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An Almost Untouched Beauty: 1972 Corvette

For some reason, original condition 1968-1972 chrome bumper Corvettes have started to show up in the classifieds lately. Just when you thought that most of them were restored and cocooned away in heated garages, or returning to Earth under a plastic tarp behind a barn, a nice one appears. You would have to be touched in some way to not love the lines of these early C3 Corvettes. When this style is combined with an appealing color that was not a copy of a repulsive hue slathered on stoves at Sears in the seventies, the beauty of these Bill Mitchell favorites is unsurpassed. Found on craigslist in beautiful Roane County, Tennessee, this 1972 Corvette is fresh out of its carport slumber. Is this nearly untouched chrome bumper beauty queen worth the $16,000 asking price, or will the owner have to come down a little to put this in someone else’s garage?

As you can see, the color of this car makes it stand out, even though the paint has seen better days. Speaking of the paint, I cannot find any sources that state a shade of maroon was a factory color in 1972.  Marlboro Maroon was a 1970 color, but the closest color in 1972 would have been Mille Miglia Red. I don’t see any remnants of other colors, as all Corvette engine compartments at this time were painted black, and whoever painted it did a good job getting the door jams covered. Of course, a look at the data plate would be nice, but a picture of it wasn’t provided.

Inside, we see that the interior is still in very usable condition. The seats look to be leather, and the console could use some freshening. The carpet on the door panels kind of has a green tint to it for some reason, and I can’t quite make out what is going on with the carpeting on the floor here. It looks to be standard black carpeting with plastic GM floor mats that have been resting in the same spot for some time. A general vacuuming and detail would have been nice before pictures were taken.

The picture above gives us a good indication of the condition of the paint. It has dulled a bit, and has the usual scratches and scrapes of a car that has spent a long period of time in a carport often has. The door rubbers still look to be usable for a while, but will be a costly item to replace soon. In this picture, we can also see that it is equipped with power windows and a slightly rusty luggage rack. Can you imagine the outcry if a sports car came equipped with a luggage rack today?

Under the hood, we see what looks to be the base 350 cubic inch small block V-8. This engine was rated at 200 horsepower, and the drop in rated horsepower in 1972 was largely attributed to ratings expressed as “net” rather than “gross” horsepower. Net horsepower was the output measured with accessories attached, so it was a good, realistic way to let owners know what they had under the hood. The seller, however, states that it has a numbers matching 350 horsepower engine. Perhaps the seller is confused, and is thinking of an earlier horsepower number. We can also see that the car still is equipped with its Harrison air conditioning compressor, and some ignition shielding. Also evident is the lack of a vacuum line attached to the vacuum canister. This would go a long way towards explaining why the over complicated wiper cover is in the up position.

When looking at this car in pictures, you can’t help but fall in love. The lines and the color are perfect, but the car has a few flaws for the $16,000 price tag. The seller has installed a set of four brake calipers, brake lines, brake pads, a master cylinder, a fuel tank, fuel sending unit, and all of the items needed for replacing the gas tank. The car is said to run and drive, and the frame is in very good condition. However, you would have to clear up the questions about the paint and the engine before setting a firm price to bargain from. With Corvettes, numbers matter. Even if the car blinds you with its beauty.

Comments

  1. Phil

    I guess I must be touched in some way then because these have never done anything for me body or driving wise !

    • TriPowerVette

      Yes, Phil. You are.

      • Rabbit

        Chrome bumpered C3s are my favorite car ever. Despite having crashed my 72 back in 86. This one? Too much for a color change. And…TPV- You crack me up.

  2. jw454

    Flagged for removal. I guess somebody had a problem with it.

  3. erikj

    Ad is flagged? It used to be a craigslist trick to keep others from seeing a item ahead ,flag it and it kept any future prospectivebuyers unable to contact a seller.
    That way you could get to it before others got a chance.
    I never did that since I felt that that’s not right,but I heard others do it. I don’t know if that’s the case here,but these early c-3 vettes are loved by many including me. The color does make me wonder if its original. I almost think I can see a little light brown on the doorjam! I cant see the actual ad since its flagged. I do like the car though.

  4. Pa Tina

    Crazy Eddie Price Guide used to set $16K. $12K absolute high-end for this basic Corvette.

  5. glen

    This is so much better than that custom ’72. I don’t know why anyone would want to change the look of one of these.

