OEM Restoration: 1972 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396

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Performing a faithful restoration of any classic will leave an owner with decisions to make. Often, those choices revolve around what parts to utilize. With some components made from genuine “unobtainium,” reproduction pieces are frequently the only option. However, that wasn’t the case with this 1972 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396. The seller performed a nut-and-bolt build using nothing but OEM parts. It presents beautifully and is ready to find a new home. The seller has listed the Camaro here on eBay in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Bidding sits below the reserve at $32,300, although there is time for interested parties to stake their claim on this immaculate classic.

The 1972 model year almost saw the demise of the Camaro. A long-running industrial dispute at the Norwood plant stopped production for six months, slashing sales by nearly 50% compared to the previous year. However, General Motors gave its pony car cousins, the Camaro and Pontiac Firebird, a stay of execution. The upshot for serious collectors is that cars like this 1972 Camaro SS 396 are relatively rare and often represent an excellent investment. This SS is the seller’s pride and joy, and they recently completed a total restoration utilizing genuine parts. One deviation from factory specifications is the paint. They selected the original shade of Midnight Bronze, applying it in a clear-over-base process. However, the finish is like glass, which Chevrolet never achieved, even on its best day. It looks flawless, and the seller supplies this YouTube video supporting my belief. It includes a comprehensive walkaround, showing the SS in its full glory. Unsurprisingly, with the exterior so clean, the underside shots confirm the car is rust-free and as solid as the day it rolled off the line. The chrome is in as-new condition, and the tinted glass is crystal clear.

It is common for manufacturers to retain a model designation, even when it is no longer necessarily accurate. Such is the case with the 1972 Camaro SS 396. The “396” represented the capacity of the big-block occupying its engine bay. However, Chevrolet enlarged the capacity to 402ci in 1970. The badge recognition was so strong that the company resisted updating it to reflect the capacity increase. The 1972 SS 396 is a rare creature, with only 970 cars rolling off the line. This one is numbers-matching and teams the big-block with a three-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, a Posi rear end, and power assistance for the steering and brakes. The air cleaner decals quote a power output of 300hp, but with the industry transitioning to quoting engine outputs in net rather than gross terms in 1972, the official figures were 240hp and 345 ft/lbs of torque. Potential buyers will undoubtedly welcome the news that this Camaro runs and drives perfectly. We hear its V8 running during the video mentioned in the previous paragraph, and it sounds as sweet as a nut.

Every aspect of this Camaro “pops,” and the interior is no exception. The first owner selected Parchment houndstooth trim with lashings of faux woodgrain to convey a classy air. I’ve scoured the photos for flaws, but this interior is as close to perfect as you are likely to find in any classic of this vintage. There is no wear, deterioration, or fitting issues. It is free from aftermarket additions, while the factory air conditioning and AM/FM radio should make life on the road pretty pleasant.

This 1972 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396 is undeniably rare, and its condition is sure to turn heads. The bid total of eighteen is lower than expected, but I suspect a few people might be biding their time and will show their hand in the auction’s dying moments. Recent sales results suggest the price may double before the hammer falls, but I wouldn’t rule out a higher figure for a car of this caliber. Are you tempted to join the bidding party, or will you sit back as an interested spectator?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. BA

    What a ride! Early 1970 Big block Camaro is no doubt a top shelf item & suspect the price of admission to be near unobtainium level for me and the drop in horsepower to net for 1972 lowered the fun factor a bit it wouldn’t take much to bring this SS 396 back to higher tire scorching levels oh did I mention A/C? I guess I better start playing the lottery again

    Like 2
  2. KC

    Nice Camaro but not many people in today’s economy have over 32k to spend on a toy unless you’re one of those Barrett Jackson Billionaires who ruined the muscle car market for the rest of us……just saying.

    Like 12
  3. JohnfromSC

    @KC, as we see on this site and others, there are plenty of classics available for $10K – $15K. But you seem to expect that a rare car which is highly desireable should cost next to nothing.

    It’s 2024 and we’ve just seen real inflation (not the bogus official numbers) fueled by government $Trillions, eat up 35% of our savings. Burger flippers now make $20/hr and mechanics are over $100/hour. A $400 gallon of pre-Covid auto paint is now easily $800. I can assure you that billionaires aren’t buying $50K Camaros. At BG the big bucks $300K-$500K are all restmods.

    Find and enjoy a modest classic like a half ton International or Dodge pickup, a 50’s – 60’s lesser known 2 dr sedan, or even a British roadster like a TR6 that needs a modest amount of work, to yield mountains of enjoyment.

    Like 1
    • KC

      I wasn’t complaining that the Camaro was too much. I was saying that the average Joe can’t afford prices like 32k because of todays economy. Back in the 80’s and 90’s one could get that Camaro for around 7k to 10k. Muscle car prices really hit the moon when the billionaires started to buy everything at the premier auctions around 2007. After that forget about it…….Yes just saying.

      Like 1
  4. DW

    I live in Goldsboro and have never seen this car at any of the car shows I attend.

    Like 2
    • Fox owner

      So it was bought to flip? Seems logical. It is nice and super clean. Too rich for my blood.

      Like 0
  5. Barzini BarziniMember

    Are those the best factory wheels ever? I think so.

    Like 6
    • stillrunners stillrunnersMember

      I think so….ran them on my 1964 SS…..

      Like 0
  6. John

    All this is missing is the 4 speed and the split bumper RS option

    Like 8
    • stillrunners stillrunnersMember

      Wounder why it was a tach delete ordered car ?

      Like 0
      • Steve R

        Tach was optional, on early second generation Camaros it was only standard on the 70-72 Z28, then switched over to being standard on the 73 Type-LT instead.

        Steve R

        Like 1
  7. Nelson C

    Hens teeth on four wheels. Very few BB super sports built in ’72 and even less remain. If I was going to fold myself up in a Camaro this would be a good one.

    Like 3
  8. John M. Stecz

    Beautiful car ,only thing that would make it better is if it would have been born without the rear spoiler ,but being the PURIST that I am I could live with it .definitely rare and big block is the only way to go.good day

    Like 0
  9. Capt Jim

    I owned one of these with the four speed. When you grabbed second gear, you’d swear a truck just slammed into you from behind! What a ride!

    Like 3
  10. John

    Second last year for the round tail lights on the second generation Camaro. I really liked the round tail lights. I actually bought a new 76 Camaro with a 350 and 4 speed in it. Horsepower was down a lot but it was still a fun car. I miss that car to this day.

    Like 1
  11. Scott Scheer

    Unless there’s something really ugly hiding….I would buy that every day of the week. I know many love first gen 67-69 , after driving second gen, I feel there is no comparison. Miss the sound of those giant doors closing.

    Like 0

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