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Amazing 1970 Chevelle SS396 Barn Find Sells at the Russo and Steele Auction

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 6/7/2017 Patrick Nichols
RS Auction 001 Amazing 1970 Chevelle SS396 Barn Find Sells at the Russo and Steele Auction

Every January, thousands of car enthusiasts in the market for a collector car bombard Scottsdale, Arizona, for the world's largest auction arena. Whether you are looking to become a consignor, bidder, spectator, or all of the above, there is a smorgasbord of cars on hand—everything from exotic European sports cars to American muscle.

The Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction specializes in American muscle cars as well as inoperable barn finds. The Russo and Steele staff was excited to consign the amazing 1970 Chevelle SS396 barn find that donned the cover of the November 2016 issue of Car Craft magazine.

This 1970 Chevelle SS396 was equipped with the special high-performance RPO (Regular Production Option) L78 engine option and was found parked in a storage lot in Fresno, California, in January 2016. It was parked there in 1983 and never moved. Only 2,144 1970 SS396 Chevelles were equipped with the RPO L78 engine option, and very few are in existence today.

© Patrick Nichols

"Once I became aware of all the interest the Chevelle was generating on the Internet, along with its rarity, and saw its picture on the cover of Car Craft magazine, I knew Russo and Steele was a perfect fit for this car," says consignment specialist Walter Cerini. Cerini assisted with all of the paperwork to register the Chevelle for the auction and was also in charge of Russo and Steele's aggressive Internet marketing of the car.

"We were really proud to have the Chevelle barn find at our Scottsdale, Arizona, auction," says Cerini. "It was an interesting attraction for all of our participants, and it was also a big hit like we had expected." The Chevelle crossed the block at 2:30 p.m. on January 18, 2017, and found its new owner.

With all the options available to facilitate the sale of a collector car such as eBay, Craigslist, and others, we'd have to say there is nothing like the exciting experience of a live auction. Although the online options mentioned above involve zero travel expenses, and in some cases zero seller fees, the value of meeting new people and the thrill of a live auction more than make up for it. Our experience at the Russo and Steele auction was a blast, and we would highly recommend it to anyone.

For more information on Russo and Steele, visit their website at

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