- Original 350 cubic inch ZQ3 V8
- Original Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed
- Factory power steering
- Factory four wheel power disc brakes
- Correct Targa Blue paint
- Correct Black interior
- Factory air conditioning
- Fully documented
- Restored by an NCRS judge
By now, you've probably memorized most of the Corvette story. From Zora Arkus-Duntov to the Mako Shark to the bankruptcy years, each of the car's seven generations has its own key moments and cast of colorful characters. At this point, the third generation Corvette accounts for the middle section of the brand's story and, looking back, it's a remarkably appropriate car to hold that place. With visible nods to both Chevrolet's heritage and future, examples like this 1972 coupe are finding firm footing in a collector market that will inevitably grow stronger. The subject of complete restoration, this numbers matching Stingray features options like a 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic transmission and factory air conditioning that make it both fun to drive and surprisingly comfortable. There's never a bad time to buy a good Corvette, so if you're looking to add a first class C3 to your collection, you've come to the right place!
Authenticated by a letter from NCRS Historic Document Services, this Corvette rolled off GM's St. Louis assembly line on December 1st, 1971. As you'll see later in our description, its engine had quite a wait, but the car's body was hot off the press. Peak at its driver's side A-pillar and you'll find a trim tag dated November 30th; just one day before final assembly. Unfortunately that tag doesn't reveal a lot on C3 Corvettes, but it does specify that this car showed up to Harry Mann Chevrolet in Los Angeles, California dressed just as it is today: code 979 Targa Blue paint on the outside of a black, code 400 interior. Fully restored by Palm Bay Restorations, and an official NCRS judge, the car presents well and has a solid feel that conveys a rust-free (yes, weathered C3s are bad to rust around their window frames) and impact-free life. The body's panel gaps have been narrowed to better-than-factory standards. And its blue paintwork is devoid of noteworthy issues, providing the kind of richness and depth that are testaments to a high quality restoration.
Looking back, it seems 1972 was the swan song for traditional chrome bumpers - a look many classic car fans prefer to the heavier, plastic-clad bodies that followed. Below this Corvette's thin front bumper, stainless-trimmed 'egg crate' grilles introduce a shape that's repeated on the bottom of the car's profile. In the middle of that profile, a cross-flag branded header draws the eye towards raked glass that's framed in showroom-quality stainless. Above that glass, body-matched removable tops fit well and do a great job at keeping the elements out. Follow the wide, tapered C-pillars rearward and you'll find a familiar cross-flag branded fuel filler. At the sides of those pillars, classy “Stingray” scripts perfectly complement bright rocker trim and a small chrome mirror. And out back, signature Corvette taillights illuminate a bold “CORVETTE” script, a chrome license plate frame, defined bumpers and square exhaust tips that pierce the car's rear valence.
Under the car's bright blue hood you'll find an original 3970010 branded V8 which was cast on October (J) 29th (29) of 1971 (1), assembled in Flint, Michigan (V) on November (11) 9th (O9) of 1971 as a Corvette ZQ3 (CDJ), and stamped with a correct 12S508419 partial VIN. Straight from the factory, Chevrolet's storied, SCCA-inspired small block utilizes solid lifters and a hotter camshaft to twist stout 11 to 1 compression into 270 horsepower! At the peak of the road-ready mill, a chrome-topped, dual-snorkel air cleaner swirls wind into a dual plane intake via a familiar Quadrajet carburetor. At the sides of that intake, cast iron Chevrolet heads prop stamped and painted valve covers above restored 'ram's horn' exhaust manifolds. And at the back of those heads, a high performance ignition system shoots fire through bright stainless sleeves. When fired, the infamous 350 rumbles like a real competition piece. Its ancillary components are top-notch in every way with new GM hoses and a fresh brake booster accompanying vintage Frigidaire air conditioning equipment. And an evenly sprayed combination of Chevy Orange engine skin and satin black fender framing is interrupted by nothing but stainless hood hardware.
Peer under this low-slung Corvette and you'll find a powder-coated chassis that's straight, solid and ready to pound the pavement. The hot engine sends power to an original Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed, which hangs a correct “72 – CK” branded tag over a matching 12S508419 partial VIN. At the front of the car, you'll find a rebuilt and paint-marked double A-arm suspension that's complete with factory power steering. At the back of the car, you'll find a rebuilt transverse leaf suspension that does an excellent job of increasing grip. In the middle of the car, an aluminized, true-dual exhaust system pipes spent gases through deep, rear-mounted mufflers. And at the corners of the car, four wheel power disc brakes ensure rapid stops and great handling. All that fully sorted hardware is bolted to clean floors which, based on appearance, have been living in a nice, dry garage, only to be taken down the road during the summer months. And the car retains its handsome 15 inch GM rally wheels, which spin fresh 225/70 BF Goodrich Radial T/As around dent-free trim rings and turbine center caps.
Slip into this Stingray's restored code 400 Black interior and settle on one of its pristine vinyl buckets. Those seats are as original, with correct stainless inserts occupying their headrests. The carpets below them were replaced, even in the cargo area, where you'll find a surprising amount of storage space. The door panels at the edges of those carpets are, like the rest of the car's side panels, virtually new in every way. There's a fresh center console that accommodates a small shifter, cool wheel-style HVAC controls and a correct Delco AM/FM radio. From the driver's seat, an aluminum three-spoke steering wheel laps a set of factory gauges that keep tabs on speed, revs, oil pressure, alternator output, temperature, fuel and time. And all that hardware unites to create a simple, comfortable cockpit that's befitting of a performance oriented brand like Corvette.
The sale of this refreshing sports car includes an owner's manual, accessory manuals, an official NCRS shipping report, a stack of restoration photos, a pile of restoration receipts and a couple of novelty plates.
As the value of third generation Corvettes continues to grow, well-optioned, numbers matching cars like this Targa Blue coupe will become serious investment pieces. With a strong color combination, an original drivetrain and modern creature comforts, this C3 is not only a fun car to own, but also a great example of the brand's evolution. Whether you're a seasoned Chevy owner or a potential first-time buyer, don't miss your chance to put this stunning Stingray in your garage!
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What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.