Discover the Rarity and Value of 1969 Corvette Convertibles for Sale at Mecum Kissimmee Auction 2023, Including a Highly Sought-after Copo L88 Convertible. What they Sold for and What they Bid To!
Today on the Vette Vues blog, we are looking at the Mecum Kissimmee auction and five 1969 Corvette convertibles for sale. There were thirteen 1969 Corvettes for sale in all, but we are going to cover just the convertibles. One of the five for sale was a highly sought-after 1969 Corvette COPO L88 Convertible which is the only one known to exist. Its bid went up to $175,000 but failed to sell. Nevertheless, the three 1969 convertible Corvettes had a successful auction, with the highest-sold convertible 69 Corvette reaching an impressive price tag of $66,000. Read on to learn about the 1969 Corvette Convertibles for sale at Mecum Kissimmee Auction 2023.
What Did a 1969 Corvette Convertible Cost?
In 1969, a brand-new Corvette Convertible had a base price of $4,438. This price did not include any optional extras, and as with most sports cars, it was easy to rack up a significant bill when adding in the bells and whistles. But even without any optional extras, a 1969 Corvette Convertible was not a cheap car.
However, nowadays, a 1969 Corvette Convertible is much more than just an expensive car. It is a piece of automotive history that commands respect from car enthusiasts and collectors alike. The 1969 Corvette was the second year of the C3 generation.
The C3 1969 Corvette came in a variety of models and engine options, ranging from the base 300 horsepower 350 cubic inch V8 to the fire-breathing 435 horsepower 427 cubic inch V8. In addition to the powerful engine options, the 1969 Corvette was also available with several optional extras, including air conditioning, power windows, and power brakes. You can learn about the 1969 Corvette Specifications in our blog post here.
- 8-cyl. 350cid/300hp 4bbl L48
- 8-cyl. 350cid/350hp 4bbl L46
- 8-cyl. 427cid/390hp 4bbl L36
- 8-cyl. 427cid/400hp 3x2bbl L68
- 8-cyl. 427cid/425hp 4bbl ZL1
- 8-cyl. 427cid/430hp 4bbl L88
- 8-cyl. 427cid/435hp 3x2bbl L71
- 8-cyl. 427cid/435hp 3x2bbl L89
But what is a 1969 Corvette worth today? It really depends on the specifications, condition, and history of the individual car. A fully restored, low-mileage 1969 Corvette with a high-performance engine and rare options could fetch well over $100,000 at auction. However, a more common 1969 Corvette with average mileage and a less powerful engine could still command a respectable price of $30,000-$40,000. Read on to learn what the 1969 Corvette convertibles sold for at the recent auction in Kissimmee (2023).
Five 1969 Corvette Convertibles for Sale at Kissimmee 2023
E59 1969 Yellow Corvette convertible was offered $40,000 but did not sell. There were 2,803 miles since the completion of a recently completed body-off restoration, 454 CI big block V-8 engine with M20 4-speed manual transmission, power steering, power brakes, Astro ventilation, Positraction rear end, and optional headrests.
A 1969 Corvette convertible, Lot L17, was recently sold for $42,9000. This car underwent a body-off restoration and was transformed into an L88 replica through the addition of a 427/460 HP V-8 crate engine, with casting number 3963512, and a 4-speed manual transmission. This Daytona Yellow Corvette boasts a Black vinyl soft top, side exhaust, and luggage rack. Additional features include Bilstein shocks, power 4-wheel disc brakes, and free flowing aluminum heads.
There is a 1969 Red Corvette convertible, Lot L24, that sold for $66,000. This car has a matching numbers 427/390 HP V-8 engine with a 3-speed automatic transmission. Some of the car’s other features include a factory chrome side mount exhaust system, a Red and Black color scheme with a Black convertible soft top, an auxiliary Black vinyl hardtop, power windows, power steering, power brakes, tilt and telescoping steering, a Positraction rear end, and an odometer reading of 42,028 miles.
A 1969 Corvette, which was sold for $39,600, comes with a matching L36 427/390 HP engine, a 4-speed manual transmission, leather seats, rally wheels, and side exhaust and is part of a private no-reserve collection. It also features the correct code, 986 Cortez Silver paint.
