Originally posted on January 23rd, the hammer fell at $610,000 for this well documented 1969 L88 Corvette
The brainchild of Corvette’s first Chief Engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, the legendary L88 Corvette first debuted in 1967 with a highly modified version of Chevy’s 427 cubic inch V8 and targeted professional racers of the day. While the 1969 L71 and L89 engine options were rated at 435 hp, Chevrolet intentionally marketed the L88 engine as having “only” 430 hp in order to dissuade customers from buying it to use as a daily driver.
So what made the L88 engine such a beast?
- CanAm-spec aluminum heads with oversized valves
- 850 dump-pump carburetor
- Solid lifters
- Radical timing
- Special high compression pistons (12.5:1 compression ratio)
- Strengthened crankshaft
- Transistor ignition
- Cowl cold air induction hood (unique to L88)
All of that beefy goodness amounted to a little over 500 hp in stock trim – well above the listed 430 hp. However, if you slapped on a set of side-mount headers manufactured for Chevrolet by Kustom Headers, horsepower jumped in excess of 560+ and it was like dropping an 18-year old stripper in the middle of a Marine platoon!
In order to make the L88 Corvette even more undesirable to the non-racer, heating, AC and a radio were not available and 103 octane fuel was a requirement to feed the beast. With the lack of creature-comforts and only a 7 mpg fuel economy, this was NOT a Corvette you’d want to fire up in the dead of winter to go grocery shopping!
1969 L88 Corvette – Chassis No. 194379S722199
This particular example was ordered on February 12, 1969 and built on June 18 before being delivered to its first owner on June 29 through Jack Sullivan Chevrolet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Retail order
- Pre-delivery inspection sheet
- Warranty card and Protect-O-Plate
- Temporary registration certificate from Pennsylvania
- Warranty transfer application from second owner’s purchase in 1971
- Owner’s manual in a Chevrolet plastic bag
- Various warning/instruction papers and hang tags
- Windshield sticker noting assembly at the St. Louis plant
- Set of keys with knock-outs, Jack Sullivan Chevrolet key chain, and stock tag
- NCRS shipping data record confirmation listing build date of June 18, 1967
- Album of photographs from the original owner
- History log listing all nine previous owners
It’s currently offered by an unknown dealer on the BaT website at no reserve in New York with a New Jersey title. When I first started putting this article together, the current bid was at $250,000. It’s now jumped up to $280,000 with 13 more days to go before the auction ends.
To view this legendary piece of Corvette history and, possibly cast your own bid, race on over to the Bring A Trailer listing!
- 1967 – 1969 Corvette L88 Engine Specifications
- 1969 Corvette Production Numbers
- L88 Corvette Tech Center
- 1968 – 1969 L88 Corvette Galleries