Original SS 402: 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

The heyday of the American muscle car ran from 1964-72, although some detuned big blocks would run around for a while longer. One of the leaders of the pack was the Chevelle Super Sport, often found with a 396 under the hood, but also a 454. In 1970, the venerable 396 was bored out to become a 402 cubic inch engine but was still marketed as a 396. This two-owner example from 1972 looks to be in beautiful original condition, but not perfect. Located in San Francisco, California, this Chevy is available here on craigslist for a healthy $70,000. Thanks, Pat L., for another cool Bowtie find.

Second-generation Chevelle’s would run from 1968-72 and the last edition may be the cleanest of the cars in the styling department, only slightly changed from the prior year. The Chevelle would continue to be a big seller at 631,661 copies for 1972, of which 212,388 were the Malibu Sport Coupe that the Super Sport was an option on. Just over 20,000 copies would be equipped with the LS3 motor, the 402 which was in its third year of production. That number includes some El Caminos because it was a body style, not a series, and could be ordered the same way as the coupe.

This SS “402” looks to be wearing a nice coat of Placer Gold paint with a white and black interior. The car is said to have been garage-kept, but it also saw regular use as the reported mileage is bordering on 100k. We’re told that everything is in good running order and you could hop and drive almost anywhere. It’s made an appearance on television and in a magazine and has two trophies under its belt. The Chevelle appears to still have its MSRP sticker on the rear window and a collection of booklets, manuals, build sheet, and other paperwork. There’s even a receipt for airline tickets to go watch the car being built nearly 50 years ago.

Under the bonnet resides a numbers-matching V8 and 4-speed manual with a 12-bolt rear end and Posi-traction. It’s a well-optioned car with factory air conditioning that presents extremely well. The body and paint look quite nice as does most of the interior. The only flaws are some scratches in the speaker panel behind the rear seat. This Chevy is not restored but looks like a car that can get away without having one. The seller has only listed the car for sale because his family is about to grow, and they will be moving soon. The elephant in the room may be the asking price – is an unrestored ’72 Chevelle SS worth $70,000, even with the history this car has?


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  1. Ike Onick

    I’m curious why all of a sudden BF is calling these “SS402’s” ? They will be SS 396’s until the end of time. I can’t picture Paul Revere and The Raiders singing about an “SS 402”.

    Like 15
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Not sure if the mandatory engine air pump has been removed.
    I always thought these wheels, also on the z28, were built like 1 piece Pontiac Rally II’s. I had no idea these were 2 piece!!,
    Makes no sense why – is that a plastic center section? If not, doesn’t the redundancy of steel add weight?
    & not sure why a low compression ’72 Chevelle with EGR yet(even if were a 454) would be worth so much money. A 1970 or older Chevelle – i could see.

    Like 2
    • Mr Dave

      The wheels are all steel. The center section (hub area) is welded into the barrel. A trim ring goes down in that crack. Even Pontiac Rally II wheels are 2 piece. The only wheels that are one piece are billet aluminum and cast aluminum and also magnesium wheels.

      Like 3
  3. Raymond

    Ok….the 396 was always 402ci displacement, gm mandated no engines bigger than 400ci in any car smaller then the full sizers so Chevy cheated to push it through….and Paul Revere and the raiders sucked….

    Like 3
    • JoeNYWF64

      Huh? They are singin in my fav car commercial of all …

      Like 2
      • Mark C

        I love that commercial! And the original song they based it on, “Time After Time”, was a pretty great tune. To each his own, I suppose.

        Like 1
    • Dusty Rider

      Hey, don’t you know that kicks just keep gettin’ harder to find? Don’t harsh my buzz, Dude.

      Like 5
      • 370zpp

        Everybody loves Raymond….Not.

        Like 4
    • JOHN Member

      Don’t think so… the 396 bore was 4.094″ Beginning in 1970, they were bored to 4.125″, combined with the same 3.76 stroke equates to 402 cubic inches.

      Like 1
    • joe

      NO. In 1970, they were a .030 overbore 396, Maybe like .032 in reality. They were SS in 71 72 with 402 (or 350 in 72) NO engine designation displayed , except for the 454.

      Like 1
  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    It looks good to me, not $70K good but good none the less.

    Like 8
  5. Jcs

    Very cool SS.

    40K? A definite maybe.

    70K? Not gonna happen.

    Like 12
  6. PaulG

    Agree that it’s an SS-396, and have never heard anyone call it anything different.
    The car is nice, but even on a good day at BJ with alcohol involved won’t reach 70k

    Like 5
  7. Sibert Craig

    No sirs the reason the 396 was bored to 402 was because in 1970 the 454 was to replace the 396 in chevelle and other cars but they had leftover 396s that were rusty bores to clean them up they bored them to clean them up

  8. Jack Member

    This seems to be a very good original that has 99K miles. It’s nice to see a SS Chevelle with 4 speed in this condition after some of those cars without motors, etc that have been listed lately. Who knows what the value is, but I think there are certain people who value a car like this which probably can be driven to wherever the buyer’s home is.

  9. Monty

    This looks like the same color of Chevelle that was in the brief TV series, Life on Mars. Could that be the tv appearance they referred to?

    Like 1
  10. Joe

    Yes he’s asking a lot but you don’t see that kind of paperwork hard to find one with that kind of documentation The original window sticker and bill sheet issued in hot rod magazine and one TV show fair price $58,000

  11. Jack Member

    I took a picture of a reproduction window sticker at a car show that was on a 1970 454 with 4 speed that had a complete frame off rebuild. The owner of this entry didn’t realize that all the 454’s in 1970 had the M-22s. His car and the fake sticker had the less expensive M-21. Some companies will make you a sticker anyway you want it.

    This excellent clone may have won his class that day!

    Like 1

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