ZL1 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL1 Convertible

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 26, 2023

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It can be tough to remember which Corvettes are supposed to be the king of them all. Around this time you had L88s, ZR1s, ZR2s, and ZL1s. The ZL1 was sort of a step up from the L88. It designated an aluminum-block 7.0-liter V8 with a aluminum cylinder heads, a redesigned crankshaft, improved connecting rods, revised pistons, and larger exhaust valves.

It required that you order a base Corvette – which was about $4,400 for a 1969 convertible. Then you had to add on the L88 option, which was just over $1,000. The ZL1 option could then be had on top of that for another $3,000. And that blacked out the options for A/C, power steering, a radio, a heater, and power windows. Pay more, get less.

But you also got more, horsepower anyway. Output was somewhere around 460 horsepower. Apparently only two were ever ordered, with this one being the only one delivered to a retail customer. RM estimates this one will bring between $2,6000,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info.

Callaway C16

2007 Callaway C16 Speedster

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | November 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

Remember this car? It was everywhere when it debuted at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Designed around a C6 Corvette convertible, the car features fiberglass bodywork styled by Paul Deutschman. The “windshield” is actually two tiny pieces of Lexan in front of each passenger. There is no top. And the rear fairings house built-in helmets.

Power is from a Callaway-modified 6.2-liter V8 that was rated at 616 horsepower, which was more than any standard Corvette at the time. Top speed is said to be in excess of 210 mph, with 60 arriving in 3.2 seconds.

Only one was built, and it’s being sold be Ken Lingenfelter. If this thing would’ve entered production (not sure if the windscreens would’ve made it to a production car) it would’ve been intended to compete against cars from Lamborghini and Ferrari. I think it ranks right up there with the best American supercars of the 2000s, including the Saleen S7 and Mosler MT900S. Click here to see more.

Corvette Super Sport

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Super Sport

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-16, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Super Sport isn’t a name typically associated with Corvettes. But this Corvette was actually the first Chevy to wear that moniker. It’s a one-off show car that GM commissioned to showcase their new Rochester Ramjet fuel injection. It debuted in New York in January 1957 and was sold into private ownership after its tour of the show circuit was completed. The current owner acquired it in 1997.

The fuel-injected 283ci V8 was rated at 283 horsepower when new, and the car is claimed to have covered less than 5,000 miles since new. Styling alterations are obvious, including the dual concept-car-style windscreens, brushed aluminum coves, and a lot more bright interior trim.

This is one of those big-boy Corvettes that gets a lot of attention. It hasn’t traded hands in 25 years, so what to expect, price-wise, when it crosses the block next month is kind of a question mark. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Withdrawn from auction

C4 Grand Sport Corvettes

The C4 Grand Sport

Offered by Mecum | Jefferson, North Carolina | June 6, 2020


1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe

Photo – Mecum

My two favorite C4 Corvettes are as follows: 1. the ZR-1. 2. the Grand Sport. This sale has what has to be the best examples of the latter. The Grand Sport was built to celebrate the end of C4 production and was only offered in 1996. The name was taken from the Grand Sport race cars of the 1960s.

Power is from a 330 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8. They were only offered in Admiral Blue with white stripes and red hash marks. This is one of 810 coupes built, and it shows just 177 miles. It’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,250.


1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

Photo – Mecum

Doubletake? The only difference between this car and the other Grand Sport is that it is a convertible. Admiral Blue paint with white stripes and red hash marks – meet a white soft top. This car also uses a 5.7-liter V8 making 330 horsepower.

The convertible Grand Sport was much rarer than the coupe, with just 190 built. It’s only covered 162 miles since new, which makes it essentially, well, new. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $68,750.

C4 Grand Sport

1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe

Offered by Mecum | Jefferson, North Carolina | June 6, 2020

Photo – Mecum

My two favorite C4 Corvettes are as follows: 1. the ZR-1. 2. the Grand Sport. This sale has what has to be the best examples of the latter. The Grand Sport was built to celebrate the end of C4 production and was only offered in 1996. The name was taken from the Grand Sport race cars of the 1960s.

Power is from a 330 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8. They were only offered in Admiral Blue with white stripes and red hash marks. This is one of 810 coupes built, and it shows just 177 miles. It’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,250.

C4 Grand Sport Convertible

1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Jefferson, North Carolina | June 6, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Doubletake? The only difference between this car and the other Grand Sport is that it is a convertible. Admiral Blue paint with white stripes and red hash marks – meet a white soft top. This car also uses a 5.7-liter V8 making 330 horsepower.

The convertible Grand Sport was much rarer than the coupe, with just 190 built. It’s only covered 162 miles since new, which makes it essentially, well, new. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $68,750.

’67 L88 Convertible

1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The legendary L88 Corvette was available from 1967 through 1969. That spanned two different generations of the Corvette, which means that 1967 was the only year you could have Chevy’s monstrous V8 in a C2 Corvette. Only 20 were sold that year, and I have no idea about the breakdown between coupes and convertibles.

