The Chevy Corvette L88 was intended to be a competition car rather than daily transportation. Produced in limited numbers for the 1967, 1968, and 1969 model years, the L88’s 427 cubic-inch Big Block came with four-bolt mains, forged internals, 12.5:1 compression, a radical solid lifter cam, Holley 850-cfm carb, transistorized ignition, and an aluminum intake. The result was a Corvette Chevy underrated at 430 horsepower, but with a bit of tuning and header, could easily see 550 to 600 ponies.
The Corvette L88 option required a number of corresponding options. Heavy-duty power brakes, F41 Special Front and Rear suspension, and a Positraction rear differential were all mandatory. The L88 could only be had with the Muncie M22 “Rock Crusher” four-speed manual in 1967, but was available with the Turbo-Hydramatic three-speed automatic in 1968 and 1969. Checking the L88 box meant you could not have air conditioning, radio, power steering or electric windows.
The Corvette L88 was only built for three years, with only twenty built in 1967, eighty in 1968, and 116 in 1969. This makes it one of the rarest Corvettes.
Our feature 1969 Chevy Corvette L88 is an unrestored convertible finished in its factory original Can Am White over a black vinyl interior. It has been driven just 6,457 miles from new, and was once owned by the late Chip Miller, co-founder of Corvettes at Carlisle. It has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including a 2005 regional NCRS Top Flight Award, being inducted into the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame, and participating in all three Bloomington Gold L88 Special Collections.
The Corvette L88 factory Can Am white paint remains shiny. Bumpers appear free of any pitting or patina, and the stainless trim presents well. Painted steel wheels are dressed with polished center caps and trim rings. A black vinyl-covered hardtop is fitted, along with a white vinyl soft top. Aside from the Big Block hood with 427 emblem, there is little to indicate the beast that lurks within.
Inside the Corvette L88, the black interior has aged well. Seats show little sign of wear. The loop-style carpet is not faded or worn. There are a few small snags visible on the driver’s side seat belt, but nothing that should cause concern. A blank plate resides where the radio would normally be. Toward the lower part of the center console is a sticker that reads, “WARNING: VEHICLE MUST OPERATE ON A FUEL HAVING A MINIMUM 103 RESEARCH OCTANE AND 95 MOTOR OCTANE OR ENGINE DAMAGE MAY RESULT” lest you should forget what this animal prefers to eat.
Beneath the Big Block hood is the legendary Corvette L88 427. The sharp eyed will spot the lack of ignition shielding that was unnecessary with the elimination of the radio. The traditional air filter and cover are gone, replaced by the L88-exclusive wire cage. The engine bay is highly original and reasonably clean. The 427 feeds power through an M22 Rock Crusher four-speed to the Positraction 3.70 rear gear. The Corvette is equipped with J50 and J56 brake packages, F41 Special Front and Rear suspension, the original exhaust system, and K66 transistorized ignition.
The sale of this Corvette L88 includes the original window sticker, Protect-O-Plate, order form, dealer invoice, retail installment contract, original keys with punch-outs and owner’s manual. It will cross the Mecum Auctions block Saturday, May 21st at the Mecum Indy Spring Classic.