1967 Corvette L88 2 Door Coupe Salon Collection (Photo: Barrett-Jackson)

The RPO L88 is Chevy’s answer to the Shelby Cobra 427. (Photo: )

’s Stingray is the iconic American sports car. Derived from an innovative 1958 race car conceived by legendary GM stylists Bill Mitchell and Larry Shinoda, it looks like nothing before or since. Equally legendary engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov gave it an independent rear suspension and 50/50 weight distribution, while Chevrolet’s various V8s made it the quickest and fastest car in the world when it appeared in 1963.

Over its five-year production run, the Stingray just got better and better: variable-rate springs, Delco four-wheel discs, knock-off alloy or Rallye wheels and best of all, the daunting big block V8.

Then there’s L88. RPO L88 is Chevrolet’s answer to the Shelby Cobra 427, a no-holds-barred race car just barely civilized enough to drive on the street. The 427cid V8 has a special block cast with high nickel-content steel. Among the race-oriented features are aluminum heads with 12.5:1 compression ratio, high-lift camshaft and 850cfm four barrel carburetor. General Motors had restrictions on advertised horsepower, so the L88 was intentionally underrated at 430hp, about one horsepower per cubic inch. The actual dynamometer output for a stock L88 is 560hp. L88 RPO is far more than just an engine. Along with a Muncie M22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed gearbox and G81 posi-traction Limited-Slip, the L88 Package includes J56 dual-pin caliper HD disc brakes, J50 power brakes, F41 special suspension, K66 transistor ignition and “Power Bulge” hood.

To save weight for racing, there is no radio, no heater, no air conditioning, no fan shroud — not even a carburetor choke. In addition, this L88 has the RPO A85 shoulder belts. Another feature that sets this L88 apart is the special order rear end ratio of 4.56:1, the drag racing rear end of choice. Most 1967 L88s were ordered with rear end ratios more suitable to road racing.

Only 20 L88s were built in 1967, and only one L88 was special ordered in Code 974 Rally Red with Code 407 Red Vinyl interior. A General Motors executive ordered it as a personal favor for his son’s friend, and the new L88 was delivered through Mike Savoie Chevrolet on famous Woodward Avenue in upscale Birmingham, Mich.

The son’s friend was a drag racer, and his car was used to evaluate performance parts by General Kinetics Camshaft Company. After an extensive drag-racing career primarily at Motor City Dragway, Detroit Dragway and Lapeer Dragway, the Stingray was sold in the early ‘70s to a high school auto shop teacher. It subsequently passed through the hands of many well-known Corvette collectors.

With only 11,800 miles showing on the odometer, it has now been completely restored by Naber’s Motors, the premier Corvette restoration shop in Houston, Tex., run by the famous Naber Brothers. Since restoration, it has been stored in a climate-controlled environment and maintained by a Certified GM Technician who oversees an extensive private collection.

This L88 Stingray is the crown jewel of Corvette collector . Not only is it the only known red on red L88 produced, but the engine is also a GM production L88 carrying the original engine code of T0418IT and the original GM broach marks. It has GM documentation in the form of a rare, legible Order Copy (Tank Sheet) validated by the General Motors/NCRS Document Validation Service. It is one of only two 1967 L88s with two NCRS Regional or National Top Flight Awards and Regional Performance Verification Awards. It’s in the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame and Bloomington Gold Special Collection and is the only 1967 L88 of record to have achieved the ultimate award for Corvette restoration or preservation, the NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence Award.

What more is there to say? The 1967 Corvette Stingray is the ultimate American sports car, the L88 is the ultimate 1967 Stingray and this one-off red on red coupe is the ultimate L88. Factor in a brilliant and correct restoration by recognized Corvette experts Ken and Gary Naber, authenticity in every detail, impeccable condition and every possible award including the Duntov Mark of Excellence, and this L88 is quite possibly the best of the best.

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Barrett-Jackson television schedule:

Tuesday, Jan. 14:

7-9 p.m., FOX Sports 2

9-11 p.m., FOX Business

Wednesday, Jan. 15:

7-9 p.m., FOX Sports 2

9-11 p.m., FOX Business

Thursday, Jan. 16:

7-9 p.m., FOX Sports 2

9-11 p.m., FOX Business

Friday, Jan. 17:

2-9 p.m., FOX Sports 1

9 p.m.-midnight, FOX Business

Saturday, Jan. 18:

3-5 p.m., FOX

5 p.m.-midnight, National Geographic

Sunday, Jan. 19:

2-5 p.m., FOX Sports 2

5-7 p.m., FOX Sports 1

All Times EST

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