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Fun Driver: 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Stating that a particular classic is better than any show car is bold, but that is the claim made by the current owner of this 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Its exterior looks faded and tired, but its saving grace is its rock-solid body and mechanical good health. The seller’s claim centers around their belief that it can be driven and enjoyed in its current form, offering a relaxed motoring experience. Those factors will allow the buyer to experience immediate fun while they plan the Chevy’s future. The seller has listed it here on Craigslist in Henryetta, Oklahoma. They set their price at $8,850, making it an affordable alternative for enthusiasts seeking a DIY restoration project. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Tony P for spotting this beauty.

Chevrolet’s First Generation Monte Carlo remained on sale from 1970 until 1972, with this car rolling off the showroom floor during the final production year. Its history is unclear, but the faded Sequoia Green Metallic paint confirms it isn’t a trailer queen that has spent its life squirreled away in a garage. It has lived as its creators intended and is a prime candidate for a cosmetic refresh. The panels have some minor bumps and imperfections, but the car’s apparent lack of rust means there is no reason for the new owner to perform any metal replacement. The chrome looks acceptable for a driver-grade build, and the tinted glass is free from significant imperfections. An in-person inspection is warranted, but everything looks positive if this classic is taken at face value.

There seems to be nothing but positive news when we delve below the surface because this Monte Carlo is in excellent mechanical health. It is powered by a Goodwrench replacement 350ci V8 that sends its power to the rear wheels via a TH-350 automatic transmission. The new owner will undoubtedly appreciate the power assistance for the steering and brakes. The original small-block would have produced 175hp and 280 ft/lbs of torque off the showroom floor, but the new owner should have more at their disposal. The engine breathes significantly better, courtesy of an Accel ignition, aluminum intake, an Edelbrock carburetor, headers, and a dual exhaust. The ¼-mile journey would have taken 17.6 seconds when this Chev was in its prime, but a 16-second pass should be within its grasp. The engine bay presentation won’t win this classic any awards, but that isn’t the point of the exercise. Potential buyers typically want to slip behind the wheel and head into the sunset. That is a realistic expectation, with the seller confirming this classic runs and drives extremely well.

This Monte Carlo is consistent, with its interior continuing the “tired but serviceable” theme. Almost every surface shows the effects of wear and age, although there are no gaping holes in the upholstered surfaces. Enjoying it in its current form is possible. However, affordable and acceptable alternatives exist for those wishing to lift the appearance on a budget. Spending $220 on a carpet set is worthwhile, and when combined with a set of high-quality slipcovers for the seats, a dash cover, and a wrap for the wheel, the interior could look pretty nice for around $500. Those wishing to throw caution to the wind could splash $2,000 on a trim kit containing everything required to achieve a factory-fresh appearance. It will be a matter of personal preference, and those considering long-term ownership might spend the extra now, so they don’t need to face the cost in the future.

Affordable project candidates are available for those wishing to tackle a DIY build, and this 1972 Monte Carlo is a perfect example of the breed. It isn’t perfect, but its overall condition means the new owner can enjoy what it offers while considering their future plans. Returning it to a pristine state seems viable, but the new owner could approach the process in stages as circumstances and their budget allow. An interior retrim could be one of the more expensive aspects. Still, if the overall presentation is above average once the entire build is complete, a value above $15,000 is realistic in the current market. The seller’s price leaves room to move before financial viability becomes an issue, which is why I believe this Monte Carlo will find a new home fairly quickly. Are you tempted to make it yours?


  1. Michelle Rand Staff

    Just my cup of tea. Not perfect, runs well, and I wouldn’t be afraid to park it at the grocery store. Love the color, too. Thumbs up, great find.

    Like 24
    • Tony Primo

      Very honoured that you would drive one of my finds!

      Like 6
      • Anthony Gaby

        Cool find..I had a ’72 in high school..(senior year ’77).. Mine was same color green/white vinyl top .Green cloth interior..Put a Craig Powerplay in dash 8-trac, Keystone Raider five spikes, Firestone Wide-O- Ovals, and dual Thrush turbo mufflers..as well as some “Fleenorizor” air shocks…Fun car..sold it and bought a ’77 Malibu Classic with swivel buckets and console..

        Like 2
    • Dan

      Agreed, a good sprucing up and OEM-style dual exhaust would deliver a car you can proudly drive in the Woodward Ave cruise. A matching set of tires would have made a better presentation.

      Like 0
  2. Nelson C

    And it’s a Custom trim as evidenced by the applique above the rear bumper. Many will grouse about the lack of features but this how many rolled off the line fifty years ago. Nice looking old find. Would look great restored.

    Like 9
  3. Alex

    If this were in my area, I’d probably be driving it today!

    Like 0
  4. Thomas Ferrante

    This Monte Carlo is not a custom. All 72 Monte Carlos had the rear trim. The custom had a driver’s sport mirror, wide belt mouldings, unique steering wheel, P02 hubcaps and an emblem on the roof sail panel that said “custom”.

    Like 5
  5. Thomas F

    This Monte Carlo is not a custom. All 72 Monte Carlos had the rear trim. The custom had a driver’s sport mirror, wide belt mouldings, unique steering wheel, P02 hubcaps and an emblem on the roof sail panel that said “custom”.

    Like 0
  6. Oldschoolmuscle

    Nope no custom. My Brother in law had a 72 custom with the 402, buckets console
    And the hub caps that people always thought were from a corvette..
    Those were the days…

    Like 3
  7. Mike76

    No surprise the listing is gone. Looked like a solid ride for the price. I’ve always thought the first gen Montes were good looking cars and undervalued compared to their other Chevy brethren.

    Like 9
  8. Marshall Belcher

    It did not sell they will relist it later

    Like 0
  9. Davey Boy

    I don’t know Craigslist so I don’t know how you know it didn’t sell but I’m shocked it didn’t sell at that price. I had a 70 pretty much like this one but my vinyl top matched the green of the body. 350 horse 350. It would get up and scoot. Just like Anthony Gaby, I also put 5 spoke Keystone Raiders on it. Some of my favorite wheels of the time. Gentlemen’s hotrod. One of them I wish didn’t get away. Young and stupid. Sold a lot of good iron back in the day.

    Like 0
  10. Michael Hoover

    I had one just like it and if I had the access to the money I would own it today. To me it was the nicest one built until the late 80s monte ss. I would also take a 70-71 monte ss

    Like 0

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