1972 Corvette 454 Survivor
1972 Corvette 454 Survivor
It will seem inconceivable to most any reasonable human being, but this 1972 Corvette 454 survivor convertible takes the prize for lowest mileage in this high-caliber group from the Ed Foss Collection with an odometer reading of 00004. That’s right: four original, documented miles, spanning a 43-year-old story that is still unfolding today.
Detroit manufacturers changed the practice of rating horsepower in 1972, turning to SAE net figures that were lower than the gross figures used before then. General Motors had used both sets of figures in 1971, in an attempt to ease consumers into the new system and prevent the shock of seeing some figures drop by more than 30 percent. Lowered compression ratios designed to accommodate lower-octane gasoline also played a part in the lower ratings, but the switch to net measurement took into account all the parasitic losses caused by driven accessories such as power steering and water pumps, alternators and the restrictions imposed on air flow by air cleaners and exhaust systems. Big-block engine choices were down to one in the 1972 Corvette lineup. Rated at 270 net horsepower under the new SAE horsepower rating system, the LS5 454 CI V-8’s torque output was also reduced from 465 to 390 lb-ft, still enough to haul a Corvette from standing to 60 MPH in less than 7 seconds. Illustrating Corvette’s move from the performance segment into the luxury sports category, customers chose the M20 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission in record numbers. Of the 27,004 Corvettes sold in 1972, almost 15,000 were automatics. Fortunately for the few diehards out there, one could still order the M21 close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission. The trend away from convertibles was now in full swing, with coupe production outstripping convertible output 20,496 to 6,508. The year’s rarest colors? Pewter Silver, followed closely by Sunflower Yellow.
When Mr. C.L. Green of Port Alberni, British Columbia, ordered his brand new 1972 Corvette 454 convertible, it was with the single-minded purpose of keeping it as a collector’s item and maintaining its pristine condition by storing it in his basement. So committed was he to his plan that he specified the car be delivered with zero miles on the odometer, which request was formally made to the district sales manager of General Motors of Canada in a letter from Katila Chevrolet that is now part of the car’s documentation. Delivered in glowing Sunflower Yellow with a complementing Saddle leather Custom interior, the car arrived as specified with the LS5 454/270 HP big-block V-8, Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, power steering and brakes, power windows, radio delete and a color-matching auxiliary hard top. Mr. Green kept to his plan to the very end, until he passed away in 1999. He had willed the car to his daughter, who in 2002 arranged its sale to the care of the Ed Foss Collection. A series of showings followed, and in 2003 the car was part of the Bloomington Gold Special Collection. That same year it earned a score of 99.6 in securing NCRS Regional Top Flight and National 4-Star Bowtie Awards, followed by Bloomington Gold Certification and the Chevy Vettefest Triple Crown in 2004. In 2007 it was inducted into the exclusive Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame. Documented with the original tank sticker, this is arguably as close as it gets to an absolutely pure, perfectly original Corvette of any vintage.
– Unrestored with only 4 original miles – Documented with the tank sticker and dealer copy of the tank sticker – Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame in 2007 – Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 2003 – Bloomington Gold Certified in 2004 – National NCRS 4-Star Bowtie Award in 2003 – Regional NCRS Top Flight Award in 2003 scoring 99.6 – Chevy VetteFest Triple Crown in 2004 – Purchased by the original owner to maintain as a collector’s item and store in his basement – Documented with a letter from GM explaining that the buyer would like to have zero miles on the car upon delivery – The original owner kept the car until passing away in 1999 when the car passed on to his daughter until joining the Ed Foss Collection in 2002 – 454/270 HP big block V-8 – Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission – Power steering, brakes and windows – Sunflower Yellow with Saddle leather interior – Auxiliary hardtop, radio delete