The Coronavirus outbreak hasn’t slowed Mecum’s quest to bring the best collector cars to market. Recently, they announced the addition of the winningest 1967 L88 racer in history to their Indianapolis docket. The 6-day event will now take place June 23-28 at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds.
When it comes to collectible Corvettes, there’s not much higher on the Corvette food chain than the 1967 L88. Just 20 of the 22,940 Corvettes built received the 430hp L88 under the hood. Today just over half are still known to exist. They command attention everywhere they’re shown, and collectors line up whenever one hits the market. The base price of the 1967 Corvette was about $4,300. Today, a 1967 with an L88 engine will set you back well over 1 million dollars on the low end.
Lot R255 at Mecum Indy is being billed as The Ultimate L88. It’s racing credentials, owner history, and documentation are second to none. Over the course of its 8-year racing career it claimed nearly 400 podiums and more than 150 wins. At one point it won 52 consecutive races.
Bloomington Gold Founder David Burroughs said, “Not one minute of ownership, one piece of paper or one alteration is unaccounted for.”
The car was purchased new by engineer and privateer racer Cliff Gottlob, of Arkansas City, Kansas after working closely with his friend and GM big shot Ralph Miller to score the car. After it was built, Gottlob couldn’t yet pay for the car and asked GM to hold it at the plant for him. Later in August he finally took delivery. It’s considered to the last 1967 Corvette to leave the factory even though it doesn’t have the last VIN number.
The car’s most notable achievement was finishing 2nd in the GT Class and 11th overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1970 with Gottlob and Dave Dooley behind the wheel. The story is even better because Gottlob drove the car 1,636 miles from Kansas to Daytona, ran the race, and then drove it home. The pit crew consisted of his family friends.
Gottlob sold the car in 1978 to Jim Krughoff and David Burroughs. Under Burroughs’ watchful eye, the car was restored to its as-raced 1970 condition. In 1997 they sold it to Bill McDonagh who sold it to Dana Mecum in 2013. Today it’s being offered from Dana’s private collection still in the 1970 livery.
The car is well known throughout the Corvette hobby is highly documented. That provenance includes the tank sticker, window sticker, order form, shipper copy, dealer invoice, factory inspection form, and factory ID card. The auction listing goes on to state that it’s the only 1967 L88 Corvette to retain its complete original engine, consisting of the original engine block, heads, crankshaft, rods, pistons, lifters, and valve train. Most parts removed during the conversion from streetcar to racer were saved by the original owner. The winning bidder will also get a period-correct L88 engine to go along with their new Corvette.
In 2013 the car was inducted into the Bloomington Gold Great Hall. Later that year it was shown at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. More recently its story has been documented in the book “Against All Odds” written by Mecum’s TV host Stephen Cox. Click here for that cool read.
This great piece of Corvette history will hit the Mecum red carpet during Mecum’s Indianapolis event. Cars like these are nearly impossible to shop, but we do know 2 things: (1) no one from the CorvetteBlogger staff can afford it, and (2) that the final bid will be comfortably into the 7-figure range.
Mecum Offering a Pair of 1969 L88 Corvettes at Glendale Auction
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[PICS] The 2018 Bloomington Gold Corvette Show