THE 1972 THIRD GENERATION CORVETTE
Welcome back to Hobby Car Corvettes, as we continue our C3 Vette Rundown Series. Two weeks ago, we discussed the underwhelming launch of the 1971 Corvette. If you missed the posts for all years prior to 1972, we do recommend checking those out! Short, sweet, and to the point, our series aims to give a brief but pertinent history of the lifespan of the third generation Corvette, from start to end.
Cruising right along, let’s see what changes the 1972 Corvette brings to the table!
NOTHING ADDED, MUCH REMOVED
Similar to 1971, 1972 brought us very few changes, possibly even fewer. There were virtually no changes, in the form of additions, made to the 1972 C3. The biggest changes were not additions of fancy or efficient features, but the removal of them.
The option of including the 454 cubic inch big block LS-6 either on its own or as part of RPO ZR2, was no longer available. This decision was made in response to incredibly poor sales numbers the previous year Only 188 Corvettes with the LS6 engine and an embarrassing 12 Corvettes equipped with RPO ZR2 were sold. This was the final year for the LT-1 engine and the ZR1 racing package built around it.
Though we mentioned it in the 1971 post, 1972 was the first year that no Corvettes were equipped with fiber-optics monitoring systems, headlight washer systems, and the M22 heavy duty 4-speed manual gearbox.
1972 did mark the “end of an era” within the third-generation Corvettes. The 1972 Corvette, was the last model to feature both front and rear chrome bumpers, a bright egg-crate grill, side-fender grills, and a removable rear-window. Later models do have functional vents and some have vent trim.
A RACING FAVORITE, EVEN WITH LESS HORSEPOWER
In response to the regulation changes in 1971, GM, like most other automotive manufacturers, began to measure engine outputs in the new SAE “net” for 1972. This change in how horsepower was measured was a notable change for C3 Vettes. This choice to use net numbers instead of the “gross” horsepower measurements came about because of the power losses. Prior to 1972, horsepower was measured on a blueprinted engine without any accessories such as the alternator, A/C, etc. In 1972, measurements were taken with all the accessories, which resulted in lower ratings.
This loss of classic Corvette power behind the wheel due to the mandated engine changes in 1971, was another notable difference. Despite the decrease in output, Corvette remained a racing favorite. In addition to being a preferred racing machine, tire companies also utilized Corvettes to test the quality of their tires. The combination of weight and speed common to the Corvette, demands a quality tire. Both Goodyear and B. F. Goodrich recruited Chevrolet Corvettes to put their tires to the test.
Goodyear won the unspoken competition through the exceptional performance of Dave Heinz and Robert Johnson. On February 6, 1972, Heinz completed the race for the team, placing them 8th overall at the “Six Hour Daytona Continental-World Manufacturers Championship Race”. Even more exceptional was the team’s GT finish and overall 4th place on March 25 at the “12 Hours of Sebring”. This was great press for Chevrolet Corvettes!
In addition, race car Driver at the time, Tony DeLorenzo, test drove the 72’ and had nice things to day. DeLorenzo was quoted, “you can’t get a better overall performance car. I’d be hard-pressed to find a better car for the money, then the ‘Vette.
DID YOU KNOW:
The “12 Hours of Sebring” Corvette fourth place finish amongst all racing classes that year was the best overall finish Corvette had ever seen to that point in its racing history.
Only three engines were listed for the Corvette in 1972, which made it the smallest selection since the 1956 model.
1972 was not an exciting or impressive year for Corvette. What was exciting, is that despite the changes in engine power, Corvette maintained its reputation for being fast and fierce! It was good to know, that even with restrictions in regulations, and the changes in engine size and power, Corvette was still Corvette.
Join us again in two weeks, to see what 1973 has in store. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us at Hobby Car Corvettes, located in Martinsburg, PA, if you have any questions or interest in owning your very own C3 Corvette. Turn your dreams of owning your very own C3 Chevrolet Corvette, into plans!
