Review 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Hardtop: friendly car with you

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1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Hardtop

It’s a wicked attitude and a setup that’s built solely to go fast, this is an entertaining car to drive. Add in comforts like A/C and a modern stereo, and you have a muscle car that’s friendly enough to go to work with you each day.

It would be a mistake to underestimate this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Hardtop tribute car on the basis of the small block under the hood. You just don’t see a lot of dark gray Chevelles, but it sure looks great, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s the combination of the paint’s grown-up, subtle look and the brute-force power that lives underneath, but this car has an awesome vibe that looks good from any angle. It’s also worth noting that the car’s original color was Autumn Gold, so it’s not surprising that they gave it an upgrade that’s pretty close to the factory’s Shadow Gray.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Hardtop

Do you like 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Hardtop in Red like that?

The bodywork was restored a few years ago and it’s been driven since then, so it’s not perfect, but if you want a car that can cruise the streets and not humiliate itself at the strip, then this is a fantastic choice. We don’t believe it’s a real SS, but the black SS stripes, functional cowl-induction hood, and SS badging make for a convincing facsimile that will be respected everywhere it goes. Nice chrome and stainless looks great against the dark gray paint, too.

The black bucket seat interior is impressively appointed and gives the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Hardtop an upscale feel that belies its reasonable price, both then and today. Since the original interior was also gold, you know that anything black is new, which is, like, everything: seats, carpets, door panels, dash pad, console, everything. The original gauges, including a factory tach, are still in the dash, but like any proper track car, it has a pair of auxiliary gauges hanging under the dash. There’s also a Hurst shifter with cue ball knob for the Muncie 4-speed and a modern AM/FM/iPod stereo radio for those times when you’re just cruising. It’s all quite nicely finished and in very good condition, including a rear bench seat that looks like it’s never been used. The trunk isn’t detailed, but does have spatter finish paint and an incredibly tidy look.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle HardtopNow about that gnarly small block, a neat 350 that’s been built to take no prisoners.

It’s got a modest cam inside, an Edelbrock intake manifold, and a big 4-barrel carburetor up top, all living under an OEM air cleaner with a chrome lid. There’s a serpentine belt drive system and modern accessories for reliability, and the engine bay clearly had some money spent on it. The aforementioned 4-speed manual transmission feeds a bulletproof 10-bolt out back, which hangs on leaf springs with traction bars to make the most of the power coming its way. Long-tube headers dump into a Flowmaster exhaust system that sounds terrific, and it sits on classic SS wheels with 225/70/14 white-letter radials all around.

If going fast is your thing, don’t overlook the virtues of this small block Chevelle. You’ll probably be surprised by how little it gives up to its bigger, more expensive siblings.

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