58k Mile Survivor: 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Chevrolet joined the rest of its corporate cousins in the personal luxury car space in 1970, alongside the likes of the Pontiac Grand Prix and Oldsmobile Toronado. Based on the Chevelle platform, the car had success right out the gate, selling upwards of 150,000 copies in its first year. This third-year example looks to be in excellent condition and is said to be a numbers-matching car. This ’72 Monte Carlo is in Rio Verde, Arizona, and can be found here on craigslist for $29,000. Hats off to rex m for another fine tip!

When the first-generation Monte Carlo’s came out, I thought they had the longest hoods of any cars on the road. I worked at a gas station as a teenager and reaching in to just check the oil required some long arms. But it fits in with the long hood/short deck styling proportions that had become popular. After selling 146,000 units in 1970, the Monte Carlo was good for another 128,000 the following year, which was hampered in part by a union strike. 1972 would be the best of the first-gen Monte Carlos, with 180,000 of them rolling off the assembly line.

We’re told this ’72 Chevy has just 58,000 documented miles. You might describe this as a survivor automobile, but the paint looks too perfect to be original. The gold body/tan vinyl roof go together well and there seem to be no imperfections, although the photos don’t zero in enough to show what might be there. The interior presents equally well with bucket seats and a console which were less common on the Montes than bench seats. The oversized bumpers guards in the front and rear tend to detract from the presentation of the car.

Under the hood resides the car’s original drivetrain, a 350 cubic-inch V8, and Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. By ’72, Detroit iron had been detuned to run on unleaded fuel, so horsepower ratings had been lowered (165 hp for the 350). The addition of a new dual exhaust system with Flow Master mufflers may help the car perform better but would certainly make it sound stronger. The Chevy rolls on a set of wider Rally Wheels lifted from the Corvette and new BF Goodrich tires sit on all four corners. New overload shocks and other upgraded suspension pieces round out the package.

Hagerty says that the nicest example around should fetch no more than $30,000, so it looks as though the seller has done his research on what this car could be worth. If you could convince him/her it’s in Excellent rather than Concours condition, then $25,000 would be top dollar. The Monte Carlo would change altogether in 1973-77 with the advent of the Colonnade styling that GM would move to for its intermediates.


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  1. Moparman Member

    Beautiful Monte! I’d definitely lose the rear bumper guards, and keep the front until I could source an OEM front/rear set. Really sharp, GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 12
  2. Al camino

    I never seen a Carlo with bumper guards ,this will be the last time

    Like 4
    • John S Dressler

      The First Gens all had them, they were just different sizes and different configurations.

      Like 1
      • NHDave

        “The First Gens all had them.” As the owner of a First Gen (1970) Monte Carlo, respectfully, I would contend that not all First Gen Montes had them (bumper guards).

        Like 3
      • John S Dressler

        My 70 Monte SuperSport has them.

  3. Patrick Curran

    The factory bumper guards were smaller and more tasteful. These are the accessory ones sold over the counter at the dealer parts department.
    This is a nice looking car with some modifications (1971 hood ornament as an example) but overall the first generation Monte Carlo is gaining strength in the collector community.

    Like 2
  4. chuck dickinson

    Often referred to as “NY bumper guards”, these out-sized accys were most often seen on cars from NYC. If you look at NYC street photos of cars during this time period, you will see these horrible appendages on lots of cars, most often Cads. The factory optional guards were much smaller than these.

    Like 3
  5. Mark

    Too much $ for a doggy 350 Monte Carlo.

    Like 2
    • John S Dressler

      While I agree with you in principle Mark, as long as uneducated buyers keep plunking down huge sums of money on overvalued cars, we are likely to see the values of some of the classic cars we own continue to go into the stratosphere. Good for those of us who already own classic cars, bad for people new to the hobby.

      Like 2
      • Mark

        Agreed this SS454 Monte price range.

        Like 2
  6. Rick Rhodes

    I have had a few of these over the years and have never found one with a perfect rear bumper ,they always seem to be sprung and this one seems to be no exception , look at the bumper to the outside of the tail lights ,other than that it seems to be a stellar ride.

    Like 1
  7. Glen

    Sorry, Mark… wrong about the SS value. An SS in similar condition will average over 50 large… on a bad day. Their rarity (5,742 total between 1970 and 1971) results in premium cheddar, even for average condition cars. Front and rear bumper guards were factory options, RPO V31 and 32, respectively. And nice catch on the ‘71 hood ornament, Pat.

    Like 3
    • John S Dressler

      Agreed Glen. I bought my unrestored, triple black SS 454 Monte back in 2010 for $20,000 and thought I got a good deal at the time. Today I see Montes in similar condition posted for sale from anywhere at $35,000 to $55,000.

      Like 1
  8. Glenn

    I had this exact same car, except it was a 1971 and was a factory 4-spd. Damn, I was stupid for selling it…….

    Like 4

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