Rare Combination: 1972 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1

The originality of this 1972 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible has to be considered to be beyond question. This is confirmed by the fact that it has its own six-page article in the hardcover book, “The Gold-Certified Cars of Bloomington.” The owner has decided that the time has come to part with his award-winning classic. If it is a car that you would love to own, then you will find it located in Monroe Township, New Jersey, and listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN for this beauty has been set at $80,000, but the option is available to make an offer.

Awards such as the NCRS Top Flight or Bloomington Gold Certifications are not handed out because judges just happen to be feeling particularly generous on that day. A Corvette has to earn these awards, and they are based on a combination of vehicle condition, and on originality. The Corvette left the factory finished in its current Elkhart Green, but hidden away in the listing, we learn that the car has received a repaint at some point. It isn’t clear whether this occurred before or after it received its awards, but it still presents nicely nonetheless. The white top appears to be in great condition, while the trim and chrome are spotless. Even the originality of the glass is of major significance when judging a Corvette for Gold Certification, so you would have to assume that the vast majority of the glass in this car is also original. In addition to the awards, being a 1972 model means that this was the final production year for the Corvette with chrome bumpers at both ends. This makes it an even more desirable car amongst enthusiasts.

Sitting in the engine bay is the LT-1 version of Chevrolet’s fantastic 350ci V8. This engine churns out 255hp, which finds its way to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. Add power steering and power brakes to the equation, and this promises to be quite an enjoyable and entertaining vehicle to drive. When new, it was capable of a 0-60 time of 6.4 seconds, while the ¼ mile ET of 14.8 seconds was pretty respectable. I guess that it would be stating the obvious to say that this is a numbers-matching car. This also marked the final year that the LT-1 engine was an available option in a Corvette. While Chevrolet managed to sell 27,004 Corvettes during 1972, only 1,741 cars came equipped with the LT-1. For all of the information that the owner provides about the history and originality of the vehicle, the one thing that doesn’t rate a real mention is how well the Corvette runs and drives, Oh well. What he does tell us is that the car comes with a raft of paperwork and documentation. This includes the Dealer Sales Invoice, the Purchase Agreement, Warranty Book, Protect-O-Plate, Window Sticker, and the Tank Sticker.

The interior of the Corvette presents exceptionally well and comes nicely equipped for good measure. The seats are trimmed in Saddle leather, with this color continued across the rest of the interior. There isn’t a lot to be critical of here, with no obvious signs of rips, splits, or stains. Even the carpet presents well, which is quite an achievement given both its color and age. As far as equipment levels are concerned, the Corvette is equipped with air conditioning, with 1972 marking the only year that this was available in a car equipped with the LT-1 V8. In addition, the Corvette scores power windows, a tilt/telescopic wheel, and an AM/FM stereo radio.

With only 6,508 Convertibles being sold, 1972 was not a banner year for the Corvette. One thing that is known is that of the 1,741 cars (Convertibles and Coupes) that were built with the LT-1, only 240 were equipped with A/C. Just how many of these were Convertibles is not clear, but numerous sources agree that this number is probably around 30 vehicles. I’m not going to try to convince you that this is a cheap Corvette, but its price is not without precedent. Any Corvette with NCRS Top Flight or Bloomington Gold Certification is going to command a premium in the market. It is not uncommon for 1972 “Bloomington Gold” Corvettes to fetch figures around that being asked for this car, and higher prices aren’t out of the question. I guess that if you really want to own the best, you have to be prepared to pay for it.

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Comments

  1. Superdessucke

    Very beautiful car but I would bray like a turkey with its neck being rung the day before Thanksgiving if I heard so much as a pebble hit the inner wheel well when I was driving, and I would pull over and be running around the car like said turkey with its head cut off looking for damage inside the wheel wells.

    So what’s the point? Buy a slightly less beautiful one for about 30k? This car belongs in a museum.

    6
  2. Steve R

    You aren’t likely to find a nice LT-1 Corvette for anywhere close to $30,000.

