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1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer

August is a busy month for most of the preeminent automotive auction houses and RM Auctions is no exception. This weekend they host their highly anticipated Sports & Classics of Monterey event in Monterey, California. One of the Corvettes that will be offered for sale is the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 “Scuderia Filipinetti” Le Mans race car which is expected to fetch in the neighborhood of $500,000 – $700,000.

The Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer holds a significant place in Corvette’s racing history. With a coil spring front suspension and an L88 engine prepped by Zora Arkus-Duntov and smuggled out the back door to circumvent GM’s ban on racing, the L88 was driven at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans by Henri Greder and Umberto Maglioli. The car dominated the Porsches and led the GT class until the 6th hour when a carburetion problem melted a piston.

The Corvette returned to Le Mans in 1969 where it again dominated the competition and led the GT class for 16 hours before it retired due to another mechanical failure. Greder then drove the L88 Corvette that September in the Tour de France, a 5,000 km marathon over nine days including 11 events at 9 different tracks. Despite a constant engine misfire, Greder and co-driver Vigneron captured seven of the eleven events. This account of the race at Clermont is awe-inspiring:

Despite encountering a constant engine misfire which replacing the carburetor, plugs, wires and even the gas tank didn’t cure, Greder and his co-driver Vigneron captured seven of the eleven events (Nürburgring, Rouen, Le Mans, Cap Fréhel, Charade, Albi and le Tourmalet).

At Clermont they finally swapped the distributor for one from a Camaro and the L88’s power returned. Starting the race at Clermont Ferrand (then known as Charade) from the back of the field, Greder (“I was very tired, and so happy to have the power back,” he recalled) passed every car on the straight after the start, went straight across the next two corners, spun and backed into a utility pole. Restarting, again at the back of the field, the rejuvenated Corvette (its driver’s enthusiasm unconstrained by the tachometer, which didn’t work after the distributor swap) charged through the field, catching Gerard Larrousse’s leading Porsche 911R at the start-finish line at the end of the first lap.

“Larrousse said he thought I was out for good and was so startled when he saw me in his mirrors he almost went off,” Greder remembered. But it was too late to catch Larrousse in the overall standings. Greder and the Corvette finished second and won the GT category earning the description “La phénoménale Chevrolet Corvette” in Maurice Louche’s history of the Tour de France Automobile.

The L88 Corvette was then sold to Jean-Claude Aubriet who campaigned it four more times at Le Mans from 1970-73, finishing as high as 18th overall and 2nd in class. The L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer holds the record at Le Mans for single chassis starts (six).

Today the Corvette has been restored and now sports a 70′s vintage 454 made to look like the classic L88. It retains the coil spring front suspension developed by Zora as well as its M22 “Rock Crusher” close ratio gearbox and J56 heavy duty brakes. Documentation includes copies of the original A.C.O. entry forms from its six appearances at Le Mans.

Check out the new GT2 Corvette C6.R photos and the official press release after the jump.

1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel
1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel
1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel
1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer.

The full auction catalog description is a must-read for any Corvette racing enthusiast. The 1968 Corvette L88 Coupe will be auctioned on Saturday, August 15, 2009.


Source:
RM Auctions


Related:
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1969 Corvette L88 COPO Racer
[VIDEO] Gulf One 1963 Corvette Z06 Sells for $1.05 Million
1962 Gulf Oil Corvette Sells for $1.485 Million at Pebble Beach

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Friday’s Featured Corvettes for Sale

by Keith Cornett on August 7, 2009

2003 Corvette Coupe for Sale at VetteFinders.com

Check out these six great Corvettes we are featuring today from VetteFinders.com, the Internet’s original Corvette classifieds website. Each day thousands of buyers turn to our sister website to find the Corvette of their dreams as we have one of the best selections of both classic, preowned and new Corvettes available anywhere.

