SS Tribute Project? 1972 Chevelle Malibu

This ’72 Chevelle was a father/son project back in the 1990s. Considerable work was done back then to upgrade the car and more work is still needed now, especially with the engine. The seller doesn’t know if this car was a true SS model when he bought it and the VIN doesn’t seem to help, so this is a project that could be completed as a modified SS clone. Located in Wichita, Kansas, the brightly colored Chevy is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $17,666.

The seller and his dad began restoring this 1972 Malibu in 1994, first removing the original motor, transmission, and rear end. According to the VIN, that should have been a 350 cubic inch V8, and its replacement was a 350 ZZ4 Chevy crate small block with high-performance aluminum heads, a forged steel crankshaft, hypereutectic pistons, and a hydraulic roller camshaft and lifters. The seller says it was good for a whopping 385 hp. But that was 45,000 miles ago and the engine doesn’t run now with the seller placing potential blame on a broken rod and a cracked piston. So, the motor will have to be rebuilt or replaced yet again.

Other changes or additions from stock include a 3000-stall converter for the TH-400 automatic transmission. The rear end is now a 12-bolt with posi-traction, the radiator was replaced with an electric fan, the wiring harness was upgraded, and it has new dashboard gauges from Dakota Digital. Oh, all the brakes are now disc rather than disc/drum, too.

While the paint is about 25 years old, the Dodge Viper Red looks good, with stripes, badging, and all. It has a few paint chips to show for its age, of course. The interior has largely been restored with a few details remaining, but things like the headliner and carpeting are new. The seller has a few suggestions on how to complete the project, such as going with fuel injection, replacing the exhaust system, and adding some suspension parts. We’re told the car will likely need $20-30,000 in parts and possibly labor to put this car back on the road in style.


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  1. A.G.

    Whether this car was delivered as an SS or not doesn’t really matter anymore. Too much originality has been lost. The modifications are positive but the customization leaves me cold. Wheels are easy to change but digital dash would be more of a challenge.

    The paint job looks excellent considering its age; it’s nicely detailed. Theoretically any issues with previous sheet metal repairs would be visible after 25 years. Even with the digital dash the interior looks good. It appears all which is needed are kick panels, a dashpad and a repair to driver’s seat cover. Under the hood will require a bit more time, effort and money. At this point it’s a customized Chevelle. Someone desiring a real SS probably should look elsewhere.

    Like 6
  2. Steve Bush Member

    HUH? Let me get this straight. The bidding is already at almost $20k with 3 days left for a non running albeit seemingly nice possible SS 1972 Chevelle that’ll need $20-30k to be drivable. Seems like you could have a couple nice drivers for that money. Am I missing something?

    Like 8
    • jerry z

      If you farm everything out, yes it could cost $20-30K. Then again he is talking about LS swap, 4L60E, and Baer brake setup which are not cheap if buying new parts.

      Like 1
    • Steve R

      People are bidding on the shiny red paint and the collection of decent parts.

      Steve R

      Like 4
  3. Johnny

    $20,000 and can,nt drive it away. Their cars and trucks out their in better shape you can drive away in for less.

  4. Mutt

    “broken rod and cracked piston”

    Sounds like somebody made one too many 1/4 mile passes and does not want to fix the car… again.

    Like 5
  5. Michael Streuly

    Bidding at 22,100 dollars. I would never pay that kind of money for that car.

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