Reserved for serious race teams and people in the know, the L88 was a thinly disguised race car sold straight from select GM dealers. The RPOL88 option included GM’s most powerful engine and was typically ordered as a Coupe, but a couple roadsters were also produced. In many ways these are now the ulimate C2 Sting Ray.
The L88 package included many competition components like an M22 ‘Rock Crusher’ transmission, large disc brakes, upgraded suspension and an aluminum head 427. It was offered on production cars which was a tremendous package for a road-going car. It was the most powerful engine offered in a production Corvette until the ZR1 of 2009.
The engine itself had numerous special components including a new forged crank, 12.5:1 pistons, cold air induction and aluminum-alloy cylinder heads.
Other changes to the car included a complete removal of all luxuries. This meant the the heater, radio, air conditioning and choke were removed. To compensate for these deletions, an F41 suspension, K66 ignition transistor, J56 power discs, G81 positraction differential and a large aluminum radiator were added.
The L88 was a race car and Chevrolet wanted to keep it on the track. If the deletion of several creature comforts wasn’t enough, 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 fell between 550 and 600 bhp.
The L88 instantly established its racing dominance with the Tuxedo Black 1967 convertible offered here, the very first regular production L88 Corvette built. Ordered by Tony DeLorenzo Jr., son of GM Public relations executive Anthony G. DeLorenzo, it was delivered to Hanley Dawson Chevrolet in Detroit, who also supplied the young DeLorenzo with all the equipment and financial backing necessary to mount a full campaign in SCCA A Production racing.