Is this really a ’70 Hemi ’Cuda? Yep, the VIN reads BS23R0B187998, and the R in the fifth position confirms factory-installed 426 Hemi status. One of 652 ’70 Hemi ’Cuda hardtops built (and one of 284 with a four-speed transmission), it was originally ordered in Deep Burnt Orange Metallic—instead of a more typical high-impact hue like Sassy Grass or Tor-Red. Apparently a stripe-delete car, this sleeper must have lured plenty of street action. Is this really a ’70 Hemi ’Cuda? Yep, the VIN reads BS23R0B187998, and the R in the fifth As junkyard scroungers, we’ve all heard tales of abandoned muscle car gold, but most of the time, the story unwinds the closer you get to the car. You know the drill. A guy says he knows where there’s a ’71 GTO Judge convertible sitting under a pine tree. He tells you, “Oh yeah, it has the split front bumper, a 455 with dual exhaust, and everything.” You take the bait and get directions on where to find it. After a six-hour drive, it turns out to be a rusty Bonneville and you head for home dejected. But just as often, these leads can turn out to be rock solid. This was the case recently when a friend invited us to view this muscle car treasure trove in a California self-storage lot. Our nameless friend rents a space in the storage lot and says these cars have been sitting just as we see them here for more than 20 years. Since he’s a muscle car collector, he’s already been through the process of contacting the owner of these cars to see if anything is for sale. It turns out, the owner is fully aware of exactly what he’s got and no, nothing is for sale. Keep in mind, these cars are all kept under lock and key, and while they may look vulnerable, security cameras, nasty guard dogs, and other methods are in place to keep them from harm. But we can look. But is the original Hemi still sitting under that N96 Shaker hood? The mini padlocks keep the hood shut—and we do not condone touching other people’s stuff. That said, a quick look underneath the ’Cuda revealed what appeared to be a Hemi-specific, 6-quart, steel oil pan, and the Shaker pokes through the hood perfectly. We’d bet there’s still an elephant in this thing. But is the original Hemi still sitting under that N96 Shaker hood? The mini padlocks keep Minus the hockey stick stripes, it looks like a plain-Jane Slant Six car. Don’t be fooled. The blacked-out tail panel (and BS23 VIN code) confirm ’Cuda status. The vintage California yellow-on-blue license plate is probably original to the car. Inside, the black, vinyl, high-back-bucket-seat interior is well preserved, and the original Hurst Pistol Grip shift handle pokes right through the floor of this no-console, no-frills acceleration machine. Minus the hockey stick stripes, it looks like a plain-Jane Slant Six car. Don’t be fooled. Muscle car stigmata: Decades of exposure has caused the deflated BFGoodrich Radial T/A 60 skins to weep. The five-spoke American Racing S200 “Daisy” wheels were very popular back in the ’70s. In fact, Big Willie Robinson—president of the L.A. Brotherhood of Street Racers—and his S200-equipped Daytona Hemi Charger were featured in a series of ’71 magazine ads touting the American Racing S200 wheel. Muscle car stigmata: Decades of exposure has caused the deflated BFGoodrich Radial T/A 60 All ’66 to ’71 Street Hemi Mopars (regardless of model) were factory equipped with so-called “torque boxes” to add rigidity to the forward leaf spring mounting bulkheads. The only other models to feature these welded stamped-steel reinforcements are convertibles. Here’s a look at the ’Cuda’s passenger-side torque box, further proof of its Street Hemi status. All ’66 to ’71 Street Hemi Mopars (regardless of model) were factory equipped with so-call This ’69 Camaro Z/28 Rally Sport sits near the Hemi ’Cuda. The original Rallye Green paint may be faded into oblivion with plenty of surface rust, but thanks to the California climate the sheetmetal is still solid. Don’t be fooled by the (correct) flat hood. Remember, the popular domed ZL2 cowl-induction hood was an extra cost option ($79) on the Z/28 in 1969. This Z/28 is one of 20,302 built in 1969 and still has an engine coupled with its four-speed manual transmission. Could it be the original DZ (suffix code) 302? We do not touch other folks’ cars, so we can’t know for sure. Otherwise it looks to be very pure and unmolested—right down to the early Firestone Super Sports radial tires it wore when parked decades ago. The hoodpins are not factory issue and were (smartly) added to prevent tampering. This ’69 Camaro Z/28 Rally Sport sits near the Hemi ’Cuda. The original Rallye Green paint Loaded with the Rally Sport option, this Z features hidden headlamps, which for 1969 only, came fitted with a trio of clear, horizontal windows to allow the headlamps to provide light in the unlikely event of a door failure. Also note the decomposing VE3 body-color front bumper. Much more than a simple painted steel bumper, the VE3 option ($42.15) features a urethane Endura-Flex overlay. Though thoroughly “scienced out” by GM exterior-finish lab techs, as any late ’60s Pontiac GTO owner can attest, these Endura bumpers are prone to decomposition if neglected long enough. Loaded with the Rally Sport option, this Z features hidden headlamps, which for 1969 only, The rear half is just as gritty (yet solid) as the front half. Note the standard-on-Z/28 D80 trunk lid spoiler, Rally Sport-spec reverse lamps mounted on the lower valance panel, and vintage California yellow-on-black license plate. Note how the roof-to-quarter-panel joint is finished with lead on this no-vinyl-roof example. Camaros equipped with vinyl tops employ cheaper plastic filler in this area. We forgot to check for the JL8 rear disc brake package—somehow it wouldn’t surprise us. The rear half is just as gritty (yet solid) as the front half. Note the standard-on-Z/28 D And the hits just never stop. Cloaked in decades of patina, this ’70 Chevelle SS454 appears to be the real thing and not some clone. But is it a 450hp LS6 (4,475 built) or a 360hp LS5 (4,298 built)? Without opening the hood or digging in and locating a buildsheet, there is no way to know. Regardless, this four-speed-stick-equipped example is faded yet solid. Again, we see American Racing S200 Daisy wheels and padlocked hoodpins. The slumbering ZL2 cowl-induction hood is stuck in the open position, as is common when accumulated vacuum isn’t available (in the reservoir) to counteract the activation spring. Let’s hope it hasn’t admitted too much rain over the years. Water can rot the air cleaner base plate and launch a moisture attack on the cylinder walls. And the hits just never stop. Cloaked in decades of patina, this ’70 Chevelle SS454 appear Contrary to popular belief, the ZL2 cowl-induction hood was not standard issue with the LS6 454. Sure, the domed Super Sport hood was included on every Z15 (SS454) and Z25 (SS396) Chevelle, but you paid an extra $147.45 to get the special air cleaner and under-hood ducting to make it all functional. Underneath, this four-speed 454 monster still packs a 12-bolt rear axle and F41 front and rear sway bars. If it is an LS6, that Muncie is an M22 “rock crusher.” The odds of this being an actual LS6 car are about even with the chances it packs the more mundane LS5. That said, the difference in value is much greater—like 300 percent higher for the LS6. Contrary to popular belief, the ZL2 cowl-induction hood was not standard issue with the LS By Steve Magnante Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!