1969 Corvette Stingray Overview

The 1968 Corvette introduced the market to the third generation of
the Corvette, better known as the Stingray.  When the first C3 hit the
streets it sported a sleek new body and improved interior, but the
engine options were carried over from 1967.  The 1969 Corvette Stingray
saw few aesthetic changes but buyers did get some of the new engine
options that they had hoped for in 1968.

The base model engine was a new 350 cubic inch small block making the
same 300 horsepower as the 1968 base model 327 and the optional small
block was the same 350hp 327 that was offered in 1968.  The 390 and 400
horsepower variants of the 427 big block were also offered for the 1969
Stingray and the premium 427 Tri-Power L88 big block was still available
with an advertised 435 horsepower. 

The biggest engine news for the 1969 Corvette Stingray was the
introduction of the ZL1 engine package.  This was similar in design to
the L88 427 but the ZL1 used an aluminum engine block and cylinder heads
and with some special tuning efforts this $4,700 offered an advertised
430 horsepower.  In reality, the ZL1 Corvette Stingray made closer to
530 horsepower and some sources within GM have stated that with further
tuning, the ZL1 427ci big block was capable of making over 700
horsepower.

The physical changes to the 1969 Corvette Stingray were the addition
of 8-inch wide wheels rather than the 7-inch wheels offered in 1968, as
well as Stingray nameplates, blacked out front grill inserts, front
fender vents and a side exit exhaust system.  Along with these changes
came an increase in price, as the 1969 Corvette Stingray would set a new
buyer back $4,780 ? $117 more than the previous year’s Stingray.

Finally, to give the 1969 Corvette Stingray a little more comfort and
a sportier feel for the driver, the 1969 model came with revised door
panels to offer more shoulder and arm space and a new 17-inch black
vinyl-wrapped steering wheel.  By year’s end, the changes to the 1969
Corvette were enough to boost sales by more than 30% with 38,462
Stingrays sold during the 1969 model year.  The 1969 model year also
benefited from another delay, as the 1970 model was not ready until very
late in the 1969 calendar year, allowing dealerships to sell new 1969
Corvettes until December of that year.