1967 Corvette L88
1967 Corvette L88
This 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe enjoys a high profile in the Corvette community and has everything for the discerning collector. Finished in popular Marina Blue with Black interior, it is a rare factory side exhaust-equipped version of the first-year L88 documented with the original tank sticker, restored by the renowned Naber Brothers and featured in multiple Bloomington Gold Special Collections spanning three decades. Best of all, it is part of one of the most memorable eras in the history of America’s Sports Car.
The most potent 427 CI engine in 1967 was not even listed in the Corvette sales material. Available only in the Corvette, RPO L88 was brutally simple and simply brutish.
The L88’s cast iron block was specially cast with a stronger bottom end architecture and accommodation for a remote oiling system. The forged steel rotating assembly – complete with Tufftrided crank journals – used special 12.5:1 pistons that pumped the air-fuel mixture through Winters Foundry cast aluminum heads. The L88’s solid lifter cam and Holley 4-barrel were the most radical of their kind ever used in a production Chevrolet engine, and it only breathed properly through unmuffled exhaust headers and straight pipes. Chevrolet deceptively rated the L88 at 430 HP at 5,200 RPM, but at its 6,500 RPM redline it was capable of delivering 560 horsepower with free flowing exhaust headers.
First offered in 1967, Corvettes ordered with the L88 engine were delivered with racing suspension and brakes and without power steering, a heater or a radio. L88 Corvettes were delivered without fan shrouds and were notorious for overheating in low speed traffic. They did not have chokes from the factory, and were almost impossible to keep idling until they came up to operating temperature. One feature not seen in other Corvettes, however, was a label affixed to the center console that ominously stated in bright Red print, “Warning: Vehicle must operate on a fuel having a minimum of 103 research octane and 95 motor octane or serious engine damage may result.”
L88 Corvettes famously won the GT class at Sebring and Daytona and ruled SCCA competition, all while Chevrolet did its best to keep the car out of the hands of the public; it appears that only Hot Rod Magazine (April 1969) and Car Life (July 1969) ever published a road test on a factory-supplied L88, and strangely in both cases the test car was equipped with a 3-speed automatic that seriously hampered its performance. Chevrolet sold just 20 L88 Corvettes in 1967, 80 in 1968 and 116 in 1969. All have obtained legendary status, especially the 1967 models, which are considered by many the zenith of mid-year Corvette production.
The tank sticker documenting this 1967 Corvette L88 Coupe shows that it was originally ordered for production on February 16, 1967 and scheduled for production on April 7. Ordered with code 976 Marina Blue paint with Black Stinger and standard Black vinyl interior, it was completed with a Muncie close ratio M22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed, J56 heavy duty brakes and J50 power brakes, F41 special suspension, K66 transistor ignition, G81 Positraction with 4.11:1 gearset, N14 dual side exhaust and A01 Soft Ray tinted glass. It was delivered to its first owner by Bast Chevrolet of Seaforth, New York, who installed a roll bar and shoulder harness. After being raced for a time it was sold to a lady in Canada before eventually being repatriated to the U.S. by its third owner. It was cosmetically restored in the early 1980s and subsequently earned Bloomington Gold Certification in 1985 with a score of 95.9 points. It returned to Bloomington in 1988 for the “Earthquake 88” L88 Special Collection and again as part of the Bloomington Special Collection in 1992.
In 1998 the body was removed from the car for the first time as part of a complete restoration by Naber’s Motors Corvette Restorations in Houston, Texas. Upon completing the project, the car was sent directly to the Bloomington Gold meet where it was once again displayed in that year’s “L88 Invasion” Special Collection. Documented with the original factory tank sticker and Bloomington Gold literature and paperwork, this rare and remarkable L88 Coupe is the ultimate version of the classic second-generation Sting Ray.
photos and edited text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
Here are some of the features of this 1967 L88 Corvette:
– 1 of 20 produced
– Factory side exhaust
– Bloomington Gold Certified
– Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 1988, 1992 and 1998
– Restored by the Naber Brothers
– Documented with Tank Sticker
– L88 427/430 HP engine
– M22 Rock Crusher 4-speed
– F41 heavy duty suspension
– J56 heavy duty brakes
– J50 power brakes
– K66 transistorized ignition
– G81 4.11 Positraction rear end
– A01 Soft Ray tinted glass
– Marina Blue with Black stinger
– Black interior