The January 2014 auctions have concluded and the story of the events was continued strong sales across the board and the emergence of Corvette as a popular choice among high grade, investment quality options. While the Corvette brand falls short of other "blue chip" marques in multi-million sales figures, for the second year in a row a Corvette sold for more than 3 million dollars. A world record price was set for a Corvette at auction during Mecum’s event in Dallas last September, a 1967 L88 Corvette. That Corvette, a convertible painted in Marlboro Maroon from the Buddy Herin collection sold for a price of $3.2 million ($3.52 million including buyer's premium).
A new world record was set on January 18 in Scottsdale when a red-on-red 1967 L88 coupe was hammered down at $3.5 million ($3.85 million including buyer’s premium) during Barrett-Jackson’s week long auction. The outstanding second-generation Corvette was considered to be the finest 1967 L88 in the country and was represented by Roy Sinor, a well-known and recently-retired National Corvette Restorers Society judging chairman, and one of the experts Barrett-Jackson uses for Corvette consultations. Bidding was fierce and fast as it took the high performance Corvette less than one minute to reach a price of three million and less than another minute to break the standing record by almost ten percent.
This 1967 L88 is extremely rare, one of only twenty produced. The L88 engine was designed with one purpose...all-out performance on the racetrack. L88s were delivered practically race ready, there was no radio and no heater. The 427 cubic inch L88 engine came with 12.5:1 compression ratio, high-lift cam, 850 cfm four barrel carburetor and aluminum heads. It was intentionally under-rated for insurance purposes by General Motors at 430 horsepower. Stock, as delivered L88s actually have been dyno-tested at 560hp. The engine was designed to run on gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 103. Compare that to today's pump offerings that top out at about 93 octane.
This vehicle is the only known 1967 red/red L88 produced and it has GM documentation in the form of a legible Tank Sheet (Order Copy) that has been validated by the GM/NCRS Document Validation Service. Factory installed elements from the build sheet include the L88 427 engine, M22 heavy duty, close ratio 4-speed transmission, J56 heavy duty brakes, J50 power brakes, F41 suspension, K66 transistor ignition, G81 4.56 posi-traction rear axle and RPO A85 shoulder belts. This is the only 1967 L88 to have attained an NCRS 98.2 Regional Top Flight 2001, 98.4 National Top Flight 2001, a Regional Performance Verification Award and the Ultimate award for Corvette restoration or preservation-the NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence Award.
In Kissimmee, Mecum Auctions ran 400 Corvettes across the block. Composed of historical greats and highly desirable rarities, the Corvette lineup saw 232 change hands for a total of $11,896,560. Encompassed by those numbers were select vehicles from the Dr. Vance Shappley Collection including a 1969 L88 Convertible (Lot S165.1) that sold for $510,000, a 1963 Z06 Tanker (Lot S150.1) that hammered at $475,000 and a ’64 Big Tank Coupe (Lot S181.1) that sold for $350,000. Other notable sales in the Corvette realm included a 1968 L88 Coupe (Lot S179) that gaveled at $530,000 and a Triple Crown-awarded ’67 Coupe (Lot S156) hammering at $240,000.