If I only knew then what I know now is a thought many of
us have from time to time. With that thought in mind
there is a special very rare car I would have in my garage and that would be a specially ordered 1969
Corvette. Before that I would have ordered that L88 engine for a 1967 Corvette and kept that car to this day. I
would not have purchased a 1968 corvette because of the minor problems they had with new model change and
waited to get a 1969 Corvette. That year only two of the rarest corvettes ever built rolled off the assembly
line. I wish I could have placed the same order those people made and it was three, but that’s just an
afterthought or a day dream.
The rarest 1969 Corvettes and rarest of any corvette were those two that were
ordered with the incredible ZL1 engine.
The 1969 ZL1
offered in the 1969 Corvette was the most powerful engine ever offered in an American built car. It was an
all aluminum block and cylinder heads version of the L88 big block. The 1969 Corvette with the
ZL1 engine (only two) was rated at 430 horsepower but by simply installing tuned headers instead of the
factory manifolds would increase the horsepower to 585.
Ray name was not on the 1968 Corvette but returned on the 1969 Corvette and spelled Stingray in one word. The
ignition lock was changed on the 1969 Corvette from the dash to the steering column. The steering wheel diameter
was trimmed for more thigh clearance and the interior door handles and control knobs were redesigned for the
1969 Corvette for comfort and safety sake. Also a warning light was added for the pop up lights if they didn’t
pop up properly and a three section map pocket was another addition. Other additions for the 1969 Corvette was a
new headlight washer system and the windshield washer system jets were moved to the viper arms. Probably the
best overall improvement on the 1969 Corvette compared to the 1968 Corvette was the frame was stiffened to
reduce body shake and the rim width increased for improved handling.
The 1969 Corvette was a perfect example of the corvette heritage.
There was production quality and many options to choose from. The standard 350 cid, 350 horsepower made that 1969
Corvette very quick. Of course you could have ordered a 427cid 435horsepower for better performance or gone all the
way and got the ZL1 for $3,000 more. When you get into the 1969 Corvette, it make you feel how low to the
ground you are but after driving the 1969 Corvette for awhile you won’t want to drive anything