Thee L88 Corvettes, and a few of the lesser-known speed secrets of their design, are discussed in a recent video released from Velocity. Far advanced for their time, the L88 Vettes sported 427-cubic-inch big-block engines with Can-Am style aluminum heads and solid lifters. Inside the oil pan spun a forged crankshaft carrying 12.5:1 compression pistons. An 850 cfm Holley carburetor handled fueling duty.
That high-tech (for the time) combination of parts produced a potent power output. Official hp was rated at 435 but the cars actually produced closer to 550 hp. To reliably handle all that power, the L88s received M22 “Rock Crusher” transmissions.
L88 Corvettes made history earning a huge number of racing accolades. They became rather famous with 22 wins between 1968 and 1971, in the SCCA A-production class. These cars also helped with the crowning of Jerry Hansen as the National Champ as well as a class win at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The L88 Corvettes not only allowed owners to compete in local competitions but they helped to cement the Corvette in road racing, establishing Chevrolet’s sports car as a serious contender in the international world of motorsports.
In comparison to the road-going L88 cars, there were noticeable body changes to the L88 racecars, such as the sculpted headlight covers which improved some of the high-speed aerodynamics. L88 chassis upgrades consisted of: heavy duty brakes, stiffer springs, and a G81 Positraction differential.
The cars were equipped with a removable windshield and top which allowed them to race as a coupe or convertible. The L88, piloted by Tony DeLorenzo and Jerry Thompson has since claimed a National Corvette Restorers Society American Heritage Award.