32K Miles! 1972 Chevrolet Malibu Convertible

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One of the central themes that get bandied about, here on BF, has been the steeply ascendent pricing of the usual collectible (and some non-collectible!) suspects, you know, first-gen (’67-’69) Camaros, ’68-’72 GM A-bodies, Shelby Mustangs, anything from Mopar, etc. There are many more that can be added to the list but those are the ones that immediately come to mind. In my small sphere, I have noticed a significant run-up in asking prices since about 2020. And that brings us to today’s subject, a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu convertible. It’s a low mileage, gently used example but is really nothing special from a collectability perspective, as it’s a non-Super Sport (SS) edition and is equipped with an ordinary powerplant. Regardless of its excellent condition, the asking price is $45,000 – too much or about right in your estimation? But, before answering that, let’s review this one closely and see what others have to say on the matter. This Chevy convertible is located in Umatilla, Florida and is available, here on craigslist. Praise to Rocco B. for this fabulous find!

Yes, this one’s a survivor and it looks great. The seller states, “Paint also looks great. Well preserved classic car that has been garage kept all its life. Every body panel is factory and rust-free. The undercarriage is also all original with no signs of rust anywhere“. Sequoia Green was a very popular hue in the late ’60s/early ’70s and it’s one that I still favor today though it, or any variation of it, is seldomly encountered on modern cars. Rust magnets these A-bodies can be, but that’s not the case here – it looks like 1972! Even the convertible top is bright and clean with no signs of ground in mung or folding creases caused by use. Finally, holding up all four corners is round two of Chevrolet’s well-known rally wheel. This version first showed up in ’70 on the Camaro SS and then found its way to other models.

Powering this drop-top is a 165 net HP, 350 CI V8 engine (two-barrel carburetor version), working in concert with a Turbo-Hydramatic three-speed, automatic transmission. The underhood view supports this car’s low mileage claim and all appear to be in stock and original condition. The seller makes no mention of running and driving characteristics but there is no reason to suspect a problem.

Inside is a bench seat equipped, all vinyl interior finished in an avocado green shade – imagine finding that in a modern car! It is in magnificent condition and has obviously not experienced too much sun exposure due to top-down time. It’s a simple, unadorned environment, lacking engine gauges and utilizing a standard, horizontal speedometer. As was often the case in this era, this convertible is non-air conditioned.

So, what to make of this car? It’s the last of the mid-sized convertible body style and it’s well documented – the window sticker and build sheet are both included. Opening the trunk one will find a bias-ply spare tire that is likely the original. So, other than the inside of a garage, where has this car been all of these years, and why such limited use? I’ll admit it, this one is a bit of a unicorn. But a $45K unicorn? Talk among yourselves and let me know what you think.

 

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Comments

  1. Scrapyard John

    Wow, love this car with the convertible top and the green on green. A green interior is something you don’t see anymore, sort of like a green kitchen appliance. Those are gone too (my mom’s green refrigerator lasted 30 years, I feel lucky to get a newer one that lasts ten). Would’ve been cool if the car were a 4 speed. Great car, though. As for the price…I don’t know. Stuff is high these days.

    Like 7
    • Glenn SchwassMember

      Nice. Seems high priced but convertibles are getting nuts.

      Like 3
  2. normadesmond

    I suppose you have to think about who is driving the hobby, right? What age of people are out there shopping & buying?

    Change, fought everyday, it can’t be stopped.

    (This car makes me smile.)

    Like 6
  3. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Beautiful 72 Chevelle but no AC or Power brakes. Today there are places that put in AC. I Like the road wheels. And yes it’s a convertible. But not one picture with the top down!🤔 Does the motor work for the top? Yes it’s a high price and people look a top end car auction to get idea of prices. Low mileage helps a lot . I feel a fair price is. $25,000-30,000. Only reason it’s a survivor no rust. Good luck to the seller.🐻🇺🇸

    Like 14
  4. Shane

    It’s a low mileage, gently used example but is really nothing special from a collectability perspective, as it’s a non-Super Sport (SS) edition and is equipped with an ordinary powerplant——-> Grins!! That “Ordinary Powerplant” also came in the Super Sports starting in 1971…….LOL…I’ve owned more than one of them. Small Block engines became an option for Super Sports once again just like they started out with in the 60’s before going to the big blocks. They started out small blocks….then went to BIG BLOCKS…then went back to small blocks AND BIG BLOCKS as optional engines…..for BOTH standard Malibu’s AND for Super Sports :-) ..the Malibu’s with a factory big block 402 was called a Malibu 400.

