- D​aybreak on the tarmac with the only original-engine 1967 L-88 Coupe in the world. Photos & Story: Royce Rumsey

"'SoL'-88"

U​nique, Perfect and Fast. Very, very fast. This L-88 is part of Automotive history.

1y ago
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“Z-28”, “ZR-1”, “Z-06” are all well-known and respected automotive brands.

What makes these brands unique in the annals of business marketing is that GM successfully created them from something as trivial and pedestrian as official order forms—as each started as a simple Regular Production Option such as “RPO-Z28”. And the most revered and famous of all such order-number brands is the legendary “L-88”.

“L-88” is usually enunciated in low, reverent tones—as it’s also often spoken of as being the “Holy Grail’ of Corvettes (and “production” high-performance cars in general). As such, L-88s are simply THE most desirable, respected, and valuable versions of “America’s Sports Car”—often commanding prices well above $3,000,000.00 .

The solar-hued (“Sunfire Yellow”, code 984) 1967 Coupe seen here is arguably, the most revered and desirable L-88 of the 216+ ever produced (and only 20 made in 1967). It’s the only-known 1967 L-88 coupe with the original “Rat” motor and it’s been lovingly and meticulously restored over a multi-year painstaking process of securing and restoring original factory components (down to the smallest detail)—and assembling such at concours level care.

E​arly morning with the L-88 at the Lyon Air Museum

E​arly morning with the L-88 at the Lyon Air Museum

F​-41, M-22, radio and heater delete. Yeah, it's serious.

F​-41, M-22, radio and heater delete. Yeah, it's serious.

The rarity of the original engine status results from the fact that L-88’s were Zora’s dream of making actual racing specification Corvettes available to the public. The initial 1967 models were powered by a highly modified and evolved version of the already famous “mystery motor” 427--producing actual 540-580hp (vs. the advertised 430hp). Mated to the mighty, howling Muncie M-22 “rock-crusher” 4-speed and a high-ratio, positraction rear-end and F-41 suspension the L-88’s would deliver 11 second quarter mile times (and remember, this is on skinny, bias-ply tires of the time) as well as bringing home trophies from international road races.

That's one serious "Rat"...

That's one serious "Rat"...

V​erified original engine numbers for this most rare and desireable of Corvette

V​erified original engine numbers for this most rare and desireable of Corvette

Only offered sans radio and AC, and requiring 103 octane gas, very few L-88s were street driven (thank goodness pump $.35per gallon Sonoco 360 was available at the time). But indeed, the L-88 could be driven on the street—with one example of such being when Dick Gulstrand, Bob Bonderant and Dick Yenko drove their 1967 L-88 from the Paris airport directly to La Sarthe to compete at LeMans—and then set a record speed of 171.5mph on Mulsanne in the very same ‘street’ L-88!

.​..sharing the tarmac with another fast-flying warrior--an A-26 Invader.

.​..sharing the tarmac with another fast-flying warrior--an A-26 Invader.

Due to their competition heritage very few original engine L-88s like this remarkable Coupe remain. Furthermore, this magnificent 1967 L-88 Coupe has garnered the highest possible awards in Corvette concours excellence—winning the Bloomington Gold twice, winning the Triple Diamond Award and securing the nearly-impossible Duntov Mark of Excellence title! When it comes to a revered and respected Corvette…this ’67 Coupe is without peer.

I​mpressive milage on the clock...

I​mpressive milage on the clock...

C​oveted Bloomington Gold Winner, twice. And, BTW, also Triple Diamond and Duntov Mark of Excellence winner!

C​oveted Bloomington Gold Winner, twice. And, BTW, also Triple Diamond and Duntov Mark of Excellence winner!

This phenomenal ’67 L-88 Coupe has been in the careful stewardship of an elite collector for the last few years and runs incredibly strong while retaining it’s 100pt concours-winning perfection. It immediately fires with a ‘wake the dead’ and menacing, aggressive cam loping idle and drives with authorative (albeit, thirsty) sound and stance.

Owning this car is being a curator to one the greatest examples of automotive history. This historic Corvette is being managed by Mike Vietro.

Serious inquiries only, contact: www.corvettemike.com

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Comments (6)

  • Hi Royce! Nice to see you! Great car, great story and vey great photographs! Greetings from Spain!

      1 year ago
  • I envy that you had the opportunity to photograph this. What a gorgeous car. Great article and phenomenal photographs!

      1 year ago
  • Okay, Mike Vietro of Corvette Mike owns it, huh? Anyway, as far as the Holy Grail of the Corvette has concerned it should be the 1968 Coupe with the ZL-1 option. That car's engine is a bit tweaked up L88 and only two cars were made to go win at the drag strips. Once, when the Los Angeles Times' owner claimed as he has one, but he real ones are; one is owned by the dealer in Florida and another one owned by the individual and those are confirmed as the real ones. The wealthiest of wealthy owner of LA Times had so many rare cars but his ZL-1 was a fake one.

      1 year ago
  • These pictures are so real that they look unreal! The L88 is a super-underrated engine if you ask me

      1 year ago
  • Thanks for sharing. Such an incredible car!

      1 year ago
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