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Red 69 ZL1 yes or no?

 
Old 04-29-2005, 04:19 AM
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flyzlow
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Default Red 69 ZL1 yes or no?

Ok, I'm tired of raising eyebrows, chuckles and ridicule for voicing my belief that there were more than the two ZL1's that everyone has heard of and are in every corvette book I have ever seen. I lived in Denver in 1969 and was racing a 62 fuelie at rocky mt. dragway near LAFEYETTE and ERIE for anyone familiar with those two cities north of Denver. There was a father and son team with a candy apple 65 vette with dual quads sticking out of the hood. One weekend the son, whose name I knew but have forgotten, showed up in a red corvette that I remember him describing as a ZL1 and claiming massive horsepower. He proved it that day and wiped everyone including his dad off the track. I still have photos from that day of his car at speed on the 1/4 mile. I also remember hearing that he won the NHRA Winternationals that year with the ZL1. Last week at a club getogether I told the story and again was assured that no such red ZL1 ever existed. I wish someone could dispel the myth one way or another. Either I was deceived 36 years ago along with everyone else, including another local racer who acheived a level of notoriety, Judy Lilly, who routinely raced there as well as Castlerock Raceway, ThunderRoad and Bandimere or there was another ZL1. Red and redhot. Someone straighten me out once and for all. Check this out: www.corvettelegends.com go toZL1 at bottom of page. can someone elaborate or find out who researched this?

Last edited by flyzlow; 05-01-2005 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 04-29-2005, 04:50 AM
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No red.There is a yellow one and a white one.And as far as i know the yellow one is the only documented one.
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:34 AM
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:47 AM
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I want those pics!! Lets see em! I am wondering if a ZL1 engine could have been installed in a non ZL1? It is possible that is for sure! We all know that of course GM kept crappy records as well!
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 67tripwr
I want those pics!! Lets see em! I am wondering if a ZL1 engine could have been installed in a non ZL1? It is possible that is for sure! We all know that of course GM kept crappy records as well!

This seems the most likely answer... GM produced plenty of engines (given the demand), so it's very possible that he did a transplant.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:44 AM
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If I am not mistaken....There were 3 ZL-1s. The 3rd was orange and had only seen the race track. Sponsored by Gulf Oil.
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by flyzlow
Last week at a club getogether I told the story and again was assured that no such red ZL1 ever existed.



Originally Posted by flyzlow
Either I was deceived 36 years ago along with everyone else, including another local racer who acheived a level of notoriety, Judy Lilly, who routinely raced there as well as Castlerock Raceway, ThunderRoad and Bandimere or there was another ZL1.
You were deceived...prolly an over the counter motor, as there were many COPO Chevelles and Camaros with ZL1 motors and crate motors were available from any Cheby dealer....
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:34 AM
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Rowdy Rat
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Default ZL-1 Corvettes

We know a couple of things for certain about ZL-1 Corvette production for 1969...

The first is that GM records show two Corvettes with the ZL-1 option were produced for sale during the 1969 model year.

The second is that the Daytona yellow ZL-1 Corvette currently owned by Roger Judski is almost certainly a factory built car.


The issue with the first statement is that while the information that was reported is probably accurate, we don't know at this point whether these records are complete as well. GM never recorded production figures for base engine cars that I am aware of so there is no way to cross check engine prodution figures against total Corvette production to verify that two (and only two) ZL-1 Corvettes were built at St. Louis.

The issue with the second statement is that the Daytona yellow car was built for George Heberling who was (I believe) the production manager at St. Louis at the time. Because the car was built for use by a GM employee, would the production records have recognized this as a unit built for resale? I don't know anyone who can answer that question. While the history of this car all but guarantees that it was produced at St. Louis, there is no way to link the serial number of this car to two units GM says they produced for sale. Until such information is found, we can't say for certain whether this car is one of those two ZL-1s.

The CanAm white car owned by Kevin Suydam may very well be a real car, but if I remember correctly, the original owner listed in the documentation took delivery of the car with approximately 180 miles on the odometer and from a different dealership than where it was originally delivered. Lots of things could have happened in the 180 miles before the first owner took possession of the car. The original owner as well as the gentleman who restored the car claim to this day that it was a real ZL-1 so I'm willing to accept that for now. Regardless, you still run into the problem you have with the yellow car in that there is currently no way to tie the serial number in with the production records.

The Monaco orange car owned by John Maher is a one owner car that has always been in his possession. Newspaper records and people who knew the car claim it was a ZL-1 as far back as 1970. Is it real? Again, difficult to say, but it's tough to argue with someone who has owned the car since he took initial delivery in 1969. Of course, the engine could have been changed prior to sale as noted above... The lack of documentation doesn't help either.

Marty Schorr wrote of testing a black ZL-1 in 1969 for a magazine article. From what I remember about the story, the car came out of the press fleet... Did it really exist? Who's to say, but if so, that's another car to add to the list.

There's also a Lemans blue car floating around out there although the history and documentation have never been universally accepted.

As several people have noted, the engine was available OTC and I'm sure that several were installed this way... Which adds even more confusion to the matter.

