loader

Lot 128

2013   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2013

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Roadster

SOLD $825,000

Estimate

$625,000 - $700,000

Chassis

194679S721263

Engine

T1108IT 19S721263

Car Highlights

One of Only 116 Corvette L88s Built in 1969
Exceptionally Well-Documented and Highly Optioned Example
Splendid Le Mans Blue Livery with Black Interior and Hardtop
Carefully Maintained in Unrestored, Original Condition
Less than 20,000 Miles from New
Factory-Delivered, Matching- Numbers Engine
Bloomington Gold SURVIVOR, Special Collection, and Hall of Fame Recipient
Offered with Tank Sheet, Protect- O-Plate, Statement of Origin, and Bill of Sale

Technical Specs

427 CID L88 OHV V-8 Engine
Single Holley 850 CFM 4-Barrel Carburetor
Estimated 560 HP (Rated 430) at 6,400 RPM
4-Speed M22 “Rock Crusher” Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Power-Assisted Disc Brakes
Independent Front Suspension with A-Arms and Coil Springs
Independent Rear Suspension with Lateral Struts, Radius Rods, and Transverse Leaf Spring
Register to Bid

Of the 116 Corvette L88s built for the 1969 model year, fewer than half were Roadsters. Even among this rarified group of Corvettes, this car stands out as a particularly special example.

The history of this remarkable L88 can be traced back to its original owner, Richard Johnston Thomas of Marietta, Georgia. A US serviceman stationed in South Korea, Mr. Thompson placed his order for a new L88 Roadster with Barclay & Company Central Chevrolet in Seoul on October 27, 1968.

Finished in Le Mans Blue (976) with a black vinyl interior, this Corvette was optioned with Soft-Ray tinted glass, custom shoulder belts, rear window defroster, special-purpose suspension (F41), Posi-Traction axle (G81), power brakes (J50), special brake system (J56), engine block heater (K05), full-transistor ignition (K66), special four-speed gearbox (M22), and an audio alarm system (UA6). An auxiliary hardtop was specified and trimmed in black vinyl, a perfect contrast to the bright blue bodywork. In total, this extensive list of options added $2,310.70 to the base price, taking the total sticker price to a staggering $6,839.70.

Constructed at the St. Louis, Missouri, plant on November 24, 1968, the L88 was originally delivered through General Motors Overseas Distributors Corp. in New York City. On February 10, 1969, shortly after returning home, Mr. Thompson collected his L88 in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1978, the L88 Roadster was sold to wellknown collector Dr. Paul Noble, a knowledgeable NCRS and Bloomington Gold judge. Dr. Noble retained the car for approximately 20 years, during which time it was carefully preserved in its original condition. The L88 then joined the respected Ron Landis Collection and was eventually sold to Don Felts, a Corvette enthusiast in Oxford, Mississippi.

Since 2005, the L88 has been a fixture in an impressive Southern California collection dedicated solely to exceptionally original, lowmileage sports cars. In a collection where only the finest unrestored examples will make the grade, this L88 met or surpassed all criteria of rarity, condition, documentation, and historical importance.

Over the years, this L88 Roadster has been the recipient of many awards, and its numerous Bloomington Gold honors are perhaps the proudest testament to its significance and status within the Corvette community.

In 2006, this car received the Bloomington Gold SURVIVOR award, confirming that it “remains over 50% unrestored, un-refinished, or unaltered,” with finishes good enough to use as a guide for authentic, factory-original color. In addition to this rare distinction, the Le Mans Blue L88 Roadster was included in the 1988, 1998, and 2008 Bloomington Gold Special Collections, an honor reserved for only the finest, most important Corvettes. Beyond these important accolades, this Roadster one of just six L88s inducted into the esteemed Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame.

Kept in appreciative hands for over four decades, this car remains in wonderfully original condition and currently displays fewer than 20,000 miles from new. As can be expected of such a highly awarded example, this exceptionally rare L88 Roadster maintains a factory-correct presentation, from the largely original Le Mans Blue paint to the matching-numbers drivetrain. In addition to these important features, this rare Corvette is said to retain its original interior, shock absorbers, and exhaust, as well as factoryapplied chassis stencils and chalk marks. Most significantly, this Corvette has survived with its original, matching-numbers engine intact. In total, it is believed that a mere 15% of the ultra-rare L88s can make such a claim.

Regarded by many Corvette specialists as the most documented L88 known to exist, this car’s ironclad provenance is supported by an impressive file of paperwork that includes the original tank sheet, Protect-O-Plate, statement of origin, the GM invoice, delivery schedule, and a copy of Richard Thomas’ Georgia Certificate of Title.

In its day, the L88 represented the ultimate in styling, performance, and competition pedigree. Though produced in very limited numbers, these cars did much to further the reputation of the Chevrolet Corvette, both on the street and on the racetrack. As one of the most highly optioned, best-documented and well-preserved L88s known to exist, this Le Mans Blue Roadster is an important and irreplaceable part of Chevrolet history. For the collector who appreciates the significance of original, limited-production American performance cars, this L88 is an exceptionally rare prize.