|MODEL||1972 CHEVROLET CORVETTE|
|BODY STYLE||Two-door convertible/coupe, front engine, rear wheel drive|
|MANUFACTURING LOCATION||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Classic White, Monza Red, Marlboro Maroon, Mulsanne Blue, Bridgehampton Blue, Donnybrooke Green, Daytona Yellow, Cortez Silver, Ontario Orange, Laguna Gray|
|Black, Blue, Brown, Green, Saddle, Red|
|CONSTRUCTION||Uniconstruction: fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP or “fiberglass”) body, backboned by a steel cage outlining the passenger compartment. Principal members – underbody, front and rear end assemblies, dash panel and hinge pillars are bonded, riveted, or bolted together and to each other. Hood is plastic with bonded plastic reinforcement. Coupe: two removable roof panels and removable rear window. Frame: all welded, full length, ladder construction with 5 crossmembers. Side Rails and intermediate crossmembers box section; front crossmember box girder section. Eight body-mounting points.|
|VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN)||1Z37K2S500001 – 1Z37K2S527004|
|ENGINE SUFFIX||CDH: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL, EMISSION CONTROL|
CDJ: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HORSEPOWER, AUTO, EMISSION CONTROL
CKW: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL
CKX: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HORSEPOWER, AUTO
CKY: 350 CUBIC INCH, 255 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL
CKZ: 350 CUBIC INCH, 255 HORSEPOWER (ZR1), MANUAL
CPH: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL
CPJ: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC
CRS: 350 CUBIC INCH, 255 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC, AIR INJECTION REACTOR
CRT: 350 CUBIC INCH, 255 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL, AIR INJECTION REACTOR
CSR: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL, AIR INJECTION REACTOR
CSS: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC, AIR INJECTION REACTOR
|ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER||3970010: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HP, 255HP|
3970014: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HP, 255HP
3999289: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP
|HEAD NUMBER||3973487: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200HP, 255HP|
3998916: 350 CUBIC INCH, 255HP
3998993: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200HP
3999241: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP
|CARBURETOR NUMBERS||ROCHESTER Q-jet #7042202: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION|
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7042203: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7042216: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7042217: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7042902: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
|DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER||1112050: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200HP|
1112051: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP
1112101: 350 CUBIC INCH, 255HP
|ALTERNATOR NUMBER||1100543: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP|
1100950: 350 CUBIC INCH 200HP, 255HP
1100544: ALL WITH AIR CONDITIONING
|AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER||AA: 3.55:1 RATIO|
AB: 3.70:1 RATIO
AC: 4.11:1 RATIO
AX: 3.36:1 RATIO
LR: 3.36:1 RATIO
|PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE||AUG., 1971: 501344, SEP.. 1971: 503697, OCT., 1971: 506050, NOV., 1971: 508406, DEC. 1971: 510310, JAN. 1972: 512661, FEB. 1972: 515020, MAR. 1972: 517613, APR, 1972: 519993, MAY., 1972: 522611, JUNE, 1972: 525226, JULY, 1972: 527004|
Options Codes, Production, & Pricing
|19437||Base Corvette Sport Coupe||20,496||$5,533.00|
|19436||Base Corvette Convertible||6,508||$5,296.00|
|–||Custom Interior Trim||8,709||$158.00|
|AV3||Three Point Seat Belts||17,693||$0.00|
|A85||Custom Shoulder Belts (std with coupe)||749||$42.15|
|C07||Custom Shoulder Belts (std with coupe)||2,646||$273.85|
|C07||Auxiliary Hardtop (for convertible)||811||$158.00|
|C08||Vinyl Covering (for auxiliary hardtop)||2,221||$42.15|
|C50||Rear Window Defroster||17,011||$464.50|
|ZQ1||Optional Rear Axle Ratio||18,770||$47.40|
|K19||Air Injection Reactor||3,913||$294.90|
|LS5||454ci, 270hp Engine (n/a in California)||1,741||$483.45|
|LT1||350ci, 255hp Engine||1,638||$483.45|
|M21||4-Speed Manual Transmission, close-ratio||14,453||$0.00|
|M40||Turbo-Hydro-matic Automatic Transmission||12,992||$0.00|
|N37||Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column||12,992||$84.30|
|PO2||Deluxe Wheel Cover||3,593||$63.20|
|PT7||White Stripe Tires, F70x15, nylon||6,666||$30.35|
|QRZ||White Letter Tires, F70x15, nylon||16,623||$43.65|
|T60||Heavy Duty Battery (std with LS5)||2,969||$15.80|
|U79||AM-FM Radio, Stereo||7,169||$283.35|
|YF5||California Emission Test||1,967||$15.80|
|ZR1||Special Purpose LT1 Engine Package||20||$1,010.05|