1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88

At the peak of the 1960 performance cars came a very rare, mainly built for racing 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88 with an unadvertised horse power rating of 500! Chevrolet only made 116 of these rare rockets.

Originally introduced in the 1967 Corvette, this transformation by Zora Duntov and his Corvette engineering team was geared toward a high-performance Corvette that no one else had seen up to this point. Duntov was determined to effortlessly put Carroll Shelby’s Ford Cobras in their place, second that is!

Chevrolet’s efforts not to advertise one of its high performance products is seemingly unheard of! In fact, the horse power ratings of the L88 were unveiled at a conservative 430 horse power. Truth be known, it was more like 500+ horse power under that wicked hood! So it is just that intentionally low profile Chevrolet played, that is what makes this car so valuable today. Right off the showroom floor this Corvette was capable of 150 mph and could scream down to the end of the quarter mile in about 11 seconds! It was long before L88 Corvettes dominated the drag strips. Some folks were calling this the biggest and baddest Corvette of them all! This Chevrolet Rocket was design for the race track and was never the intention to become a standard road car.

Engineering Excellence!

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

The brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov, director of GM’s performance division, the 1967 L88 Corvette was powered by a highly modified version of Chevy’s 427-cubic-inch V-8. Although the factory-claimed horsepower was 435, real power output was likely somewhere between 540 and 580, enough to allow a “stock” L88 to run the quarter-mile in the mid-to-high 11-second range. All the engines would be manufactured  at the Tonawanda, NY plant and were fitted with the CanAm spec aluminum heads. The L88 could be ordered only with certain options such as a performance suspension, Positraction differential, and upgraded brakes, while other features such as a radio and A/C were not available. Almost 200 L88s  in total were ordered via the C3 platform.

Specifications of the L88

427 cubic inch V-8 engine with aluminum cylinder heads, Muncie M22 four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, single Holley four-barrel carburetor, independent rear suspension, radius rods and single transverse leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Other details were a bulged hood with functional cold-air induction, heavy-duty Turbo 400 automatic transmission (optional), F-41 special suspension, K66 transistorized ignition and G800 Positraction differential. Not available on this beast of a Corvette were air conditioning, power steering, electric windows, and a radio! A warning sticker on the center console emphasized that only racing fuel would support the high octane level needed for the large valves and timing.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Interior

Since the car was to be built in limited numbers, only 20 for 1967 Corvette, 20 for 1968 Corvette, and nearly 200 for 1969 Corvette, Duntov wanted as many of them as possible to be race driven Corvettes. While, General Motors was discourage individuals from buying the L88 by purposely advertising a conservative power rating as a ploy designed to turn off the casual consumer. The L88 only stayed in production from 1967 until 1969 with a total of 216 produced and nearly doubled the price of a standard Corvette. Due to stringent emissions standards, the L88 was forced to be canceled in 1969. Some of these that have hit the auction blocks have sold for over $400,000!

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Hood

The end result of this unique Corvette L88 ranks it most desirable and a very valuable high-performance automobile among today’s collectors, easily commanding premium prices for these rare beauties. An unrestored, top condition 1969 Corvette L88 could be worth more than $500,000! Now this is a car worth DREAMING about!

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