The Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction came to a close last Sunday after a weeks-worth of incredible and rare cars crossed the block – and Chevrolet was right in the middle of it all. Two Corvettes – a ’67 and a ’69 – took the top two spots in highest sales fetching millions.
The first, a 1967 Corvette L88, sold for a $3.85 million price tag, almost a million more than the second top seller, the 1969 Corvette #57 Rebel Convertible Race Car which sold for $2.86 million.
The 1967 L88 is an extremely rare vehicle as only twenty were produced with the intent of being serious performers on the racetrack. The L88s were designed without fan shrouds, chokes, radios, or heaters. The 427 cubic-inch L88 features 12.5:1 compression, high-lift cam, 850cfm 4-barrel carburetor, and aluminum heads, and was underrated by General Motors at 430 horsepower. They also came complete with an M22 4-speed transmission, J56 heavy-duty brakes, J50 power brakes, an F41 suspension, K66 transistor ignition, G81 4.56 Positraction, and shoulder harness.
This particular ’67 L88 is the only known Red on Red L88 produced for the model year and is complete with a legible order copy Tank Sheet, which has been validated by the GM/NCRS Document Validation Service. It is also the only ’67 L88 to attain an NCRS 98.2 Regional Top Flight Award and 98.4 National Top Flight in 2001, as well as a Regional Performance Verification Award, and the Ultimate award for Corvette restoration or preservation, the NCRS Mark of Excellence Award, in the same year.
The 1969 Corvette #57 Rebel Convertible Race Car is a world record holder, which has gained worldwide notoriety through past publications on the cover of Autoweek, Corvette News, and Corvette Corner. The ’69 is also an L88 car, which was ordered new by Or Costanzo, a professional racer, who took delivery from Ferman Chevrolet in Tampa, Florida in January of 1969. There were only four of these lightweight L88s built and they were all equipped with open-chamber heads (an option unavailable to the public until June of that year).
Constanzo and Dave Heinz raced the car from 1969 through 1971, even appearing at 12 Hours of Sebring before going on to capture the IMSA championship. The car also took 8th overall and 1st place in the GT1 class at the 1972 24 Hours of Daytona race, employing the use of racing’s first set of radial tires from Goodyear. The Rebel continued on in the racing world for years, adding to its impressive resume.
As it sits, the ’69 has been fully restored to its 1972 Sebring trim and was displayed at the National Corvette Museum in 1994 and at the Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 1998. It also received the NCRS American Heritage Award in 2000.