Our favorite non-original L88 Shriner Corvette is back on the market again. The 1967 “L88” Shriner COPO Corvette crossed the block at Mecum’s St. Charles auction on Saturday where it reached a high bid of $80,000 but failed to reach its reserve price. Longtime readers of CorvetteBlogger may recognize this as the same car whose listing on eBay in December 2005 was pulled after the Corvette community challenged the sale as a real-deal L88 Corvette.
The problem with owning a car that has a checkered past is that some of the falsehoods become entrenched, passing from owner to owner until the real truth is lost. Even today, we’ve found some misrepresentations about this Corvette.
According the Mecum auction description, the 1967 “L88” Shriner Corvette started its life in 1967 at a 327/300 4-speed, one of the original 13 COPO Corvettes that was part of the Tangier Shriner Corvette Patrol in Omaha, NE. Originally owned by Garwood Anderson of Anderson Chevrolet in Wahoo, NE., it was refinished in Polo White with a Red interior and dealer-upgraded to L88 specifications, including a 427/430 HP L88 engine with correct heads, intake and carburetor, M22 4-speed, J56 big brakes, special radiator, radio/heater delete, shoulder harnesses and side exhaust.
If I was to read the description without knowing the details, I’d think the original dealer, Garwood Anderson of Anderson Chevrolet had replaced the standard base engine with the big block L88. Read that section again and you tell me if there are any other conclusions that can be made there.
In late 2005 when this Corvette was being sold on eBay as a 1-20 427/430hp L88 Corvette, the son of the original owner, GL Anderson weighed in on the Corvette Forum and gave us the real history of this Corvette:
Not only was it a 350hp small block car when produced and we picked it up at the factory, but it was also my Fathers Shrine Corvette Patrol parade car. Since my dad was the dealer and also in the patrol he never had to license his Shrine car but rather drove it on a dealer plate. The first true owner would have been Mr. Neeck. There are several photos out there showing the 67 Shrine cars and members standing by their car. I can point out that exact car in the pics. It had a blue interior from the factory. Everything about it being an L88 is a fake. The buyers invoice is fake, I don’t know about the repair order so maybe he got 4 things right. He came to me in the early 90s and wanted me to back his story about the supposed L88. I told him no way. By the way I was 21 in 1967 and between my twin brother and I put several thousand miles on that exact car. As to paperwork no I don’t have the factory invoice but I do have other documentation on that car. I don’t hang out on other Corvette boards but if anybody wants to know the truth, let them know it is a fake. I will be happy to provide the documentation I have and point out a number of errors he has made in his paperwork, but only to someone I trust won’t take that info back to him so he can do a better job next time.”
You would think that the son of the original owner, who was 21 at the time the Corvette was delivered and put several thousand miles on the odometer would remember the car getting a “dealer-upgraded L88”.
In 2009 the Shriner Corvette had another go in the market, this time at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction where it sold with no reserve at $176,000. Here was the updated description, this time focusing on the 1 of 13 Shrine Car connection:
Originally a base motor 300 and upgraded to a 427cid/430hp engine although it is now equipped with an L88 package. Documented as 1 of 13 Shriner COPO cars with a correct L88 driveline. Also features radio delete, correct carb, distributor, etc.
And less than two years later, here is the Corvette at Mecum where it was a no sale at $80,000.