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LT-1 Garage Find: 1972 Corvette

The ’70s were a rough time for the performance automotive market. New emission requirements choked performance and the move from gross horsepower ratings to net didn’t help matters much. Even Chevrolet’s Corvette couldn’t escape the grasp of emission equipment. In 1970, the LT-1 option was introduced to help give the small block Vette a little bit of its performance back. This 1972 Corvette LT-1 has been parked in the seller’s garage for the past 35 years. They have decided to let the car go to a new home. It is currently located in Louisville, Kentucky and has been listed here on eBay.

The LT-1 option not only boosted horsepower, but also improved the durability of the 350 cui V8. The LT-1 only produced 270 hp in ’72 and 280 lbs. of torque. To make sure it could pull all the way to its 6,500 rpm redline, they installed a forged crankshaft, high performance camshaft, and solid lifters. To keep it breathing a bit easier with the emission equipment, they installed an aluminum intake manifold and a two and a half inch exhaust. When the first owner bought it, they had the dealer upgrade the car with a Muncie M22 four speed transmission. There are also some other changes that have been made to the engine, including different exhaust manifolds and slant plug heads.

The interior looks to be original, but is in need of a good cleaning. It looks like someone has pulled the driver’s side door panel off, so it’s hard to tell what else has been pulled apart. The owner had it repainted in its current color in ’75, but it originally was painted Mille Miglia Red. There were only 1,336 LT-1s built in ’72 and they are sought after today, but the seller’s starting bid of $18,750 seems high given its condition. What do you think this LT-1 is realistically worth in its current condition?


  1. J. Pickett

    According to ebay and craigslist there is a fad for pulling driver’s door panels off. I cannot understand, It is not that hard to put them back. But if you don’t they get lost.

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  2. Steve

    You’d have to be a masochist to buy this thing. It’s a mess.

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    • Chad

      @ Steve, If this was a cherry car it could cost you 20 – 24k. This one as it sits I would value at about 8 – 10 k tops due to the present condition. If the seller wants 18k, they have some work to do on the car first. 8 k for the car lets the new owner do the build (so then you know whats in the car for sure) plus satisfaction and pride in the finished car now worth 20k +.

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  3. Gnrdude

    Granted it’s a True Low Mileage LT-1 but it’s going to need a Significant amount of work to get it road worthy much less in show condition. 18,750$ the Guy is Out of his mind Fully restored it would only go for around 22-26K$ in #1 #2 Condition. If he’d let it go for around 5500-7500$ i’d take it.

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    • Firebird 1LE

      @Gnrdude I’m not sure where you’ve been over the last decade or more, but you’re way off on prices. Per NADA’s Classic Cars Price Guide, a 1972 Corvette convertible with the LT-1 small-block and four-speed is valued as follows:
      low retail $29,625.00
      average retail $44,250.00
      high retail $56,425.00

      I got into my collection of old magazines and dug out the May 2000 issue of ‘Vette Magazine’ with its annual Corvette price guide (which was complied with input from, among others, Pro Team Corvette Sales, Corvette Mike and Corvettes of Houston and found that 12 1/2 years ago a number 1 condition LT-1/four-speed convertible was worth $36,000, and a number 5 condition one was worth $15,000. No doubt, this car needs some help and a lot of hours, but if it’s as intact as it appears and isn’t suffering rust issues in the frame or inner body structure, it’s probably worth $20K as it sits. If I had the extra space and extra dollars I wouldn’t hesitate to pay into the low $20s for this car, as is and where is.

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      • paul

        A car that has been sitting this long will have to be gone thru mechanically, than repainted red, I agree $56,000 for a high is correct, but I think 20 is a strech, for all the work that would go into this to get top money.

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      • Gnrdude

        Corvette’s of Houston there’s always over priced by abut 10K$ the Car Would be Worth what he was Asking if it was still In the Original Paint. To Put it Back to the original Color Eliminating All the silver repaint your Talking roughly 200 Hours of Labor t disassemble the Car then have it Totally resprayed. Probably at a cost of 8-10K$ So that’s where I’m getting my Figure from.

