After failing to meet reserve several times since 2018, these two 1969 L88 Corvette convertibles will be on the block again as a pair during the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona, on March 14.
Both examples come highly awarded, with the Fathom Green car having twice been invited to the Bloomington Gold Special Collection and the Can Am White car earning Bloomington Gold certification, NCRS Performance Verification, and NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence.
The green car’s most unusual feature might be that it was built with a heater, an option normally deleted on the powerful L88s, but that’s not really surprising when you hear the rest of the story. The original owner drove the car on a 6,000-mile journey from Michigan to Alaska and back in the spring of 1969, so you can’t fault him for wanting to stay warm along the way! The next owner put the car to a much different use, successfully drag racing it until 1975 when he put it in storage. Eleven years later, highly regarded Corvette collector Vance Shappley purchased the car and began a two-year restoration. The car is documented with the original tank sticker verified by NCRS and also includes the Protect-O-Plate and owner’s manual.
The white car is equally as impressive with its documentation, its authenticity having been verified by prominent Corvette experts David Burroughs and Tim Thorpe. The car still has its matching-numbers 427/430 hp L88 engine and 4-speed transmission and like all 116 of the L88s in 1969 includes F41 Special Suspension, J56 Special Heavy Duty Brakes, and Positraction. The new owner will get a copy of the original tank sticker and a photo of the tank with the sticker intact.
So, with all this impressive background, why haven’t these two cars sold already?
Well, Greg Ingold, associate editor of the Hagerty Price Guide, believes it doesn’t mean a decreasing lack of interest in the L88. “We haven’t moved the market for these cars for about a year,” he says. “There doesn’t seem to be much going on, but we haven’t seen many fresh-to-market examples either.”
He notes that venue, timing, and the assembled audience all come into play at auctions, as well as the car’s spec sheet. Ingold pointed to the first-ever L88, a 1967 model, that sold for $1.8 million but was held back because the car had lost evidence of its special racing history during restoration when it was brought back to street specs.
Ingold will be carefully watching this pair of L88s next month and believes that these special rare Corvettes still deserve respect.
“The L88 will always be one of the top dogs when it comes to collectible Corvettes,” he says, “and because of that I don’t expect interest to go away anytime soon. Just like any other high-end car right now, you need to bring the best example to market to bring the best money.”
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Pair of 1969 Corvette L88 Convertibles Being Offered as One Lot at Mecum Indy
[PICS] The 2018 Bloomington Gold Corvette Show