time to park the car.
He began removing the engine and transmission the next morning to remove any temptation of driving the Chevelle without a license. The Chevelle, the 454 engine, and the automatic transmission have sat in the same spot in Mcintire's small shed since.
1970 Chevelle SS454 RPO LS5 equipped machines featured two-bolt main bearing engine blocks, a 10.25:1 compression ratio, a high-lift hydraulic flat-tappet camshaft, low-rise cast-iron intake manifold, and a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. Transmission options available behind the RPO LS5 engine were the heavy-duty Muncie M22 manual and Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic.
A 12-bolt rear axle was standard equipment with a 3.31:1 gear ratio and an optional limited slip. Additional rear-axle gear ratios were not available for the RPO LS5 option unless dealer installed. Total production figures for the 1970 Chevelle SS454 equipped with the RPO LS5 option tallied 4,298 units assembled in the U.S., and 299 units assembled across the border in Canada.
According to the buildsheet, the car was optioned with raised white-letter tires, cowl-induction hood, air conditioning, automatic transmission, power steering, and special instrumentation. The original color was Champagne gold with a black vinyl top and black vinyl bench-seat interior.
One interesting feature on this car is the small-block 5,000-rpm redline tachometer. A 1970 Chevelle equipped with the RPO SS454 LS5 option and assembled at the Lakewood plant received the incorrect 5,000 rpm redline tach until approximately May of 1970. It is also known as the "938" tach which is in box 72 on the buildsheet.
There was a coding issue for the RPO SS454 LS5 option, which was supposed to receive the correct "985" 5,500-rpm redline tach. There aren't any known 1970 SS454 LS5 examples built at the Lakewood Plant carrying the correct tach with an assembly date prior to May 1970.
Now that we have had the treat of seeing this awesome Chevelle, we're sure everyone is curious to know what Mcintire's future plans are for the car. "I'm looking into doing a full frame off concourse restoration and keep it another 35 years," Mcintire says. That sounds like a plan. We are all for resurrecting these iconic pieces of automotive history and couldn't agree more.