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The L88 was a special option package developed under the direction of Zora Arkus-Duntov, director of GM’s performance division. First introduced in 1967, the L88 Corvette featured a highly modified version of Chevy’s 427-cubic-inch V-8 engine. Although this engine received a factory horsepower rating of 435, actual engine output was somewhere between 540 and 580 horsepower, giving the “stock” L88 enough power to run a quarter-mile in the high-11-second range!
In 1969, Chevrolet changed the perception of Corvette forever by introducing the ultra-powerful ZL-1 Corvette with a 427 CI engine producing 585 horsepower! The 1969 ZL-1 Corvette came equipped with an entirely new big-block engine option that produced more horsepower than any Corvette that had come before it. Any Corvette, when ordered with RPO ZL1, came fitted with an all-aluminum 427 C.I. engine that featured a dry-sump oil system and which weight approximately 100 pounds less.
Power and blinding acceleration were the driving forces behind the development of the 1968-1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427. Only 390 1969 Corvettes were built with the famous L89 427 and while the L89 option was chosen 624 times in 1968, it is still a rare beast relative to total production. The 427 CI engine was good for 435 HP and a strong 460 lb-ft of torque making it one of the best-accelerating cars of its time.