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1972 Corvette: Power Bulge

1972 Corvette Stingray

I love cars with rare, odd, and unusual features, but typically cars like the Corvette were what we might consider cookie cutter cars. They offered a few different engine options and a number or color combos, but for the most part each car was identical. However, there were a few years that they offered some special visual elements you could add to make your car stand out from all the other Corvettes on the road. One of the most notable has to be the L88 hood, which was offered separately from the entire L88 performance package. This Vette has been off the road since 1982 and will need work before it will be ready to cruise again. It appears to be a base model car that was either optioned with the special hood or had it installed at a later time. Whichever it was, I don’t know, but I do know that I like the way it makes this car look! If you just happen to agree with me, you can find it here on craigslist in Owensboro, Kentucky with an $8,500 asking price. So do you think this car was ordered with this hood or did someone add it at a later date?


  1. Mark E

    Parked in ’82? Too bad it wasn’t parked…INSIDE!! >_<

    • krash

      LOL…Good one, Mark E!!

  2. kenzo

    The hood does make a difference. looks good. and totally agree with Mark E

  3. JW

    Don’t know much about Vettes except I would have to hit lottery to get the one and only one I want ” 63 Split Window “. Now I thought front and rear chrome bumpers ended by 1970. The reason I thought this is my friend in Florida bought a yellow 1969 Corvette convertible because it was he said the last year for front and rear chrome bumpers on Vettes. Is this not true then ???

    • Kevin

      Chrome bumpers ended in 1974. 1973 still had rear chrome, but the nose was plastic (or fiberglass, not sure), in 1974 both front and rear were plastic.

      • Oldstuff 1941

        The bumpers were an early Urethane material and were not very good at all for durability, after a few years, they would almost crumble if left out in the sun all the time..

    • OhU8one2

      1972 was the last year for front and rear chrome bumper’s. 1973 had the painted front bumper and chrome rear. 1974 came with only painted front and rear bumper’s. Personally I cannot stand the 73’s for this very reason.

      • JW

        OhU8one2… Thanks for the info, very appreciated.

    • billy boy

      No not true they ended front and rear in 72 and rear only on 73.74 was first year of no chrome.74 had plastic front and rear but the rear had a split in the middle.doubt it is a lt1

      • Oldstuff 1941

        Billy Boy,
        You are correct about the years for chrome and then beginning the Urethane bumpers… and also you get the prize for knowing about the ‘split’ two piece rear bumper on the 74’s… no other year one piece bumper will fit correctly on the 74 without cutting either the frame or the bumper itself… I restored a rare 74 coupe, Mille Miglia Red with a super rare Silver Leather interior.. less than 100 built with that color combo… The breather in this car is for a LT1 350, but those valve covers kinda look like Big Block finned covers… or maybe I’m just not seeing them correctly… but that breather was definitely used on an LT1 350 and maybe others?

  4. Jeff

    Chrome bumpers front and rear ended in 72, 73s had rear only, 74 had none. Doesn’t seem like a bad price depending on the frame condition (rust)

    I hate the flippers that don’t even bother taking it off the trailer before they take pics

  5. MH

    Great car. Probably a factory hood. Well worth the money!!!!

    • Justin

      The L88 hood scoop is an aftermarket. The factory scoops were lower in height and had a bridge linking the front and the rear bulge together.
      The 1972 Vette was the last year for the chrome front and rear bumpers.
      The 1973 Vette was the last year for the chrome rear bumper.

      This is a great find as it has the 1972 Vettes had the Hi Po LS-1 engine if it is a #match car.

      • Oldstuff 1941

        I think you are correct about the Hood, the linking bridge and all,…(even though the seller says it was ordered with it),,,,And the years for the bumpers….The 70 thru 72’s had a LT1 – 350, 350/360 HP engine option,… not the current LS engine series… If this one is a LT1, having air is a super rarity, as the 72’s were the only year you could get a LT1 with air conditioning….and the number ordered with air was very very low…as it also lowered the rated HP to 345 to 350. Overall, LT1’s were a very rare option in themselves with production numbers very low for all 3 years. I’m pretty sure all that is correct, it’s been about 15 years since i was buying and restoring the late 50’s to mid 70’s Corvettes.

