WHY THIS 1969 CORVETTE STINGRAY WAS INTENTIONALLY KEPT UNDER WRAPS


Publish date: 2016-03-11 09:29:02
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

Name: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

Year(s) Produced: 1968-1969

Number Built: 216

Class: Sports car

Body Type: 2-door coupe

Engine: 427 cu in (7.0 L) L88 V8

Power: 550hp @ 6200rpm

0-60mph: 4.2 seconds

Top Speed: 170 mph

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Length/width/height: 182.5 in./ 69 in./ 47.9 in.

Wheelbase: 98 in.

Base Price: US$6,500

Highest Price: US$726,000 (Pebble Beach Auction)

*Check out this classic “Chevrolet Corvette Parking Only” sign.*

Every car manufacturer knows that his cars needs to sell, and rarely does he makes it a point not to promote or advertise his products – especially if it is at its peak of performance as compared to others. However, Chevrolet did exactly the opposite with its 1969 Corvette Stingray L88. It was intentionally kept under the wraps, ensuring that it maintained a low profile in the market. Sounds fishy, because basically it is. It is not because the ’69 Stingray L88 is undesirable – in fact, this car is so valuable today that bidders will not mind dishing out more than a quarter million for it. Some even credits the L88 as being the “baddest Corvette of them all”. Certainly above all else, it is one desirable Corvette. The story had a different twist though when a Belgian-born American engineer joined Chevrolet in 1953.

69 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

When Zora Arkus-Duntov took the reigns of GM’s performance division, he pushed Chevrolet to install a manual transmission and larger engine into the Corvette, turning the 1956 version into a genuine sports car. Duntov would later convince GM to race and upgrade the Corvette into the L88 taking inspiration from Don Yenko and the Sunray DX Motorsports team. However, it seems that Duntov has pushed his luck too much that he was ‘forced’ to settle for a factory-claimed horsepower of 435, whereas the real power output of the L88 was somewhere between 540 and 580 according to the tests conducted by Car and Driver. To make the car eligible for SCCA A-Production and FIA GT events, the L88 had to be a standard factory option so GM quietly offered it to the public. However, Duntov clearly wanted as many of these L88 to end up on the racetracks. As a result, GM ‘discouraged’ would be buyers by downplaying the L88’s performance hoping to turn off the motoring public. Duntov even limited the L88 it to certain options such as a performance suspension, positraction differential, and upgraded brakes, while other features such as a radio and A/C were not available. It was almost like a secret offering. The L88 were manufactured between 1968-1969, with only 216 cars produced. Due to stringent emissions standards, the L88 was forced to be cancelled in 1969.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88

This ‘Midas gold’ ’69 Stingray featured here was from the L88 that was offered during Gooding & Company’s 10th Anniversary 2013 Pebble Beach Auction. With 2576 miles on the clock, and with a title belt as an AHRA ¼ Mile World Record holder, this Stingray was sold for a hefty price tag of $726,000. Definitely, the L88 is the holy grail of all Corvette collectors – and it is no longer a secret.   Watch this video and see why this Corvette is the ‘baddest’ of them all.

*Check out this classic “Chevrolet Corvette Parking Only” sign.*

Reference:
http://blog.caranddriver.com/the-500-hp-corvette-that-chevrolet-didnt-talk-about/
Photos:
http://blog-admin.cddev.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/1969-Chevrolet-Corvette-Stingray-L88-101.jpg
http://blog-admin.cddev.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/1969-Chevrolet-Corvette-Stingray-L88-103.jpg
http://blog-admin.cddev.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/1969-Chevrolet-Corvette-Stingray-L88-102.jpg

 

2 Comments

  1. Terry Lee Miller April 9, 2016
    • admin April 10, 2016

Add Comment