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Solid Project: 1972 Chevrolet Corvette

Some classics are designed to provide outright performance, while others offer unparalleled luxury. This 1972 Corvette delivers the best of both worlds. It is not the most potent example available during that model year, but the drivetrain and desirable factory options combination guarantees an enjoyable motoring experience. It requires a cosmetic refresh, but the new owner can confidently commence that process from a rock-solid foundation. The Corvette is listed here on eBay in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Bidding sits below the reserve at $9,700, but the seller provides a BIN option of $12,900 for those wishing to bypass the auction process.

The 1972 model year marked what many enthusiasts believe to be a critical turning point in the evolution of the C3 Corvette. It was the last year the car was available with chrome bumpers at both ends, while the need to comply with government safety and emission regulations added weight and sapped engine power as the decade progressed. Coupled with the company’s decision to soften the suspension for improved ride and comfort, those people contend that this model year marked the end of the genuinely hard-edged sports car. The original owner ordered this ‘Vette in Classic White, and the vehicle appears to have received at least one repaint. It is due for a repeat performance because a close examination reveals checking, peeling, and other issues that may prompt the winning bidder to strip the car to bare fiberglass as part of a high-end refresh. The seller believes this is a no-hit car because there is no evidence of prior panel repairs. The positive news continues below the surface, with the frame and birdcage rock-solid and rust-free. The trim and glass are in good order for their age, and the Rally wheels look acceptable for a driver-grade restoration.

The seller claims this Corvette is numbers-matching. However, we must look beyond the air cleaner decal to the engine block stampings to determine what version of the 350ci V8 occupies the engine bay. This confirms it is the ZQ3, which delivers 200hp and 300 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission. The original owner’s transmission choice is the first sign they placed comfort high on their list of priorities. Their decision to add power assistance for the steering and brakes further reinforces that impression. This was the least potent version of the Corvette available in 1972, but it could still deliver a sub-16-second ¼-mile ET and a top speed of 124mph. Things would only deteriorate as the 1970s progressed. The seller indicates this ‘Vette sees little use, but that it runs and drives quite well. The engine is strong, the transmission is smooth, and the brakes work as they should. They identify an occasional pulsing sensation in the power steering as the only mechanical issue. Tracing and addressing that shouldn’t be hard, with the listing suggesting that this classic is a turnkey proposition otherwise.

The exterior isn’t the only aspect of this Corvette requiring a dose of TLC. The interior has seen better days, although many parts appear salvageable. Therefore, a complete retrim probably isn’t justified for a driver-grade result. The shopping list will include a new carpet set and replacements for the original Black leather seatcovers. Sourcing something to fill the hole left by the factory radio will be driven by the new owner’s desire for originality. However, many might opt for a retro-style stereo to provide a wider listening choice. The door trims look pretty reasonable, and there are no glaring issues with the dash or pad. A close inspection will undoubtedly reveal other items requiring replacement, but whipping the interior into shape shouldn’t cost a fortune. We also gain insight into the original owner’s desire for comfort. They ordered this Corvette with air conditioning, power windows, and a tilt/telescopic wheel.

This 1972 Chevrolet Corvette isn’t perfect, but it is a rock-solid classic that seems to represent a straightforward restoration project. The fact it is one of the last “chrome bumper” C3s adds to its desirability, while the factory options won’t harm its cause. The nineteen bids submitted confirm this, and with the action climbing toward the BIN figure, I won’t be surprised if someone hits the button reasonably soon. Would you do that, or would taking your chances via the auction process be more your cup of tea?


  1. Bub

    No Corvette expert here, but the buy it now price seems very reasonable.

    Like 7
  2. Ed

    Great price if everything checks out. Unfortunately, I am on the left coast.

    Like 2
  3. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Vinyl covered t-tops?

    Like 2
    • Bub

      I know 370zpp! Right?
      But somehow it works.

      Like 1
  4. Old Man

    I had some body work done to my ’72 back in the day, and the body shop owner wanted to swap my top for a vinyl top version. I said “No way!”

    Like 1
  5. LarryS

    This one needs a lot of work. Every panel seems to need something. Where is the missing cowl piece?

    Like 4
  6. Al camino

    How does the top of the steering column get like this?

    Like 1
    • Beauwayne5000

      Doper owners

      Like 1
  7. ACZ

    Looks like a good deal for the buy-it-now price but I would caution any buyer to closely inspect one area. Look very carefully around the windshield and cowl area for signs of water leakage. If the windshield frame is rotted, that’s an expensive repair. The carpets have been removed for a reason. Maybe mildew or water damage? Also look where the car is located. It may not have been driven in the snow but the garbage they put on the roads to melt ice lingers for a long time.

    Like 3
  8. ALKY

    How does someone let an interior get in to this condition ?

    Like 1
  9. Fitz

    Looks like a “Krylon” rebuilt 350….

    Like 0
  10. Beauwayne5000

    The COWL is rotted & ruined the car will NEVER pass a safety inspection there’s NO FIREWALL it’s rotted thru
    Other comments above noticed missing carpets in front- THEY ROTTED OUT from mildew & mold…which in a Rotted cowl firewall area is near impossible to fix unless you YANK THE ENTIRE DASH & Seats out all the plastic panels & clean then repair.
    This seller is trying to SUCKER you guys.
    That car is a 3k$ Junk yard fixer upper
    NOT a project car where you can BOLT ON MODS & its go go-go
    Front clip needs removed suffrage connectors interior seats dash all
    Most likely the steel bird cage is rotted out.
    It’s basically a PARTS CAR like it or not

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      SOLD for $12,200, which is a decent price for a steel bumper C3 that at least looks good.

      I don’t see a rotted cowl, that would require a deeper dive into this car. But I do notice that both frame rails have had their rear channels replaced. That’s not a bad thing as long as it was done well.

      But, yes, I wouldn’t spend any $$ without a close personal inspection of ANY C3 Corvette.

      Like 1
  11. ACZ

    Safety inspection? Does any State still do those? They dropped that, where I live, about 40 years ago. The other two States, I’ve lived in, never had than, ever.

    Like 1

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