1969 Corvette 427 L89
1969 Corvette 427 L89
This 1969 Corvette 427 L89 has only 8,703 original miles and I consider it as another Time Capsule from the Ed Foss collection. “Crisp and bright,” “beautifully preserved,” these are but two of the superlatives offered by Corvette expert and Bloomington Gold founder David Burroughs to describe this award-winning 1969 Chevrolet Corvette equipped with the 427 L89 powerplant that was offered from the prestigious Ed Foss Collection. From any vantage point it is simply gorgeous, the silhouette and features at their purest in this early and visually uncluttered rendition of the ageless Mako Shark-based third-generation Corvette, but it’s in the details that this car particularly shines.
The debut of the new third-generation Corvette was fraught with controversy. The start of production coincided with the corporate decision to disband the Corvette group and demote Zora Arkus Duntov to the role of consultant. This resulted in the failure to address early design gremlins, which led to a number of negative reviews, the most infamous being Car & Driver Magazine’s outright rejection of its assigned test car as unfit to be considered for a full road test because of poor build quality. Realizing its error, Chevrolet immediately reconstituted the Corvette group and reinstated Duntov as its chief engineer. Intensive efforts to improve build quality finally began to pay off in the 1969 production year, which was extended by two months; sales leaped by over 10,000 units to 38,762, this despite the fact that changes were few and subtle. The most obvious was the return of the Sting Ray name, which was now contracted to a single word. The exterior door handle was revised, interior door panels redesigned for more shoulder room, the ignition switch was moved to the steering column and the steering wheel reduced in diameter to 15 inches. Headlight washers, new side exhaust and 8-inch wheels further distinguished the 1969 Corvette from the 1968 models. While a new 350 CI small-block engine replaced the 327, the big-block range remained untouched, including the L71 Tri-Power 427/435 HP powerhouse. And just as before, it was the only production big block in the Corvette lineup (with the obvious exception of the “off-road use” L88) that could be ordered with optional L89 aluminum heads, the benefits of which were both weight savings and better breathing. At $832.05, this was an expensive addition, one that made it into just 390 Corvettes. The 427 L89 engine has been considered by many as the top street engine of 1969.
Sold new at Union Chevrolet in Memphis, Tennessee, and formerly part of the Ray Norvell Las Vegas Collection, this 1969 Chevrolet Corvette coupe is one of that August group equipped with the optional L89 heads, and with just 8,703 original miles on the odometer, is as fresh as that number would imply. In addition to its rare powerplant, this prize-winning C3 was built with a 4-speed manual transmission and 3.70:1 Positraction rear end, and finished in Lemans Blue paint with a Black interior. The standard Rally wheels were fitted with optional F70-15 Red Stripe tires, and the option list filled out with K66 Transistorized Ignition, Soft Ray-tinted glass, headrests and front fender louver trim. The car has long been recognized as a leading example of the third generation big-block Corvette, having earned an NCRS Top Flight Award as far back as 1986. After a high-profile 1997 feature article in Vette Magazine, in 1998 the car was returned to the judging arena, on that occasion winning the NCRS 4-Star Bowtie Award. It is fully documented with the tank sticker, original bill of sale and Protect-O-Plate and is accompanied by the original keys, owner’s manual, dealer brochure and NCRS confirmation of the judging awards.
– 8,703 original miles – Documented with the tank sticker, original bill of sale and Protect-O-Plate – 1 of 390 427 L89 Corvettes produced in 1969 – NCRS Top Flight award in 1986 – NCRS 4-Star Bowtie award in 1998 – Tri-Power 427/435 HP V-8 engine – L89 aluminum heads – Three 2-barrel carburetors – 4-speed transmission – 3.70 Positraction rear end – Transistorized ignition – Front fender louver trim – Tinted glass, AM/FM radio – Headrest seats – Lemans Blue with Black interior – Rally wheels with Redline tires – NCRS confirmation of judging awards – Original keys, owner’s manual and dealer brochure – Sold new at Union Chevrolet in Memphis, TN – Formerly part of the Ray Norvell collection – Featured in Vette Magazine in 1997
This Corvette sold for $165,000 in August 2015
Source: Mecum Auctions