1959 Corvette Convertible For Sale 1965 Corvette Coupe For Sale 1971 Corvette Convertible For Sale
1959 Convertible
$149,900
1965 Coupe
$59,900
1971 Convertible
$52,000
 
1994 Corvette Coupe For Sale 2003 Corvette Coupe For Sale 2008 Corvette Convertible For Sale
1994 Coupe
$15,900
2003 Coupe
$22,990
2008 Convertible
$47,999

Thinking of selling Your Corvette? Now is the time and VetteFinders.com is the place to reach more qualified Corvette Buyers. Corvette Classified Ads start at only $25 and your Corvette will run until its sells. You can post unlimited photos and you have access to make any changes at any time.


Source:
VetteFinders.com

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July 2009 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on August 3, 2009

Corvette sales took a bit of dip last month as GM reported 966 deliveries in the month of July. The 966 units is the lowest since January’s 842 deliveries and was 30% lower than the 1,396 Corvettes sold in June 2009. However, based on July sales of Corvettes in 2007 and 2008, the decline is most probably due to smaller dealer inventories and consumer anticipation for the 2010 model which the factory started building last week.

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Mecum's Muscle Cars and More at Des Moines, IA

Mecum just wrapped up their two day auction in Des Moines, Iowa last weekend and 25 Corvettes were offered for sale. Only nine Corvettes were sold for a total of $248.650 and a 36% sales success rate. The high sale goes to a 1957 Corvette roadster with a 283 hp fuelie that gaveled for $77,500. On the low side, a 1974 driver with just under 48K miles sold for $5,000 proving once again that sellers are motivated in this difficult environment.

Here is the complete sales list from Mecum’s Muscle Cars and More in Des Moines:

Lot Year Model High Bid Sold Price
F2 1975 Corvette L 82 No Info
F3 1975 Corvette Coupe 350/205 HP, 4-Speed Manual $14,000
F21 1980 Corvette Coupe 350/190 HP, 3-Speed Automatic $6,000
F23 1994 Corvette Coupe 350 CI, Automatic $17,500
F46 1975 Corvette Coupe 350 CI, 4-Speed Manual $6,500
F55 1972 Corvette Coupe 350/350 HP, 4-speed $19,000
F66 1966 Corvette Coupe 350/750+ HP, 4-Speed $14,000
F75 1999 Corvette Convertible 5.7 LITER, 6-Speed $20,750
F94 1987 Corvette Coupe 350/240 HP, 4-Speed Automatic $7,900
F108 1974 Corvette Sting Ray 350 CI, Automatic $5,000
S4 1993 Corvette Convertible $12,250
S26.1 2005 Corvette Coupe $24,750
S48 1977 Corvette No Info
S64 1991 Corvette Coupe 350 CI, Automatic $10,500
S69 1981 Corvette Coupe 350 CI, Automatic $11,250
S84 1966 Corvette Convertible 327/300 HP, Manual $52,250
S129.1 1981 Corvette 350 CI $16,000
S131.1 1967 Corvette Convertible 427/390 HP $86,000
S137 1962 Corvette Convertible 327/360 HP, 4-Speed $45,000
S139 1957 Corvette Convertible 283/283 HP Fuel Injected, 4-Speed $77,500
S140 1969 Corvette Coupe 427/390 HP, 4-Speed $27,500
S142 1965 Corvette Convertible 327/250 HP, 4-Speed Manual $51,500
S154 1954 Corvette Roadster Automatic $45,000
S174 1972 Corvette Convertible $12,750
S178 2003 Corvette Coupe 350 CI/405 HP $19,000
       
    Total Sales:   $248.650


Source:
Mecum

Related:
Mecum Sells The First Corvette of the Sixties
Bloomington 2009: Mecum Sells $5.2 Million in Corvettes at Gold Auction

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Hertz Selling Corvette ZHZ's at Dealer Auction

It appears that Hertz has starting to sell off a few of their special edition rental Corvette ZHZs. In an email to our friends at CorvetteConti.com, a visitor tells Rick that three of the specially-badged Velocity Yellow and Black striped coupes ran through the dealer-only Manheim auto auction in South Florida last Friday.

