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Nice Priced Driver: 1972 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe

This find is probably the close thing to 1972’s version of the Toyota Camry. Chevrolet built 597,500 Impalas in 1972 and this Sport Coupe is one of them. It is located in Chesterfield, Virginia and is for sale here on eBay for a BIN of $3,500. There is a “make an offer” option too. Thanks to Reader local_sheriff for the tip.

The Impala was everywhere in 1972, it was the middle class “it car”, practically everyone had one or knew someone who did. This particular example is the less commonly seen “sport coupe” model vs. the more common “custom coupe” that had a formalized, squared-off roofline and a concave rear window. The Impala went through a major redesign in 1971 and this is a very similar, sophomore attempt. It was actually a bit of a star-crossed time as GM’s “B” bodies, including the Impala, got longer, wider and heavier just as engines became less powerful while efficiency and fuel economy became worse. This ’72 version still looks clean in its styling but that would change in ’73 with the introduction of the Federally required five MPH, park bench, front bumper.

For motivation, there were several engine options in ’72 and this Impala has number two in the line-up, a 400 CI motor worth 170 net HP; big inches, small power. Indications are that “it runs good”. The seller mentions that he has additional engine parts that are negotiable with the sale including an intake manifold, four-barrel carburetor, headers, an HEI distributor and other stuff.

The interior in this Impala looks pretty clean, it’s advertised as “leather” but I think it’s vinyl, leather was never an option on this model. The carpet is really faded looking but the passenger compartment appears to be sound and intact. No word on whether all of the dash features work; the windshield, according to the seller, needs to be replaced.

Underneath, the floors look quite fit, no sign of rust or holes – same with the frame. This car originally came from Washington state so it appears to have avoided any kind of weather conditions that would have proved damaging to the floor or body panels. The seller notes that there is some light surface rust on the body with a more notable problem on the passenger side rocker panel – none of the included images gives a good view. I know from experience that this vintage of the Impala is less rust-prone than its predecessor, in particular, the ’69 and ’70 models that had a prodigious problem with rust in the lower front fenders and in the quarters around the rear wheels.

This Impala, all in all, appears to be in pretty good, reasonable condition and the price, where it currently rests, won’t break the bank. I guess the question is, what’s the demand for an Impala like this? By ’72, the SS with its bucket seats, center console, and four-speed manual transmission was gone three years. There was still a convertible with big-block engine options in ’72, but this Impala has neither of those features, it’s just a big, old, nice car. Does anyone out there have an interest?


  1. Del

    Wow. Ignition missing.

    Looks like a theft recovery.

    Impalas usually had 350s. The 400 makes it special.

    If you could hear it running and low ball him then this engine would be great in a rod

    Like 3
    • Ralph

      Its a small block 400 though, so its pretty much a 350, there was a big block 400 available on these too.

      Like 1
      • bikexifr

        In ’72 the only Big Block available was the 454.

        Like 2
    • Del

      Yes, I realize that this is a small block 400. I would not want a big block Chevy for a Rod.

      I am very familiar with this engine.

      GM has just released a new small block crate engine designed to be used in restorations and or Rods

      Like 1
    • JBW

      loball loball loball . that is all i hear out of eastside people who wernt even born when these cars ruled the road

      Like 0
  2. J_Paul Member

    It’s crazy to think that there was a business case for two separate 2-door body styles.

    Like 7
    • Thomas

      Not to mention the Impala 2 door convertible.

      Like 0
    • r s

      Not only that but in ’72 you could get a 4 door hardtop or a 4 door pillared sedan.

      Like 0
  3. Little_Cars

    Wow, that rear quarter view makes this thing truly look like the boat it was. They only got a little more bloated in the next few years. Not often you see the coupe version of this car. Appears to be a decent used car and the price is right. But the 400 will be thirsty whether gas is .59 cents or 2.50 a gallon.

    Like 4
  4. CCFisher

    Big for the sake of being big and lacking the grace and elegance of the previous generation, these cars were a rolling testament to wretched excess. Some love them for this, others loathe them. It’s telling that GM initiated its revolutionary downsizing program during 1972, well in advance of the oil embargo that sent the rest of the industry scrambling.

