Last week, we wrote to tell you about a 1969 Chevy L88 Corvette that was going up for auction this past weekend through Mecum Dallas (click here!). Well, that Vette failed to sell when it didn't meet reserve, but this beautiful L88 did - and boy, did it bring in a pretty penny. The '67 you see here is one of only 20 L88 Vettes produced in its model year and it sold for a whopping $3.2 million.
The Corvette was purchased new by Jim Elmer of Portland, Oregon at Lyman Slack Chevrolet with the intent to race and went on to become the winner of the '67 NHRA A/Sports class at the Indy Nationals. It comes documented with the tank sticker and quite a few vintage photographs and times slips, including one from Puyallup Dragway in Washington, which was its first pass - an 11.47-second run with the sole addition of 7-inch slicks and headers. The Vette mostly raced throughout the Pacific Northwest and ran a best of 11.12 seconds at 127.56 mph.
In 1968, it was sold to Rob Robinson, who is responsible for placing it among the Top 4 and 5 in national points standings throughout its career. Robinson paid only $5,000 for the Corvette with a damaged transmission and rear end. Under his ownership, the L88 went on to run at all of the most popular West Coast venues, including Irwindale, Half Moon Bay, Woodburn, Seattle, Puyallup, and occasionally Boise, Idaho. Robinson described the car as being "totally impressive for its era" and "in a class of its own," as it was consistently running 11.1 and 11.3 second quarter-miles at approximately 125-130 mph.
When Robinson sold the car (returned to street trim) to well-known Corvette restorer Tim Thorpe, a restoration began, which was eventually finished under Buddy and Nova Herin's watch after they purchased it from him a couple years later.
The Herins entrusted the car to the Naber Brothers, who became responsible for the completion of the restoration with the factory Marlboro Maroon/Black Stinger color combination as well as a soft top. Inside, original door panels and seat covers exist, complimented by new carpet.
The beautiful L88 also possesses its original body panels (the only '67 L88 convertible known to retain them) and factory side exhaust. Under the hood lies an L88 427 cubic-inch engine producing 430 horsepower, paired with an M22 4-speed manual transmission and 4.11 rear end. It also features an F41 Special Suspension. J56 heavy-duty brakes and J50 power brakes make sure that the Kelsey Hayes finned aluminum bolt-on wheels, wrapped in Firestone non-DOT redline tires, stop when they're supposed to.
Throughout the restoration process, Buddy Herin realized that the color the car had been painted, also called Marlboro Maroon, was not the exact color as the originals he had seen, so DuPont was asked to produce a correctly-matching paint. The product has now been adapted by the National Corvette Restorers Society in its restoration guidelines.
More recently, the Corvette has been a 2008 participant of the Bloomington Gold L88 Invasion, and also won a Regional NCRS Top Flight award in 1997.