1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170

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Lot 20
1969 Chevrolet CORVETTE L88 ROADSTER

US$ 550,000 - 650,000
£ 440,000 - 520,000
1969 Chevrolet CORVETTE L88 ROADSTER
Chassis no. 194679S710170
Engine no. T1202IT 19S710170

427ci OHV V8 Engine
Single Holley 4-Barrel Carburetor
Approximately 550bhp (Rated at 430) at 6,400rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes

*NCRS Top Flight, Bloomington Gold Certified matching numbers L88
*The rarest and most sought after Corvette
*Immaculate restoration, partly done by L88 expert Kevin Mackay
*One of three delivered in striking Burgundy



THE CORVETTE L88

Racing improves the breed.

That saying is often cited by racing fans who claim that the innovations and developments of high performance race cars bring knowledge about efficiency, power, safety and design that can ultimately be used in order to develop better road cars. Race fans should only wish it were true; during the first decades of the automobile's evolution, just about the only racing innovation that translated to road cars was the rear view mirror on Ray Harroun's 1911 Indy 500-winning Marmon Wasp.

In the late Fifties that began to change, and in the Sixties improvements in automotive development as a result of racing were becoming more commonplace. One of the more obvious instances of the technology transfer was in Chevrolet's engine development. The Mark IV big block V8 won on race tracks while at the same time powered much of Chevrolet's bread-and-butter products. The Mark IV's development was a direct result of Chevrolet's search for more performance than the W-Series could find within its unusual canted-deck, flat-bottom cylinder head design. At its first appearance at Daytona in 1963, the Mark IV set the fastest qualifying lap but didn't finish. By 1965, its potential saw the 396ci version powering both the Corvette and full-sized Chevrolet. The secret of the Mark IV was its heads; the heads angled the valves in two planes to create a semi-hemispherical combustion chamber with gently-curved runners and efficient valve location.

The ultimate development of the Mark IV big block was the L88 Corvette. In 1966, when Zora Arkus-Duntov wanted to beat the mighty, big block AC Cobras, he dropped an aluminum head 427ci engine into a Corvette. It was fitted with larger brakes and a revised suspension. It was entered in 1966 Daytona 24-Hour and Race by Penske Racing, and performed very well with the new engine.

Dick Gulstrand and Ben Moore won the GT Class (12th overall) at Daytona and placed 9th overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring later that year, all of which was a warm-up to the big event: the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. In the Le Mans Trials, a near-stock L88 managed 171.5-mph on the Mulsanne Straight and led the race for almost 12 hours before throwing a rod.

By 1967, each Corvette engine was individually built, assembled, blueprinted and tested off-line at the Tonawanda engine factory. Corvette marketers, wanting to hold down demand for the racing engine, shut off its dyno run at 5,300rpm when it showed only 430 brake horsepower. Its redline was 6,500rpm, whereas each carefully built L88 V-8 made something like 550hp.

One of the L88-powered Corvette's distinctive features was its highly-domed hood. The air intake was built into the hood, mating closely with the minimal air filter when it was closed. It didn't draw its air from the nose or the hood top scoop, but from the back of the hood at the junction with the windshield in a naturally-occurring high pressure area. The L88's hood design couldn't actually be said to have much effect on road cars, but Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov claimed that the cold air and natural supercharging effect from the cowl induction hood cut seconds from the Corvette's previous 0-140mph time.

In 1967, the word on the L88 seemed to only hardly get out, with only 20 cars built. However, awareness grew in 1968, when 80 were delivered, followed by 116 in 1969, which was the last year in production. The L88's reputation far exceeded its exposure and these 216 Corvettes have become the top of the food chain in the Corvette hierarchy and undeniably the most sought after of all Corvettes. Many were raced, gathering laurels in North America and in Europe.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Presented here is one of the ultra-rare L88s from 1969, the model's final production year. The date stampings on the matching numbers Corvette indicates it was produced on December 9th, 1968. Originally finished in Burgundy over a black interior, this car is believed to be one of only three delivered in this rich livery from the factory. After carefully removing the car's tank sticker (production record), it was discovered that this L88 was specified with a radio delete, power brakes and a transistorized ignition, a M22 Rock Crusher close-ratio heavy-duty transmission, J56 special heavy-duty brakes and the F41 special front and rear suspension. There is no question that this car was designed to attack any racetrack one could imagine.

The L88 was delivered through the renowned Konner Chevrolet dealership of Caldwell, NJ. Delivered with the 4-speed manual transmission, this is one of only 99 cars with the manual shifter. As a convertible, this is definitely the most desirable specification.

Although the car's earliest history remains unknown, it is believed that the Corvette was found and bought in Jackson, TN in the late '70s by Mr. Pat Shwery. Shwery knew the L88 models very well and could easily discern that this Corvette was not just a regular C3. To restore a Corvette at that time must have been almost unheard of, nevertheless this was what Mr. Shwery initiated. In order to ensure that the Corvette was restored correctly, Bloomington Gold Judge Tim Thorpe was put in charge of the restoration.

After passing through a few L88 enthusiasts in the '90s, among them the legendary Steve Hendrickson, the current owner bought the car in 2007. Shortly after the time of purchase, it was decided that the Corvette would undergo a body-off chassis restoration by leading L88 expert Kevin Mackay in the late 2000s; invoices can be found in the car's history file. Today the car is presented in the same great color combination as when it was new. It also comes with two removable hardtops, one white and one black, vinyl-covered.

While in the present owner's stewardship, the L88 has won a broad range of some of the most desirable prizes any Corvette can achieve. Among others, it has been awarded the NCRS Top Flight, is Bloomington Gold-Certified, has won the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Gold, Chevy Vette Fest Gold Spinner Award, Earthquake 88 Bloomington Gold Special and the Bloomington Gold L88 Invasion.

Presented here with several awards, its original tank sticker, the owner's manual and various documentation, this L88 also comes with a fresh paint job and definitely ready for its next concours. Surely, a great opportunity to acquire a rare piece of American history.
Contacts
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
1969 Chevrolet C3 L88 Convertible  Chassis no. 194679S710170 Engine no. 194679S710170
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