Corvette’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.