General Motors has recently been granted the use of two trademarks for the L88 designation, GM Authority has exclusively learned.
The automaker filed two trademark applications for the L88 name. The first was filed on August 4, 2012 for “exterior and interior badges for motor land vehicles”, while the second was filed on September 18, 2012 for “decals”. The trademarks were then published for opposition in October of 2012 and subsequently approved to the USPTO principal register on January 15, 2013.
The General used the L88 designation in a very select amount of Chevrolet Corvettes from the late 1960’s, of which currently go for over $500,000 at auctions. Essentially, it was a racing engine that could be directly ordered from GM from the factory that boasted 427-cubic-inches (7.0-liters), and is often hailed as the ultimate Corvette engine that’s ever been made to date.
Specifically, it was a modified big block with lighter heads and bigger ports, a more aggressive camshaft, aluminum radiator, smaller flywheel, and a massive Holley four-barrel carburetor. Oh, and an absolutely crazy 12.5:1 compression ratio. Again, we’re talking about an engine that was from over 40 years ago. This sky-high compression was achieved through 103-octane racing fuel, and was officially rated at 430 horsepower, though claims as high as 560 horsepower have been made.
In addition, the engine order also called for several modifications to the Corvette. These include a more rigid suspension, a limited-slip differential, and even heater and radio deletions. As street legal as these Corvettes were, it was clear their purpose was for the track. This was the grand finale for the Chevrolet Corvette C2 in 1967, before the C3 launched in 1968.
Only 20 buyers were hard-core enough to order such an engine. This also explains their value. Now, we don’t see The General to release an engine with a 103-octane tune, but damn, anything that would carry the L88 name would certainly have to live up to the pedigree in one way or another. And we certainly hope this trademark filing isn’t for housekeeping. Please, GM. Please just shut everybody up, and just build a successor to the L88.