Corvette indirectly supported a motor sports program in 1968 with the COPO L88 option. This was a special order that let prospective buyers receive a brand new Coupe or Convertible that had the big block L88 engine installed. The intention was to sell these to private teams and each further developed their cars from season to season.
Zora Arkus-Duntov began the L88 project in 1967 with great success winning the 1967 Sebring 12-Hour race from both Don Yenko and the Sunray DX Motorsports team.
The L88 was a big-block 427 in³ that produced around 550 to 560 bhp in stock form. Some of the teams were able to tune this engine to upwards of 600 bhp on racing fuel and with a large exhaust. Unlike the street L71 engine, the L88 had a strengthened crankshaft, 12.5:1 pistons, cold air induction and a 850 CFM dual feed Holley carburetor. As with any racing machine, the L88 left out the fan shroud, choke and and heating system.
L88 chassis upgrades were fairy limited. GM added the M22 Rock Crusher transmission, heavy duty brakes, heavy duty coil springs and a G81 positraction differential.