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      Yes, I know all of that as I have owned a couple too.

      Regardless, I wouldn’t spend the normal ask (read that as big $$$) for a 165 HP SS version either even though the SS brought a lot more to the table than this Malibu. The SS “premium” included things like 60 series tires, 15″x7″ “mag” wheels, a domed hood, F40 suspension, standard front disc power brakes, badging, a black grille, etc. Some obviously feel that those items, and the “SS” provenance, are worth the big bucks.

      JO

      Like 5
      • Scrapyard John

        I think I’d rather have this than a hardtop SS of the same year with the base engine. Monetary value aside, I think it would be more fun to drive. I guess if the next owner doesn’t drive it and just wants the collectibility aspect, then the SS is definitely preferred.

        I’m debating whether I’d swap the intake, carb, and exhaust or leave it original right now and I can’t even afford the car. I really like this one.

        Like 3
      • Jim ODonnellAuthor

        I would agree with you, the convertible aspect of this car is one of the facets that make it special – along with its pristine originality. I get wanting to improve its power output but this is one that I would have to leave alone.

        From my perspective, $45 large is too much, regardless of this Chevy’s condition, mileage, and wind-in-your-hair features. That said, the ask doesn’t surprise me at all, the SS models have become stratospheric in price, and that rising tide lifts all others that are less endowed.

        JO

        Like 7
      • Pete Shea

        60 series tires weren’t being installed on Chevelles by Chevrolet in 1972.

        Like 0
      • Jim ODonnellAuthor

        Wrong Pete – Review the attached ’72 sales brochure.

        JO

        Like 8
  5. Greg

    Worth every cent if legit with original paint.

    Like 2
    • Scrapyard John

      I’m thinking it’s been painted. The green on the body almost looks like a slightly lighter green than the green around the door jambs and trunk.

      Like 0
  6. Bill Pressler

    Window sticker is a repop (that’s OK). Shows vinyl trim as optional when the brochure shows it as standard on a convertible, and unlike the build sheet, leaves the “H” off the end of Pittsburgh. :)

    Like 1
    • Doone

      Way too much for a low optioned green chevy eve tho it’s a drop top. They’re just testing the market IMO

      Like 6
  7. CCFisher

    Hagerty quotes values of $40,900 in “Excellent” condition and $51,200 in “Concours” condition. JDPower is even higher at the top end. $45,000 for this car seems to be in line with what the value guides suggest.

    Like 4
    • Big Bear 🇺🇸

      CCFisher that’s crazy for a plain Chevelle. And we don’t have a pictures with the top down. I guess the 70’s are going up and up. And I thought $25,000-30,000 was fair. Who knew.🤔

      Like 4
      • Jim ODonnellAuthor

        Big Bear:

        I can’t speak to JD Power, but Hagerty is notorious for ginning “agreed to” values and thusly encouraging their clients to sign-up for higher values while they reap the benefits of increased premiums. I consistently could not find asking prices for my Chevy convertible that were close to what they kept telling me it was worth. When I questioned them hard, they offered no proof, they just said, “well that’s what it’s worth“. My prior experience with them is that they are aggressive in their pursuit and that’s one reason that I stopped using them several years ago.

        You have to look at real-life asks, lots of them, and then parse the numbers by condition, mileage, total equipment, and geography to get a clear range of value. Of course, the market value is what a willing buyer and seller agree to but there are always outliers and volume matters.

        This Malibu seller may well get what he wants, or close to it, but it ultimately becomes more than a matter of what you can afford – you have to “want to” spend that amount and be comfortable with it. I know lots of car guys that will do that, and I know many more that will say, “No, I can afford it, but I’m not going to fork it over“.

        JO

        Like 5
      • CCFisher

        Compared to the cost of restoring a rusty example to this level, $45K is a bargain.

