The now-famous L88 made its debut in this red, white and blue Sunray DX Motorsports Corvette. It raced to victory at the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring in the hands of drivers Dave Morgan and Don Yenko to finish 1st in GT class and 10th overall.
This sucess motivated General Motors to later offer the same components for future race cars. The L88 package included many competition components like an M22 ‘Rock Crusher’ transmission, large disc brakes, upgraded suspension and an alumunim head 427. Shortly after the race, the L88 option would be offered on production cars which was a tormedous package for a road-going machine. It still the most powerfull engine that has ever appeared in a production Corvette.
The engine itself had numerious special components: a new forged crank, 12.5:1 pistons, cold air induction and alloy cylinder heads.
Other changes to the car included a complete removal of all luxuries. Chevrolet removed heater, radio, air conditioning and choke. To compensate for these deletions, an F41 suspension, K66 ignition transistor, J56 power discs, G81 positraction differential and a large aluminum radiator were added.
L88 was a race car and Chevrolet wanted to keep it on the track. If the deletion of several creature comforts wasn’t enough, the advertising for the car rated the L88 as having less horsepower than the cheaper L71 package. Chevrolet released a figure of 430hp at 4600 rpm. This was well below the actual peak power which was 600 hp at 6500 rpm.
The Sunray DX L88 is an important car because it was one of the first L88s made. It was also one of only 20 L88 corvettes made that year. Don Yenko helped convince Chevrolet to build the L88 package specifically so the DX Sunray team could go racing at Sebring.
This spectacular example was recently offered for public sale by RM Auctions. Having undergone a complete restoration that brought that car back to its 1967 configuration the car was the most impressive Corvette at the sale. The car’s oustanding achievement was a first in class at Daytona in 1968. That race, the car even outpaced the 1968 Stingray L88s. The car recieved a high bid of $900 000 USD but did not reach the reserve price..