It’s an interesting topic to discuss about vintage Corvette Sting Rays – there are rare factory drivetrain options and there are rare factory colors. Of course the rarest of all Corvettes were the ones that were never built. An RPO that could have been optioned, but no one ordered it that year, or the options that appeared in Corvette order guides and then were cancelled by the factory before any were produced.
For 1967 there was only two cars made with the N03 36-gallon “tanker” option, and 16 with the L89 aluminum cylinder head option added to the 3,754 cars ordered with the 435hp L71. At first glance the 1967 Corvette convertible crossing the block at the Leake auction in Oklahoma City on Saturday, February 20, 2016 might not appear to be all that rare because it is one of 14,436 1967 convertibles, and one of 3,464 in Marlboro Maroon. It is the combination of the year’s most popular body style coupled with the second most popular color that makes this 1-of-16 L89 equipped car very rare.
Leake Auction Company stated, “After meticulous inspection and research, we’ve confirmed that one of the Corvettes from the Tom Falbo Collection appears to be a 1967 L89. The convertible features a 427 V-8, 435hp aluminum head L89 engine and carries the VIN 194677S121397. It is Marlboro Maroon with a white stinger and white interior. The 1967 Corvette L89 will be offered without reserve during Leake’s Oklahoma City Auction at the Fairgrounds, February 19-21.”
Roy Sinor made the discovery, the most recently retired NCRS National Judging Chairman. Sinor served in the position for seventeen years and was honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Leake Auction Company contracted Roy to inspect all of the Corvettes from the Tom Falbo Collection. Based on his research, he confirmed the following about the L89:
* 1 of 16 L89’s – as with the majority of these cars, there is no GM documentation
* Power steering and brakes
* Original GM issued trim tag with June 21, 1967 date
* St. Louis convertible body S8917
* Trim code 988AA – indicating Marlboro Maroon
* Engine assembly code indicates T0512IU on the engine pad, which is the L89 designation for the engine. Assembled on May 12, 1967
* VIN derivative on the engine pad is 7121397
* 4-bolt main engine block was cast on March 31, 1967
* Machined and assembled in May and placed in a Corvette that was built in June
Richard Sevenoaks, president of Leake Auction Company stated, “As one of the rarest Corvettes ever produced, this was an incredible discovery. We have been scrutinizing all of the Corvettes from the Falbo Collection for over a month now, verifying the authenticity of each one. Obviously we were thrilled to discover this L89 coded engine. This is a Corvette you do not see every day on the auction block. It will be offered without reserve, giving everyone the opportunity to own a valuable piece of Corvette history.”