First and last Chevy Corvette L88 head to auction as pair

A pair of historically significant Corvettes are among the featured lots at a Mecum auction happening now in Kissimmee, Florida.

Offered as a single lot, the pair are the first and last production L88 Corvettes. The L88 option equipped Corvettes with a 7.0-liter (or 427 cubic inches in period parlance) V-8 that was officially rated at 430 hp, but likely made much more than that. The L88 was the brainchild of Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, who wanted a more competitive ‘Vette for racing. To that end, L88 cars had performance hardware like aluminum heads, but lacked creature comforts like radios and air conditioning.

A small number of L88s still made it into the hands of the general public as road cars, though. Today, their rarity and the muscular engines make them among the most collectible Corvettes. One particularly good example sold for nearly $2.7 million at auction in 2021.

The two cars currently up for auction include the first L88, a 1967 convertible that was one of just 20 L88s produced that year. It’s also believed to be the only L88 convertible painted Tuxedo Black. It was also raced when new by Tony DeLorenzo and Jerry Thompson, finishing second at the 1967 SCCA Runoffs at Daytona Beach.

First and last Chevrolet Corvette L88 (photo via Mecum Auctions)

First and last Chevrolet Corvette L88 (photo via Mecum Auctions)

L88 production spanned the C2 and C3 generations of the Corvette, so the final production L88 is a Fathom Green C3 coupe from 1969. It was manufactured on Dec. 4 of that year, believed to be the last day of production for the L88.

Both cars have been treated to meticulous restorations, according to the auction listing.

This isn’t the only historic muscle car duo at Mecum’s Florida auction. The company is also offering 1970 Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda “pilot cars,” believed to be among the earliest Chrysler E-Body convertibles built, once again as a set.

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