This Is What A $3 Million Chevrolet Corvette Looks Like

Classic Cars / 13 Comments

It's a one-of-one.

This one-of-one 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible, on auction through RM Sotheby's, is expected to reach an eye-watering $3 million.

Chevy's Corvette has always been a massively collectible sports car. It has done well at auction, but at this level of investment, the humble Corvette is nearing classic European demand levels.

Even the all-new 2023 Chevrolet Corvette seems to be in extremely high demand these days. Recently we covered a brand new Z06 for sale at a whopping $375K.

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Few Corvette models demand the same respect as this one-of-one 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible. This car is one of only two Corvettes of the 1969 model year fitted with the beefy factory-built aluminum 427 ZL-1 engine, and it's the only one with a soft top.

In 1969, Chevrolet made available a very exclusive factory option, codenamed factory-built aluminum 427 ZL-1. This option cost an eye-watering $3,000 (about $24,330 in today's money), more than doubling the price of the car. This bought you a race-bred 427 all-aluminum V8 engine from CanAm racing.

This engine produces a healthy 560 horsepower thanks to upgraded camshafts, crankshaft, pistons, and exhaust valves, and it feeds power through an M40 automatic transmission to the rear wheels. The package also bagged you upgraded suspension, better brakes, and a slight weight reduction. Chevy removed nice-to-haves such as the radio, power windows, and the A/C to lighten things up.

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This specific car, chassis 194679S710209, has been owned by owner John W. Maher since 1968 and was used to race in hillclimb and rallycross events in Western Pennsylvania. Maher also fitted some choice parts, such as a pair of side pipes and a spare 4.11:1 rear end.

By September 1969, Maher had blown the original block, and a new one was installed under warranty. The car then went into hibernation and underwent a complete restoration by Bill Andrejko Auto Restorations of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and was unveiled during the 1991 National Corvette Homecoming in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

By 2021 the car had seen many shows and events and was refreshed by Kevin Mackay's Corvette Repair Inc, who restored its factory-correct Monaco Orange paint and black vinyl interior. Since then, this car has won numerous awards, and this is the first time the vehicle has been offered publicly.

This rare 'Vette goes on auction on Thursday, 26 January 2023, and is expected to sell for between $2.6 and $3 million.

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