When it comes to rare Corvettes, the conversation naturally bends towards L88’s, big brake fuelie’s, C3 ZR1’s, and C2 Z06’s. Even rarer than those are a pair of Corvettes sold in 1969 sporting all aluminum ZL1 motors between the front fenders. RPO ZL1 cost $4,718.35 which was basically the same price as a base Corvette coupe.
GM records show that just 2 ZL1 equipped were sold to the general public. There’s great debate over how many other were potentially, built, converted, swapped, etc. Do a quick Google search on ZL1 Corvette and you’ll see what we mean.
The more widely known factory documented ZL1 is the yellow coupe owned by Roger Judski. That car has been known for several years and is seen periodically at the big shows like Bloomington Gold and Corvettes at Carlisle.
For years, though, the whereabouts of the 2nd factory documented ZL1 Corvette was only known by a few individuals. One of those lucky people was Bruce Perrone who has known the Monaco Orange on black convertible since he was young and in 2005 he was able to purchase the car from its original owner.
The story of the orange ZL1 has been told before in magazines like Corvette Fever and others, so we’ll just summarize it here. The car was bought new with its automatic transmission by John Maher and raced heavily throughout its life. Competition duties included stints on hill climbs, drag strips, and auto cross courses. All that time sporting Gulf Oil livery. Today the car shows a tick over 3,000 miles on the odometer. According to the owner, the motor made 600ish horsepower well below redline during a dyno run.
We came across the car at the Bloomington Gold show last month in Illinois where it was being presented for Certification judging. At that time the car was just one week removed from a complete restoration by Kevin Mackay’s team at Corvette Repair. The old Gulf Oil scheme was removed and the car was taken back to stock form. As you’d expect, the car is now in factory fresh condition right down the natural colored all-aluminum ZL1 engine.
Seeing rare Corvettes is always a treat even when you’re at an event like Bloomington that’s typically full of low production cars. If you missed the ZL1 last month don’t worry. You can browse our gallery below.