The '69

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When the 1969 Corvette was for production, Chevrolet brought back the "Stingray" badge on the front-fender louvers, although it was now one word.

But many feel that the 1969 Corvette was again a milestone Corvette because of all the horsepower available! CAR & DRIVER magazine wrote, “The small-engine Corvettes are marginally fast and extraordinarily civilized, but the large-engine Corvettes are extraordinarily fast and marginally civilized.”

Engines included for the new 1969 Corvette’69 were a larger 350 cubic inch 300 horse engine as standard, and another modified 350 small block with 350 horse.

But the big blocks were the real hot setup with several 427 cubic inch engines that had a special high doomed hood. They included 427 cubic inch engines with 390 horse, a triple 2-barrel carburetion with 400 horse, another also with triple 2-barrel carburetion and aluminum heads with 435 horse, and the L88 aluminum head 430 horse engine that was not recommended for street use.

But, one of the rarest engine options ever, was the ZL1. It had an all-aluminum engine and was a special version of the L88 but weighed 100 lbs. less. The ZL1 cost $3010 and factory rated at 430 horse, same as the L88, but actual output was 550 horse. It ran 11.2-second ¼ miles at 127 mph, as compared to 12.0-second 116 mph for a 1969 L88 Corvette.

Transmissions again were the standard 3-Speed fully synchronized manual, two 4-Speed fully synchronized manuals, and a Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic.

Other subtle but significant features and options included 15-inch Wide Oval tires and 8-inch wide wheels, better four-wheel disc brakes, new anti-interference ignition system, side-mounted exhaust system, and a Positraction rear axle.

The1969 Corvette excited buyers when it was new, and it continues to excite and impress us today as it was one of the fastest and best handling cars of that era.

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