  6. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    ‘When this style is combined with an appealing color that was not a copy of a repulsive hue slathered on stoves at Sears in the seventies’. Well, owning my Classic White 1972 for 17 years, I object! Not for long though, I understand we all have our color preference. And I am going to burn something on the grill and have a beer so I will feel better. I believe 16K is fair. Remove the T-tops and back glass and hammer down. I guarantee you will have a smile on your face. The door rubbers are cheap. Confused about the color of the coves, I do give the owner a thumbs up on the tires. Strange. Flagged, Probably sold. Thanks for your comment TriPowerVette, Great laugh!

    • TriPowerVette

      +leiniedude – Thank you, sir. Please see my reply to +Retired Stig – (near the bottom) in the Barn Finds Page – http://barnfinds.com/late-corvette-summer-1972-custom-corvette/#comment-413507.

      • ccrvtt

        TPV – I read your reply to Pretender Stig. Very accurate. I first lusted after a Corvette at the age of 8 when the neighbors’ uncle parked his ’58 in the driveway next door. I firmly believe that any truly red-blooded American boy should have a Corvette at some point in his life. I waited 50 years to buy my first. Taking delivery after a 6-hour drive is one of the peak spiritual experiences of my life. I’m on my second one now and already planning on my third.

        Porsches are well-built capable cars, but there’s never been a Porsche that elicits the visceral response that a Corvette does.

        And there never will be.

      • TriPowerVette

        +ccrvtt – I gave you a thumbs up. Congratulations on the Better Late Than Never approach to Corvette ownership.

        As the former owner of 4 Porsches, I can unequivocally state that a Porsche is nothing more than a chopped and channeled, full-race Volkswagen.

        … or as my brother was fond of saying, “They may be slow, but they sure are ugly”.

  7. Dyver

    A worthy car to restore but not at 16 grand in this state.

  8. Joe Howell

    I have loved the looks of the C3s since the Mako Shark concept car and lived my dream of owning one. Looks wise nothing looks more muscular or American than a C3 with fat tires.That said I much prefer my Porsche 944S2 over the 68 ragtop I owned long ago for being a comfortable driver’s car with similar performance.

  9. Vegaman_Dan

    Primer gray paint on left front wheel arch. Curious what damage is there. Car needs a full respray, so the value simply is not there.

  10. 408 interceptor

    A family friend gave me a ride in an early C3 forty five years ago and I can still remember how cool that car was and still is.

  11. John

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Corvette that I would not like to own. This one needs some work. I’d be glad to have it to work on. But, I can’t afford it, so I can only go on dreaming.

  12. DABB Member

    72 with chrome back and front Bumpers and egg crate gills? I don’t think so .

    • craig m bryda

      70 thru 72 basically identical . Chrome front & rear bumpers. Egg crate fender vents , painted tho.

  13. Tom S.

    These are beautiful cars. But I’ll bet it rattles like a pair of maracas.

  14. DonC

    I had a 71 stingray convertible that I sold in 2007 for $14000. 350 and stick shift. It was all original including the paint, but the fiberglass needed some fix ups . Otherwise it was all good. It was on the market for 24 hours and a guy showed up with cash. So I always thought I under valued it. Seeing this at $16000 makes me think I was ok.

  15. T Mel

    Sears stove colors from the early ’70s were ugly? So what are we talking about; browns, oranges, and greens? I guess my ’72 Ontario Orange is no good then. Dang I wish I knew that before buying it, now I guess I’m stuck with it since other colors like this burgundy are so beautiful and mine’s not. Plus mine has those ugly chrome egg crates.. oh well, at least it’s got the 454.

    • Pa Tina

      Where’s the luggage rack? That is always worth another ten comments from the Peanut Gallery.

    • TriPowerVette

      +T Mel – The heart races at the mere visage. I remember Ontario Orange when it first came out… loved it then, love it now. I had a 1969 Camaro convertible for a short time. Same color, but white top and interior. It was a 350, 3-speed. Yours is waaaay better.

  16. BHB

    Whoaa, carpet issues, all that brown clay in the engine bay–is this a flood car that isn’t salvaged because they didn’t happen to have insurance at the time?
    Remember the owner can just clean them up and resell it if there is no insurance involved–caveat emptor!!
    I used to hate these broadax type vettes, but with one of the new rear springs in it you no longer need a kidney belt, and as a ’72 it doesn’t need smog check in calif— I like it, for the right price.

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