20k Mile Barn Find? 1972 Chevrolet Malibu

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General Motors’ A-body intermediates were in their last outing of a five-year production cycle in 1972. So, the cars were little changed over the prior year in anticipation of big developments coming with the new Colonnade bodies in 1973. This ’72 Sport Coupe is said to be a one-owner car with just 20,000 miles, yet it looks like it hasn’t run in ages, just extracted from long-term storage. From the back of a tow truck in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, this Chevy is available here on Facebook Marketplace for the best offer (starting at $1). Thanks for this vintage tip, Chuck Foster!

Chevy’s Chevelle was popular throughout its run from 1964-77. From 1978 going forward, the Chevelle name was dropped in favor of calling the whole series Malibu, previously the top trim level. Second-generation Malibu’s have become popular targets for cloning as the  SS 396 model of the muscle car was no longer a series of its own after 1968. In 1972, Chevrolet produced upwards of 300,000 copies of the Malibu Sport Coupe with a V8 engine, which would include the seller’s car.

Not much info is provided about the seller’s Malibu other than it was previously a one-owner car. The odometer is claimed to be just 20,000 miles, which begs the question of why and when was it parked. The body and paint seem to be in fair condition, although we’re only given photos of the car atop a hauler. That tells me the seller was planning to flip it at the earliest convenience. There is some rust on the corners of the Chevy, which makes you wonder what the undercarriage looks like. But the interior looks sweet and this Malibu has bucket seats with a console.

This car has a V8 engine, but we’re not told which one. It could be the basic 307 cubic-inch small block that was in its last outing in 1972. The automatic is likely a TH-350 as we understand the 2-speed Powerglide was put out to pasture after 1971. There is no indication of what it will take to get this old girl going again, but given the dirty engine compartment, it’s likely not to have moved under its own power for quite some time. What would you peg as top dollar for this barn find?

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  1. mikeh

    When I look at the pictures, I hear a soft voice whispering ….. “120k, 120k, 120k”. Thank you, little voice.

    Like 19
    • nlpnt

      I just assume that everything with a 5-digit odometer has made a full orbit of it unless presented with solid proof otherwise.

      Like 15
      • Dan A

        Agree.I think the proof is in the condition here. Any paper documents is only as good as the paper it is written on. Stopped using that as proof years regarding mileage, low mileage cars as pretty obvious when inspected.

        Like 8
  2. Buffalo Bob

    Black valve covers = replacement engine & more than 20K.

    Like 13
  3. DavidH

    When was it parked, why was it parked and where was it parked?! 20,000? Caveat emptor.

    Like 10
    • Marshall Belcher

      Let me sell you a beach front lot in Florida. The pictures I can give you is fuzzy but not that’s nit kamato dragons in the picture. Dang it how did that happen..

      Like 1
  4. junkmanMember

    20k miles since the repaint when the odometer rolled.

    Like 6
    • Michael Hutt

      I would be in at around 12 000 but would have to see it first

      Like 1
  5. Maggy

    Cool car for being a non ss with buckets and console with the staple shifter.Powerglides were available in 72. Replaced my buddies in his orange 72 307 car with a Muncie 4 speed..Bring a magnet if you’re checking this car out.Crummy pics too.5k car in today’s market if it’s solid underneath imo from pics provided.

    Like 5
    • Dan H

      He used the special “fuzzy focus” camera lens. Seems common on cars where the seller is telling an unbelievable story.

      Like 7
    • Terry

      A guy I knew had the exact car with a 402 big block. Same color and interior. Had all the things a SS would have but no emblems. Cheaper insurance? Was probably a rare car

      Like 2
  6. Joe Bru

    Seat covers look redone, whiter than door panels, very greasy under-hood for 20k, looks more like a 120k car

    Like 4
  7. Troy

    Another seller who needs to understand that when a 5 digit odometer rolls over it starts at 0 and doesn’t create a 1 in front of it. Yes this car is moderately clean but that odometer has rolled at least once

    Like 5
  8. CCFisher

    The ’72 Chevelle and its A-body corporate cousins were little changed because the Colonnade ’73s were originally planned for 1972. The long-ish strike against GM in fall, 1970 delayed the new cars a full year.

