1969 L88 Corvette - Rock Star

Mark Donnally's '69 L88 Lives The Pampered Life Of A Celebrity

Wade Cassels Apr 14, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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The world of Corvette collecting is a niche unto itself. But even within that niche, there are pockets of collectors for all types and variations of Corvettes. Some collect by generation. Others like pace cars, anniversary editions, or Grand Sports. You name it and somebody, somewhere, collects it.

For Mark Donnally of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, L88s are the thing.

"I'm an L88 nut," Mark says. "The '67s are too expensive, so I started looking for '68s and '69s. By 1996, I had found eight L88s that suited my needs of being absolutely stock, fully documented, and having won major awards."

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The L88 engine is a unique powerplant in many ways, both above and below the valve covers. Per usual, the engine came without ignition shielding and the distributor-mounted vacuum-advance mechanism never had a vacuum-line attachment point. All very special factory stuff.

This car met Mark's requirements and then some.

"I found it in Hemmings," he says. "I went [from Kentucky] to Connecticut to inspect it, and I bought the car on the spot. I was attracted to the side pipes, the color (I like green), and the fact it was so well documented."

This Corvette has two buildsheets-one on the framerail and another glued to the fuel tank. But to find more documentation, Mark would have to do some detective work.

"It took me about a year of searching on the Internet to locate the original owner," Mark says. Alfred R. Eubanks Jr. was the first to experience this L88, and though he owned it only about a year, he made the most of that time. "He raced it extensively in and around the streets of Seattle," Mark adds. "But after a year of associated headaches trying to keep his L88 running, he traded it in for a four-door grocery getter." That was in September 1970, and Eubanks has not seen the car since. But Mark says he plans to rectify that. "I am reuniting him with the car at the NCRS meet in Charlotte in April 2004," he says. "He and I have had a lot of discussions and I've sent him pictures and even some video of the car. He says it is exactly how he remembers it. For example, the car had redline tires when I bought it. They looked good, but of course, that's not how it originally came."

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Eubanks has reciprocated, providing Mark with some valuable pieces of documentation, including the bill of sale, pre-delivery sheet, and the Protect-O-Plate, as well background info on the car's history.

"I'm a mid-year guy," he says, "but this is the most special car I've had." That is high praise from a man who once owned Porter Wagner's '67 435 Corvette.

One of this Stingray's most outstanding features is the original side pipes. "Those are carbon-steel GM pipes," Mark says. "There's no aluminum or stainless. To me, they're sexy."

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