May 17, 2024

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Corvette L88 Leads Mecum Glendale

Back in 1967, if you wanted to buy the baddest Corvette around, you’d order the L71 435-hp version. On paper, that was the top dog. Right under it was the seemingly lesser 430-hp L88 option, of which only 20 were built.

Those in the know, however, saw that option for what it really was: A track-focused monster with high compression that was intentionally underrated in order to keep most of them off the streets. The L88 was intended for running flat-out on the Mulsanne Straight, not for overheating on Main Street.

The L88 hasn’t ever seen much in the way of taillights on the track, and in the collector market, it’s become a leader of the pack, too. The L88 is the rarest of the midyear Corvettes and is generally the most expensive, save for the five Grand Sports that basically never come to market.

Mecum’s just-wrapped Glendale auction presented one of the 20 L88s built — this one a coupe with Bloomington Gold certification, a Duntov Mark of Excellence award and Triple Diamond status. The Sunfire Yellow and black coupe was the high seller at the auction, bringing $1.815m.

Beyond the Corvette, Fords dominated the top sales chart, including a 2021 Ford GT Studio Collection Series at $946k. A 2005 Ford GT was third in line at $440k, tied with a 1969 Ford Torino Talladega GPT Special at the same price.

In total, the Glendale auction saw $54m in sales, with 942 vehicles sold. Other notable sales included a 1969 Cadillac Eldorado that was once owned by Elvis Presley. It sold for $253k. A 1964 Imperial Crown Ghia was also on hand, this one used as a presidential limousine by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and later, LBJ. It sold for $181,500.

The top collector car sales at the Glendale 2024 auction included:

  1. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe (Lot S143) at $1,815,000
  2. 2021 Ford GT Studio Collection Series (Lot S162) at $946,000
  3. 2005 Ford GT (Lot S83) at $440,000
  4. 1969 Ford Torino Talladega GPT Special (Lot S123) at $440,000
  5. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback (Lot S154) at $363,000
  6. 2017 Dodge Viper ACR VoooDoo II Edition (Lot S146) at $357,500
  7. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06/N03 (Lot F129) at $346,500
  8. 1961 Chevrolet Impala Convertible (Lot S151) at $302,500
  9. 1969 Cadillac Eldorado (Lot F182) at $253,000
  10. 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Big Tank Fuelie (Lot F134) at $247,500

See the complete results here.

Images: Mecum