For the time being, I'm willing to accept that there may have been more than two ZL-1 Corvettes built during the 1969 model year. I'll reassess the matter if more detailed information becomes available.

Regards,
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:30 PM
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'69 wasn't that long ago and there must be a few GM employees around that have the answer, I mean what about the guy who painted them and the guys who put the motors in, or put the ZL1 badges on them ( they did have some kind of ZL1 markings on them didn't they ? ) did that guy put them on 2 cars or 5 ? , heil where's the guy that said " Let's build 2 ZL1's today " can't see why this is such a mystery
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Old 04-29-2005, 02:45 PM
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It's such a mystery because cars were thought of as consumables 36 years ago. Even if you could talk to the guy on the assembly line, assuming his mind was sharp as a razor today, I really doubt that there would be any recollection. It was just another day on the job slapping parts together. Nothing more than that.

You can't use the standards we use today and apply them to a time when things were very different. If that were the case, all '67 Corvettes would have been 427/435, 4 speed, Marina Blue convertables with side pipes.
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Old 04-29-2005, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by LOTAHP
The 3rd was orange and had only seen the race track. Sponsored by Gulf Oil.
I have pics of this car from a few years ago at Carlisle. Sorry - they're not digitized or I'd post them...
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Old 04-29-2005, 07:41 PM
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flyzlow
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I live in Phoenix Az. If anyone could digitize my old photos and post them I would make them available. Maybe someone from Denver during that time period could confirm my story. Judy Lilly where are you? email is [email protected] ***.net or 623-780-1394
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Old 04-29-2005, 07:46 PM
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whitch car did the magaizens and GM test to put out the numbers?
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Old 04-29-2005, 08:00 PM
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Chuck Gongloff
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Rat

The Monaco orange car owned by John Maher is a one owner car that has always been in his possession. Newspaper records and people who knew the car claim it was a ZL-1 as far back as 1970. Is it real? Again, difficult to say, but it's tough to argue with someone who has owned the car since he took initial delivery in 1969. Of course, the engine could have been changed prior to sale as noted above... The lack of documentation doesn't help either.

Regards,
I bought my 63 Corvette in 1967. Joined the Corvette Club of Western Pennsylvania in 1968. Ran autocrosses, etc. Was a fairly active member of the club till I moved to Baltimore in 1972.

Met John Maher in 68 or 69. He was a PA State Trooper at the time. Used to bring the 69 Monaco Orange car to CCWP autocrosses at the old Greengate Mall in Monroeville, PA.

I had a bunch of autocross pictures from back then. Gave them to Johnny a few years ago. I still see him about once/year at the Ocean City, Maryland Corvette weekend, or at the Vintage Thunder drags in Rising Sun.

I ALWAYS remember that car as a ZL 1, from DAY ONE.

I remember him trailering it to events as he couldn't drive it on the street. Was always Monaco Orange with black stripes and the Gulf Oil logo. Gulf Oil Research was located in Pittsburgh back then...might still be there today. Don't know if there was a "sponsorship" or something akin to a sponsorship back then.

Chuck
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:08 AM
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flyzlow
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Default 69 red ZL1

Well, check out this site. I don't know who researched this info but it coincides with my theory about a red ZL1. Can someone elaborate? This is getting interesting. www.corvettelegends.com then hit ZL1 at bottom of page.
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by flyzlow
I live in Phoenix Az. If anyone could digitize my old photos and post them I would make them available. Maybe someone from Denver during that time period could confirm my story. Judy Lilly where are you? email is [email protected] ***.net or 623-780-1394

can someone get on this????
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:04 PM
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CLONE.
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:16 PM
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Yes - read... Although there were only 2 sold through GM dealerships - the yellow and the white one, at least 2 others were produced and driven by GM execs and on test / race tracks. One was red.
read:
"Chevrolet brought two ZL1's to the dragstrip for testing--one red and one white, the white decked out for road racing duties. The white ZL1, equipped with the M-22 and 3.70:1 rear end gears, running a road racing setup with racing bias plys on all four corners, rocketed to the 1/4 mile in 12.1 seconds @ 116 mph... And that was the road racer. The Red ZL1, deemed the ""Saturday Night Special"" was equipped with an automatic transmission available from the L-88 and 4.88:1 rear end gears. Running 9"" drag slicks, this car ran 10.9 @ 132 mph! And this run was driven by an automotive magazine editor, not a fully experienced racecar driver. So overall, a 69 ZL1 is easily capable of low 12s with any competent driver, and running on drag slicks, can easily run deep into the 10s (Zora Arkas Duntoff himself claimed 10.5 on slicks). On top of this, the ZL1's top speed with stock gearing was close to 200 mph, and it could easily go beyond if the gearing was changed."
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Old 05-01-2005, 06:43 PM
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He could have yanked a ZL1 out of the 69 Camaros built that year as well.
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:24 AM
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I can not imagine GM building only 2 of these vehicles and then just selling them. There had to be at least 1 or more test mules before they left the factory for the showroom. These test mules were not always scrapped and destroyed as they were supposed to be. JMO.

-Mark.
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