No Reserve 1972 Chevelle SS 402 Project

We’ve seen some pretty rough projects coming to market lately. Many of them are scary projects that lack titles and engines. This Chevelle might also be missing its engine like those other hulks, it actually has a clear title and build sheet! So not only can you register it for street use, but you can actually prove that it’s a real 402 powered SS. It’s a well optioned car, but it’s going to need everything. Rather than setting some unrealistic BIN, the seller started the auction low and without a reserve! Bidding is currently at just $1,700 with 24 bids. You can find it here on eBay in Lexington, Virginia. Special thanks to Michael P for this tip.

This one might actually go for what it’s really worth, rather than some insane amount of money. It’s still going to be an expensive and time consuming project to take on. Besides missing it’s 402 and heavy duty 3 speed, it’s got rust issues. I’ve seen worse cars rebuilt and this is a fairly desirable car.

When I see cars like this, I have to wonder where all the good parts have gone. I can understand a V8 powered sedan’s engine going missing, but this was a special car when it was new. Did an owner grenade the engine, pull it to install a replacement and never finish the job? Was it wrecked and dumped at a salvage yard where it was stripped of anything of value? Or did the seller pull the engine to put in a nicer shell and is now dumping the rusty carcass?

While this is certainly a major project to undertake, I actually think it is somewhat more realistic than other projects we have seen. The price isn’t too crazy at this point, it has a title and parts are plentiful for this generation of Chevelle. Rust repair is going to be a major expense, but it could definitely be worse. In the end, this one is going to take someone who really wants to take on restoring a Chevelle, but at least it’s a decent starting point!

Fast Finds


  1. Don

    So that’s what a sport steering wheel looks like 🔧

    • Rod

      The vice grips should push the price up we can all use another set.
      Very rough and to me not worth the effort unless you have a donor car available.

      • Larry K

        Only if there”Vice Grips”, and not some cheap knock offs.

      • Moparman Member

        Are “vice” grips a former police department tool? I have several pair of “VISE” grips in my tool collection! LOL! :-)

  2. Ikey Heyman

    Great example of seller B.S. – he starts off his description by saying: “It’s a NICELY OPTIONED LS3 402 V8 big block car with MC1 Heavy Duty 3 speed manual transmission”. Then he goes on to list a number of notable factory options.
    Except there’s no motor, trans, rear, or any of the options, etc.
    Yeah, I get it…it’s about the VIN…and about somebody’s ability to “reconstruct” this car in order to sell it to some sucker for big $$.
    IMO, it’s a sad part of this “collector car” hobby.

    Like 1
  3. Jay M

    So it’s being marketed as valuable because of its vin?
    What is valuable is everything that is missing.
    This will never be an original car again, so I don’t value it any more than a clone pretending to be more than it was.

    Like 1
    • JamestownMike

      Unlike the 69 Camaro 396 SS that was just featured here for $2,500, this IS a 402 big block car based on not only the “U” 5th digit in the vin but the INCLUDED build sheet! This 72 Chevelle IS a REAL SS based on build sheet that matches the vin. This HAS a good Virginia title. This HAD quite a few nice options when it was new including the heavy duty 3 speed manual transmission, floor console, bucket seats, air conditioning, cowl induction hood and more. Too bad all the SS goodies are gone! The price is right!

    • Dani

      You can look the value from the rusty shell, and use the broken emblem, for the engine, why not to upgrade by swapping a new one, that is gonna be better than it was in its glory in 70,, haha

  4. Barzini

    There appears to be very few driver quality cars left. eBay often features complete project cars (like this one) and fully restored cars with very little in between. I would have liked to have owned this car when it was still a driver quality car.

    Like 1
  5. JamestownMike

    This would be the perfect donor body for this car! A super straight, rust free, factory bucket seat, front power disc brake, 12 bolt rear, 72 Chevelle Malibu California car for $5,900! It’s even the same factory 68 coded Midnight Bronze color! It was on ebay a little over a week ago.

    Click on the “see original listing” tab

  6. DrinkinGasoline

    Heavily optioned car but, ummm,but,the options no longer exist aside the VIN plate so..ummm, yeah. So what is left is well,err,what i’m selling. But it’s A REAL DEAL and I have the build sheet ! (Send me an e-mail if you want to buy the VIN plate for 5k…we can work it out.) Clear VA title !!
    Anyone remember the phrase : “Bucket of Bolts” ?
    Someone told him: You need an eye catcher….so he listed the description in huge font….beyond wishful thinking to say the least.

    Like 1
    • JamestownMike

      Where are you coming up with 5k?? It’s a .99 cent start bid, no reserve auction, high bidder gets it! Wish more auctions were like that!

      • DrinkinGasoline


  7. Ck

    Yeah it needs a lot of work and everthing is missing ,but it looks solid.This is a good project car ,a blank canvas .Build Your dream car the way you want to build it.If you can get it for under 3K its a good deal.

    • racer99

      Agree — clear title, build sheet and decent shell are worth that. There is certainly enough there to use as a base for whatever you want to do.

  8. 68 custom

    It had an interesting combination of options must have been a married couple since A/C won out over the 4 speed option instead being equipped with the standard HD 3 speed that was installed. believe it or not many of these 3 speeds were a Ford product. cars pretty ratty but could be saved. good luck to prospective buyer.

    • D-Ozzie

      Not true. The “HD 3 speed” that came with this was the TH400, standard GM fare.

      • 68 custom

        Yes true, notice that third pedal. this car was equipped with a 3 speed manual!

      • JamestownMike

        The MC1 Heavy Duty 3 speed MANUAL transmission is made by Muncie.

        Some online research says, “The 1972 MC1 transmission was a rarity as well, the production was a low 286 LS3/MC1 combinations built with 272 making it into cars, the remaining 14 were used as service engines.”

      • JamestownMike

        The “TH400” is a Turbo Hydromatic 400 which is a 3 speed AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION.

  9. Howard A Member

    From what’s been coming thru lately, I’m convinced, this is all that’s left.

  10. Pete

    I do believe this would be the way to go on this one.

  11. Bruce

    Here is my 71 Chevelle. Original 402 4spd car. Currently in the shop getting some new metal put on her. Then time to build the 402 into a monster with recport heads and a dual quad intake.

    Like 1
  12. Tyler

    In my opinion, this car was most likely the donor for another car build. It can be brought back, & probably will be, but it’s gonna take a whole lotta work & money.

  13. JamestownMike

    Auction ended, it bought $2,025.

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