Hertz and other car rental agencies generally begin to sell off their inventory after a year or so of rental duty. These three Hertz ZHZ Corvette coupes each have between 22,000 to 25,000 miles and are described to be in “driver” condition with some scratches and worn seats.

The visitor tells Rick that the three Corvettes sold for $31,400, $31,500 and $31,600.

As Manheim is a registered dealer only auction, we expect these Corvettes to be offered for sale to the public in the near future. As Conti correctly points out, let’s hope that dealers aren’t getting one of these Corvettes:

Hertz Corvette ZHZ Slams Into 8 Cars in Philadelphia


Source:
CorvetteConti.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Hertz Corvette ZHZ Slams Into 8 Cars in Philadelphia
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Hertz To Offer Exclusive Limited-Edition Corvette ZHZ

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Mecum Sells The First Corvette of the Sixties

by Keith Cornett on July 6, 2009

The First Corvette of the Sixties

One of selling features employed by the Mecum auction house is their “Bid Goes On” which allows bidding on Corvettes that did not sell on the block to continue in hopes that a sale can be reached. It gives buyers and sellers the opportunity to culminate a deal that otherwise would not have happened within the confines of a three-minute sale. One of Corvettes recently sold though this process was this 1960 Corvette with the serial #00001.

The first Corvette of the Sixties was Ermine White with a matching white convertible top. Like the first year 1953 Corvettes, a red interior compliments the white exterior. Vin #00001 is powered by RPO 579D – a 283 cubic inch fuel injected engine rated for 290 horsepower – and was coupled to a 4-speed transmission. Other options include the signal-seeking AM radio and classic wide whitewall tires.

At the auction, the Corvette reached a high bid of $290,000 without changing hands. Today we learned that the Corvette did sell after the auction at a slightly lower price of $275,000. We believe the seller, motivated by the no-sale changed his mind in regards to his reserve and took an offer through “the bid goes on” process.

The First Corvette of the Sixties The First Corvette of the Sixties The First Corvette of the Sixties
The First Corvette of the Sixties The First Corvette of the Sixties The First Corvette of the Sixties
The First Corvette of the Sixties The First Corvette of the Sixties  

So is this a fair price for a solid-axle serial #00001 Corvette? At the 2008 Bloomington Gold auction, three serial #1 Corvettes were offered: 1955, 1956 and 1957. As a group, the three Corvettes reached a high-bid of $2.8 million but failed to reach reserve. The three Corvettes were then offered individually. The 1955 #0001 Corvette high bid was $850,000. The 1956 #0001 Corvette high bid was $900,000 and the 1957 #0001 Corvette reached a high bid of $950,000. All three Corvettes were no sales and haven’t been seen since.

So along comes the 1960 Corvette with serial #1 a year later and it sells for a fraction of the prices offered for the 1955-57 Corvettes. Will this price of $275,000 suck the wind out of those other cars when the resurface at another sale or will the 1960 Corvette be flipped when the market rebounds for a much higher price? This is what makes watching pricing so fun.

For a complete recap of the 2009 Bloomington Gold Auction, click here for the original post or here for just the auction results.


Source:
Mecum

Related:
Bloomington 2009: Mecum Sells $5.2 Million in Corvettes at Gold Auction
Bloomington 2009: Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette a No Sale at $985,000
Bloomington 2009: 1968 L88 Corvette Sets Auction High Selling Price at $300K
Bloomington 2009: Twin-Turbo 1991 Corvette Callaway Speedster Sells for $115,000
Bloomington 2009: 1966 Corvette Convertible Sells for $83,500
Mecum’s Two-Day Corvette Auction at Bloomington Gold Show
Auction Preview: Mecum Selling Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette Roadster

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June 2009 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on July 2, 2009

Chevrolet dealers delivered 1,396 Corvettes last month according to the latest sales report from General Motors. The number is slightly off last month’s 1,643 and ends five months of consecutive growth. GM finished second quarter with 4,446 Corvettes deliveries compared to 3,052 in the first quarter. For the calendar year, sales are off 49.9% compared to last year.

