We acquired this 1972 Corvette from a gentleman in the St. Louis area that purchased the car from the family of the original owner. The car has a great history and is fully documented back to when it was sold new at Don Essen Chevrolet in Ballwin Missouri on June 21st, 1972. The original owner kept the car for several years until the late 70s when he sold it locally to a friend. Fast forward until 1986 as the original owner purchased the car back that he had bought new, and thus kept in the family all the way up until the fall of 2018. The original owner from what I have been told and the documentation included with the car, did a complete frame-off restoration taking several years to do. He had the car painted and other sources to do things such as engine building, rechroming, etc. The restoration is outstanding and still looks very fresh. From the receipts and process of the restoration included with the Corvette, it appears the restoration was completed in the mid 2000 years. The body was taken off of the frame and photos of the process are in the portfolio that goes with the car.
EXTERIOR PAINT AND BODY:
The exterior color is called Ontario Orange and is correct for this car. It does have the original trim tag on the body. The paint and extremely nice and the body was stripped to bare fiberglass when done. The paint is base coat clear coat and shines very well. From the photos included and our years of Corvette experience, the car does appear to have the original fenders and al bonding strips intact. The doors, hood, headlights and t-tops fit like factory and line up good. The paint on this car is a strong # 2 condition. The window glass is also dated coded original to the car and in good presentable condition with no nicks or rock chips. The rear window is removable and also in nice shape along with the aluminum frame that goes around the glass. All fender lips are nice and not chewed up from oversized tires that you commonly see on these model of Corvettes. Bumpers all line up nicely and fit well. The chrome was redone on the bumpers, both front and rear, and still are in show like condition. The original parking grills are intact and are in presentable shape. The emblems have been replaced along with the license plate bezel and tail lights as well. Exterior mirror is still original and date coded, not perfect but nice and presentable. The vacuum windshield wiper door does operate and function up and down as most do not. Headlights also go up and down with ease as all of the components were either rebuilt or replaced including all of the vacuum hoses. All exterior lighting including side marker lights and back up lamps do operate and work like they should.
The interior on this Corvette is mostly all original and in great “Survivor” condition. The interior in vinyl in material and black in color. The seats are in excellent shape with minimal wear and do not have any signs of repairs of tears. The original seat belts are intact along with the shoulder belts as well that are tucked away behind the seats. The dash pad is in extremely good condition with no cracks, tears or repairs. The door panels are good, with the exception of the drivers side armrest that has had a repair but done well. The passenger door panel is near perfect shape with no repairs. The instruments and center console are also original and still look crisp and fresh with no real fading of the needles on the gauges. All of the gauges do work with the exception of the clock. The mileage on the car shows 1,737 but is not the actual mileage on the car. I believe that is the mileage since completion of the restoration. The original am/fm radio works and the dash lights all work. The original steering wheel still has the “grain like” finish and is not smooth from miles and miles of wear and tear. The only real replacement parts to the interior are the new carpeting that was installed. The carpeting was put in right and fits well. The rear storage compartment is not all cracked up and the original jack and lug wrench are still there along with the t-top storage bags. Even the original sun-visors look good and the tags are still in place.
ENGINE COMPARTMENT AND CHASSIS:
The car stands tall in all areas but the real attraction to this Corvette is the details of the engine bay and chassis. From what you can see and the photos of the restoration included with this car, nothing was really overlooked. You do not find many 72s like this one that has had the attention to detail like it. Simple reason for that is the cost of the restorations are just to high. The reason behind this one was in fact the gentleman was the original owner and had no intentions of selling once it was finished. Unfortunately the passing of the original owner is what has led to the car changing hands. The engine bay is detailed like original. All ignition shielding is there, correct style air breather, fan blade, air compressor, etc. It has all been disassembled and detailed like original. Labels and decals along with inspection markings were put back onto this engine and chassis to resemble the day it left the factory. The back side of the hood and all weatherstrips were replaced as well. The engine was rebuilt and is correct matching numbers to the car including the transmission and rear end. The alternator is also correct to the car along with many other components. The mechanics and suspension rebuild were done with the restoration and I have many receipts to back that up. The underside of the car is as nice as the top side. The frame is very nice and smooth with no pitting or rust. The car as I mentioned, has never left the St. Louis region and was not exposed to the northern harsh elements. The upper and lower control arms are also in nice shape with no pitting and all of the bushings were replaced. The engine block and oil pan still have that nice fresh orange paint and the underside of the floors are the bare fiberglass finish like original. The spare tire compartment is still in great shape and the original spare tire and wheel are still in it! The old original tire is the narrow whitewall and in amazing shape for being that old. The shocks and suspension were redone and when you get behind the wheel of this Corvette, it does drive out smoothly and the overall ride is nice. This is mostly because all of this was redone. To do a restoration like this today would easily cost you $30,000 not even counting the cost of the car itself. More than likely you would be looking at $50,000 plus easily to duplicate this Corvette and even then the car would not have the history or paperwork like this one has.
