Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why Produce a Product and Not Talk About It?

As bombarded by advertising as we are at every point in our lives it’s hard to believe a  car company would build a car that would not be advertised.  In fact this car was not just under-advertised but it was thought to be dialed down and built to make us believe the car was under powered and not worthy of attention, especially in a class that offered much more exciting (supposedly) cars that would easily enjoy the success of what it was expected to have from this amazing lineup of high powered sports cars.

The car in question is the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L88 that was built from 1967 until 1969 and came in as one of the highest performing cars that had been built at the time.  This car was the product of designer Zora Arkus-Duntov who was the director of GM’s performance division at the time.  This car was powered by a modified version of the 427-cubic inch V8 engine that was claimed to be able to push out 435 horsepower to make this awesome car one that was built to perform well, but with that number the L88 was not to be a public offering, but was designed and built for the race track.

This is the reason that this car did not get the attention it deserved, because Chevrolet did not want consumers buying it up, but wanted race teams to be able to drive it.  The real output of the L88 came in between 540 and 580 horsepower which was enough to allow the car to run the quarter mile un the mid to high eleven second range.  Another way to keep the car from the public was to also offer it with a few options which included a performance suspension, a Positraction differential and upgraded brakes.  A radio and air conditioning were not offered on the L88, making it a car that was great for the track and bad for the consumers.

With this limited market only 216 of the L88 were ever produced and sold at Chevrolet dealerships.  This made for a perfect racing machine and one of the most impressive Corvette models that was ever built.  For the time of this production there was not another Corvette that could perform the same way and the L88 soon became the Holy Grail of Corvettes for those who collect these high powered machines.

Today, an owner with an L88 might be able to command huge sums of money for them, especially if they have mostly original parts and features on them.  These sums of money come in between $500K and $750K as an expected price in order to give an owner an ideal of how their investment has grown over time.  From a little discussed Corvette that was reserved for the racetrack to the now revered model that so many desire and simply admire the L88 has been a car of very storied times that can be the perfect addition to any collection of Corvettes full of awesome power.

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