The 1969 Corvette Stingray , patterned after the Mako Shark II concept car, was a third generation Corvette.
The car was lampooned by the auto press for its shoddy general built, small trunk space (fortunately, rear rack was installed to make up for that), styling eccentricities, and overall lack of finesse. Despite that, '69 Corvette outsold the previous year model by more than 10,000 units, to a handsome figure of more than 38,000, a Vette record that stood for 7 years.
Two great engines saved it for them: the 327 cid and three
incarnations of the big-block 427, with ratings of 390 to 435
horsepower. The hottest L88 version with the special
aluminum-head peaked at 160 mph, race-ready from the showroom floor and
rated at a modest 430 bhp, its price of $1,032 price attracted just 116
buyers. For would-be buyers desiring more power, there was always the
500 bhp ZL1, a 170 mph racing option package that only attracted two buyers. They did not come with a heater to discourage amateur racers.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Changes for the '68 to '69 Corvette were minor. The steering-wheel diameter was trimmed an inch, the pushbutton door openers ("thumb busters" from 1968) are dropped, the ignition switch is now mounted on the column instead of the dash, a flexible, three-section map pocket was installed on the dash to make up for the lack of a proper glovebox.
Half of 1969 production were coupes with twin lift-off roof panels
and a removable window - making this Stingray almost a convertible. The
1969 Corvette Coupe outsells the convertible for the first time by 6,000
units. A major drawback of the 1969 Vette was its sharply raked seats,
which prevented the arm-out-of-the-window pose - a Vette owner
tradition. Fortunately, the glove compartment had been standard since
the previous year, although the telescopic tilt column and leather trim
were optional extras.
1969 Corvette Stingray Specs
1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88 427 Coupe
1967 Corvette L88 12 Hours of Sebring Winner
The car pictured above is an L88 built from 1967 to 1969. It has a comprehensive racing package that included the big block V8 with solid-lifters and Can-Am-spec cylinder heads. It was the same car that powered the red, white and blue Sunray DX racer to a class victory at the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring.
Chevrolet actively discouraged L88 orders from dealerships and the public. The L88 was capable of 171 mph at Le Mans and sported more than 500 horsepower. It was developed for the track and never intended to be driven on city streets.
L88s were produced from 1967 to 1969 and during the transition from the C2 Stingray to the C3 body style. As a limited series of around 200 cars, the L88 was sold in both coupe and convertible form. The rarest cars are 20 1967 L88 Corvettes. Due to stringent emissions standards, the L88 was forced to be canceled in 1969.