1967 Corvette L88
1967 L88 Corvette
This 1967 Corvette L88 was purchased new at Lyman Slack Chevrolet by Jim Elmer of Portland, OR. This 1967 L88 Corvette convertible is one of twenty L88 Corvettes produced in 1967. Elmer bought the car with the single intention to go drag racing. He made his first pass with the new car fresh out of the box at Puyallup Dragway in Puyallup, WA, running a scorching 11.47 with only the additions of exhaust headers and 7-inch slicks. That pass set the tone for the car’s extensive drag racing career, which first made headlines when it captured the A/Sports class win at the 1967 NHRA Indy Nationals. Elmer ultimately ran a best of 11.12 at 127.45 MPH, but soon after his Indy win he damaged both the transmission and the rear end. Still under factory warranty, Elmer returned the L88 Corvette to his selling dealership for repairs, but was rejected upon inspection with the car in full competition trim, including sponsorship decals and elapsed time stickers on the windows!
Unwilling to pay the costs of repair, Elmer sold the car to his friend and fellow racer Rob Robinson in February of 1968 for the princely sum of $5,000. Robinson, in partnership with local GM parts man Clayton Cotardi, campaigned the car in NHRA A/Sports through 1968 and 1969, running all the popular West Coast venues – Irwindale, Half Moon Bay, Woodburn, Seattle, Puyallup and sometimes in Boise, ID. Described by Robinson as “totally impressive for its era” and “in a class of its own”, the car consistently ran between 11.1- and 11.3-second times at 125-130 MPH and placed among the top 4 or 5 in NHRA national points standings.
In 1970 Robinson returned the L88 to street trim. It was later purchased by well-known Corvette restorer Tim Thorpe of O’Fallon, IL, who began restoring the car before selling it to Buddy and Nova Herin in 1996. The Herins turned to the Nabers Brothers of Houston to complete the restoration in the factory color combination of Marlboro Maroon with Black stinger and soft top, adding Kelsey Hayes finned aluminum bolt-on wheels and non-DOT Redline tires. In the process, Buddy Herin found that the color sold as Marlboro Maroon did not match the hue he had seen on unpainted original cars, so he reached out to DuPont to produce a paint that correctly matched the original factory color. Since then, that formula has been adapted by the National Corvette Restorers Society in its restoration guidelines. Still retaining its mostly original interior, this L88 convertible is presented in its full glory, including the L88 427/430 HP engine, M22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed manual transmission, 4.11 rear end, J56 heavy duty brakes and J50 power brakes, factory side exhaust and F41 special suspension. It is also believed to be the only 1967 L88 convertible to retain its original body panels. Winner of a Regional NCRS Top Flight award in 1997, it was also a participant in the 2008 Bloomington Gold L88 Invasion. Documentation for this first-year L88 convertible includes the tank sticker, vintage racing photographs and time slips, including the first one issued after its maiden run at Puyallup Dragway.
Here’s a summary of the features of this 1967 L88 Corvette
photos and edited text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
– 1 of 20 L88 Corvettes produced in 1967
– Documented with the Tank Sticker, vintage photos and time slips including the first run on a new car at Puyallup Dragway in Washington
– Purchased new by Jim Elmer of Portland, Oregon at Lyman Slack Chevrolet
– Winner of the 1967 NHRA A/Sports Nationals at Indianapolis
– Campaigned mostly in the Pacific Northwest running 11.12 seconds at 127.45 MPH with only 7 inch slicks and headers
– Sold to Rob Robinson who raced the car for the rest of its career, consistently placing among the Top 4 or 5 in the national points standings
– The third owner, Tim Thorpe, began restoring the car before selling it to Buddy and Nova Herin in 1996
– The Naber Brothers completed the restoration in the factory color combination of Marlboro Maroon with Black stinger and soft top, the interior has original door panels and seat covers with new carpet
– Mr. Herin reached out to DuPont to recreate the correct factory Marlboro Maroon hue for this car that is now used as a guideline by the NCRS
– Retains its original body panels, factory side exhaust
– L88 427/430 HP engine, M22 4-speed manual, 4.11 rear end
– J56 heavy duty brakes, J50 power brakes
– Kelsey Hayes bolt-on wheels, Firestone non-DOT redline tires
– Bloomington Gold L88 Invasion participant in 2008
– Regional NCRS Top Flight in 1997