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This 1963 Grand Sport Corvette Replica Sold for $61,000

Mecum concluded their two day Bloomington Gold auction on Saturday afternoon. It will be a memorable auction not for what sold, but for what didn’t sell. Only 108 of the 286 Corvettes sold which translates to a 38% success rating. However, many of the featured Corvettes didn’t reach reserve which makes us wonder if buyers were holding back or if sellers were asking too much.

The top seller for the weekend was a 1968 L88 Corvette Coupe with a Bloomington Gold Survivor award that sold for $300,000. Second on the list was a 1967 L71 427/435 Corvette that sold for $195,000.

Many of the top Corvettes listed failed to meet their reserve price. As we said earlier, we don’t know if buyers were holding back or if sellers were being unrealistic, but the fact remains that both camps would only buy or sell if the price was right.

The main attraction was Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette Convertible. The bidding for the former Head of GM Design’s personal Sting Ray reached $985,000 but the reserve was said to be $1.3 million. Ed Cole’s former 1967 big block reached $550,000 but the reserve was said to be $700,000. The 1971 Corvette ZR2 Convertible reached $500,000 in bidding with the reserve set at $700,000.

The 108 cars that did sell over the two day auction totaled $5,226,550. Compared to last year’s Bloomington Gold auction that saw 138 Corvettes sell for a total of $8,745,619 and a sales success of 47%, I would say that the Corvette investment market has definitely been impacted by the downturn in the economy over the last year.

Finally, reading the forums and listening to other accounts of the auction, we heard the following:

Corvette Dealer Bob McDorman was upset that the Callaway Speedster he auctioned was sold for $115,000. According to a second hand source, McDorman wasn’t paying attention when asked whether he wanted to lift the reserve on this rare car and only after consenting to removing the reserve and the gavel falling did he realize what happened. Rumor has it he was recently offered $150,000 for the unique Series 1 Speedster.

Many reported to see on the Discovery HD television coverage a 1962 Corvette bump the wall of the facility while making its way off the auction block on Friday. A Corvette forum member did inspect the Corvette later and found no noticeable damage to the car.

Here are the results from Mecum’s 2009 Bloomington Gold Auction.


Source:
Mecum

Related:
Bloomington 2009: Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette a No Sale at $985,000
Bloomington 2009: 1968 L88 Corvette Sets Auction High Selling Price at $300K
Bloomington 2009: Twin-Turbo 1991 Corvette Callaway Speedster Sells for $115,000
Bloomington 2009: 1966 Corvette Convertible Sells for $83,500
Mecum’s Two-Day Corvette Auction at Bloomington Gold Show
Auction Preview: Mecum Selling Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette Roadster

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Bloomington 2009:  Harley Earl's 1963 Corvette a No Sale at $985,000

The personal car belonging to legendary General Motor’s automotive designer Harley Earl was a no sale at Mecum’s 2009 Bloomington Gold auction. The Corvette convertible was the main attraction on Saturday where it was introduced with great fanfare. Bidding started at $400,000 for the custom Sting Ray and quickly climbed to the high bid of $985,000 before stalling. The auctioneer proclaimed a no sale (Mecum’s the bid goes on) as the seller set the reserve at $1.3 million.

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Bloomington 2009:  Twin-Turbo 1991 Corvette Callaway Speedster Sells for $115,000

One of more interesting time periods for Corvette came midway through the C4 production run when you could order a twin-turbo for your Corvette. In 1991, the B2K twin-turbo RPO was the only non-GM performance option that could be ordered on a Corvette. This limited edition 1991 Series 1 Corvette Callaway Speedster is #8 of 10 made and used to be part of the Otis Chandler collection before being acquired by Chevrolet dealer and Corvette collector Bob McDorman.

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