        Like 6
      • Tony Primo

        Hagerty will pay out a claim on agreed value. The higher the value of the vehicle, the higher the premium will obviously be. If Hagerty says your car is worth $25K and you only insure it and pay premiums on a $20K agreed value, who is losing out in the end? I insure my collector car to just below concours value. I know how much time and money I have invested in it.

        Like 4
  8. RalphP

    Absolutely beautiful. But $45k? He MIGHT get close to that at a Barrett-Jackson or Mecum auction. But to me he’s asking $20k too much.

    Like 6
  9. Bobaloo

    I love it but no way is it worth that to me.

    Like 4
  10. CarbobMember

    Like Jim says; asking prices have been on a steep incline for a couple of years now. If you have a nice car like this why wouldn’t you push the envelope? I’ve seen asks on rusty piles of junk that when you add the cost to restore to this level you’ll be past $45K. This used to be a relatively affordable hobby but not anymore. Lots of reasons for this but the primary one is that people are actually buying them at what some think is way too much. Most of us who have this viewpoint are older and recall when this kind of money bought something really special. Those days aren’t coming back anytime soon. However, at some point the market for a lot of these collector vehicles will decline IMO as the old guys with the money to afford them head to that big junkyard in the sky. The young car guys and gals aren’t interested in them.

    Like 5
  11. Danny

    I disagree with Carbob and most of the naysayers above. I have said this over and over…PLEASE GET REAL! This market is a boom and will continue to be a boom due to the fact the market has changed from a car hobby sport to an Investment sport! You are talking about rarity, and rarity demands high prices, regardless of the product. It really does not matter who or what age group likes or does not like these rare automobiles, its all about the current values and prospect for future gains. Your not in Kansas toto, check in to reality!

    Like 1
  12. CarbobMember

    Danny, only time will prove which one of us is right. Most of the under thirty car fans couldn’t care less about these “rare” automobiles. Now that we actually can attend car events check out the demographics at Lost in the Fifties type car shows. Average age is 65+ with a few 40/50 year olds attending. I’m talking about the car owners themselves. Now go to a drifting meetup. See any Tri-Fives?

    Like 5
  13. Danny

    Carbob, thank you for the response! I do not need to prove what is going on in the market, I am part of the market! Once again you are missing the point here. It is not about car shows or old people attending them or drifting meetups with no Tri-Fives, or drag races etc. Those very same age groups you just mentioned are participating in a market that is geared for investment purposes, and attending auctions or buying them up from different sites on the internet. They are not interested in the old hobby, they are interested in making bank with our old hobby, and they convene in large numbers throughout the United States doing so. I mean does anyone not have a clue who is behind buying up your old Tri-Fives that you cannot afford anymore? Give me break, it sure is not 65 plus doing it!

    Like 1
  14. John W Kriegshauser

    Nice car but not $45K nice IMHO. I would rather have a “Heavy Chevy” equipped Chevelle instead..like the car in Jim’s Chevelle sales brochure pic….much rarer car and seldom seen.

    Like 4
  15. CarbobMember

    Danny, I understand what you are saying and agree with you to a certain extent. Unfortunately IMO, the investment mentality invaded our hobby years ago and it’s not the best thing to happen. Some collector vehicles are truly investments but most of them are way more expensive than most collectors or hobbyists can afford. I think that this is a big reason why prices have soared especially in the past few years.But at some point I believe that there will be a bunch of just old cars for sale like mine whose owners have passed out of the market that won’t be worth what they are today. And that’s mostly because younger buyers will not be buying them.Speaking for myself I’d much have a collector car that I can drive and enjoy than a garage queen “investment “that is trailered to car shows. But that is just me. And of course I can understand why one wouldn’t want a stone chip to devalue the investment. That’s what makes the car collector world so interesting. To each their own.

    Like 1
  16. HCMember

    $45,000 is obviously this seller’s I don’t want to sell it price. Yes, she’s clean, original, rust free and a convertible. But also a non factory air, no power brakes, bench seats, not buckets, no console and a 2 barrel to boot. All that equals a hard pass for me.

    Like 1
  17. Jay E.Member

    To me $45,000.00 is real money. Not novelty “I’ll drive it a couple times a year in summer” kind of money. But “I’ll buy a used modern GT350 with a flat plane crank and drive the wheels off of it” kind of money. Its not an investment kind of car. Its just an old used car, where these prices and buyers are coming from is a mystery. They aren’t particularity nice to drive or look at. They aren’t fast. I don’t get it.

