C3 Chevrolet Corvette L88: History, Engine, and Performance

There are many reasons the L-88 C3 Chevrolet Corvette is often called the baddest and biggest of the Vettes. Originally, the L-88 was offered as an option in the 1967 through 1969 C2 and C3 models. But Chevy did so almost secretly. Why? Because the L-88, developed by Zora Arkus-Duntov with help from Don Yenko and his Sunray DX Motorsports team, was built as a race machine, never really intended for street use. At 500-plus horsepower and a top speed of more than 170 mph, it is not too difficult to see the reasons Chevrolet wanted to keep more than a handful of people from owning this Corvette.


The L-88 Corvette had many features (in some cases the lack of) that
are indigenous to racers. This included leaving off such interior items
as the radio, the air conditioning and defrost/heating system, and in
the engine compartment leaving off the choke and fan shroud. Racing
gear included were larger valves, a stronger crankshaft, heavy-duty
dampers and coil springs, a cowl-induction hood, heavy-duty brakes
(power assisted), a G81 posi-traction differential, the choice between
a M20 Hydramatic or M22 Rock Crusher transmission, and 12.5:1 pistons.
Other racing standards included cold-air induction, radical timing, and
dual-feed carburetion.

The L-88 C3 was made from 1968-1969 in both convertible and coupe models, with only around 200 of these Corvettes built.