    Steve R

    3
    • bikefixr

      Sure you can. I sold mine for $22K last summer. It had some incorrect parts, missing smog, Hooker headers and such. Nice clean Red on black (leather) 4sp car, but paint was starting to show some age and it needed a good detailing and fresh rubber (old T/A’s).

      5
      • Steve R

        If it still had the original LT-1 you should have helped out for more. If it was an L-48 you got what car was worth.

        Steve R

        1
    • Superdessucke

      Out of 27,004 Corvettes built in 1972, only 1,638 had the LT1, and another 1,741 had the LS5 454. The remaining 23,625 had the standard 350, which was a slug at 200 HP, especially compared to the Corvettes of just a couple years hence. I’m surprised so many bought the standard engine.

      So the LT1 is pretty rare. But I still don’t think it’s worth much over 30k in good driver condition. The LT1 is a good motor but by ’72 it was low compression and only had 255 HP, so it was no real barn burner.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Yes, they were low on HP, but somehow the legend of the LT-1 C3 perpetuates.

        Back about 2005, we had a local get together of C3 owners to work on our cars. I had my ’70 350/300 and a guy had a ’72 LT-1, green like this with black interior coupe.
        We were saying that in those 2 years, our cars were powered about the same. He was almost apologetic about owning it – “not the same car they used to be”.

        With the passage of time, the LT-1 legend grows in value.

        2
      • Steve R

        GM switched their published ratings from gross to net horsepower in 1972. It’s the exact same engine as the 1971 LT-1, which was rated at 330 horsepower.

        Steve R

        2
      • Greg Prince

        This is no run of the mill 1972 LT1, this is the VERY RARE A/C convertible version. These bring serious $$. If you are a Corvette junkie as I am, this car is very, very desirable. Money is pretty much spot on if in perfect running condition which it likely is. Beautiful car

        2
  3. Jamie

    I agree. If it can’t be driven or won’t be driven, then donate it to the NCM. It may be a hefty tax writeoff

    3
    • Steve R

      Why would you do that? You’d be out tens of thousands versus selling the car, even at a reduced price.

      Steve R

      3
  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    If you can’t drive or are afraid to do so, IMO it’s the wrong car for this crowd (including me). If I have something in the garage, I want to be OK with driving it when I want. It’s a great looking car, but as noted, at that asking price you’d be fearful to get it out of the garage let alone drive it.
    My 2 Cents.

    1
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    If the seller wanted $80K, he should have pulled it out of storage and carted it to Scottsdale.

    4
  6. Del

    A rare expensive Buck board.

    I would need a crane to get out of it at my age

    3
  7. TimM

    $80,000 seems a little steep to me for any 350 4 speed C-3 corvette!! Are there gold bars under the seat!!

    3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Hard to believe, yes, but $80K is in the ballpark for an original, A/C LT-1 vert.

      Finding an interested buyer may be tough.

      3
  8. DRV

    Someone put a 1970 LT1 in my ’58 Vette before I had it. The motor was stolen from the garage I stored the motor in while making a numbers and date correct motor for the ’58.
    I located it in the garage of the thief but the cops wouldn’t do anything about it. Too busy to mess with it.

    4
  9. Kelly Waldrop

    Have had my 70 LT1 since 1985. Its restored and I drive it at least once a month.

    4
  10. jimmy the orphan

    I drive all my corvettes any time I want. I take super good care of them but I drive them just the same. Their cars, that’s what I bought and restored them for. To drive. Put 80k in a painting you brag about. Let somebody get it that knows what its for. BTW where’s the hard top? Later…………………………….JIMMY

    3
  11. JoeNYWF64

    Do all vettes with this body style use this battery?!!–>
    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/qYIAAOSwvBpeHjof/s-l1600.jpg
    If not, that has to be the rarest battery ON EARTH!
    Can’t find any replacements anywhere online. Or even pics.
    Can it be a rejuvenated original?

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I know that side terminal batteries were standard equipment. It was on my ’70, but the OEM battery had been replaced by the time I bought it. A previous owner had also cut off the side terminal connectors and spliced in top terminal connectors so a regular battery could be used. It also made jumping the car much easier.

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