The 1968 L88 Corvette is one of the rarest and most desirable Corvettes out there. Just 20 were built in 1967, with a combined 200 in both 1968 and 1969. And of those L88 Corvettes built the rarest are the three built for actor James Garner’s American International Racing team in 1968. Now one of those three AIR L88 Corvettes is for sale with a $777,777 asking price.
Besides starring in movies like The Great Escape and Grand Prix, Garner is most fondly remembered as Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files TV series. But he was also a racer. Putting together a team he ran three L88 Corvettes in 1968 at LeMans, Sebring, and Daytona.
This L88 Corvette has been restored to its 1968 glory
This one has been restored to its 1968 glory, including the AIR team lettering on the rear quarters. The team stripes in white are also like they were back in 1968. The restoration won the American Heritage Award at the NCRS convention in the mid-2000s.
L88s featured big-block 7.0-liter engines with Can-Am aluminum heads and solid lifters. These engines were essentially race-spec versions of the factory 427 engines. It included a strengthened crankshaft, 12.5:1 pistons, cold air induction, and an 850 CFM dual feed Holley carb. Suspensions were also beefed up along with heavy-duty brakes. These also featured cowl induction hoods.
A 1967 version L88 won its class at Sebring that year
A 1967 version won its class at Sebring that year. The L88 option along with other competition hardware increased the rare Corvette’s cost by 50% over a standard model. Rated at 430 hp in reality the engines produced over 550 hp. For insurance purposes, advertised horsepower was purposely downplayed.
Chevrolet discouraged L88 orders from its dealers. It wanted these to go to hardcore racers only. Partly it was because these were rocket ships capable of hitting 171 mph at LeMans. A warning on the dash of every L88 warned to only use racing fuel. Emissions standards meant the L88 couldn’t comply and was killed off in 1969.
For an L88 Corvette, the price seems cheap
While the $777,777 asking price might seem high, it’s a lot of cha-cha. But for an L88 Corvette, it seems cheap when you consider that in the last 10 years two L88s have been auctioned off for more than $3 million. And a 1969 model was sold privately in 2014 for almost $3 million.
So, the car is listed on eBay at this price may mean we’ll see that amount increase over the course of the listing.