The L88 was a Corvette built with the single minded intention to be the fasted streetcar in production, with little concession to creature comforts like power steering, air conditioning or a radio. You wouldn’t be able to hear it over the roar of the 427 aluminum headed monster under the hood anyway, so what would be the point? The L88 special-performance option added a substantial boost to the Corvette’s already heady price tag. But, for the choice few who knew to check RPO L88 on the order form, it was more than worth the price of admission to a very exclusive club. Call it the 1 of 80 Club. And for the street (and track) supremacy it gave its new owner! The ’68 L88 was a “sleeper” in that it gave away very little to its true identity. The only thing that distinguished it from its other big block siblings (from the outside, at least) was a large domed, cowl induction hood with 4 2 7 emblazoned on each side. The reality was that the similarities ended as soon as that hood was opened! The option was purposely under-rated by the factory at 430hp (5hp less than RPO L71) to discourage the average Corvette buyer from plunking down their hard earned cash on what was essentially a barely streetable race car. In actuality, the L88’s true horsepower was closer to 600!! As a result, only 80 ’68 L88’S were produced in the second year of its 3 year production (20 in ’67 and 116 in ’69). A rare one indeed and the ultimate collectible Corvette ever produced! The absolute best hidden secret of the 68 L88 was that it was the last year for true 2 ½ inch exhaust. It also is the last year for the key in the dash which is so old school. Reminds you of the cars we drive today. Except it’s a button we push in the dash.
This incredible L88 rolled off the line in St. Louis in May of ’68. The Original owner was a man named Robert H. Rumor has it that Robert is still alive. He was a merchant marine and the L88 was his driver when he wasn’t at sea. When he returned home from long months away he missed driving her. Even nick named her; Thunder Buggy. It was a terror in the Grand Rapids Michigan area. A change of ownership at Barrett Jackson via a divorce and it eventually found its way to TX. where the warm sun had been kind to her. When basking in the Texas sun was no longer desirable a short trip to N California seemed to do the old girl some good. There she joined back up with other L88 family members from 1967 and 1969. All three were silver and all three were convertibles. Quite a collection one might add. But even in a collection as such, this old lady was the only one that didn’t have a heart transplant. (get it)?
All of its owners have managed to hold onto almost every piece of documentation including the original Owner’s Kit, Warranty Book with Protect-O-Plate, Original Window Sticker, Dealer’s New Vehicle Inspection Sheet, original Certificate of Title and even the original set of keys!. In addition to the documentation, this particular Corvette was ordered with many special options that are rarely seen on these L88’s. Such as leather seats, and removable hard top (in addition to the soft top) and head restraints. The special L88 add-on’s include the close ratio M22 (Rock Crusher) 4-spd. transmission, G81 3.55 Posi rear end, J50/J56 heavy duty brakes. Transistorized ignition and F41 suspension. All L88’s are rare to be sure, but what set’s this particular example apart from most of the rest is that residing under that domed hood, is the car’s original engine! Yes, you read that right; IT’S ORIGINAL ENGINE!! As most are aware, these beasts were factory race cars, plain and simple. So what do you do with a race car? You race it, of course! And race they did, on road courses, drag strips and . . . from one stop light to the next! Blocks were cracked, valves were dropped, bearings were spun. That’s the nature of racing. Engines were rebuilt to race another day, but eventually most original blocks were discarded in favor of new ones. No one knew back then that 40 years hence an original engine’d L88 would be as rare as the proverbial hen’s tooth and worth as much as a diamond encrusted hens grille! Well, we do now! And Corvette Mike has found what is likely one of the very finest examples ever offered for sale! This 36k mile Silverstone Silver bullet has been beautifully and sympathetically restored by Corvette Corner in Houston, TX. while retaining not only its original engine, but its beautiful original interior, as well. Besides the previously mentioned documentation, the car also has a large binder documenting the restoration in both photos and receipts. And to add icing to this awesome cake, Engine, Trim Tag and Window Sticker verification by C.C.A.S.! No true muscle/sports car collection would be complete without an L88. But an L88 such as this ’68 is the absolute “Holy Grail” of RARE, must have investment Corvettes!! In the world of today’s astute wealthy collector; 4 very important components make up the collectible value of the piece; Original Documentation, Original Engine, Good colors, Good history. If you have 3 that’s good news. If you have all 4 you can add a minimum of 35% to the highest recorded price ever published. Star rated all 4 stars!!!!