A Time Capsule: The 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Unrestored Survivor

The golden era of muscle cars gave us some of the most coveted and iconic models in automotive history, with the 1970 SS 454 LS6 and 1965 Z-16 standing tall among them. However, not all valuable treasures wear these legendary badges. Meet the 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS – a low-mileage, all-original, and unmolested survivor that has been pampered for 51 years by its one and only owner. While it may not bear the LS6 or Z-16 credentials, this Chevelle is a true gem in its own right.

This 1972 Chevelle SS has remained under the tender care of its original owner since day one. Kept away from the rain and elevated on blocks during winter to preserve its original tires, this remarkable hardtop still rolls on its factory rubber even after 51 years. The car’s original spare tire is also in exceptional condition, a testament to the owner’s dedication to maintaining its authenticity.

With only 22,700 miles (36,532 km) on the odometer, the Chevelle has been driven an average of just 445 miles (716 km) per year throughout its life. Its numbers-matching V8 engine, coupled with a four-speed gearbox, ensures that it retains its original power and performance characteristics.

Under the hood lies a 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) small-block V8, delivering 175 horsepower and 280 pound-feet (380 Nm) of torque. While these figures may appear modest compared to its predecessors from 1970, it’s essential to note that Chevy transitioned to net horsepower ratings in 1972. The engine likely produces around 220 horses and 350 pound-feet (475 Nm) of gross torque, an impressive feat for its time.

Throughout its long life, the Chevelle has experienced minor alterations – Corvette LT1 valve covers and a replaced shifter – yet still maintains an astonishing resemblance to its original form. The striking Mohave Gold paint, untouched by restoration efforts, adds to the car’s allure, showing remarkably well for its age and preserving its authentic charm.

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After half a century with its original owner, this exquisite 1972 Chevelle found its way into the hands of classic car collector and dealer, Dennis Collins. Known for his passion for unrestored survivors, Dennis was deeply impressed by the car’s immaculate condition. So enamored with this time capsule, he decided to include it in his private collection, choosing to preserve its originality rather than restoring and selling it.

And you’ll hear him say how the condition of this car is “unbelievable” more than once. If this Mohave Gold SS had been a 1970 SS 454 LS6, it would have been worth more than $500,000 in this condition. But even though it’s not one of the more desirable versions of the Chevelle, this hardtop is arguably one of the greatest 1970s survivors out there. Check it out in the video below.

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