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Nice Driver To Great Driver: 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo

Like many of you, I’ve been “wantin’ a Monte” for a long time. In fact, these desires go back to when I was a kid, the original Monte Carlos were used cars, and I thought they’d take off in value and desirability the way that the Chevelle had. I guess I didn’t quite understand the market segments ideas, but I know the Monte Carlo, like this 1972 model, was sleek and cool and much better than the Impala station wagon that was my family’s ride. Well, I had the chance to right past wrongs, as did you, by bidding on this one. It was live until Thursday evening. The number got to $9600 with the reserve not met. Look for it to be offered again, perhaps at a lower reserve. Then grab it up, and get yourself to Covina, CA to transport it home. Hey, that’s not far from me. Too bad this tip wasn’t posted sooner.

The Chevrolet Monte Carlo came out in 1970, inserting itself into the conversation whenever “personal luxury cars” were mentioned. The first generation lasted until 1972, and the body style then got a more swoopy look. That was maintained even when the car was downsized for the 1978 model year, and the name badge lasted until the new century, although on a much differently configured—read, “front-wheel drive”—chassis.

This particular example is said to be mechanically very strong. It runs, drives, and stops well, and the lights and signals work. That’s the sign of preservation or a fussy owner, or both, and well in your favor as the next caretaker. The car can be used and enjoyed now, always a good thing. The engine is a 350, as you might expect, and the odo shows in the 52,000-mile range, though who knows if it’s been around. The seller, perhaps in an abundance of caution, says that the number likely is plus-100,000.

Two little words somewhat spoil the party: “paint rough.” Reading on, you discover that the car has a moderate-quality repaint that is at the end of its life cycle, and that it has suffered various dings and bumps while being used as a commuter and sat in the garage. You’ve got to admire the picture this seller paints, indicating that the car could be taken from being a nice driver to being a great driver. He makes no claims of showcar status, and his frank stance is refreshing. I guess the value curve just hasn’t quite caught up with this one. For ten grand, though, if he relaxes his reserve should this re-list, I’m not sure I would paint it. Just drive it and think of the good old days.


  1. Thomas Ferrante

    Sorry, a 1971 Monte Carlo is pictured, not a 72.

    Like 5
  2. Barzini Barzini Member

    Very good write up but I’m pretty sure this is a 1971.

    Like 31
    • Old car lover

      Agreed, definitely a ’71, not a ’72, but none the less, a great example. I had a ’70 when I was in high school with a big block 402, went through 3 sets of tires in 18 months.

      Like 2
    • Doug

      I noticed that too

      Like 0
  3. Oldschoolmuscle

    yep 71 unless front was changed Signal lights on 72 are not in bumper.they are part of the headlight bezel..

    Like 18
  4. Tommy

    Definitely not a 1972. I brought one new in 72.

    Like 0
  5. Mike

    Both are correct, I owned 3 of these. 70,71,72. This is a 71, if it was a 72 the hood ordament,grille and turn signals are incorrect, the mounding in back is 2 inches in width and its below the trunk not on the trunk lid.

    Like 1
  6. Michael Hoover

    The 1972 model had bigger separation holes in the grill and the up and down rectangular turn signals were between the headlights and the grill this must be a 1971

    Like 12
  7. Robert Sirni

    it is a 71, 72 didn’t have hood ornament. I had a beautiful 72 monte that I wish I still had. Glwts

    Like 0
  8. Anthony Gaby

    Agree.. definitely a 1971…not a ’72…’70 had round park/turn lamps in bumper .’71 had rectangular horizontal park/turn lamps in bumper, ’72 had vertical park/turn lamps housed next to grill vertically on both sides…I had a ’72 in 1977…senior year of high school…bought with low miles ..

    Like 10
  9. Ashtray

    Looks like a pretty straight car. I appreciate the honesty of the seller concerning the milage. It just leads me to believe other comments made.
    150,000 miles certainly would not stop me from being a potential buyer if I was in the market for this type vehicle.
    I’m not a fan of this particular color, but ‘it is what it is’?
    I believe someone is going to end up with a good driver, or simply repaint it and make it even nicer?
    It looks mostly factory original to me?
    I would return the cheap chrome valve covers to Auto Zone though!
    Just my opinion!

    Like 4
  10. Acton Thomas

    My Dad taught me to drive with his ’72 Monte Carlo, great car, great Dad. Wish Dad and the car were both still here. And yes, the car for auction is definitely not a ’72.

    Like 7
    • Mike

      Looks like a 1970 little Roman head in center of grill should have 1970 written across his helmet in Roman numerals

      Like 0
  11. evrp1999 Member

    I had a 72 in high school in 73-75. Same green color but mine had the cloth interior. Like others that have already commented I agree that this a 71 model. My uncle had a 70 model with bucket seats and a console. I wish I had either one of those cars today.

    Like 0
  12. kenneth w raney

    Nice clean car.i saw the 454 one, that would be the one I need.I got 2 350 4 bl elcaminos I’m working on,71 and 72 so just not financially viable.

    Like 0
  13. TPK

    Definitely a 1971. I had one and it was a great car until my brother wrapped it around a pole.

    ’71 was the only Monte Carlo of the first year, 1970-72, that had the hood ornament.

    Like 5
    • Nelson C

      That hood ornament was also among the first to have the spring base as a pedestrian safety feature.

      Like 4
      • John Chandler

        71 not a 72

        Like 0
  14. Nelson C

    Glad we got the model year sorted out. It appears that many agree that the first gen are arguably the best. Looking around today it’s hard to believe just how vast and wonderful the selection of gorgeous car that were available 50 or more years ago.
    I think this interior color is called Covert.

    Like 3
    • Craig

      In Canada we had 1969 Monte Carlos

      Like 1
  15. Jeffery Squier

    The green Monte Carlo pictured is not A72 it’s a 1971

    Like 0
  16. Robert

    My father had a small town
    Chevy dealership during time
    We had a montecarlo same as that

    Like 1
  17. Frederic Parrish,PE

    I had a 72, (this is not a 72 front end.) I drove mine under a semi on the Pitsburgh Parkway in about 1974. I hit the back of the tractor under the trailer. It pushed the roof down and hitting the tractor stopped it from pushing tne driver side down and crushing me. I attribute the long front end in saving me. I was going 60 when I started under. I bought it back from my insurance company and rebuilt it. We had to pull the right front wheel out of the passenger compartment. I can’t believe the energy I had back then.

    Like 0
  18. HotWheelsCarol

    Agreed, this is a ’71. The grille, turn signals, headlight surround and front bumper are year specific on these. The rest of the car is pretty similar for all three years.
    Beautiful cars, between Dad and I we had 3. Mine was a ’70 with a ’72 front clip, his were both ’72s. I prefer that front end as it’s cleaner design wise…..I think the 454 was no longer an option in ’72 but the 402 still was. 350 cars are much more common though, and good performers.

    Like 0
    • Nelson C

      According to the Jan 1972 brochure the 454 was available in either trim. Chevelle offered the 402 as the top motor except for SS models.

      Like 0
  19. Gomez

    Nice car for its age. I’m looking for a 1971
    3 on the tree. Could not tell if this car had it
    Any color will do.

    Like 1
  20. Grey

    Only the 71’s came with an hood ornament.

    Like 0

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