1970 Chevelle SS 250 Six: Or What’s Wrong With This Picture?

image: gmphotostore

Lt.BrunoStachel linked to this picture in a comment, professing to be stumped by it, despite being a self-professed GM expert. Here’s his comment:

Speaking of Chevy mills under Poncho bonnetts. I found this pic many years ago. I’m a GM expert but the story behind this pic has me baffled. http://www.gmphotostore.com/1970-Chevrolet-Chevelle-SS-Coupe/productinfo/53217423/
It’s a 70 SS with a 250 straight six under the hood. Looks like it was hot rodded by the Chevy skunkworks from the looks of the painted air cleaner.We all know the 350/2V was the base motor in the SS so who knows what this concept was trying to prove.

I can’t explain it properly either, because in 1970, the only Chevelle SS models were the 396 and 454 (no 350). And that red “painted air cleaner” is not the air cleaner, which is the black round thing, looking very stock. I can’t make out just what that red painted thing in the front right is, though; it’s not stock. Based on the way this car is “dressed”, I’m guessing some of the Chevy guys decided to have a little fun and slap an SS badge on a Malibu six. Anybody got a better theory?