    Like 2
  9. Bunky

    Chevrolet continued to foist the antiquated 2 speed Powerglide onto buyers through the 1973 model year.

    Like 3
  10. danny

    Nice car, should go in the mid 40s-50s at the very least, and assume it has the 307, possibly 350. Advantage of automatic in the floor not column. Great investment, better than stocks, no problem in selling

    Like 2
    • Neal Jacobsen

      From what the pictures show, I’m thinking no more than $20,000 – $25,000. Engine will need to be pulled and checked, then cleaned and rebuilt if for nothing else than new gaskets to prevent leaks. Get a TH400 if it will fit. Then check out the rest of the car. Update brakes, fluid. Recheck suspension. Talk banker into giving you a loan. Lol!!
      I would like to do this but it will cost too much. Could be done though!!

      Like 1
      • danny plake

        Engine would not necessarily need pulling or Transmission removed. Once again, everything is a hypothetical, could go both ways! If not, I would stay with the original estimation of mid 40s to 50. In this market, you always have to look at the high side, especially when the vehicle has the name CHEVELLE!

        Like 1
    • Joe Bru

      40k+ is ridiculous, you know the owner? One can get SS cars in same shape for around 20k on Ebay. This worth around 15k in California, 10k anywhere else.

      Like 1
    • Joe Bru

      Danny you must be a car salesman or private car seller, but I’m not convinced. Buyers have to estimate high on restoration costs & get lowest possible purchase cost, otherwise will have more in car than worth.

      Like 1
  11. Chevychase71

    I just can’t with these “make me an offer” ads. If you want to sell, put a damn price on it! Ughh!!!

    Like 5
  12. Neal Jacobsen

    I put more enthusiasm in a Chevelle if that SS emblem is on the car and on the I’d tag so it’s a real. After 35 years of sitting around, unłess the seller can say it was driven in the last week, the engine at least would come out. When was the oil changed, tune up?
    I don’t trust anything.

    Like 0
  13. Bill

    I’m in Canada and we just put new panels,rockers,fenders,trunkand rockers on one like that. It would be an impossible dream to find one here in that condition. If the floors look like rest it’s a pretty good starting point and has the gate shift. I was never a real big fan of them compared to Pontiac but they make a lot of aftermarket parts like suspensions and a good crate motor and that would be a nice car that’s fun to drive. .

    Like 3
  14. B cook

    I had thd exact car, cost me 5000.00 new. It was a great car. But not worth 20-40k. That is outrageous. I’ll tale it off hid hands for 3k.

    Like 1
    • bone

      5G new ? You could have bought a loaded Caprice for that kind of money in ’72

      Like 0
  15. Philip LivotiMember

    Hello sent you a message got no answer back , I’m very interested in your car, would like to make you an offer please email me ,dibbs425@aol.com, I sent you my phone number don’t know if you got it , please call if you did, thank you Phil

    Like 0
  16. Danny

    Joe, you are correct. I have engaged this classic car industry for over 30 years. I have made a great living by knowing the market, and what the up and down side potential is, very much like stocks. People have the misconception of this market in today’s world that they are looking at cars from 50 years ago they use to buy for a few hundred dollars, and not grasp the concept the current price on these cars! The industry has evolved to investment property, not personal usage. You are looking at a very rare, limited amount of product available. Econ 101 states very simply..low supply of product equals high demand, which equals high prices. The Chevelle above will sell as a investment, between the price quoted, unless the seller has to forsake a emergency sell. Once again, these cars are being purchased as investments, along with future gains!

    Like 0
  17. Stevieg

    It is not often you see one of these, especially bucket seat and floor shift equipped, with a small block, sans SS emblems, and the deluxe wheel covers.
    I agree, it is probably 120,000 miles, maybe even 220,000. It has been loved, although it has had work done to it. It is still solid looking.
    It probably has some value to it. I would think it is probably worth $10,000 if as solid as it looks, even as a non-running restoration project.
    Up close and personal inspection is worth while with this one.

    Like 0
    • danny

      Stevieg, lol..lol, where have you been? Lost in the 70s, along with prices? the name CHEVELLE, by itself is worth 10K in today market! My goodness people, please allow yourself some air and come to the surface of today’s reality! You do not have too like it, or even purchase one of these rare cars. BUT FOR HEAVEN SAKES, accept today’s market (it is not going to get any cheaper) and stop living back in the 70s!