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  4. Horse Radish

    So the story is: the car was parked so it would not collect miles, but dust instead (?)

    Driven 5! years parked 35! years.
    Original ‘rare’ red car painted silver at age 3 and no mention other than leaky calipers about any of the current mechanics on this actual car.

    Indeed what a mess.
    And I am not only talking about the car !

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    • paul

      I’ll go along with Radish!

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      • George mattar

        In 72, GM rated the LT1 at 255 hp. The last solid lifter cam engine ever offered. In the mud 2000s, these cars were worth $20,000 needing work. All LT1s had A.I.R. These setups cosy about $4,000 today for a correct system. This car is a mess. Needs a ton of work. If you know nothing about C3 Corvettes stay away. Rust rust and more rust if the car sits outside. They all leaked water.

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  5. Horse Radish

    From daily driver to garage dust ball at age 5:
    12 photos :
    8 photos of tags, plates, labels and stamped numbers, 3 of which of the options plate alone.
    1 photo of the odometer (mind you 5! digits)
    1 photo of the engine (10′ shot with rust chrome air cleaner cover)
    1 photo of the interior taken from passenger side (10′ shot)
    1 photo of the font (less than) half of the car.

    No description OF THE CAR to speak of, questionable choice of photos.
    What do we have to go by ?

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    • paul

      Radish, 1 photo of the font, is that the VIN font?

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      • Horse Radish

        hr……….. alright.
        Paul, you dirty rascal, you had to look hard to find a typo on me !
        I hope I didn’t keep you up at night.

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      • paul

        All night Radish, I am your personal grammar nazi!Of course I know I’m on the loosing end on this since I am a lousy speller typist.

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  6. Gnrdude

    The Color change is a Serious Issue to take it back to the original would cost 10K$ alone. without that the Car Looses any collector value it’s Only a Driver.

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  7. John

    With the lack of details…the seller knows more than he’s telling!

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  8. Herbert

    Why would it be such a mess if it was loved enough to put it away?

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  9. Dolphin Member

    I’m with those who are not too impressed with this deal. It would take a very special buyer to pay up for the low miles on this particular model, even assuming that the claims about build and condition turn out to be true, which would need to be confirmed in a detailed PPI since the photos don’t show much of the car itself. A significant claim about originality is pretty hard to accept given that the car has had a color change and had parts removed or changed and would need lots of hours and $$$ to bring it back to the original color and condition.

    On top of that the car doesn’t look like it was sympathetically stored, given the grime and rust that show in some of the pics. So what you are buying is a restoration project that has a claim of rarity—but for a type of Corvette that’s not much in demand and falls well below C1 and C2 cars in desirability and demand.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t see it selling for the asking price….unless that very special buyer comes along.

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  10. Jeff

    A 72′ LT1 was rated at 255h.p. far from the 370h.p. 70′. Granted its rare but not a high-performance rare. This car in my opinion is worth maybe a 50% premium over a regular one in the same condition, same year. 12K tops .

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  11. Rancho Bella

    Too big, too heavy.

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    • paul

      a Lotus Elan it will never be.

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      • Rancho Bella


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  12. FRED


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  13. twwokc

    This one sure raises a lot of questions and red flags.

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    • Gnrdude

      Agreed it’s almost like somebody took the tags off another car & put it on this one. I’d like to run a title search on it.

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  14. erikj

    I bought a 68 roadster that sat mostly in a garage for 25+years . what started out as leaky calipers turned in to all new brakes rubbers and so on. I got it to run but all the problems lead to pulling the non-matching 454 ,and installing a fresh motor. The radiator was bad and also the cluch had rusted away. That was just for starters. She a good driver know-but sitting even a garage does no good unless its started once ina while and driven once in a while, and at least cover it. By the way the drivers door panel was off as well(window issues)

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  15. Kevin Reid

    Has anyone out in Barn Find land ever hear of a “I really don’t want to sell it” price? This Vette seems to fit the bill (no pun intended).

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  16. Jeff V

    Why are we still commenting on a car 4 1/2 yrs later? Still not sold, I wonder why!

    Like 0

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