The air conditioning was also completely reworked in 2018 and covered to R134 and works good. Many of these cars you will see for sale that have a/c do not operate and work properly. The cost of the a/c to be fixed can easily run you close to $1,500 if done right.
DOCUMENTATION & HISTORY:
The documentation with this 1972 Corvette is impressive. Included is the original purchase agreement dated 6-21-72 from Don Essen Chevrolet for the amount of $6,300, original deposit receipt as this was an ordered car and not just picked off the lot, original down payment receipt in the amount of $1,248, original finance papers showing car payments of 36 months at $139.67, original tank sticker, original protect-o-plate, original owners manual and paper bag to hold it in from the dealership, two different original sales brochure which one shows this car with the same tires and color combo, photos of the restoration with the body removed from the chassis, title history, original emissions brochure, original 1972 consumer information brochure, several original registration and inspection receipts, several restoration receipts of the process including copies of parts that were replaced or rebuilt, a complete log book of the mileage on this car including servicing and gas mileage log, original set of keys to the car, and the list goes on. Those original papers for the log on the mileage of the car show the first oil change and up to when the engine was rebuilt and so on. I have never seen this kind of history with an older Corvette much less than a newer one. That alone goes to show you just how well this man kept this car and how much he appreciated it.
FEATURES AND OPTIONS INCLUDE:
350 C.I. V8 Engine (4-BBL
M20 4-Speed Manual Transmission
C60 Factory 4-Season Air Conditioning (Working)
J50 Power 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
Independent Front And Rear Suspension
Positraction Rear Axle
N40 Power Steering
U69 AM/FM Radio
PT7 F70x15 White Stripe Tires (New Correct Reproduction Tires From Kelsey Tire Co.
18 Gallon Fuel Tank
Full Console W/Gauges
160 MPH Speedometer
Hidden Windshield Wiper Door
Removable T-Top Roof Panels
Removable Rear Window Storage Compartment Behind Seats
Paint Code 987 Ontario Orange
Interior Code 400 Black Vinyl
VIN # 1Z37K2S521764
This was the 21,764th Corvette Built In 1972.
A total of 27,004 cars were produced in 1972.
This was a late production one. Actual build date was Friday May 19th, 1972.
Ontario Orange was the #1 color in 1972 building 4,891 units.
Unfortunately you do not see this color that much today as many have been repainted
And changed to a different color. In my opinion this was and is one of the best looking colors on this model of Corvette. The photos do not do it justice.
This Corvette was sold new at:
Don Essen Chevrolet Company
540 Manchester Road
Ballwin, MO 63011
Delivery Date was June 21st, 1972.
Original Owner lived in Glencoe, MO
This is a numbers matching correct engine for this Corvette.
The transmission is also correct and still has the vin # stamped on the side.
Rear end casing is also date coded correct. The rear end gears have been changed to 3.70 ratio as noted in the paperwork.
Engine Block Casting # 3970010
Engine Block Date: D 25 2
Engine Pad Stamp: 12S521764 V0426CKW
This Engine was assembled on April 26th 972
CKW= Code for 350ci, 200hp, mt
Rear End Date: D 26 2
Alternator: # 1100544 Date: 2L4
HIGHLIGHTS TO THE 1972 CORVETTE YEAR:
Appearance changes were minimal for 1972, but this model’s significance is more associated with its “end of an era” status than by new looks or features. The 1972 Corvette was the last to feature both front and rear chrome bumpers, a bright egg-crate grill, side-fender grills (later models do have functional vents and some have vent trim). Also, the 1972 model was the last to feature the removable rear window, a feature unique to 1968 through 1972 models.
The 1972 did not have the fiber-optics light-monitoring system used in 1968-1971 models, but the previously optional alarm (sounding horn type) was included in its base price.
A 350ci, 200hp, engine, 4-speed wide-ratio manual transmission, vinyl interior trim, and soft top (conv) or T-tops were included in the base price of $5,533.00
Horsepower rating decreases in 1972 were due mainly to a change in the measuring criteria. Previously, horsepower ratings were measured as the “gross” output of the engine alone. Starting in 1972, ratings were a more realistic, real-world “net” which included losses from air cleaners, exhaust systems and accessories.
Ontario Orange was the #1 color in 1972. Interior choices were black or saddle recommended, however a custom color choice combo could have been special ordered back then.