There were 116 RPO L88 Corvettes produced in 1969. The 1969 production year was to be the end of the production run of the infamous Chevrolet street-legal Factory Race Vettes.
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 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 and insurance companies’ regulations, as well as Chevrolet’s own horsepower policy. Therefore, Chevrolet manipulated the publicized rating for the horsepower of the L88.
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. L88’s 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 published 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 at 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.
This 69 L88 Vette featured here is equipped per its Tank Sticker as: Convertible, Monaco Orange, Black Standard Trim, L88 Special Turbo-Jet 427, K66 Transistor Ignition, G81 Positraction Rear 373R, M22 Special 4-Speed, C05 Convertible Black Top, A01 Tinted Glass, A85 Shoulder Belts, F41 Special Performance Suspension, J50 Power Brakes, J56 Heavy Duty Brakes, N14 Side Exhaust, No Radio, Heater Delete, Front Louver Trim, and Audio Alarm System. This Vette still retains its original engine and entire drive train. Tim Thorpe who is a restorer as well as a Bloomington Judge performed the restoration. This Vette was also featured in Corvette Fever.