Legendary Sports Cars
1969 CHEVROLET CORVETTE L88 CONVERTIBLE
Sold for $680,000 on September 6, 2014
Triple Black L88 Convertible
Special order by Tony DeLorenzo from his racing sponsor Hanley Dawson Chevrolet
Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame. Naber Brothers frame-off restoration. DeLorenzo took delivery in early 1969 and drove it daily until Curt Wetzel convinced him to prepare it for racing and sell it. Wetzel campaigned the L88 in Germany until purchased by the Porsche team.
L88 427/430 HP V-8, 4-speed manual
Rally wheels and redline tires
1 of 116 L88 Corvettes built in 1969
European license plate signed by Tony DeLorenzo
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Even among the hallowed ranks of its peers,
this 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 is a special automotive treasure. Its
first owner was renowned L88 racer Tony DeLorenzo, who enjoyed success in
SCCA racing in a 1967 L88 and later shared 22 consecutive wins in a pair
of Owens-Corning Fiberglas-sponsored C3 L88s with his racing partner Jerry
Thompson. In the midst of becoming one half of the most successful
Corvette racing team in history, Tony DeLorenzo special-ordered this
triple Black L88 convertible from his racing sponsor, Hanley Dawson
Chevrolet, to use as a daily driver.
The car is one of only two 1969 L88 convertibles finished in this sinister-looking combination, which perfectly suits its subject. There is more than one reason so few L88 Corvettes made it to the street, the main one being that it was simply impractical as a road car: heater and radio delete, no power accessories or air conditioning allowed; no fan shroud, meaning a tendency (actually practically a guarantee) to overheat in traffic, and the necessity for aviation-grade gasoline. The L88 was in fact a race car disguised as a production car, because that was the only way Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov could work around GM’s corporate ban on factory involvement in racing. Another factor was the cost: the L88 option package added a whopping $1,032.15 to the Corvette convertible’s $4,438 price tag, almost $600 more than the L71 option that was rated 5 horsepower higher than the L88’s absurdly misleading 430 HP rating.