The L88 427 motor was installed in a very limited number of production Corvettes from 1967 through 1969. It is best described as a full-race motor, available to the public for street use, straight from the factory. But its offering on the RPO option list was listed there in disguise. Chevrolet wanted to produce a high-performance Corvette that was second to none. But they also didn’t want the inexperienced horsepower-seeking youth ordering one without realizing the true potential of the L88. Also, it was necessary to have the L88 Corvette conform to various government regulations, insurance companies, as well as Chevrolet’s own horsepower policy. Therefore, the publicized rating for the horsepower of the L88; was manipulated by Chevrolet.
The L88 with 12.5 to 1 compression, hi-lift cam, 850 CFM 4 barrel carb and aluminum heads was under-rated at only 430 HP. L88s actually have been dyno-tested at 560 HP. How could GM do this without it being called false advertisement? Easy -- the publicized rating of the L88 actually was its true horsepower. Chevrolet just neglected to point out that this horsepower rating was at approximately 1000 RPM under the peak performance RPM of the L88. Conversely, engines such as the L71 427 with its 11 to 1 compression, tri-power carburetion and milder cam were rated at their actual peak performance of 5600 RPM. The L71 was listed as 435 HP, which was closer to its true peak performance rating, and 5 horsepower more than the L88’s under-rated 430 HP. It may have caused the average guy to unknowingly check off L71 on the RPO option list, thinking it was the biggest motor to be had in his new Corvette order.
The true intent of the L88 was for all-out performance on the racetrack. For example the L88s were delivered without fan shrouds and were notorious for overheating in traffic. They did not have chokes, and were a bear to keep running until they came up to operating temperature. Additionally there was the Radio and Heater delete that was mandatory on the L88. This didn’t work for the individual that wanted a little comfort in addition to performance.
The 67 L88 is extremely rare as there were only 20 of them produced -- which some feel are 20 of the most desirable Corvettes ever built. The Nabers Brothers in Houston Texas restored this particular 67 L88. Prior to its restoration, this L88 had already been Bloomington Gold certified in 1985; again to Bloomington for the “Earthquake 88” L88 Special Collection in 1988; and as part of the Bloomington Special Collection in 1992.
In 1998, this L88 went straight from Nabers Restoration to the 1998 Bloomington Special Collection. Per the tank sticker this L88 is equipped as follows: Marina Blue, Standard Black trim, L88 427 HD, M22 4-speed, J56 Heavy Duty Brakes, J50 Power Brakes, F41 Suspension, K66 Transistor Ignition, G81 4.11 Posi, N14 Dual Side Exhaust, C48 Heater Delete, Non-Radio, and A01 Tinted Glass.