Featured here is a great looking 1972 Chevy Corvette Stingray LT-1 with a T-Top. The 1972 Corvette Stingray was a sports car that was designed for excellent road handling along with a sleek appearance.The 1972 Corvette LT-1 is a rare find and a popular collector car.

corvette lt 1
1972 Chevy Corvette LT-1

1972 Corvette Design

The 1972 Chevrolet Corvette was changed very little from the previous years, mostly this was the last year for some major things.   Examples are that 1972 was the last year for steel chrome front bumpers, side bright “egg crate” grills, and the removable rear window.

The 1972 Corvette was a part of the C3 design group of Chevrolet Corvettes. The “C3” designates that the 1972 design was a part of the third major overhaul of the appearance and functionality of the Chevrolet Corvette. The C3 term was used for the Corvettes from 1968 through the 1982 model year.

The Corvette T-Top

Many people believe that General Motors was the inventor of the T-Top. In reality it was invented and patented by car designer Gordon Buehrig. The T-Top  was first used in a 1948 prototype by The American Sportscar Company or “Tasco.” Tasco did a fine job on the roof although for some reason they never made more than one prototype of the car.

The next time the T-Top was introduced it was on the 1968 Chevy Corvette. When this happened, Gordon Buehrig sued GM. Buehrig won the lawsuit however the settlement was said to be small. The Corvette’s T-Tops were so popular with buyers they were cited as the reason Chevy stopped producing Corvette convertibles in the 1976 model year and didn’t restart their production until 1986.

1972 corvette stingrayThe LT-1 Power Plant

One of the real successes in the development of the small block Chevrolet engine, and a cornerstone in its reputation as a surefire power producer, was the legendary LT-1 that came out for the 1970 model year. The LT1 offered a sophisticated reverse-flow cooling system, electronic fuel injection, and aluminum heads. When the LT-1 first debuted, it’s horsepower stood at 370. The LT-1 was also used with the Chevy Camaro.

Change in Power Ratings

Over the three-year span from 1970 to 1972 a total of 4,977 buyers got the near-perfect blend of raw power and sports car balance the LT-1 had to offer. The 1972 Corvette did lose some power due to emission restrictions and octane ratings, but the low numbers are mainly due to the SAE standard of rating horsepower.

This was the year that horsepower specs were changed from gross horsepower to net horsepower. Before 1972 horsepower was measured on an engine without any accessories such as the alternator, A/C, water pump, etc. In 1972 the engines were rated with all accessories and the exhaust system which caused the horsepower of the same engine to be rated much lower. While the horsepower ratings were lower, they were also more realistic to what an average driver could expect.

1972 Corvette LT-1 Specifications

The 72 Chevy Corvette LT-1 had a 350 cubic inch V-8 engine delivering 255 HP with a Holley four-barrel carburetor.

Transmission was a Muncie four speed manual.

Brakes were hydraulic vented four wheel discs.

Suspension was independent both front and back. Coil springs with anti-roll bar front suspension and semi-elliptic leaf springs, radius arms and anti-roll bar in rear.

Dimensions included a wheelbase of 98.0 inches, overall length 182.5 inches, width 69.0 inches and height of 47.4 inches.

Additional Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below…

1960 Corvette

1964 Corvette Stingray

1970 Corvette Stingray

corvette lt-1 stingray photosReference material for this article included…The Complete Book of Corvette- Every Model Since 1953 by Mike Mueller. Zora Arkus-Duntov -The Legend Behind Corvette (Chevrolet) by  author Jerry Burton. GM Archives.

1972 Corvette LT-1 Collector Values

The 1972 Chevy Corvette LT-1 is a very popular collector car and commands high valuations. A relatively low number were produced. If you’re really looking for a rare find, the air conditioned 1972 Corvette LT-1 is one of those. This was the only year factory air conditioning was available with the LT1 engine and a very low 240 of those equipped cars were made.

covette stingray lt 1 specificationsAnother distinction for the 1972 Chevy Corvette was that this was the last model year for front and rear chrome bumpers.

New federal safety regulations spelled the end of chrome front bumpers on the Corvette.The steel bumper Corvettes ran from 1968 through 1972.

Current valuations for the 1972 Corvette LT-1 range from about $60,000 to $100,000 depending on mileage and overall condition.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)