The L88 Corvette entered its third year of production in 1969, having established itself as all-conquering in both SCCA and FIA competition.
Rated at a measly 430 horsepower, the L88 pumped out an all-too-real 560 hp at its redline, and, with special heavy-duty brakes, F41 suspension, and a bullet-proof Positraction rear end, it was as potent and race-ready as anything from Detroit at the time.
Well-known as the dominant performance Corvette, it was still under tight production reins imposed at its inception, and only 116 were built.
Here are two that crossed the block at Bloomington Gold—one that sold, one that didn’t—and our thoughts on each.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe
Chassis number: 194379S707409
Few of the powerful and rare L88s were reserved for street use. This is a low-mileage coupe awarded Bloomington Gold Survivor status in 1997. As that honor indicates, this car is almost entirely original, with 20,000 miles on the odometer and still fitted with the original tires. The excellent Le Mans Blue finish is factory-original, as is the black standard-trim interior.
As listed on the original tank sticker, the car is equipped with K66 transistorized ignition, G81 Positraction rear axle (in this case, with 4.56 gears), and an M22 “Rock Crusher” close-ratio transmission. In addition, it features F41 “special purpose” suspension, J50 power brakes, and J56 special brake system, all of which were required options for the L88, save for power brakes. The only extra on the tank sheet is an order for Soft Ray tinted glass.
Not only does this awe-inspiring Corvette enjoy an excellent and fully documented owner history back to its original delivery, it has also won more than Survivor honors. In 1998, it earned Bloomington Gold Certification and was awarded membership in the Special Collection; it also recently rounded out the trophy shelf with a 2008 NCRS award.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible
Chassis number: 194679S736083
Sold new in California, this stunning Monza Red 1969 L88 convertible has achieved certification as a Bloomington Gold Survivor. It is well optioned for an L88, most of which were devoid of extras in anticipation of a life in competition.
Along with the original convertible top, it is equipped with the optional color-matching auxiliary hard top and features a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Speedminder speedometer, and yes, its original F70x15 Redline tires on chrome-ringed Rally wheels.
According to its owner, this magnificent powerhouse—formerly in the Ray Norvell Collection—is a candidate for Bloomington Gold Benchmark judging. It has recently been freshened with an extensive and correct detailing by Houston’s world renowned Nabers Brothers Restorations and was featured at the 2008 Bloomington Gold “L88 Invasion.”