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- Photo Credit: Horsepower Memories

The Bonkers C3 Vette You Probably Never Heard Of

For those of you who don't know what you're looking at, say hello to the extremely rare 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1. It is the 4th most powerful Corvette ever made currently and the powerful Vette of the 20th century.

The ZL-1 looked very similar to the standard C3 both inside and out but that's were the similarities end. It was basically a racecar for the road. It's engine was based on the L88 427 but instead, it had a thick Aluminum block that made it 100lbs lighter than the normal L88. It also had a higher lift camshaft and different duration than the L88. Other differences included, better journal web areas, and external web braces. The car also had a dry sump oil system, an optional gear drive for the camshaft, and a Holley 850 carburetor that fed gas to it. The car was also very light. It weighed around 3,100lbs. To put that into perspective, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 weighs 3,560lbs.

All of this led to a car that made close to 525 horsepower, but it was hilariously understated at 430 horsepower because it was better for insurance. The ZL-1 was also really fast of the line doing the 0-60 sprint in 4 seconds flat and a mind boggling 1/4 mile time of 12.1 seconds at 116mph. The top speed of this bonkers C3 is estimated to be over 190mph but under 200 because of an aerodynamic issue the car had. The 1969 Corvette ZL1 was also the most powerful production Corvette ever made for 40 years until the C6 Corvette ZR1 came out in 2009.

So why is this special Corvette unheard of to many people? Well it was really expensive at the time costing $11,000 and only two of them were made and sold through Chevrolet dealerships even though there were supposed to be more. This makes the car extremely rare. One was a Yellow coupe with a black U shape graphic on it like the one pictured at the top of the article, and the other was white. Although there are rumors that other Corvette ZL1s exist, they don't have any legitimate documentation that they exist.

What do think of the Corvette? Let me know in the comments. Also don't forget to follow me and join Lost In Transmission for more articles about cool, forgotten vehicles.

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