Rare 454 Big Block C3 Corvette is Clean, Unrestored and Ready to Move

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C3 Corvette 454 Hood

Non-numbers-matching, but largely original, this 454 Corvette has every option offered in 1972.

While the modern Corvette ZR1 is the most powerful production road car ever from Chevrolet, in the world of classic ‘Vettes, there is special attention paid to factory big block cars. Like most American performance cars, the Corvette said goodbye to its big block V8 in the mid-1970s. However, even when they were available with the 427- or 454-cubic inch V8 engines, the big block option was expensive and the take rate was low.

As a result, original big block-powered Corvettes are rare, hard-to-find commodities, especially in good shape, but forum member Keith Sharp has a 1972 454 car listed for sale on the forum right now. It is clean and almost all-original, but it is unrestored so while it is drivable, it is the perfect premise for a restoration project. On the other hand, it looks good enough to drive the way that it is, so whether you want a driver or a project, this could be the car.

1972 Corvette Front

The Introduction

When the OP for introduced us to his 1972 Corvette, he provided the following information:

1972 Corvette Coupe for sale. Ontario Orange. 454 (a real 454 car, but unfortunately short block was changed about 30 years ago), 4-speed. 92k miles. Air conditioning, saddle leather interior, power windows, power steering, power brakes, tilt/telescope steering wheel. Original Wyoming/Utah car (until 2005), never wrecked. I have owned this car for 28 years. It has been garaged and hasn’t seen rain in that time. Good, unrestored condition. $22,000.

So much of what the OP said makes this Corvette incredibly collectable, but that one comment about the short block being changed is a killer for those looking for a numbers-matching vehicle. While this is a 454 car, powered by a 454 engine, it is not the original engine and that hurts the overall value of the car from a purist collector’s standpoint.

Rare and Unrestored

However, for people who don’t care about that, this C3 Corvette sounds great. It is loaded with power options that make it a great cruiser while the combination of the big block V8 and the four-speed manual transmission provides old school driving dynamics that you won’t get from a newer ’Vette. The leather is a bit cracked up, but it is not falling apart like the interiors of many cars from the early 1970s. The carpeting appears to be in good shape and so do the door panels, so other than being an undesirable shade of brown, the cabin of this C3 looks pretty solid.

1972 Corvette Interior

On the outside, there isn’t much to complain about with this 454-powered Stingray. The Ontario Orange paint looks like it could use a good polishing, but the wheels and all of the chrome trim appears to be spotless. Even the vintage-look Goodyear tires appear to be in solid shape, so you could drive this car away as soon as the seller finished counting the money.

1972 Corvette Engine

Really, the ugliest part of this car is the engine bay, but that doesn’t impact this Corvette’s ability to be a great cruiser. Clean up the interior and the engine bay and you have yourself a sharp show car, especially with a coat of fresh paint, but in its current condition, this car is a rare, affordable gem of an American sports car.

Join the Corvette forums today!

Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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