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!
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.
Various upgrade packages were offered by Motion Industries, for the Chevrolet models included within the Baldwin Corvette partnership. The most prominent of these packages included the SS (425 HP) and Phase III (500+ HP) offerings. These cars not only came with a performance promise, but a guarantee to back it up. All Phase III cars came with a personal guarantee.
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.
Only Bill Mitchell could get away with this. Bill always managed to have a hot daily ride. Engineering prototypes that weren't street-legal stayed behind the fence, but many of the show car Corvettes managed to go home with Bill. His usual statement on his "design study" cars was, "This thing runs like a bear!" For the Mulsanne Bill added, "This is the best Stingray ever."
Did you know that the earliest ZR1 Corvettes came into existence long before any of these later iterations? If not, then take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with one the rarest small-block production Corvettes of all time - the 1970-1972 Corvette ZR1. From 1970 to 1972, Chevrolet offered the ZR1 Special Engine Package, which featured a small-block LT1 engine.
When one of his cars was severely damaged in 1972, John Greenwood converted his 1969 L88 Convertible into a formidable race car. Included as the formidable ZL1 engine with 750 bhp on tap. Other modifications included a rear spoiler, quick replacement radiator and camber adjusters. At Le Mans, this car set the GT-class record for top speed down the Le Mans straight with 215 mph.
Finally in 1971, both the ZR1 and ZR2 packages were offered side by side as initially intended. The solid lifter, 350 cubic-inch LT-1 found under the hood of the ZR1 featured a ‘178’ high-performance camshaft and a 780 CFM Holley four-barrel carburetor, which resided atop a specialized aluminum intake. The LT-1 featured a reduced compression ratio of 9.0:1 for the 1971 production year, relative to 11.0:1 specified the year prior.
Greenwood didn’t just build Corvettes for the track, constructing a variety of different street car kits over the years. The story goes that the original ’wagon concept was commisioned by a drummer who wanted a Vette with enough cargo space to haul his drums to various gigs. Since the demise of the Corvette trunk, easily accessible cargo areas were definitely on the wish list for many enthusiasts. Chuck Miller designed and built this first Shark-era Sportwagon.
1978 was significant because it marked the cars 25th anniversary of production. Recognizing the achievement of manufacturing a car for a quarter-century, Chevrolet commemorated this accomplishment by introducing two special-edition Corvette that year. The first of these was known as the "Silver Anniversary" edition Corvette. It featured a two-tone silver over gray exterior with special pin-striping and special "25th Anniversary" badging.
The 1978 Silver Anniversary Edition Corvette was developed to offer consumers a “collectible” model that commemorated one of Corvette’s milestone production anniversaries (its twenty-fifth anniversary in this case) in a way that had ever been done previously with any Corvette model year that had come before it. The car was mechanically identical to 1978 counterparts.
Chevrolet had actually planned on making a family minded sports car at a rate of 40 per year, and to call it "Corvette America." It was designed by California Custom Coach in Pasadena. The one prototype and five production cars that were assembled were built by cutting two cars in half which, when mated together, extended the wheelbase of the vehicle by 30 inches.
The Duntov Turbo was built as a partnership between American Custom Industries (ACI), a company known for building replacement Corvette body panels, and Zora Arkus-Duntov. It was developed as a highly-stylized convertible sports car based on the production model Corvette. Each of the special Duntov Turbo's also came with a turbocharged V8.
The major differences between the 1980 and 1982 Daytona and the 1981 GTO are the hood, the tops of the rear fenders, and the rear spoiler/bumper cover. The Daytona had an elaborate, short vertical fin on top of the rear fender that turned several turns “in and back,” flowing to the wide, long, table-like rear spoiler. The GTO’s rear fenders pontoons are the same as.
What you see before you is a 1982 Chevrolet Corvette that has been fitted with a rare Greenwood Daytona body kit. The most extreme of the Greenwood brothers' kits, the Daytona body kit is a highly sought-after modification that was developed by race-winning specialists Burt and John Greenwood.
To celebrate the departure of the third-generation Corvette, Chevrolet decided to offer a final commemorative “Collectors Edition” model. However, recalling their experience with the 1978 Pace Car Replicas it was decided that the 1982 Collector Edition Corvettes would be built only “as needed” to satisfy customer orders and that they would get unique vehicle identification plates to help deter someone from turning a standard car into a Collectors Edition knock-off.