1968 Corvette 427 L89
1968 Corvette 427 L89
This 1968 Corvette 427 L89 has only 1,345 original miles and it is one of only 624 427 L89 Corvettes built. This 1968 Corvette 427 L89 convertible remains unrestored, highly original and with only 1,345 miles, one of the least-traveled of its kind in the entire world. These properties together elevate it even beyond its significance as a premier collectible Corvette to that of an important historical artifact.
The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray was barely a year old when GM Styling began considering a new design for the 1968 Corvette and a new midship location for its engine. The prototype study featured a dramatic knife-edge front end, curved wraparound glass, flared wheel arches and slotted aluminum wheels. The cost of the requisite transaxle proved prohibitive, and as it has many times since then, the mid-engine Corvette concept was moved to the back burner in favor of a more conventional front-engine layout. Based on the hugely popular Mako Shark II show car, the final design was largely the work of Chevrolet Studio’s Dave Holls, who combined his skills as a stylist with a race driver’s sensibilities. While visually stunning, his adaptation of the Mako Shark II presented several aerodynamic problems, and Duntov intervened with Chevrolet general manager Pete Estes to commission wind tunnel tests. The decision pushed the car’s 1967 launch to 1968, but the finished shape, at first thought rather controversial, became a classic. The new design incorporated many new details that distanced it from its predecessor. The fastback roofline of the coupe was replaced with a flying buttress design that recalled the Porsche 904 and Ferrari LM racers, with a vertical rear window and another new feature: two removable roof panels to allow an open-air driving experience that rivaled that of the convertible. Like the 1963 Corvette, the 1968 model entered the market with the previous year’s engine lineup, but this was hardly a drawback when that lineup included the mighty L71 427/435 HP Tri Power big-block V-8.
As the top-production 1968 Corvette street engine of this era, the L71 enraptured Corvette enthusiasts like no other powerplant before it. Built to endure the rigors of extended high speed use, the 1968 Corvette L71 was fitted with four-bolt main bearing caps holding a forged steel crank with heavy-duty connecting rods and forged aluminum 11:1 pistons. A trio of Holley two-barrel carburetors on an aluminum intake fed cavernous rectangular port heads, their breathing modulated by a radical solid-lifter cam. Sold new at Parsons Chevrolet in Winstead, Connecticut, this 1968 Corvette convertible is one of only 624 built with the rare optional L89 aluminum heads. Fitted with the requisite 4-speed manual transmission, it also incorporates K66 Transistor Ignition, N11 Off Road Exhaust, F41 Special Suspension, Soft Ray-tinted glass, auxiliary hardtop, power brakes and windows, telescopic steering column and a Delco AM/FM radio. The true value of a car such as this exists in the context of its originality, not in any arbitrary definition of perfection. Its British Green paint, Saddle leather interior and White soft top provide a fascinating commentary on factory production methods, as do its engine and mechanicals. This value is reflected in the car’s many honors, which include Bloomington Gold Benchmark, Survivor and Gold Certification, membership in the Bloomington Gold Special Collection, NCRS 4-Star Bowtie, Special Interest and regional Top Flight Awards and the Chevy Vettefest Triple Crown.
– Unrestored with 1,345 original miles – Documented with the original tank sticker, car shipper, window sticker, Protect-O-Plate, title and owner’s manual – Bloomington Gold Benchmark, Survivor and Gold Certified in 2008 – Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 1989 – National NCRS 4-Star Bowtie award in 2008 – Regional NCRS Top Flight Award scoring 98.6 in 2008 – Chevy VetteFest Triple Crown in 2008 – National NCRS Special Interest Award in 2009 – 1 of 624 L89 Corvettes produced in 1968 – Very highly optionsed – Tri-Power 427/435 HP V-8 engine – L89 aluminum heads, 4-speed transmission – Three 2-barrel carburetors – Transistorized ignition – F41 suspension, off-road exhaust – Power brakes and windows – Telescopic steering column – Delco AM/FM stereo, tinted glass – British Green with Saddle leather interior – White soft top and auxiliary hardtop – Wheels covers and white stripe tires – Formerly part of the Jerry Moore Collection – Sold new at Parsons Chevrolet in Winstead, CT
This Corvette sold for $210,000 in August 2015
Source: Mecum Auctions