Class of 1972 at Muscle Car and Corvette Nats

This year’s Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) was a 50th high school reunion of sorts, except this reunion was for cars of the 1972 model year. The year was significant because it was the first major government-mandated step towards cleaner air via lowered compression and the ability to use unleaded fuel. The loss of horsepower was the most noticeable casualty, exacerbated by ratings now measured in net rather than gross horsepower. There was collateral damage as well — the 426 Hemi was gone, as was the 440 Six Pack (though Chrysler initially planned it and a few slipped out before it was cancelled), and Ford stopped producing high-performance big-blocks.

But all was not lost, as performance cars were still fun and fast. Perhaps the market was moving in a different direction even without the government’s intrusion, but most of the time the image was still there with 9/10 of the performance. Here is a good representation of what you could have bought in 1972.

The Journal

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