• One of only 116 Corvette L-88s built for 1969
• Outstanding provenance; fewer than 20,000 miles from new
• One of the finest and most original L-88s in existence
• Elite-level award winner; factory-delivered, matching-numbers engine
• Tank Sticker, Protect-O-Plate, Statement of Origin, and Bill of Sale
• Bloomington Gold® Survivor, Special Collection, and Hall of Fame recipient
427 cid RPO L88 V-8 engine, single Holley 850 CFM four-barrel carburetor, 560 HP (Est.) (430 HP factory advertised) at 6,400 RPM, Muncie M22 HD close-ratio four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs, independent rear suspension with lateral struts, radius rods, and transverse leaf spring, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes; wheelbase: 98”
Rooted in development work initiated by Zora Arkus-Duntov in 1962, the “Heavy-Duty 427” engine was the basis of the L-88 competition engine powering Roger Penske’s Sunoco-sponsored Corvette to victory at the 1966 Daytona 24 Hour race. Released for sale in 1967, the L-88 caused excitement and confusion among potential buyers with Chevrolet discouraging orders from anyone but factory-recognized racers. Cryptically designated an “off-road vehicle” with a conservative 430-horsepower rating and stiff option pricing of $1,032 by 1969, the L-88 was seemingly less powerful at twice the price of the 435-horsepower RPO L71 “Tri-Power.”
The L-88’s victory tally included the GT-class win at the 1968 24 Hours of Daytona, where Jerry Grant and Dave Morgan hit 194 mph. Jerry Thompson and Tony De Lorenzo dominated American SCCA racing with the L-88 and won the A/Production title for 1969. In 1972, when lesser cars of the era had already retired, an L-88 Corvette (unusually) entered by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) scored a class win at Le Mans. Just 216 L-88 Corvettes were built in all during the model’s three-year production run, with this outstanding example being one of the 116 built for 1969.
Among this select group of Corvettes, this example is particularly special, with provenance stretching back to its original owner, Richard Johnston Thomas of Marietta, Georgia. A serviceman stationed in South Korea, Mr. Thomas ordered this L-88 Roadster with Barclay & Company Central Chevrolet in Seoul on October 27, 1968. Finished in Le Mans Blue (976) over black vinyl with a black vinyl-covered auxiliary hardtop, this Corvette was equipped with Soft-Ray tinted glass, custom shoulder belts, a rear-window defroster, special-purpose suspension (F41), Positraction rear axle (G81), power brakes (J50), special brake system (J56), engine-block heater (K05), transistorized ignition (K66), HD close-ratio four-speed transmission (M22), and alarm system (UA6). These options added $2,310.70 to the Corvette’s base price, for a total of $6,839.70. Completed on November 24, 1968, the L-88 was delivered through General Motors Overseas Distributors Corp. in New York City and on February 10, 1969, shortly after his return, Mr. Thomas took delivery in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1978, the L-88 was sold to Dr. Paul Noble, the noted collector and judge in NCRS and Bloomington Gold circles, who retained the car for approximately 20 years and carefully preserved it in original condition. Next, the L-88 passed through the collections of Ron Landis and Don Felts, followed by inclusion within an impressive Southern California collection of exceptionally original, low-mileage sports cars, and the current owner’s impressive stable. Over the years, this L-88 Roadster has earned a succession of top-level awards in Corvette circles, including Bloomington Gold Survivor status in 2006, induction into the 1988, 1998, and 2008 Bloomington Gold Special Collections, and recognition as one of just six L-88 Corvettes immortalized in the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame.
Kept in appreciative hands for over four decades, this car remains in wonderfully original, factory-correct condition and currently displays fewer than 20,000 miles from new. In addition to its largely original Le Mans Blue paint finish to the original matching-numbers engine and drivetrain, this truly rare Corvette is believed to retain its original interior, shock absorbers, and exhaust system, as well as the factory-applied chassis stencils and chalk markings. Most significantly, this Corvette has survived with its original, matching-numbers engine intact, a claim that can be made by only a small number of these incredibly potent performers.
Offered from a well-respected collector with a fine taste for quality and authenticity, this outstanding 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Roadster is regarded by experts as one of the most highly documented examples known to exist. Its enviable provenance is supported by an impressive document file including the original Tank Sticker, Protect-O-Plate, Statement of Origin, GM Invoice, Delivery Schedule, and a copy of original owner Richard Thomas’ Georgia Certificate of Title. Today, as when it was new, the L-88 Corvette continues to represent the ultimate in styling, performance, and competition success. While produced in strictly limited numbers, these mighty cars solidified the Corvette’s well-deserved reputation on the racetrack and the street. As one of the most highly optioned, best-documented and well-preserved L-88s known to exist today, this Le Mans Blue 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Roadster is simply regarded as the best of its kind.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Roadster
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