    Like 1
  18. Maggy

    Remember mink coats that were all the rage in the 40’s thru the 70’s were going for 5k and up are next to worthless today. Young people do not want them due to animal cruelty.The pita people would throw blood on you if you you’re wearing one.Same with ice cars .They’ve been brainwashed into the climate hoax and do not want these cars sadly. You’ll being seeing what they’ll be calling early”collectible” Teslas going for more than A 70 Chevelle ss454 20 years from now at the rate this green new energy agenda is being pushed all over the world. I wouldn’t doubt if they make them illegal to drive on the road due to the young greenies screaming that they are killing the planet. The government is trying to get rid of our gas appliances forcrying out loud.As for high prices now I agree with the comments suggesting older folks with$ are buying for investment purposes but it ain’t gonna last forever. I knew an old auctioneer of 40 years and he saw the trends starting to change some 20 years ago as older people die off.He’d be selling pieces of furniture at auction from the Victorian era for 80 to 90% less then what he’d get 25 years earlier. The young generation for the most part does’nt want old stuff including ice cars.Sure theres exceptions but there far and few in between. As for the car I love it and I think it’s priced about 5k too high. Hope I didn’t ramble on too much .This was a depressing post to write as I love old cars but…I read the writing on the walls that’s coming in the not too distant future imo.

    Like 7
    • Majik Stephen

      You Nailed It Maggy. Our beloved classics are increasingly the target of “green” legislation, and down the road only a few holdouts will want to own an “investment” they can’t even legally start up.

      Like 4
    • Big Bear 🇺🇸

      Maggy . I agree unfortunately the sheep voted liberal left and now we are all getting screwed over. Remember a while back they did try to take away our classic cars with Obama in office. It was shot down thank God. Thanks to people like Jay Leno help stop it. Because they have tons of money invested in Automotive. I still feel Green cars will come crashing down when the batteries run out. I try to think positive and have to for the sake of family. We just need young people to get involved in our wonderful hobby. Have a wonderful weekend.. 🐻🇺🇸

      Like 5
  19. HCMember

    You’re right Maggy, and the Greenie lefts are already proposing methane taxes to farmers in some parts of the world. Im surprised they havent already proposed taxes to owners of classic, oil and gas burning classic vehicles. But only because they havent gotten that far along in their adenda yet.

    Like 6
  20. Zen

    Very nice car and appears stock, I hope it stays that way. It may be the only one left that wasn’t rigged into a ridiculous hotrod. I’d preserve it and enjoy it for what it is.

    Like 0
  21. Danny

    I disagree with most of the naysayers above regarding these classics leaving the market anytime soon. Regarding Maggie and her mink coats! Lol.. Mink coats for the time period Maggie had mentioned above was exclusive to the elitist who could afford them, while everyone else has a normal attire to wear at a affordable cost, and could still afford to drive to a job. In today’s world only the elitist once again can afford battery operated cars even at the lowest spectrum, which is not affordable for the average American. Also there is not a viable infrastructure in place to support this level of technology, let alone maintain a normal electrical grid to provide basic needs. Unless Americans do not want to walk or ride a horse ( oops cannot do that either, harm to the environment) they will not roll over to the greenies, and maintain combustion engines into the decades ahead! They will be available..

    Like 0
  22. Pete

    The only thing I don’t love about this car is that it is in fact green/green. Other than that, Hey it’s not all gone back over and poorly repaired or cloned into an SS. It’s the real deal. If that paint is original then you do have a unicorn. Even without the SS options. I’m restoring a 69 Chevelle Convertible. It feels like someone stuck a 3″ shop vac hose in my pocket and is sucking out money faster than I can put it back in. If it wasn’t green I would be happy dropping another engine in this car to drive it around and have fun. Then drop the old one back in when it was time to sell. This could as easily had a straight 6 in it. 45 is about maxed out though.

    Like 0
  23. Robert HagedornMember

    I wonder if the driver’s side of the seat has been rebuilt. 32000 miles is low, but not that low unless the driver was very small and lightweight. There is zero evidence of any sagging or wrinkling of any degree.

    Like 0

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