Only 216 examples of this Arkus-Duntov-developed gem exist.
Just like the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was the ultimate variant of the C7 generation, the fabled L88 played the same role for the C3. But unlike the C7 ZR1, Chevy didn't advertise the L88. This didn't mean it wasn't available for purchase, but executives knew it had to be kept on the DL: it kind of violated GM's ban on factory racing that began after 1963. The ban didn't apply to private racing teams not associated with the company, but this decision didn't sit well with some at GM.
Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Corvette's famed godfather, was one of them. As director of GM's performance division, Arkus-Duntov understood his employer's mistake and did his best to undermine it without getting fired.
In 1967, he came up with a brilliant idea: a highly modified, limited edition Corvette powered by the 427 cubic inch V8 capable of producing between 540 and 580 horsepower, though it was rated at 435 hp. A four-speed manual came standard. Arkus-Duntov completed the package by eliminating options like air conditioning and a radio. He also managed to get the engine designated for off-road use only. "Off-road" meant for the track.
A total of just 216 examples of the C3 L88 package were built between 1967 and 1969, with only 80 built in '68. One of those is now for sale on Bring A Trailer. This is the Holy Grail for classic Corvette collectors and the $150,000 auction price, as of this writing, reflects that. There's still plenty of time for that to increase because the auction concludes on March 23.
With a mere 17,000 miles on the odometer, this LeMans Blue over Medium Blue vinyl example was restored by its previous owner and since won some prestigious awards. Removable body-color roof panels, chrome bumpers and trim, and pop-up headlights are just a few notable features. It's possible to distinguish an L88 thanks to a unique hood with a functional scoop with an integrated air chamber.
As far as we can tell, everything about the car is original, such as the silver-painted 15-inch Rallye wheels with chrome hubcaps and trim rings. Other L88 standard features include a heavy-duty suspension and brake packages with goodies like unique shock absorbers and upgraded calipers. Only 103-octane can be used. The sale includes a ton of paperwork including a copy of the window sticker and a list of past awards.