  6. Ben

    I installed one of these hood scoops to my ’71 Camaro to cover up the massive 454. It was fun to watch the velocity stack torque with the engine through the back of the scoop and the 4 barrel carb really made a lot more noise.

  7. Dan

    Looks to me like 1973 side scoops in the front fenders, probably been hit and had the whole front end replaced…

    • Gregg

      Dan, nice observation. Definitely 73 or later front fenders. 72’s were honey comb/waffle side vents.

    • Oldstuff 1941

      Dan I also noticed those side vents. It was very hard to see them clearly,on the original posting,… which after reading your and Gregg’s comment made me go back and look harder at the photo Mark E. put up… Like you guys I see 73 and later vents.

      It also looks like there is red oxide primer on the upper front of those fenders, which I never remember seeing from the factory on any Corvette I stripped to the fiberglass. It was always a gray primer about the color of the bare glass… The funny thing is that i can see what looks like a factory bonding seam above those vents, about 3/4 of the way up the rear part of the fenders,…which is almost impossible to replicate.

      All those factors make me think that the rear part of those front fenders wa replaced for some reason and a 72 esq front end with the correct chrome bumper was grafted on to them… What in the world would cause that kind of repair to be necessary?… maybe an engine fire? Possibly got the hood too? causing a replacement L88 aftermarket hood to be used? What about the lower firewall?….
      Strange to say the least… i would really have to look at this one close before even giving the $8500

  8. Gene

    I own a C3 Corvette i can assure you these vehicles are difficult to work on
    and expensive to maintain. To get his vehicle on the road and safe will be about 5-6K.
    No restoration just going through brake system, trailing arms, tires, carb rebuild, new fuel tank, and on and on.
    Great car, but C3’s are not for the minimalist mechanic.
    Patience is a virtue with these cars.

  9. Tom Member

    All great comments. agreed, the front fenders are not correct. I have had 2 72’s and 1 73. the biggest mistake that can be made on this Corvette and any others is the presence of rust. I am a rust expert and Corvettes are full of it, you just don’t see it! Get this one up on a lift and check it with a light. These like to rot out in the frame sections around the rear wheels, behind the rear wheels on top of the frame. If that is happening, your resto budget just went red!

    Mark, it didn’t say parked since 82 it said “off the road” apparently in the middle of a field !

    Beware, something tells me there are many things about this car we don’t know.

    • Oldstuff 1941

      Sounds like you and I have run up on some of the same cars…lol…

  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Wrong hood and wrong fenders = previous front end damage. Better check check the chassis for damage too.

    I agree with Tom, the stuff you can’t see is the most concerning. If this spent most of it’s life outdoors not moving, frame and birdcage rot will be the biggest areas of concern.

  11. Mike B

    There was an 72 Vette, very much like this, hood and all, that sat on a City Street in front of the owners Mom’s house, in Park Hills, Missouri. The story was that the owner of it parked it there before he went away to prison, for a very long time. The city would tell the Lady she had to move it, but she never did. The Son finally got out of prison, but after all those years of setting out on that street through all kinds of weather the car was toast. The owner had it towed to a junk yard and it was gone. I was thought what a waste of a beautiful Vette.

  12. Plasticpig

    The hood is a knock off of the factory style cold air hood used with the RPO-L88 option, (or even rarer ZL-1).
    They (factory ones) were also available over the counter at the Chevrolet Parts Dept.
    This hood appears to go all the way to the windshield (grill aft of hood and vacuum wiper door removed), which is not the way a true hood was molded.

  13. Chris

    These comments! You ‘vette guys are all over this Stingray! Pretty cool how ya’ll can pick her apart by just pictures. I love it! Mustangs are my obsession, but it always impresses me how real Corvette freaks really know their details.

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