    Like 4
    • Ralph

      I like them and think they look good but they were about the limit of what the public was willing to accept for big cars, the Chevrolets in this vintage are bigger than the Cadillacs of a few years before and the Cadillacs are the size of a city bus, there really was nowhere to go but smaller or they would have had to widen the roads!

      Like 2
      • Tom Member

        Until……the Buick Roadmaster in the early 90’s. Deepest dashboard I have ever seen from the front of it to the windshield

        Like 2
  5. Bob C.

    The 400 was never meant as a performance engine, just a workhorse. It usually had from 5 to 10 more horsepower than the 350, but known to be very torquey.

    Like 5
    • bikefixr

      True. But the 400 responded to modifications just like any other SBC. 400hp from one of these was quite easy to have with bolt-ons and an old set of fuelie heads.

      Like 2
    • Del

      Very ģood rod engine. Crank was externally balanced as opposed to 350

      Like 1
  6. txchief

    You could stuff an angry house cat through some of those panel gaps!

    Like 2
  7. Howard A. Member

    I wonder if the missing wheel cover qualifies this car as a “Sport Coupe”? It’s grandpa’s ’72 Impala, and there was nothing sporty about it. It’s not a BMW. Gotta love Madison Ave., I wonder how many people got suckered into that. Still great cars, but t’was no sport coupe.

    Like 2
  8. JBP

    there is many nice cars on BF today.. Nice for the Price, even it Need a bit work…

    Like 3
  9. David Ulrey

    This is one that I actually wouldn’t hesitate to buy if I hadn’t bought myself a good running and driving project recently. If money and room permitted I’d probably offer close to the buy it now or even full boat if necessary. It isn’t the most exciting color in the world but I could live with it. I’ve loved these since my parents got one in 1973. A year old. Every car out there in world strikes someone’s fancy. I would buy this over several cool muscle cars because the 1972 in any body style always ‘rang my bell’ the fact that it’s a 2 door is just delicious icing on a yummy cake for me. I REALLY wish this would have come up sooner. :(

    Like 1
  10. Del

    Actually this body style would be very rare at any car show.I am not sure I have ever seen one.

    He really should have installed a new ignition.

    Probably get it for cheap afterauction

    Like 1
  11. Eric Larson

    It looks very much like the Oldsmobile Delta 88 of the same year.

    Like 0
  12. bone

    Looking at the rear quarter shot and the missing hubap reminds me of how many of these ended up in demo derbies or enduros back in the 1980s.

    Like 0
  13. r s

    Back in the good old days, high schools put all the kids through driver’s education. First six weeks or so in the classroom, then when you passed that you got your learner’s permit and they scheduled you for ‘on the road’. The summer I had my ‘on the road’ we used 72 Chevys supplied by a local dealer.

    Like 0
  14. r s

    I have an admittedly not totally relevant ’72 Chevy story to tell. (Yes another one.)

    My dad had a 72 Impala 4 door and at the time (winter of ’78) I had a 73 Dodge Charger. Dad liked his Chevys and at the time I was very much a Mopar guy at age 21. One extremely frigid morning Dad was outside scraping snow off the sidewalk or something and I went outside to fire up the Charger. It must have been ten below out and back in those days, you could not be sure a car would start in such temps. So Dad sees me with the keys heading for the Charger (he did not like Mopars) and immediately digs out his keys for the Impala. We’re going to have us a showdown!

    I get in the Charger. The 400 cranked slowly but it started and ran. I kicked it off the fast idle after a few seconds and went back in to the house to let it warm up. As I walked past the Impala I hear ‘rowr.. rowr.. rrr… click click’. Dead. Dad got out and went back to his sidewalk scraping. I win Round One.

    But it gets better! That night my folks went out for pizza and when they got home I was watching TV in their living room, as my own TV was on the blink. “You got a TV in your room but it doesn’t work,” Dad said.

    “No, but my car starts,” I replied. To say he was PO’d at that comment would be an understatement. But I still smile and shake my head that I burned the old man so good that night!

    Like 0
  15. Dondi Donnie

    Been looking for years to get a 1972 Impala sport coupe bubble project car this is a must have and rare body styling to the infamous formal roof design and how much you asking? Im down to buy and restore it back to a street mod sleeper

    Like 1

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