1969 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 427cid/425hp 4bbl ZL1
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The 1969 Chevrolet Corvette changed little from the preceding year, but “Stingray” now became one word and was badged on the front fenders. Thanks to a long selling season, the year was an outstanding sales success for Corvette with the total jumping 30 percent to 38,762 and for the first time coupes outsold convertibles 22,129 to 16,233.
The 300bhp, 350 cubic-inch small-block Chevy V-8 was now the base engine, with an additional 50 bhp available in the L46 option for $131.65. There were four big-block 427-cubic-inch V-8s available. The 390 bhp L36 (10,531 sold) had a four-barrel carburetor, and there were three triple-carb engines: the 400 bhp L68 (2,072 sold), 435 bhp L71 (2,722) and the (nominally) 430 bhp L88. This was the last year for the L88 Corvette with 116 built for '69, and there were also two ZL1 L88s with an alloy block, costing a whopping $4,718 extra.
While the exact number of each colors were unrecorded from 1969 and 1970, the proportions of each are estimated about the same. Ten colors were available and most were carried over, though the names (and sometimes tints) were changed. Riverside Gold replaced Corvette Bronze. Tuxedo black would likely have been the lowest selling color, Polar White became Can-Am White, Rally Red was now Monza Red, Le Mans Blue remained the same, British Green was now Fathom Green, Safari Yellow became Daytona Yellow, Silverstone Silver became Cortez Silver, Cordovan Maroon became Burgundy, and Monaco Orange was new. International Blue was discontinued.
Base price for the coupe was $4,781, and the convertible cost $4,438. This year, 7,878 convertible buyers added a detachable hardtop, and 3,266 choose to have that vinyl covered. Four-speed gearboxes remained popular, with 16,507 M20 wide-ratios selected and 13,741 M21 close-ratio picks. Meanwhile 101 buyers bought the heavy duty, close-ratio M22 4-speed and 102 opted for the heavy duty clutch. Turbo-Hydra-Matic automatic gearboxes were fitted to 8,161 cars. A total of 4,355 buyers chose the side exhaust, but many cars were subsequently upgraded.
Luxury touches increased in popularity with 3,729 buyers choosing leather interior, 9,816 picking power windows, 22,866 electing power steering 16,876 selecting power brakes and 11,589 choosing air-conditioning. A tilt-telescopic steering column was fitted to 10,325 cars.
The double-acting door latch was modified, with the push-button eliminated. Wheels were 8-inches wide and the steering wheel reduced from 16 to 15 inches. All cars were fitted with headrests unless specifically deleted.