Not many of us will ever have the chance to see a super-rare L88 Corvette in person.
But thanks to “Muscle Car Video of the Week #117,” you can get the next best thing. Click on the link, and on your computer screen will pop up a 1968 Corvette with the legendary L88 427 engine.
This one resides in the Brothers Collection now, but it was originally purchased by George Montgomery to be used as a pace car at a Minnesota race track and was first tuned up by the legendary Dick Guldstrand to make sure it could do its job very effectively.
Today, the car has covered just 22,000 miles and is still mostly correct, with just one repaint in the original Lemans Blue over the years.
Back in the day, Chevy played down the L88 to the general public, afraid that unsuspecting customers who didn’t know what they were buying would whine to their dealer looking for warranty work because their car was hard to start and tended to overheat idling in traffic.
In fact, Chevy did a little trickery with the horsepower figures, rating the L88 at 4600 rpm to come up with an alleged 430 hp figure – five horsepower less than the L71 three two-barrel engine that made 435 hp BUT at 5800 rpm. The L88 actually produces more like 550 hp.
Only 80 of the L88 engines were sold as a $947 option in 1968, making them super-rare and highly sought after these days. Making them less appealing to the general public in the 1960s was the fact that the cars could have no creature comforts thing only – to be used on a race track or drag strip. It was rumored to be capable of going 170mph right off the showroom floor!
Since its birth nearly 50 years ago, the L88 has grown into one of the most mythical engines in Corvette history. As the host of this video points out, it’s basically a full road race engine in a streetable car that you could buy from your local Chevrolet dealer.
Sort of the C7 Z06 of its day, though you can’t really compare the two vehicles, with the current Z06 offering even greater performance – BUT with all the creature comforts of your wife’s boring SUV.
1968 L88 Corvette Sells for $330,000 at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas
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[VIDEO] The L88 Corvette Racers Arrive at Amelia Island