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Rebuilt 402 V8: 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Chevrolet gave birth to the Monte Carlo in 1970, a personal luxury car that was based on the Pontiac Grand Prix but had some of the cues of the Chevy Malibu. The auto would only be minimally changed through its first generation, which concluded in 1972, the year the seller’s Monte was built. This example has the 402 cubic inch V8 which was still marketed as the Chevelle SS 396 in that product line. Needing cosmetic attention, this semi-survivor is available here on craigslist for $16,500 OBO. Another fine tip from Barn Finder Tony Primo!

The Monte Carlo entered its third year with changes limited mostly to an upgraded front grill. The Super Sport edition had been dropped, but you could still get 402 (396) or 454 V8s, which produced 240 and 270 hp respectively, now rated using SAE net calculations. As the car continued to stress providing luxury as its primary goal, the 4-speed manual transmission also disappeared as an option. 1972 would be a banner production year (to date) with nearly 181,000 copies of the Monte Carlo leaving dealer parking lots.

According to the seller’s research, only six percent of ’72 Monte Carlo production included “big block” engines. So that should place this auto in rare territory. The numbers-matching 402 (which has been rebuilt) is flanked by a TH-400 automatic transmission and a 12-bolt rear end. We’re told the car has “rare rear ducted air” but I’m not sure what that means – does this have something to do with factory air conditioning, which is not likely working here as the compressor belt has been taken off?

The body has some surface rust, but it may go deeper than that where the original vinyl roof covering once resided. The interior looks to be in pretty good shape where the upholstery was previously redone (the car has 157,000 miles, so that makes sense). We’re told the Chevy runs and drives well and has never been hot-rodded, though the power to do so should be there. The 402 Monte Carlo doesn’t weigh all that much more than a Chevelle SS 396.


  1. Brent

    Rear ducted air = rear defrost??????

    Like 11
    • Big_Fun Member

      Yes, you’re right, Rear Defog. Two speeds, hi/low. It pulls in cabin air, and directs it to the back window. Picture shows this from an overhead view.

      Like 18
  2. BA

    I think it’s over priced but what a sweet cruiser we have here! My favorite short body Monte Carlo with the big block 396 with A/C ! Yes it will be cost prohibitive or never see a profit but what a ride indeed! The widowmaker rides again!

    Like 9
  3. Art Engel

    Rear ducted air? That would be a rear window defroster, like in before they had the heated lines in the glass.

    Like 8
    • Scott Williams

      Not sure it was “rare” though. I had a fairly basic (350/2, crank windows etc) ‘72 myself and that car had the rear defrost.

      Like 4
  4. KC John Member

    That roof will cause issues I think. None of my 10k motors ever looked that bad. Just saying. 16500 seems optimistic to me. Been wrong before though. Big block Monte = cool so GLWTS.

    Like 5
  5. Jake73

    rear ducted air: you can see the vent between the rear speakers on the package tray in back. I think that is part of the “flow through” ventilation a lot of GM cars had in the early 70’s. they removed them from the trunk lids as they would ice up and or leak, and sometimes let fumes in if I recall correctly. If it is indeed an A/C duct that would be rare for the time.

    Like 5
  6. Chris Cornetto

    You can get a concourse SS 454 in the mid 40k range so 16.5 for a tired old project that no doubt will be a convertible when the remains of that vinyl top comes off. I know everything went bonkers in the last 3 years but, it is getting silly with the prices of some of these regular old cars. 157,000 miles on a 402. Carry a 5 gallon jug of waste oil along for the ride home and a hammer so when one of the rear brake lines seep from rust you can pound it shut for the remainder of the adventure. So after body work. mechanical redo, chrome and all the other stuff enjoy it because you will married to it or living in it after the wife throws you out.

    Like 18
    • Tom Simmons

      Hammered? You don’t own Vise Grips?

      Like 4
      • Chris Cornetto

        Vise grips are good on the rubber hoses, but sometimes you have to bend that long sucker before the rust through and use the jack base or a rock to beat it shut…….lol The memories of being young and living in the rust belt. People think I am nuts riding a Busa for a daily. I just laugh and think back to that 60 Continental convertible and that 🪨.

        Like 0
    • Glen

      Waaayyyyyy off, friend. Try double in some instances. 70 & 71 SS’s are pulling tall cheddar. They only made 5,742 of them for these two years. And twice as many 70s (3,823 vs. 1,919 for 71). There ain’t many left and getting one in “concourse” condition will cost you.

      Like 3
      • Chris Cornetto

        I have seen several roll through various auctions in the last several years in the mid to high 40s. Other models in the 20s to 30 range. Sorry, you cannot get this car to that and not be under water. this car is fine if your going to keep it for the long haul but like many on here, that’s not the case. especially with the so-called muscle stuff. I personally know a guy that lost his @$$ recently on a Cuda.

        Like 1
    • Dennis Doodan

      Well said!!!

      Like 0
  7. Maggy

    16500 is too much imo.Bet theres plenty of rust and some rot under that lower body trim.5-7k car imo.Lets see some trunk pics.Crunchy?

    Like 12
  8. healeydays

    Always loved the 70-72 Monte Carlos and had a 72 with the 350 and the center console. This one seems a bit over priced for what it is.

    Like 6
    • Rob W Adkins

      Have 2 72s, 1 with Buckets and console, 1 with a Bench Seat ! Nice cars ! I added the rear window defog to one of mine !

      Like 6
  9. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I’ve always loved the 1970-72 Chevy Monte Carlo. Assuming everything on this car is solid and it runs and drives like it should I can imagine this being an awesome resto project.

    Like 4
  10. William Maceri

    With it’s Cadillacesk shaped taillights and the front end resembling the 1972 Grand Prix, the big grill separating the two round headlights the 71-72 Monte Cs are very good looking cars. I was very impressed with them when they were first released. I’m not a GM fan, and never have been, I can still appreciate good styling when I see it. I actually have a hand full of various GM cars from the late 50s and 60s that I really like. IMO, the 58 model year produced a few fine looking cars. The 58 Impalas were very good-looking. At a time when excess is best, the Impala had very clean and smooth look. The grill and headlights resemble a beautiful women, I can’t explain how I come up with that but that’s what I have always thought. Out back, while fins were all the rage at the time, the 58 Impala found a way to sink the fins into the rear fenders and smoothly wrap around to the rear and showcase the 3 round taillights on each side was very stylish. The roof and greenhouse was used across all GM brands. The 58 Oldsmobile and Buick had very interesting and likeable styling that could have been OTT, but they both managed to keep them out of the OTT area. They both wear 57 miles of chrome but it some works OK. I particularly like the chrome mask the surrounds the headlights and then continue down each side. The taillights were iconic for the late 50s. The Buick has a very smart looking grill and headlights. I like the popular hooded headlights. The taillights were exactly what they should needed to be. I think they look perfect for the total look of the car although the several chrome trim lines that cover the lenses look a little too gaudy. Last but not least, the 58 Cadillac styling seems to fit the Cadillac well. 1958s use of quad headlights looked like they were natural, however the Same can’t be said for the rest of the Big Three’s car.

    Like 4
  11. Jamie

    Anyone willing to pay $16,500 for this car has obviously never driven one.

    Like 4
  12. CG

    That Big Block takes it to another level.
    You don’t see those every day.

    Like 2
  13. rayburn

    At today’s prices, it’s gone by now…

    Like 2

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