1969 Chevy Corvette

The nameplate above the 4 vertical side vents now read “Stingray”, as one word. It had up until now been shown as two words (ie: Sting Ray). The front fenders were not flared and the front turn signals were round. The backup lights were inegrated into the two center-most round tail light lenses. Inside, diameter of the steering was reduced to provide more leg clearance. There were new interior door handles and control knobs, and a warning light was added to tell you when the headlight doors didn’t open all the way. The ignition switch was relocated to the steering column and new door locks were added. There was now a glovebox-mounted map pocket. The door panels lost their wood inserts. Headlight washers were now standard, and windshield washer jets were moved from the cowl to the wiper arms themselves.


The frame was reinforced to improve stiffness, and the standard wheel rim size was increased to 8 inches in width. The Astro Ventilation, somewhat low on air flow, was modified to improve on that, with marginal results.

1968 Chevy Corvette COUPE

The 1969 model year production run for the Corvette turned out to be one of the longest in US auto industry history. A strike shut the plant down midyear, throwing off the schedule. It reopened quickly, but the result was that the ’69 production run ran long, and overlapped into the time that would normally have been reserved for 1970 model year production. Under normal circumstances, annual production usually stops around June or July, tooling is changed, then the next year’s production commences in August or September for the following year. ’69 production started in September 1968 (on schedule), but didn’t end until December ’69, 5 to 6 months past the normal schedule. By the time the tooling was changed to begin 1970 production, much time was lost, and so 1970 was a very low volume year, around 17,000. However, it was a very good year for the 1969 model, building 38,762 units. 16,633 were Convertibles, and the other 22,129 were Coupes.

1968 Chevy Corvette T-TOPS

1969 Chevy Corvette INTERIORS

1969 Chevy Corvette ENGINES

The standard engine was now the 300hp 350 V8. There was one more small block on the menu, a 350hp 350, which made a sweet combination of power and lightweight, when compared to the big block cars. But for most fans, the ’69 Corvette is all about 427 big blocks. Two were available (besides the ultra-rate L88 option). The first had a single 4-barrel and was rated at 390hp. There were two 427 Tri-Powers (with three 2-barrel Holley carburetors), one with 400hp, and the other with higher compression (11:1 vs. 10.25:1) making 435hp. All of the big blocks got aluminum intake manifolds.

350 V8 w/300 HP

427 TURBO JET V8 w/390 HP

1969 CHEVY CORVETTE L88 The L88 is one of the most storied Corvettes, and one of the most famous engines of all time. The L88 is a 427 big block with special aluminum racing heads and a long list of racing modifications. Introduced in the 1969 model year, they were meant for racing only, so all L88-equipped cars came with heater- and radio-deletes, and most came with heavy duty brakes and the M22 “Rock Crusher” heavy duty 4-speed manual transmission. The L88 used the 427 cast iron block, but used a forged steel crank and rods, higher compression ratio, hotter cam and those trick heads to achieve an official “rating” of 430hp. Of course, this was ridiculously low, as later dyno tests confirmed that it made more like 560hp. Only 116 ’69 Corvettes received the L88 option package, making them one of the most rare, collectable and expensive Corvettes in existence. Many have been faked because the stakes are so high.

1969 Chevy Corvette SPECIFICATIONS

Total Production



Serial Numbers, Coupes

Serial Numbers, Conv’t

Base Price, Coupe/Convt


Overall Length

Overall Width

Overall Height

Track, Front & Rear


Engine Type

Engine Family


Bore & Stroke


Base 350 V8, 300hp

L46 350 V8, 350hp

L36 427 V8, 390hp

L68 427 V8, 400hp

L71 427 V8, 435hp

L88 427 V8, 430hp*

L89 427 V8, 435hp

ZL1 427 V8, 430hp *

38,762 total

22,129 Coupes

16,633 Convertibles

194379S100001 to 194379S138762

194689S100001 to 194379S138762

$4,781 Coupe / $4,438 Convertible

98.0 inches

182.5 inches

69.0 inches

47.9 inches (Coupe)

58.7 inches F / 59.4 inches R

OHV 90-degree V8, 5 main bearings

Chevrolet Small Block V8

350 cubic inches (5.7 liters)

4.00″ X 3.48″

300 lb/ft; 10.25:1; hydraulic lifters

360 lb/ft; 11.0:1; hydraulic lifters

460 lb/ft; 10.25:1; hydraulic lifters

460 lb/ft; 10.25:1; hydraulic lifters

460 lb/ft; 10.25:1; mechanical lifters

450 lb/ft; 11.0:1; mechanical lifters

450 lb/ft; 12.0:1; mechanical lifters

450 lb/ft; 12.5:1; mechanical lifters

Chevrolet Big Block V8

427 cubic inches (7.0 liters)

4.251″ X 3.76″

1X Rochester 4bbl

1X Rochester 4bbl

1X Holley 4bbl

3X Holley 2bbls “Tri-Power”

3X Holley 2bbs “Tri-Power”

1X Holley 4bbl

1X Holley 4bbl

1X Holley 4bbl

* The L88 and ZL1 were well-known to have been grossly underrated by Chevrolet, partly to make the insurance companies happy, and partly to sneak it past the killjoys at GM’s Head Office. Either way, these legendary engines were reputed to make more like 560 horsepower, not the “measly” 430 they were rated.