454 And A 4-Speed: 1972 Corvette Survivor

Over the years, I’ve looked at buying a C3 or C4 Corvette, but the vast majority I’ve looked at have had base level engines and automatic transmission. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to spend the money to get a Corvette, I want a higher performance engine and a 4 speed! Well, if you are currently in the market for a 4 speed big block Corvette, you might want to take a look at this survivor here on eBay in Cave Creek, Arizona.

By the time this Corvette was built, the 454 was rated at just 270 horsepower, but most of the drop in power rating was the result of the move over to SAE gross ratings. It also saw the inclusion of some emissions equipment, but it wouldn’t be all that difficult to liven it up a bit. Whether you leave it original or install a few bolt on upgrades, the 4-speed is guaranteed to keep things fun! And while having A/C hurts performance, it would only make this a more enjoyable car to daily drive.

It’s likely going to need work, considering it’s been stored away for years. Hopefully all it needs is a good cleaning, a tune-up and to have some of the consumables replaced. It looks like it will clean up quite well and I hope to see it once it’s finished!

Fast Finds


  1. F.A.G.

    I love the grocery rack!!

  2. Rick

    Sorry about that… I have to mop up my desktop now….

  3. Pa Tina

    I think a buyer would be better off with the LT-1 small block if their heart is set on a 1972, although this is a fine example.

  4. Pete

    Christ all mighty very nice indeed 1972 last year for chrome bumpers up front Very nice options

  5. 86 Vette Convertible

    The luggage rack is a plus if you want to take it any distance. IMO most BBC Vettes were heavy in the front end but maybe it’s got sufficient springs under it to handle that.

    Looks good.

    • Pa Tina

      Now you went and did it! Here come the luggage rack comments!

  6. JC

    Owned a ’70 with a 454 and auto, was a blast to drive and pulled like a mule. The C3 vette handles like crap, no matter what engine you have in them, you need to perform quite a bit of work to get them right. I was never fond of the C3 look either but they are cheap fun (or used to be).


    Some of that rust underneath is questionable. Look’s like you can poke your finger thru some of those spots. Otherwise a cool find.

  8. Rock On

    There are lots of ways to lighten up the big block. Aluminum heads, intake, water pump, valve covers, oil pan. I bet that most people that complain about the weight wouldn’t even push the car hard enough to notice the difference. Personally, I would bore it and stroke it to 540 cubic inches and tell everyone that it is “stock”.

    • JC

      I’ve heard this “a big block makes the car nose heavy” nonsense for many years, usually from people that don’t realize it’s their lack of ability in knowing how to drive the car that’s holding it back, not the weight of the engine. I agree, stroke and bore it for big CI, slap some quality aluminum parts on that rat and it will be scary fast. “There is no replacement for displacement”. I’d upgrade the brakes and some small suspension adds as well.

  9. dave

    Loved my 70 LT1.

    Like 1
    • moosie Craig

      As did I with my ’71 LT1 Convertible, It was awesome, really wanted to find a leftover ’70 when I went shopping but couldnt resist the Ontario Orange. The car turned 13 twos all day long, made me happy. I kinda feel the LT1 lost a bit in ’72 tho.

      • Pa Tina

        They all lost a bit in 1972. That was the start of The Dark Ages. The 72 LT-1 still was pretty nice: 9.0:1 compression, solid lifters and an al-u-mini-um intake manifold with a Holley carb. Not a bad starting point. I’ll bet many of them had a set of headers on them within a week of purchase.

  10. Bill

    Maybe it’s the photos, but I’m seeing a lot of color variations from one panel to another. And while I agree that parts of it are original paint, it’s in really rough condition. You’d have to see it in person.

    • John B

      Love the C3 style with its flying buttress roof line…sadly this one might have been jacked incorrectly as I think I see a nice crack in the right rear quarter lip. Saw lots of ’em come in damaged at the Chevy dealer I worked at in ’78-79.

  11. ronebee

    Great Car, That Looks like it would put the “FU” back in Fun. Car looks like a great starting point

  12. ccrvtt

    According to my friend Mr. Google 1 cubic inch of cast iron weighs 0.284 lbs. If you bore that 454 out to 540 you’re removing 86 cubic inches and saving yourself a whopping 24.4 pounds! Off the incredibly nose-heavy front! I don’t know about you, but I’m all in on that idea. Plus these cars were meant for melting the rear tires all day long. Love the color – same as my C6.

    • Fred Mithell

      Sorry, but when you are adding 86 cubic inches of displacement you are not removing 86 cubic inches of cast iron. What nominal amount of material that may be removed in boring is certainly out-weighed by a heavier long throw crank that comes from a longer stroke.

  13. Craig

    That car is my dream Vette right down to the color. Obviously some investment needed but a solid car to start with.

  14. Eddie

    Looks Like A Very Nice Car,A Keeper Forsure !

  15. Racer x

    Totally agree, I’d bore it out also, 68 to 72 were my favs

  16. victor sanchez

    I had a 1969 427 390 HP and also a 1972 LT1 both handled very well. I have a 1985 Z-51 that out handles both of the older cars but as we move on technology takes over. I also have a 1969 Z/28 which I guess in 1969 was a great handling car but, by todays standards it won’t hold up. Nice car

  17. T-bone

    Man I love that Targa Blue, I’m restoring a 72 Camaro frame off, no matching numbers car or anything, so I’m going to go all out on it and make it mine. Targa Blue is the color it will be! Hopefully I’ll find a ’68 thru ’72 Corvette to do next. Happy motoring guys!

  18. Royal

    Love the color.

  19. Charlie Member

    As the ’60’s song said, “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, don’t make a fancy woman your wife. If you want my personal point of view, let an ugly girl marry you.” The Jag XKE, followed by this series of Corvette, prove the adage. Beautiful but they will let you down, the Jag by breaking down, and the Vette by being hot, loud, and uncomfortable.

    • Pa Tina

      You are entitled to your opinion Charlie, but I will take my chances on fancy women, Jaguars, and Corvettes. You only live once- and if you do it right, once should be enough.

  20. benjy 58

    A luggage rack ?. If you are going on a trip you better have an unlimited gas card.

    • dave

      My 70 Vette LT1 would get over 20 on the highway. My 67 Vette 427 390 would get 17. My 62 Impala SS 409-409 4 speed with 3.36 would get 14.

  21. Tom Member

    ugh! I think I am going to be sick!!! I sold one identical – kind of – in 05 because I needed some cash….only kicker is mine was 454-M21 Factory AC this blue with a blue interior, power windows, no rack on the back (which I prefer without) in a very strong #2 condition – drove into an all corvette show and drove out with “peoples choice” trophy out of about 150 corvettes… not perfect but close, super clean car everywhere, numbers matching, I paid $19K, sold it for $25K and it is now in Canada.

    thanks for letting me get that out although I don’t feel better. UGH !!!!!!!

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