The high-compression, 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, even though the actual output was probably over 550. Unfortunately, the car was very expensive and required 103-octane fuel, which wasn’t all that easy to come by at your local service station in 1967. Of the 20 built for the model year, quite a few went direct to racing teams. After all, the car was essentially a race car that happened to be street legal. This one was raced, including at the:

  • 1970 24 Hours of Daytona – 11th, 2nd in class (with Cliff Gottlob and Dave Dooley)

The car competed for eight years, apparently winning 150 races. It was purchased by Dana Mecum in 2013, and he’s now letting it go, assuming it hits what is sure to be a stratospheric reserve (c’mon Mecum, have a little faith in your own event and go no reserve!). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $3,200,000.

January 2020 Auction Highlights

We kick off in January with RM Sotheby’s in Arizona where the top sale was this 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster that sold for $2,370,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

All of our feature cars sold, with the V-16 Cadillac leading the way at $1,105,000. Following that was the Hispano-Suiza at $445,000 and the Shelby Series I at $91,840. Other sales included the Chalmers for $61,600, the Locomobile for $58,240, and the Kaiser for $10,080. Click here for complete results.

Next up, Gooding & Company, also in Arizona. This auction proved that bedroom wall car posters are key indicators of what’s going to skyrocket in value. In this case, it was a 1995 Ferrari F50 that outsold a Tucker at $3,222,500. It also way outsold the 250 GT Cabriolet that brought $1,462,500.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual-Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000. The Model A Duesenberg, and a previously-featured Model J, both failed to sell. More results are available here.

We move on to Barrett-Jackson, where the top sale was a charity lot: the first mid-engine Corvette. A 2020 Stingray that hasn’t even been built yet. This red pre-production car crossed the block, but the actual first one will be black.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

I couldn’t even tell you what their overall top sale was that wasn’t a charity lot because the results page isn’t sortable :(. I have strong feelings on these moonshot charity auctions, but I will keep them to myself.

Every car we featured sold, which is no surprise because this entire sale is 99.9% reserve-free. The Superbird brought $313,500, the L88 Corvette $330,000, and the Kuzma-Offy $165,000. The Aerocar went for a lot less than I anticipated, bringing only $275,000. I think, had it sold 15 years ago, it would’ve gone for much more.

On the other side of things were the Lawil at $12,100 and the Bremen Sebring at $7,700. Click here for all of the results.

Across town was Russo & Steele, who managed to move this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,045,000. The Rambler Marlin we featured went for $8,800. A great buy. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Russo & Steele

Finally, we have Bonhams at Retromobile. The top overall sale was this 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport that sold for $5,045,740.

Photo – Bonhams

Other big-dollar sales among our feature cars included the Pegaso for $782,089, a previously-featured Delahaye for $227,058, a previously-featured Talbot racer for $964,997 (less than half of what it sold for in 2014), and a BMW-Glas prototype for $229,581.

Other sales included the Devin D for $100,914 and the Toyota F1 roller for $90,823. No sales were the Bugatti 39, Zagato Mostro, and the previously-featured Miller Shooting Brake and Brasier saloon. More results can be found here.

C3 L88s

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 10, 2020

Photo – Mecum

L88-powered third-generation Corvettes are among the most collectible of the era. The C3 Corvette was produced for an eternity: 1968 through 1982. But all of the good ones were in the first four or five years of production. The L88 engine was only available for three years: 1967 through 1969.

The 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, though it is thought to have actually produced more than 550. It was based on Chevy’s NASCAR engine, and it was a hardcore beast. Only 80 cars were equipped with this engine in 1968, the first of two model years it could be had in a C3. This drop-top version should bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $350,000.


1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Here is the closed coupe version of Chevrolet’s monster 427 L88 Corvette. This example comes from the final year of L88 production, a year in which 116 examples were produced. Why so few? Well, part of the reason is that these engines have extremely high compression ratios that necessitate 103 octane fuel. Good luck finding that.

This wonderful 7.0-liter V8 also added as much as 35% to the purchase price of a new Corvette back in the day, which didn’t help. That’s a lot of money for a “430 horsepower” car. While the ’67s are the most expensive, the ’69s are still desirable. This will be another big-money car in Scottsdale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $330,000.

’69 L88 Coupe

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Here is the closed coupe version of Chevrolet’s monster 427 L88 Corvette. This example comes from the final year of L88 production, a year in which 116 examples were produced. Why so few? Well, part of the reason is that these engines have extremely high compression ratios that necessitate 103 octane fuel. Good luck finding that.

This wonderful 7.0-liter V8 also added as much as 35% to the purchase price of a new Corvette back in the day, which didn’t help. That’s a lot of money for a “430 horsepower” car. While the ’67s are the most expensive, the ’69s are still desirable. This will be another big-money car in Scottsdale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $330,000.