One-of-one 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible heads to public sale

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A novel 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible is ready to cross the block at an RM Sotheby’s public sale in Phoenix, Arizona, on Jan. 16.

The Monaco Orange drop-top is the one one in all its sort. And it is one in all simply two factory-documented ZL-1 Corvettes constructed for 1969, and the one convertible to get the ZL-1 remedy, an possibility that added a race-derived 427-cubic-inch V-8 engine to the C3 ‘Vette.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible (photo via RM Sotheby's)

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible (photograph by way of RM Sotheby’s)

Based mostly on the L88 engine, the ZL-1’s 427 options aluminum block and heads, the latter with an “open chamber” design aimed toward growing energy, plus redesigned and beefed-up engine internals. Based mostly on engines utilized in Can Am racing, Common Motors provided the ZL-1 possibility for homologation functions, and did not actually intend to promote any street vehicles to prospects.

Serving to to dissuade prospects from checking the ZL-1 field on their order kinds was the $4,718 value ($3,000 of which was the ZL-1 bundle itself), which was greater than twice the price of a base Corvette in 1969. Along with the engine, patrons bought power-assisted heavy-duty brakes, heavy-duty suspension, and a Positraction limited-slip differential. Creature comforts out there on lesser Corvettes, corresponding to a heater, air con, radio, and energy steering, weren’t out there on the ZL-1.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible (photo via RM Sotheby's)

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible (photograph by way of RM Sotheby’s)

That was simply effective for John W. Maher of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, who took supply of this automotive on Dec. 30, 1968. He supposed to race the Corvette, and went on to compete in numerous hill climbs, auto crosses, and drag races in Western Pennsylvania till 1972.

Maher pulled the ZL-1 out of storage in 1989, had it reconditioned, and continued to drive and present it till lastly promoting the automotive in 2007. The ZL-1 has since been totally restored, attaining the Bloomington Gold certification coveted by Corvette collectors, however nonetheless has its authentic engine. Based mostly on its rarity, well-documented historical past, and the standard of the restoration, RM Sotheby’s expects the ZL-1 to promote for $2.6 million to $3 million at public sale. That is not out of line for uncommon Corvette variants just like the later ZR2 convertible, which stay favorites of collectors.

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