Crazy Custom: 1972 Chevrolet Corvette 454

I’m sure that we’ve all seen custom builds where the results are stunning. I’m equally sure that we’ve all seen ones that come under the heading of “that seemed like a good idea at the time!” I know which category I believe that this 1972 Chevrolet Corvette fits into, so it will be interesting to see what our knowledgeable Barn Finds readers think once they have surveyed this classic’s magnificence. The Corvette is located in Princeton, Wisconsin, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has been quite subdued up to this point. Okay, there has only been one bid! That leaves the price sitting at $4,500 in this No Reserve auction. However, it is worth noting that 88 people are watching the listing.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I don’t find the Corvette’s rear to be particularly offensive. Having said that, it does have more than a touch of the back of a 1958 Edsel Pacer about it, and I’m not sure that this is a good thing. The fiberglass looks good, with no significant flaws. The red paint that the Corvette wears looks pretty secondhand, and I don’t see it as having anywhere near the impact that the car’s original Elkhart Green would have. The most positive news is that the Corvette has spent many years in dry storage, and the owner says that the frame and birdcage are in a sound state. If the buyer wants to refurbish the vehicle, the panels and fiberglass look sturdy enough to warrant this. Equally, if a more stock appearance is the aim, all of the panels remain readily available and relatively affordable.

While the rear of the Corvette is relatively inoffensive, the front is a different story. You have to admit that this is, er, distinctive. Once again, the fiberglass is healthy enough for a refresh, or replacement standard panels are easy to find. The Corvette doesn’t come with an engine and transmission, which is a crying shame. It was originally home to an LS5 454ci V8 and a 4-speed manual transmission. That V8 would have pumped out 270hp and would have been capable of propelling the car through the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds. Finding a date-correct engine and transmission would be possible, although the buyer might want to go down a different path. The original 454 provided respectable performance, but there is a multitude of options available today that will match or beat that motor and will be more civilized to live with as well. Maybe a restomod could be the path to follow on this one.

The interior is probably the highlight of the Corvette because what we can see looks quite good. The seats are upholstered in black leather and appear to be in excellent condition. I can’t spot any significant wear, tears, or seam separations. The console looks pretty decent, and the same appears to be true of the dash and door trims. It would be interesting to see how the interior would respond to a deep clean. It is hard to determine what factory options have been fitted to the car, but we do know that it has power windows that function. I’ve been scrutinizing this photo, and I think that I can spy the vents that might indicate that the car was equipped with air conditioning. The owner doesn’t mention it, and I can’t be 100% certain. If it has, that would be an excellent bonus.

A beautifully engineered and finished custom build has the potential to leave us in stunned silence as we absorb every incredible detail. This 1972 Corvette also has the potential to achieve that same type of silence, but for an entirely different reason. We will have readers that would long to return the car to its customized best. However, I’m sure that we have more readers who long for this car to be returned to its chrome-bumper glory. I don’t find the single bid to this point to be that surprising because regardless of which path the buyer chooses to take, they will have some work ahead of them. It does make me wonder whether those watching the listing are seriously interested or whether it is a case of some form of morbid curiosity. So, would you be tempted to submit a bid and take a chance on this classic?


  1. Moparman Moparman Member

    “It seemed like a good idea at the time”, truer words have never been spoken! To me, the rear end has a ’58 Thunderbird vibe. I’ve always heard it said that if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all….the interior looks good. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 22
    • JonArd

      ’58 TBird rear end was the first thing that came to mind also …

      Like 18
      • Karen Bryan

        Me too. Further comment: Uh…no.

        Like 3
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Get this car up over 60mph and that nose is going to lift the front wheels off the ground. Aerodynamics clearly weren’t the object of this build. Agree the back doesn’t look too bad but that small bit of spoiler that’s cut out did have a function.

    Like 4
  3. Vin_in_NJ

    The rear has rounded features, while the front has sharp angular lines. Not a good mix of the two.

    Like 13
  4. Glenn L Brown

    58 Edsel Pacer, I don’t think so, the back is pure 58-60 T-Bird! I sorts like the back, but then I’ve always been a fan of the Ford Square Birds.

    This thing was floating around the Corvette Forum a few days ago. My first thought when I saw it was if it was painted either black or white, the front could be mistaken for something from an old Mad Magazine Spy vs Spy cartoon.

    Like 8
    • Steve Clinton

      You are correct…but which spy is it, the black or white one?

      Like 4
  5. Steve Clinton

    The front looks like a giant spade (shovel).

    Like 3
  6. jeffro

    Perfect for clearing snow off the driveway with that front end.

    Like 6
  7. Skorzeny

    If you didn’t like the looks of a ’72 Corvette in the first place, maybe you shouldn’t have bought one.

    Like 12
  8. Steve Clinton

    “The rear of the Corvette is relatively inoffensive” is like saying the Covid virus is mildly contagious.

    Like 6
  9. SubGothius

    The (re)design may not be everyone’s cuppa, but I’ll at least grant the builder it appears to be well-executed, evidently lacking the sorts of poor detailing/finish and slight (or worse) asymmetry that tend to be rife in DIY fiberglass modification.

    Like 1
  10. Galaxy kid

    Definitely not a 4 speed manual console in there

    Like 0
  11. Tort Member

    Always thought the primary reason people purchased Corvettes was because they liked the way they looked. With many “customized ” Corvettes on Barn Finds apparently that’s not the case.

    Like 2
  12. Steve

    Did the original 72 vette come with a trunk?? I not sure

    Like 0
  13. vintagehotrods

    One thing for sure, you would never see another one like it! Don’t change a thing, keep it just the way it is, nothing says the 70’s like this car. The ’58 T bird rear is a nice touch. If you wanted to be the black sheep of the Corvette crowd, this would be perfect to take to one of the shows!

    Like 0
  14. Stephen Coe

    Just say no

    Like 0

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