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Parts Car or Project? 1972 Corvette Convertible

Sometimes a car is beyond the point of being a realistic project. Many of the cars that have reached this point end up being used as parts cars. It makes us sad to see any classic be parted out, but if it gives another classic a new lease on life it’s not so bad. This 1972 Corvette Convertible is in rough shape, but has it reached the point of being a parts car or does it still have some life left in it? This C3 Corvette can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $260.

This Stingray is a base model L48 with the 200 hp 350 V8. The engine looks rough and the seller doesn’t state whether it turns, but given all the rust we would guess it doesn’t. Some of the parts look to be salvageable, but we don’t see a lot of resale value here.

This car’s fiberglass body has seen better days. The driver’s side rear corner has a large hole in it, which looks to be the worst of the damage. The seller has all the original trim work for the car, but it is in rough condition too. It appears they also have a replacement rear for the car, but it’s in need of as much work as the original.

The interior is the best part of this car, but it doesn’t take much. All the major interior pieces are intact and could be salvaged, but the convertible top is missing.

Is this car salvageable or is it a parts car? While it wouldn’t be impossible to restore this car, we don’t see it being realistic. As readily available as the C3 Corvette is, you would probably be better off buying a car in better shape and only buying this car if you need parts from it.


  1. Jose Lopez,30,Miami

    I’ll drive it as is. Love Green Vettes.

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  2. TMP

    Just tried to click on the ebay listing to see where it was to possibly bid on it for a Lemons project, but the listing is already gone. That answers that question rather quickly and emphatically.

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  3. DAVID


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  4. Ebbo

    clean the seats, new tires, drive it as is.

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  5. Chris H.

    The question isn’t one of rather or not to salvage it, but whether one of whether or not there is any eventual upside to salvaging it. Parts are readily available, but C3 values have yet to gain significant steam. I’d just use a bit of elbow grease, get her roadworthy, and drive as is.

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  6. Chris H.

    Of course, pictures of the frame would be nice…

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  7. Catfishphil

    Looks like it went through Katrina…

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  8. Barn Finds

    @TMP – The link works for me. Give it another try.

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  9. eldo72000

    if it starts I’ll drive it like it is , the ebay link works for me too !!! (smile)

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  10. Al Neri

    I’ve always wondered how people let desirable cars fall into a state of such repair. I understand normal wear but some of these cars looked abused – as if someone was trying to damage them. Hey, it’s your car and you can do what you want with it but I just don’t get it.

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  11. TMP

    Looks like my cookies were getting in the way. In the interim the bidding has skyrocketed to prices akin to local Craigslist C3 project prices that are nowhere near as rough as this one and run.

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  12. 2DBL02

    Even to a dyed in the wool bimmer fan. This is a shame, hope it gets restored.

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  13. Doug M Member

    In my book, when the “corvette shop” decides it is time to let it go, (with the benefit of their in-person inspection) that makes me a little nervous. However, someone will probably buy it so they can park it in their garage and say they have a vette!

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  14. ian wilkinson

    looking at all the vette’s in the background the vendor is a garage/specialist who doesn’t want to take it on, nice though, 72 is a good year, pretty rare car.

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  15. Larry

    Do the words ‘VERY RUSTY” scare anyone else !! Must be super rusty (Frame) for a vette shop not to want it. So SAD, but it would make a great parts car.

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  16. DRV

    The frame will be junk, the fiberglass is junk, and the interior parts are even junk. No such thing as driving this without every mechanical piece being redone. If it was for free, you still would be under water with this…believe me I know. You could use the serial tag and build one from scratch.

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  17. J. Pickett

    Parts, and a horsewhip for whoever did this. Some amateur with eyes bigger than his capabilities.

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  18. karl

    It all depends on the frame, I think. If the frame is not excessively corroded and it’s cheap enough, I say fix’er. If it is (I don’t know what frames cost), then it may be DOA.
    It’s a hell of a shame to let a Corvette (or a Mustang, or Camaro, or pre-’67 T-bird) get to that point of decay. Hope somebody will take it on.

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  19. Gnrdude

    Well I certainly think this car is Very Restorable, Though it Would be on the Expensive side Probably around 20K$ Depending on How far you want to go with it. I’d Chunk the Original Motor BOX it up for future use. Get a nice zz350 From GM Have the Tranny Rebuilt Maybe Swap in a Disc brake Rear End & of course Paint the car back to it’s original Color. Though with the Body Problems the Paint & body work is probbaly going to run somewhere in the Neighborhood of 6-8K$. The Interior Just needs a Good Cleaning maybe some NEW Foam in the seats & the Gauges Look Pretty Corroded so they would Probably have to go though I’d look into some Stock replacements. Other than that I think it would be Ashamed to Part this one out As being 72 Was a Strike year so LOW production. When you got Done you’d have a Nice very Drivable Touring Car.

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    • Tom Member

      I have had a number of these and have done many restorations in my past 30+ years. Where do you live that the paint and bodywork will be $6-8 K? Better asked, what year do you live in with prices like that ? It sounds like you are suggesting $6-8K is going to give you show quality paint and body work that is really nice??

      I am in the industry and unfortunately most paint and body shops in the Chicagoland / Illinois area, like 9 out of 10 should not be in business due to terrible work. No interior, frame/undercarriage, drive train or interior considered. Paint and body ALONE would be $30K to get this car right unless you are doing it yourself. Perhaps more. I have had customers spend 8K on paint and body and they are sick to their stomachs! A total waste of 8K. do it right or don’t do it. I have a 78 Corvette in here today that someone put SH_ _ body work and repaint into. the car is “unfortunate”. the guy who bought it was told it was original and a survivor….it is not. very sad.

      If you have someone doing great body work and great paint all for 6-8 K please tell me where. I will ship cars there to get them done!

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      • Tom Member

        sorry….I thought I was commenting to THE 2016 posting of this same car. I forgot I clicked on related searches and the SAME CAR is popping up in the same condition 4 years later !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  20. 72 Mako

    I would restore this car for the right price if the frame was any good. The current bid is over $3,000 and it hasn’t hit the reserve yet which already makes it more than I would pay for it even with a good frame. I’d pay maybe $1,000 for it with a rusty frame as I can get that out of it on parts and $2,500 with a good frame. Cheap Corvettes can be built. It takes time and you have to buy three or four cheap ones and put them together to make a nice one, but I built a ’69 T-Top 427/auto for $4,000 – When I started I paid $175 for what was left of the car – a rusty frame and body shell and got pieces/parts from other cars. It can be done.

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  21. calvin moss

    Well my thing I would say restore it & don’t part it it still looks like a great one to restore & worth keeping.

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  22. Telly

    It doesn’t say what shape the frame is in, but if it is rust-free, I would choose to restore it. A ’72 convertible Vette would be a rare find. If it was a hardtop I might think about using it for parts.

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