Monza Red
Saddle
427 V8
4 Speed Manual

Sorry, kids, but there's just nothing cooler than a 427 Corvette with side pipes. The unmistakable rumble, the very real danger of hurting yourself just by getting into the car, and the respect that you get on the street is unmatched by virtually any other car this side of a Hemi ‘Cuda. This Rally Red 1969 Corvette packs its original, numbers matching L68 427/400 and 4-speed transmission, and is the kind of car that you've always envied but never quite managed to get into your garage. Well, times wasting, and this is your chance.

Originally code 983 British Green, you can hardly blame the restorer for choosing code 974 Rally Red when the time came to spray the paint. The body had been beautifully prepped, the panels sanded until they were flat, and the gaps were set, all that remained was the paint. Perhaps he debated for a while before making the choice, or maybe he, like many Corvette fans, simply realized that nothing looks better than a bright red Corvette. Whatever the thought process, the choice was a good one, and the red paint on this car absolutely sizzles. That shine is so deep and smooth that this can only be clearcoat paint that has been wet sanded and buffed, eliminating almost every trace of orange peel or waviness in the finish. Who wouldn't love to see this car grinning at them in the garage every morning?

The early Stingrays (note: it's one word on the C3s, the C2s were Sting Rays) look best with their slender chrome bumpers and grilles, and it's how these cars were designed to look from the start. The chrome on this one is excellent, with crisp details and no signs of aggressive grinding on the surfaces. I'm especially fond of the delicate trim on the hoods nostrils, which somehow amplifies the raw brutality of the engine underneath. Of course, 427 badges give it away, and from behind, with four round tail lights looking at you, it's unmistakable.

The sound is unmistakable, too. Fed by a trio of 2-barrel Holley carburetors, the Tri-Power equipped L68 427 under the hood is the original piece that this Corvette was born with 43 years ago. Rebuilt to stock specs, including the 10.25:1 compression advertised on the center console data plate, it runs beautifully. Those three carburetors added only 10 horsepower over the L36 with a four-barrel, but it's probably worth it just to get that cool triangular air cleaner. The engine has been properly detailed, with Chevy Orange paint, chrome valve covers and distributor shield, and nicely preserved cast iron exhaust manifolds. The accessories have all been rebuilt and detailed, including what might be the best-looking alternator I've ever seen. Correct belts, hoses, and clamps are used throughout, and the result is an engine bay that you'll be anxious to show off.

Although the L68 was available with an automatic, the choice of purists is the M21 4-speed manual that lives in this ‘Vette. The suspension has been upgraded with fiberglass leaf springs, which not only save weight, but ride better without diminishing handling ability. The chassis is clean, but not necessarily detailed for show, and it's clear this one was built to drive from the additional heat insulation that was added around the transmission tunnel. Side pipes surely help in that regard, and there's a surprising amount of room under the car without the exhaust system taking up all that space, especially in back by the rear suspension. Four wheel power disc brakes manage the stopping, but you're on your own with the steering, although on a lightweight car like this, it doesn't matter. And kudos to the restorer for putting correct Firestone redline Wide Ovals on the Rally wheels instead of the ubiquitous radials it looks so much more authentic.

While the body got a new color, the interior remains code 420 saddle vinyl as original, which was probably a popular choice with the green bodywork. With red bodywork, however, it absolutely pops, and is a wonderful change from all the standard black interiors you see inside red Corvettes. Very well finished, with all-new materials used throughout, it brings out the details that are usually lost on black; the woven seat inserts, the pleated center armrest, and the shape of the door panel trim. The gauges are so bright and crisp, I have to believe they've been restored, although that data plate on the console that I mentioned earlier looks original; more proof that this is a correct car under the hood. This one also has the cool light monitor system, which uses fiber-optic cables to indicate that the tail lights and license plate lamp are operational. The original factory radio still lives in the dash, while overhead, the solid T-tops have been painted to match the body and seal up tightly thanks to new weather stripping.

Your brand new 1969 Corvette also includes an original owner's manual and sales brochure, so you can re-live the experience the original buyer might have felt when he brought it home for the first time.

Let's see bright red, side pipes, 4-speed manual transmission, and a 427 under the hood. Corvettes simply don't get much better, especially if you plan on driving and enjoying them. Maybe a 427/435 object of art might make more money at an auction, but who actually drives those anymore? Forget it. If you're the kind of guy who caravans to the National Corvette Museum, or hits the Black Hills out in South Dakota, this is the car you take. With a big block rumble and tops that come off, it's the best way to enjoy the Corvette hobby. Leave the trailer queens to the other guys, and show them what those three magic numbers really mean: 427. Call today!

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