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1970 Chevelle SS Convertible Project Car Assessment

Part Two: Assessment

In Part One we introduced you to our 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS Convertible Project Car. This time around we start the renovation program. The car was originally an SS 396 car, but when that engine died a previous owner replaced it with a Chevrolet crate 502. It currently has only approximately 3,000 miles on it and we will make no changes. Our goal is not to build a show car to authentic factory specs. We want to drive this car and enjoy it.

The assessment of this SS was not overwhelming because of its overall exceptional condition. There are obvious areas that need improvement. The questions are whether we should fix them, but if they should remain or be replaced with something better? These are very personal decisions and were extremely difficult to make. I will try to explain the reasons for replacing factory correct items when that was the decision..

This assessment may not be 100% complete, as you never know what missed problems we may discover as we drive the car regularly. However, the information that follows is our overview list of current intentions.


  • The interior is the biggest area of need. From a first impression it looks great, but closer examination and use exposes our issues with it.
    • The driver’s seat and the other seats are uncomfortable because of worn springs and deteriorating foam.
    • The interior was originally red, but the seats have been tinted ivory. Although very well done, there are places where the original red is showing through.
  • The dash was also tinted red with a very shiny finish. The carpet is also red. This is, in my opinion, is far too much red.
  • The original console is black, as would have been the original dash and carpet. It shows some wear and tear but is not terrible.
  • There are three different sets of gauges in the dash.
    • The originals, all of which do not work.
    • A typical aftermarket under dash set of three gauges that also do not all work.
    • The Holly Snipper digital gauge screen is located such that it is completely unreadable while driving.
  • The factory air conditioning system is not cooling. The heating/cooling blower is making a loud noise on start up. The control switch panel is worn and functions poorly.
  • The rear bumper rubber SS cover has been removed but was found in the trunk in excellent condition.
  • The original factory radiator has a leak and shows signs of having had many others.
  • When the car was repainted, the factory style racing stripes were left off. They were standard with the cowel induction hood.

This concludes our assessment of the car’s current conditions. I believed any items not listed to be in acceptable condition. In a future post, we will address how we plan to correct each of the above issues/problems.

This Holly Snipper gauge monitor is absolutely unreadable from the driver’s seat.

See our Next Article on this Project Car.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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