If you’re looking for originality, uniqueness, and rarity, then this 1967 Corvette COPO convertible might be for you.
In case you’re not familiar with COPO, it stands for Central Office Production Order. Basically, it allowed Chevrolet top dogs and a few dealers to order new vehicles with special features not usually found on the ordinary production vehicles.
This particular Corvette is one of only five known to be painted with Silver Pearl exterior paint and a red interior, a combo not available to ordinary folks.
Mecum’s Collector Car Auction wrapped up their 23rd Annual Spring Classic in Indianapolis on Sunday. Over the five day sale, we witnessed 194 Corvettes crossing the auction block with 128 of those cars selling. Sales for Corvettes totaled $6,720,550 and the sales success rate was 66%.
Some Corvettes are famous and some are infamous. Two years after Corvette enthusiasts rose up and cried foul which resulted in a botched eBay auction, the Shriner L88 Corvette makes an appearance at Barrett-Jackson and sells for $176,000.
In December 2005, this Corvette was being sold on eBay as an original 1 of 20 L88 Corvette. Unfortunately for the seller of the car, the son of the Corvette’s original owner had an extensive history on the car as the 1967 roadster was 1 of 13 Shriner Parade Cars that were all originally equipped with small blocks. Click here to read our original post: Seller of Fake L88 Caught by Corvette Community
Fast forward to 2009 where the L88 Corvette resurfaces, only this time the Shriner history was embraced. Here is the description from the Barrett-Jackson catalog:
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.
So the same Corvette advertised two years ago as an original 1 of 20 L88 Corvette was today offered as a documented 1 of 13 Shriner COPO Corvette with a correct L88 driveline. Diligent research of the Corvetteâ€™s history would have undoubtedly revealed her checkered past. Read what enthusiasts are saying about the car on CorvetteForum.com
During the 2009 Barrett-Jackson auction, SPEEDTV took a commercial break and came back to coverage with the Shriner COPO Corvette already on the block and bidding at $140,000. The Corvette gaveled for $160,000 and with commission, total price was $176,000.
Seller of Fake L88 Caught by Corvette Community
[VIDEO] 1990 Corvette “Active” ZR-1 Sells at 2009 Barrett-Jackson
[VIDEO] 1989 Corvette ZR-2 Sells at 2009 Barrett-Jackson
2009 Barrett-Jackson Corvette Auction Preview
The great thing about being involved in the Corvette hobby is that there is always something new to learn. For example, you may have heard of a COPO Corvette – which stands for Central Office Production Order, an ordering mechanism designed to allow certain customers (usually dealers) the ability to order non-standard components together. Usually with Corvettes, COPO orders had non-standard colors or interiors, or was ordered with some special options, or no options like radio/heater delete for racing. Another type of order was called the SO – Shop Order – which usually originated from the Chevrolet Engineering Center or the GM Styling Studio. The third and less common was a variation called the F&SO – Fleet and Special Order.
Well, that last one was news to me. Just last week at the Bloomington Gold show, there were a few examples of COPO Corvettes and styling cars that went through the auction. Today though I got a preview of the next Corvette Magazine issue and writer/photographer Richard Prince has a great article detailing a F&SO 1967 Corvette that was built for one of the great Corvette salespeople of 1950′s and ’60′s – Bob Wingate.
When you’re the top Corvette salesman in the country for 5 years running, opportunities from the manufacturer come your way. And in 1967, that opportunity came in the form of a 1967 Coupe outfitted with a 427/435 engine, 3.55:1 Positraction and a Wide-Ratio M20 Four Speed, along with American Racing’s Torq-Thrust Alloy Wheels with Blue Streak tires. The Corvette was painted in Goodwood Green with a white racing stripe and had the six taillight modification that was popular back then.
Bob drove the Corvette all over the western United States promoting Chevrolet products. He did some drag racing and autocrossing in the Corvette, and when the 1967 model year was coming to a close, Bob sold the Corvette and was allowed to keep the proceeds as his bonus.
The kid that bought Bob’s Corvette blew the original engine within a few months, and a few months later was involved in a wreck on the I-10 that totaled the car. Or so Bob thought.
Fast forward twenty-five years later. A Southern Californian named Bob Radke buys a project car and although he didnâ€™t know it at the time, it still had the tank sticker. And unlike all other tank stickers Radke had seen, in the upper right hand site in the box marked COPO/F&SO there was a number in it.
Through diligence and hard work, Radke was able to track down Wingate (he was listed in the phone book!) and from there a bond was formed as Radke set out to restore the Corvette. After 7 years, the Corvette has been restored to its former glory. I love these kinds of stories and the article is very written with awesome photos to boot!
The full article can be found at: Corvette-Mag.com
Photo Credit: Richard Prince