We’ve been a little C7 heavy here lately so here’s a C2 to mix things up. Mecum Auctions will be offering an uber rare 1967 L88 convertible next month at their Dallas sale. The Marlboro Maroon on black roaster will be crossing Mecum’s red carpet about 2:30pm central time on Saturday, September 7th. It’s one of 11 cars being offered from the Buddy Herin collection that weekend in Texas. Get your banker on the phone now, because this one is going to be expensive, really expensive.
GM records show 20 L88’s sold to the public for the 1967 model year. Like most L88’s this one spent its early life on the drag strip.
Jim Elmer purchased the car new at Lyman Slack Chevrolet in Portland, Oregon. After adding headers and 7 inch slicks he ran an 11.47 quarter mile when the car was nearly new. To put that in perspective, the new 2014 Corvette Stingray will run a 12.0 second quarter mile in stock form. Elmer later won the A/Sports class at the 1967 Indy Nationals where he had a fast pass of 11.12s at 127.45mph. Not long after that both the transmission and rear end suffered some injuries so Elmer took the car to the dealer for service. No surprise that his warranty claim was denied as the car was in its race livery while at the dealership. Elmer didn’t want to pay for the repairs himself so he instead sold the car to Rob Robinson in February of 1968 for $5,000. Robinson then raced the car in the NHRA A/Sports class through 1968 and 1969 all along the west coast. Robinson consistently placed among the top 4 or 5 in the NHRA final national points standings with the L88. He returned the car to stock form in 1970 and it was subsequently purchased by L88 guru Tim Thorpe. Thorpe began a detailed restoration before selling the car to Buddy Herin in 1998. The new owners then delivered the car to the Nabers Brothers to finish the restoration job.
Today the car still sports a black, mostly original interior and a matching black stinger on the hood. The 427/430hp L88 engine is bolted to a M22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed. Out back there’s a 4.11:1 rear end. Other options include heavy duty power brakes, factory side exhaust, and the F41 suspension. The car claimed a regional NCRS Top Flight award in 1997 and participated in the 2008 Bloomington Gold L88 Invasion. Documentation includes the all-important tank sticker and old racing photos and time slips.
We all know that L88 Corvettes are rare and highly desirable to collectors. We’ve seen several C3 L88’s trade hands at $500,000 – $600,000 and up for the last couple of years. The last C2 L88 we can think of to have been sold at public auction was the Tony DeLorenzo L88 a few years back in Monterey. That car sold for $1,250,000. Based on the current demand for L88’s don’t be surprised if this one draws similar bids next month in Dallas.
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