      Like 1
      • Stevieg

        Maybe where you live the Chevelle name is worth 10 grand no matter what, but I live in a blue collar city in the Midwest. We work hard for our money around here.
        I did say it is probably worth $10,000 by the way, but you seem to think I don’t feel it is worth that.
        Whatever. The rude way you commented on my comment is what has me boiling under the comment. List in the 70’s? I was born in the 70’s!
        Maybe you need a lesson in courtesy and politeness.

        Like 0
      • Stevieg

        I have been buying, loving and selling classic cars for years.
        Here in the Midwest, this has value (I even said it should be worth at least $10,000), but you seem to take it as I am saying it is an old beater.
        Fact is, I really like the car. But it is not an SS & never will be. Is it a high dollar car? Absolutely not. Not where I live anyways. The Chevelle name is big, but not that big.
        By the way, I was born in the 1970’s, so you telling me my pricing is based on a 1970’s mindset is incorrect. My mindset is based on reality.
        This is a pretty loaded up version of a base car with neat features and good bones. It appears to be in fairly decent condition and well loved. But it is an old car that has been sitting and now needs more love and money thrown at it.
        I imagine cleaned up & going down the road it is probably worth mid $20,000’s, but right now it is a paper weight with unknown mechanical condition. If you want to pay more than $10,000 for that, go for it. No need to passive aggressively insult my intellect.

        Like 0
  18. Neal Jacobsen

    It should get cheaper. The new pickups are between $40,000 for a cheapy and $90,000 for a decked out one. This is insanity especially when you consider the quality of what you get is not there. Doesn’t matter who makes them. They are all the same. So, do you think that putting up $50,000 for a car of the ’60s is worth as much as one of the new cars? Let me know! I’m all ears people!!

    Like 0
    • danny

      Neal, I do believe the cars from the 60s and 70s are worth every penny! The market once again is a INVESTMENT MARKET, with a very rare commodity for sale. You could say the very same about a 1930’s Major League Baseball card =rare or a fire arm from Custer’s Battlefield=rare or almost non-existent.. I could continue…however the point is, you pay for rarity. The classic car industry is one of those venues where a limited amount of historical cars (especially muscle cars) are available from a time frame gone, which will never exist again in American Motor history!! You are paying for the right of ownership to participate in this market. Reference today’s 90k truck or cars, worthless for that value, and the quality is sub-standard. Really, all you are paying for is technology, the rest of the vehicle is worthless, and will be in the scrap yard, within ten years.

      Like 0
      • Neal Jacobsen

        Good point sir. I think that more people would be in the classic arena if they were not priced as high as they are. If the car is good enough for Mecam’s auction that is one thing but most of the rest of us can’t pay the prices they are asking. That’s my side of it.

        Like 1
  19. Jon

    @ Neal, And a Big Amen to that !!!

    Like 0
  20. Danny

    Steveig, that is the problem. You were born in the 70s, I was driving these cars in the 60s and 70s! I cut my adolescence years on these cars and have been involved in this market place for over 30 years! What you consider rude is not surprising, I hear the same blah blah all the time from people who perhaps think they know these cars, but are out of touch with the ever evolving market place\ industry, regarding these cars, with most people as basic novice. If you consider my response as rude toward you, thenI guess reality hurts. I recommend taking a nap and a asprin, and moving on. Take care.

    Like 2
    • Stevieg

      Dude, I would love to meet your disrespectful & rude self face to face. I am pretty sure we would have things to talk about.
      I am pretty sure you would fit in the trunk of my car….

      Like 0
    • Stevieg

      I quit my membership on Barn Finds because obviously the administration here doesn’t try to weed out the douchebags in the group. Yup, I am walking away from my 5 year membership, and they are losing a tiny bit of income, because of you.
      I would love the chance to meet you face to face. Just sayin’!

      Like 0
  21. Neal Jacobsen

    I was born in
    early 50’s, so I have to agree with you. IMHO, I do think the classic and new vehicles are way overpriced. Which makes it hard for a lot of people to own a classic car and take care of it.

    Like 0

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