Thrilling Tri-Power Third-Gen: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L68 427/400 Convertible

  • January 02, 2021
Why We Like It

Introduced for 1968, the new third-generation Corvette continued its reign as America’s quickest and fastest series-production sports car. Powertrain choices remained essentially unchanged for 1969, an extended model year with unusually high production numbers. For 1969, three available "big-block" engine choices included the “Tri-Power” RPO L68 427ci V8 developing 400 rated horsepower and 460 pounds-feet of tire-melting torque. Despite such massive output, the L68 Corvette mill was quite easy to operate with a maintenance-free hydraulic valvetrain. Costing just $326 over the Corvette's base price, the L68 option was a fantastic high-performance bargain, with just 2,072 produced out of 38,762 Corvettes built in all for ‘69. Today, original L68 427/400 Corvettes continue to offer outstanding performance with real-world drivability and relative rarity.

Thrilling Tri-Power Third-Gen: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L68 427:400 Convertible74253175-770-0@2X

Thrilling Tri-Power Third-Gen: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L68 427:400 Convertible74253185-770-0@2XNew to market from a collection with fresh paint and less than 64,000 actual confirmable miles, this 1969 L68/4-speed Corvette Convertible received a documented total rebuild of the drivetrain in 1992 at 59,150 miles. The seller states the engine is numbers-matching, mated to a date-coded correct "CT" 1969 (GM Crate Transmission) Muncie 4-speed. Featuring an excellent paint and body, it retains the tasteful original color combination of Le Mans Blue over very fresh restored Black vinyl upholstery. In addition to the working clock, the Corvette’s highlights include Hooker chrome side pipes and Rallye wheels and the soft top is in very good condition. Believed an original side exhaust car but without paperwork, it’s summarized by the seller as a great-running, very nice, high-level, show-quality driver (somewhat contradictory, but the photos lean towards the former), and of course, with plenty of brute power under the hood. In addition to an online video HERE, over 65 photos are available for viewing HERE.

Thrilling Tri-Power Third-Gen: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L68 427:400 Convertible74253178-770-0@2X

The rare competition-intended L88 and wilder solid-lifter 435hp L71 mills commanded the headlines in ‘69, but the L68-powered Corvette delivered much of the performance of those more exotic powerplants with the added advantage of easier maintenance. As expected, Hagerty’s price guides value the L88 and L71 convertibles higher, with the 427/400hp L68 Coupe ranging from $32.4k for a “good” condition #3 to $50.9k for and “excellent” #2, and $86.3k for a concours-worthy #1 example. Convertibles are valued higher: $38.2k for a #3, $66.2k for a #2, and $108k for #1s. Our subject car seems to be a high-quality car and it is priced commensurate with a #2 example, however, the seller’s asking price seems a bit optimistic, given its lack of documentation and non-factory exhaust pipes. That said, the 4-speed transmission is a strong point to go with the relatively uncommon L68 “Tri-Power” 427 powering it. Nonetheless, we think a little more information is likely available, and if in hand, we see the car as worth the premium.

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