It is hard to believe but we have already reached the end of the second week of our countdown of the Best Corvettes from each decade and it is time to reveal our greatest Corvette of the 1960s. As most of you have probably guessed, especially with the ’63 out of the way at #2, Corvette Blogger’s greatest of the 60s is the 1967 version.
The 1967 Corvette isn’t just the best of the ’60s, but it would certainly be in the running for greatest Corvette of time. The culmination of all C2 improvements along with a new “stinger” hood (only available in conjunction with big-block power) and an array of diverse powerplants made the 1967 Corvette a highwater mark in terms of sophistication, power, speed, and style.
The final version of midyear Corvette saw the dawn of the legendary L88 427. Just 20 of these monsters left the factory but they left an impression on all who were lucky to be in the presence of one. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, an L88 reached a staggering 170 MPH on the Mulsanne Straight though the car ultimately wouldn’t finish the race.
The L88 wasn’t the only 427 offered in ’67 either. Friendlier, less cost prohibitive (the L88 added almost 25% to the price of a Corvette) versions could also be had. These started with the 390 HP L36 and worked their way up to the 435 Horse L71 (and L71 with special aluminum heads, designated L89, which was even more uncommon than the L88 with production of just 16 units).
The L71 has remained the one to get through the years. It brought the highest factory rated horsepower that a Corvette would see until 2006 at an attainable price (close to one third the cost of the high-strung, temperamental L88 race motor). Because of these benefits, the L71 was made in far greater numbers than other top-tier engines with production of nearly 4,000 units. While you can expect to pay well over $1,000,000 for an L88, L71s can be had under $150,000 all day long and you are getting a much more useable car that you don’t have to be afraid to take out for an occasional spin. If 427 power doesn’t float your boat, the ’67 still offered small-block 327s in both 300 and 350 HP flavors.
There are a few other rare and fun options to look out for. First is the one-year only vinyl covered auxiliary hardtop, of which only 1,966 were made. 20 Corvettes in 1967 also received the M22 Heavy Duty Close Ratio 4-Speed transmission (it cost about $50 more than the M20 and M21 4-speeds which combined for another 20,172 units). The Powerglide automatic rounded out the transmission choices and was installed in 2,324 ’67 ‘Vettes. The N03 36 Gallon Fuel tank was extremely rare, only finding its way under the fiberglass of two ‘67s. Finally, we have one of the gnarliest options; RPO N14, commonly known as the Side Mount Exhaust System, or simply, side pipes. They were the best $131.65 you could spend when spec’ing your Sting Ray. A grand total of 4,209 discerning customers chose these, coolest of options.
So there you have it, a short overview of the grand finale of the C2 generation whose legend lives on to this day as our best ‘Vette of the ‘60s.
- The Best Corvettes of the 1950s: No.3 – The 1953 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1950s: No.2 – The 1959 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1950s: No.1 – The 1957 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1960s: No.3 – The 1965 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1960s: No.2 – The 1963 Corvette
Photo Credits: CorvetteImages.com