The last one we are going to look at is also the most valuable 1969 Corvette convertible for sale. Next up, Lot F129, a 1969 Corvette COPO L88 Convertible.
The 69 COPO L88 did not sell…
One of the most anticipated Corvettes at the Mecum Kissimmee auction was the 1969 Corvette COPO L88 Convertible. The only COPO L88 known to exist. With a bid of $175,000, it was expected to bid or sell at a much higher price. However, despite its rarity and impressive specs, the car didn’t find a buyer.
This same valuable C3 1969 COPO L88 sold for $305,000 back in 2009. A high bid of $400k failed to sell the race car in 2012. Lot F129, VIN / SERIAL 194679S721688, went up for auction again in 2023 at the Mecum Kissimmee auction, but the bid halted at $175,000, with the bid going on.
This particular Corvette had an illustrious career, participating in various seasons, including the Daytona and Sebring races. The tank sticker documentation reveals that it has an L88 engine and a unique COPO transmission that is one of a kind.
It is surprising, given the 1969 Corvette’s worth and the rarity of the COPO L88, that the bid stalled.
The RPO L88 engine, also known as the “Heavy Duty 427,” was put to the test by Roger Penske at the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona. This powerful engine provided the Corvette with the necessary strength to compete against the best in the world and come out victorious. Although it was rated at 430 HP, the L88 actually delivered over 500 HP. Despite being listed on dealer order forms, Chevrolet discouraged non-professional racers from purchasing the L88 and labeled the Corvette as an “off-road vehicle” in their literature.
The L88 engine was designed for high RPM usage, featuring a 4-bolt main block with forged internals and lightweight, high-flow aluminum cylinder heads. It also boasted a Holley 4150 4-barrel carburetor, 12.5:1 compression, and a functional cold-air induction system, all under a bulged hood. Although a heavy-duty Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic transmission was an option for the L88, a range of rear-axle ratios were available, while air conditioning, power steering, electric windows, and radio were not offered.
A limited number of L88 Corvettes were produced in the late 1960s, with only 20 built in 1967, 80 in 1968, and 116 in 1969. This particular 1969 model is unique, as it is the only L88 that was ordered through Chevrolet’s COPO system. This information is verified on the car’s tank sticker, confirmed by expert Al Grenning. According to records, 115 out of the 116 L88s had J56 heavy-duty brakes, but the original owner of this car claimed that it did not come with J56 dual-pin brake calipers. If true, this would make it the only L88 Corvette produced without this feature.
This Corvette had an impressive racing career that spanned multiple seasons in various competitions, such as IMSA, SCCA, and SVRA. It even made appearances at renowned race tracks like Daytona and Sebring. Skilled drivers like Charlie Koninsky, Lamar Mann, Rick Thompkins, Buddy Sherk, Sam Fillingham, R.V. Shulnburg, and Dave Heinz took the wheel. The car is a stunning factory-specified Daytona Yellow with classic Thompkins Tile Co. racing livery and black upholstery. Its accomplishments are numerous, such as being showcased at the 2007 Chevy Vettefest, being displayed at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green in 2007, being inducted into the 2009 Bloomington Gold Special Collection, and being displayed at the 2009 Carlisle Race Car & Driver’s Reunion. Additionally, a binder containing vintage photos and racing history is included with the sale of the Corvette.
The 1969 Corvette convertibles for sale at the Mecum Kissimmee auction showcased some of the most iconic American muscle cars ever produced. With five convertibles available, the auction offered collectors and enthusiasts the chance to own a piece of automotive history.
The prices ranged from $40,700 to the highest-sold 1969 Corvette at $106,700, and the COPO L88 convertible bid at $175,000 didn’t find a buyer. The event emphasized the ongoing appreciation for these classic cars and their continued relevance in the automotive industry.
Overall, the 1969 Corvette’s specifications, horsepower, and values continue to hold a special place in American car culture. These cars symbolize an era of speed, power, and style that has become iconic, and their desirability shows no sign of waning. Whether it’s the L88, convertible, or any other variation of this classic car, the 1969 Corvette remains a timeless piece of automotive history.
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