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Lot 139

2019   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2019

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Estimate

$500,000 - $600,000

Chassis

194679S710170

Engine

T1202IT 19S710170

Car Highlights

Recipient of Some of the Most Prestigious Corvette Awards, Including the Coveted Triple Diamond/Triple Crown Award
Fitted with Matching-Numbers Engine and Presented in Original Colors
Accompanied by NCRS-Validated Tank Sticker and Hardtop
Offered by Longtime NCRS Master Judge and Corvette L88 Specialist
One of Just 99 Manual-Gearbox Examples Produced for 1969

Technical Specs

427 CID RPO L88 OHV V-8 Engine
Single Holley 4-Barrel Carburetor
Estimated 560 BHP at 6,500 RPM
4-Speed M22 “Rock Crusher” Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Independent Front Suspension with A-Arms and Coil Springs
Independent Rear Suspension with Lateral Struts, Radius Rods, and Transverse Leaf Spring

Saleroom Addendum

Please note that the engine, while numbers-matching, may not be the original engine. Online bidding is not available for this vehicle.

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Original Owner (acquired new via Malcolm Konner Chevrolet, Caldwell, New Jersey, in 1969)Pat Shwery, Jackson, Tennessee (acquired by 1978)Steve Hendrickson, Minnesota (acquired in 1990)Kelly Curry, Fort Myers, Florida (acquired from the above in 1992)Tom O’Brien, Nokesville, Virginia (acquired in 1996)Dick Bridges, Rockville, South CarolinaChuck Berge and The Steinman Brothers Collection, ConnecticutTerry Michealis, Napoleon, OhioCurrent Owner (acquired from the above in 2007)

Bloomington Gold “Earthquake 88” Special Collection, Illinois, 1988Chevy Vettefest, Chicago, 2006 (Golden Spinner Award)Bloomington Gold “L88 Invasion” Special Collection, Illinois, 2008National Corvette Restorers Society, Syosset, New York, 2009 (Top Flight Award)Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA, Illinois, 2010 (Gold Certified)Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals, Chicago, 2010 (Triple Diamond Award)

In the 1960s, few road cars could compete with the Corvette L88’s level of outright performance. Years in development, the L88 option created nearly a full competition Corvette, as it was essentially a factory racing package. To defeat Shelby’s Cobra, GM wanted most L88s to stay on racetracks, so the package was made intentionally unappealing to non-racing customers. By advertising the L88’s horsepower rating at 5,200 rpm instead of its 6,500 rpm redline, it was, on paper, less powerful yet more expensive than the 435 bhp L71. What GM failed to mention was that the L88, with its aluminum heads and 12.5:1 compression ratio, actually produced nearly 560 bhp. Selecting the L88 option eliminated a heater and radio, but included heavy-duty brakes, gearbox and suspension, and a transistorized ignition and Posi-Traction differential. In racing, L88s went on to impressive class victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona.

L88s were produced in very limited numbers, and this sensational example is one of just 116 made for 1969, the final production year. The car was originally equipped with the desirable four-speed manual gearbox and finished in Burgundy over a black interior. The consignor, a longtime NCRS judge with multiple L88s, believes it is one of just three delivered in this stunning color. Rarer still, the car retains its original tank sticker, which was discovered by a previous owner, carefully removed, and validated by the NCRS.

Delivered new through the renowned Konner Chevrolet dealership of Caldwell, New Jersey, the car by 1978 was in the care of L88 enthusiast Pat Shwery, who had searched for more than two years for a great example. In light of its significance, Mr. Shwery put leading L88 restorer and Bloomington Gold Judge Tim Thorpe in charge of its restoration.

The Corvette was then owned by several L88 enthusiasts during the 1990s, most notably well-known L88 collector Steve Hendrickson. It was also a part of the Steinman Brothers Collection before the current owner acquired it in 2007. In 2008, the Corvette was treated to a body-off chassis and interior restoration by Corvette Repair Inc. of Valley Stream, New York. Since then, the car has also been expertly repainted, bringing it up to optimal condition.

Desirably equipped with side pipes and a removable hardtop, this L88 has won some of the most prestigious Corvette awards, including the coveted triple diamond/triple crown: the NCRS Top Flight, Bloomington Gold, and the Chevy Vettefest Gold Spinner awards. Invited to three Bloomington Gold L88 special collections, this is a highly scrutinized and well-known example. Rare and brutally powerful, this award-winning Corvette is an important example of one of America’s most iconic automotive achievements.