The 500-hp Corvette That Chevrolet Didn’t Talk About – Car and Driver (blog)

Posted: Friday, August 07, 2015

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L881969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

Rarely does a manufacturer make a point to not advertise one of its products, particularly one that is its peak performance offering. An exception to the rule was this 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88. And that intentionally low profile when new is part of what makes this car so valuable today.

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. 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.

READ MORE: Our Original 1970 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Road Test

Since the car was to be built in limited numbers, Arkus-Duntov wanted as many of them as possible to end up on racetracks. As such, GM tried to discourage individuals from buying the L88 (the car’s extremely conservative power rating was a ploy designed to turn off the casual consumer), instead focusing on racing teams. The L88 stayed in production until 1969 with a total of 216 produced.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L881969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

This example, currently being offered by Rick Cole Auctions, is a 1969 model with a claimed 2576 miles on the odometer. Aside from the mileage, this car is also impressive due to the fact that it has never been restored and was originally purchased and raced in C/D’s lovely home state of Michigan. Bidding on this car is expected to reach the neighborhood of $500K to $750K. Clearly the L88 is no secret among Corvette collectors—instead it’s more like the holy grail.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L881969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88


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