C3 Corvettes are great cars and are fast becoming great investments did you see the last C3 convertible we had in here, a 1975 with a lowly small block that sold for $50K? Of course everyone lusts after the legendary 427/435s of the late '60s, but they are all impressive performers with a very distinctive and threatening rumble. RK Motors Charlotte is proud to present what might be the nicest C3 big block convertible we've ever seen, and it's LOADED with desirable options, including a 4-speed, factory A/C, power windows, and an incredibly rare rear defroster. It is 100% numbers matching throughout, shows just 56,205 original miles, and includes a ton of documentation such as a title history that shows the original owner kept the car until 2004. Although they don't specifically break it down, GM only built 6508 Corvette convertibles in 1972, only 3913 LS5 cars, and only 1638 4-speeds. Those are pretty small numbers, and you have to wonder how many of those were 4-speed LS5 convertibles? Surely no more than a few hundred.
The trim tag says that the car has been correctly repainted in its original code 973 Mille Miglia Red and features the optional code 404 black leather interior. Subject to a body-off restoration in 2004 by Bob Kohn of Davisburg, Michigan, it presents extremely well today and there isn't one person here in the RK Motors showroom that hasn't stopped to admire this car as they walked past. 1972 was the last year for the slender chrome bumpers, a look many Corvette fans prefer to the heavier plastic-clad bodies that followed. The 2-stage Mille Miglia Red paint was applied over a properly prepped fiberglass shell, and is virtually free of ripples and waves. Mr. Kohn was wise to not correct the factory signatures that Corvette judges look foray flawed Corvette is a correct Corvette. Panel gaps are done to factory standards, and it fits together exactly the way your brand new 1972 Corvette would have if you bought it off the showroom floor. Personally, I think it's a lot harder to do it this way than to make a perfect car, and I appreciate that more and more Corvette restorers are choosing not to over-restore these cars.
Clearly the chrome and other bright work on the car was either restored or replaced when the car was reworked in 2004. Those chrome bumpers I mentioned are smooth and wave-free, the door handles are excellent, and the stainless windshield surround has been polished to new condition. Lenses are new all around, and the emblems are accurate reproduction pieces. The front grilles are unblemished, and the car makes me wonder if there is anything better than a bright red Corvette convertible for summertime fun.
And cruising is what you're going to want to do with that purring LS5 big block under the hood. Fully rebuilt and balanced at the time of restoration, it has been driven less than 2000 miles since and is 100% ready for the road. It was rebuilt with an eye towards enjoying the car, since there is now a gigantic aluminum radiator with dual electric cooling fans up front this car will idle in 100 degree heat all day with the A/C cranking and never break a sweat. The rest of the engine was done with stock parts and components throughout, which should result in many happy years of driving. 1972 was the first year of net horsepower ratings, putting the output of this car at 270 horsepower, but it is more or less the same LS5 engine as the 1971 models with 365 gross horsepower. The block has been bathed in the correct Chevy Orange paint with chrome air cleaner and distributor shield. Correct shielded plug wires were installed, along with a rebuilt master cylinder and new power brake booster. The A/C system was upgraded to R134a refrigerant during the restoration, making recharges and servicing inexpensive and easy in the future, and it blows ice cold today, no doubt aided by the massive airflow from those two cooling fans that look like they were probably taken from a C5 Corvette.
GM doesn't break down the exact numbers for coupes and convertibles, but in 1972, only 1638 Corvettes were equipped with 4-speed manual transmissions, so this is absolutely a very rare car no matter how you look at it. The car was stripped to a bare frame, which was sandblasted and painted correct satin black before reassembly. Most of the suspension components were powder coated before going back to work, making them infinitely more durable than the original coatings. The brakes are new, there are fresh bushings all around, new shocks, and it drives and handles like a new car with no noise/vibration/harshness issues like you'd find in a car that has been abused. There's a fresh gas tank out back, and the rear control arms are new, too. The exhaust was replaced during the restoration, and sounds aggressive, but not obnoxious perfect for long-distance drives. There's a new clutch in there, of course, and the transmission slips through the gears easily. There are four 225/70/15 Goodyear Eagle ST tires with a lot of tread remaining mounted on some nice Corvette Rallye wheels.
Slip into the heavily optioned interior and settle into one of those comfortable leather bucket seats. All new in 2004, the leather now has a comfortable broken-in look to it. The materials and patterns are all as original, with the stainless inserts in the headrests. The carpets were replaced, even in the cargo area, where you'll also find a fresh battery nestled into its compartment behind the driver's seat. The gauges are bright and clear, and all the markings on the dashboard were refinished. Dig the cool wheel-style controls for the HVAC system on the console, along with the power window switches. There's an AM/FM stereo radio in the center stack, and it all works. Sharp-eyed viewers have undoubtedly noticed that little grille in the top cover behind the driver's headrest; that's the outlet for the incredibly rare rear defroster option, which this car has. The system is not currently installed, but the ductwork is included with the carnal it needs is a blower and it can be reinstalled (which RK Motors can do for you). The black vinyl top itself is like new, with a clear rear window and no scratches or tears.
As I mentioned earlier, we have a lot of documents on this car. First, there's a complete title trail back to the original owner which verifies this cars low original mileage. There's also a photo album documenting the restoration process from start to finish, giving you an idea of how thoroughly restored this car is. There's also a copy of the factory shop manual and the original owner's manual.
So to recap, this is a numbers-matching big block LS5 Corvette with a 4-speed, factory A/C, factory leather interior, with a full restoration in its original Mille Miglia Red. 1972 was the last of the chrome bumper Corvettes, and production numbers make it one of the lowest production years for all C3s. Do I need to go on? I'm not sure if you've been paying attention, but 1970s C3 Corvettes are FLYING right now. Sure, you can still pick up a smacked-up, rotted-out beater with no hope of ever seeing the road again for next to nothing, but the best cars are rapidly turning into gold. This is a rare, beautiful, fast, documented, investment-quality Stingray that's ready to drive home today for less than the price of a frame-off restoration. What are you waiting for? Call now!
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Some large branded car dealers could learn a lot from you guys on how to treat a customer and close the deal without the painful game that follows when you are just trying to buy a vehicle. Finally, a special thanks to you for priority you placed on closing this deal in record time. also a thanks out to Greg Smith for taking the lead on getting the truck to my location. he also is very good a making it happen versus just talking about what could happen.
Most of my car friends know about RK Motors and the high level of vehicles you offer at much less than anyone could build the same vehicle. going forward I will promote that the people & process are at the same level as the vehicles that RK Motors offers.