Kissimmee, FL Auction
January 18-27, 2013
This Lot scheduled to be sold SAT 4:20PM
Finding a genuine original Corvette L88 is always a Big Deal; production was 20 in 1967, 80 in 1968, and 116 in 1969, for a total of 216. And by most authoritative estimates, fewer than half of those still in existence have been located and confirmed. Those facts alone make it worth the 20 years it has taken to find and restore the "Bounty Hunter", a 1968 L88 convertible owned and raced by Ronnie Reid Joyner on the roads and highways of the Southeast corridor from the day he flew it off the rail car that delivered it from the factory until he retired it in 1980. Along the way Joyner and the Bounty Hunter took on all comers, racing for money and bounty and always coming out on top. Then in May of 1980 after a night of racing and carousing, he slid the car into a sandbank on his way into his driveway. He put it in first and tried to power out; according to Ronnie the clutch finally exploded with such force that he was fortunate that was the only casualty of the night.
Joyner erected a garage to store the Bounty Hunter - psychedelic paint job, fender flares and all — with the intention of restoring his beloved, all-conquering beast, but the years can flash by quickly, and when the car was rediscovered late in 2008, it was described as the kind of car "that somebody would walk past at a swap meet. [If] it didn't say anything about L88 and just had 15 grand on the windshield, nobody would buy it. [It] looked like a dried-up cow chip on four wheels." Nonetheless its provenance was a practical certainty, and the car was purchased on September 24th, 2008 from its one and only owner of 40 years. On November 7th, 2008, the car was inspected and certified by David Burroughs, Gary Nabers, Kevin J. Mackay, John Ballard, Tom Christman, Terry Michaelis, and subsequently Chuck Berge on November 22nd, 2008. Its authenticity confirmed in writing by the hobby's top experts, it was off to Houston where famed Corvette specialists Ken and Gary Nabers and crew performed their magic over the winter of 2008-09.
Since its first post-restoration public appearance in April 2009 the gloriously restored L88 convertible has won numerous Bloomington Gold, NCRS and Concours d'Elegance awards, including Best in Class at the 2009 Keels and Wheels Concours d'Elegance and inclusion in the 2009 Bloomington Gold Special Collection. The Bounty Hunter is one of only two 1968 L88s finished in Rally Red with a Red interior and White soft top. It is equipped exactly as ordered by Joyner with a Muncie M22 4-speed, G81 Positraction rear end, J50/J56 Heavy Duty power disc brakes, K66 Transistor Ignition, F41 Heavy Duty Suspension, N11 Off Road exhaust, A01 Tinted Glass, A.I.R. Smog Control system and Rally wheels with PT6 Red Stripe tires. It is accompanied by volumes of documentation that include several large 3-ring binders, a photographic record of the restoration, over 7 hours of professionally-made High Definition Video with sound (including footage of Ronnie Reid Joyner in his natural Florida habitat) and all awards, certificates, judging sheets, invitationals, ribbons and owner's manual packet, all of which are on display at the Mecum Office in Kissimmee, FL.