Bloomington Gold Corvette Stingray 427/435 4 Speed
If you're a muscle car fan, you know that each manufacturer has its holy grail. For Mopar guys, it's the Hemi 'Cuda. For Ford guys, it's the Boss 429. And for a lot of GM guys, it's the incredible L71 Corvette like this Bloomington Gold Certified, matching numbers roadster. Better known by its displacement and horsepower numbers, a 427/435 was the fastest, nastiest, most potent sports car money could buy in 1967. Very, very few cars could keep up with it in a straight line, and if the road turned or twisted, the fight was usually over before it even began—the Corvette would simply eat you alive.
So it's no wonder values on these cars have soared. Arguably the most attractive of all Corvettes, the C2s from 1963-67 were special cars in every way, and the delay of the all-new 1968 Corvette meant that this very special car slipped out the factory doors ahead of schedule.
The $437 cost of the L71 427/435 was more than twice that of the L36 390 horsepower version, and more than FOUR TIMES the cost of the L79 327 (although, curiously, it was about half the price of the less powerful L88 427/425 engine, but the reasons for that are a different discussion entirely). Adding the L71 engine to the order sheet pushed the price of your new Corvette into Cadillac and Lincoln territory, so it wasn't a cheap sportster for kids at that number. Perhaps that explains why 3754 were built, and why so many survive today—the guys who could afford them had something else to drive every day and took care of their hardware.
Whatever the case, this 1967 roadster is arguably one of the best in existence. With a 100% matching numbers power-train and a top-flight restoration, there are not many that can be described as better. It carries cool options like side exhaust, and has a complete documentation package including the original window sticker. But make no mistake—this car still has the fangs it was born with, and even today the 427/435 is a mythically powerful beast that few knowledgeable car guys will tangle with on the street.
As a Bloomington Gold certified car, this one perfectly exemplifies what Corvette restorers struggle with every time a customer wants a “show-winning” car. While for most folks, that means a car that's perfect in every way, for Corvette guys it means a car that's perfectly imperfect. So when I tell you that this car is incredible, that means you'll have to adjust your definition of perfection to mean “as close to the way the factory built it as possible” and not “like the factory would have built it with unlimited time and money.” The code 977 Lynndale Blue finish is gorgeous, but not TOO perfect. Yes, it's 2-stage urethane, and it's deep and rich and shiny. Lynndale Blue is one of the less common colors for 1967, with only 1381 customers selecting it (second only to Elkhart Blue and Tuxedo Black as the rarest color). The stinger is painted on, and buried under the clearcoat, which is probably a trick they never even thought of in 1967. Panel alignment is close to the way the factory guys did it, and not aligned on a laser-assisted body jig. Don't get me wrong, this car is spectacular in the flesh, but only a true Corvette enthusiast will appreciate the depth of the workmanship that went into restoring this car to this level. Perfection is easy—replicating the factory's workmanship during a restoration is a real challenge!
There aren't any plating shops that I know of duplicating production chrome these days, which means that the bumpers and other chrome pieces on this car are spectacularly beautiful, and not wavy and cloudy like they were when it was new. The stainless was polished, the glass is new, and the side exhaust has the correct brushed finish. Lenses and emblems are too nice to be original, too, but don't look out of place on this wonderful car.
Tilt the hood forward and feast your eyes on the nastiest V8 the General could legally sell in 1967. The unique triangular air cleaner gives it away, and it hides the correct trio of Holley 2-barrel carburetors atop a correctly date-coded intake manifold. No chrome valve covers, this engine is all about getting the job done, so it's all bathed in a coat of Chevrolet corporate orange. Look closely, and you'll see that there's overspray on the intake manifold, as original—a professional touch that I only mention because I so rarely see it on restored Corvettes. Hoses and clamps are, of course, exact duplicates, and this car has optional power steering, so the belt arrangement includes the twin groove water pump pulley and high performance alternator pulley. The original cast iron exhaust manifolds have been left in their natural finish, and have aged to look like this car might have, oh, about a half mile after the new owner started driving it home. Decals, inspection markings, and other factory touches have been expertly duplicated throughout the engine compartment.
Underneath, the workmanship is equally spectacular, and chassis detailing is where you separate the Bloomington Gold cars from the merely nice ones. Of course, the only transmission you wanted with your 427 was a Muncie M21 4-speed manual, and the original piece still lives in this car. Out back, there's an optional 3.70 gear on a Positraction in the pumpkin. The floors are beautifully finished with no blemishes, the parts that are supposed to be satin black are satin black, and all the details are correct. Note the red paint on the front spindles, the paint daubs on the suspension nuts and bolts that told inspectors that the guys on the assembly line had done their jobs, and there are correct balancing stripes on the driveshaft. Lines and hoses are new, there's a fresh gas tank, and proper intermediate pipes dumping into the side exhausts. By 1967, 4-wheel vented disc brakes were standard equipment on the Corvette, and those in this car work exceptionally well given their age. Wheels are 15-inch steel wheels currently wearing BFGoodrich radials, but the original wheels and redline tires are available for the purist going to a show.
The black interior is a simply wonderful place to get down to the serious business of driving, and apparently the original owner agrees. You'll note that there is no radio in this car, suggesting that the original owner preferred the baritone stereo of the side exhaust and the businesslike whirring of the mechanicals under the hood. Appropriately, no radio was added during the restoration, though new seat foams and covers, new carpet, and refreshed gauges are definitely part of the package. The beautiful wood steering wheel feels great in your hands, and the pedals dance with your feet. Hopefully the skies will always be clear when you're driving your roadster, but just in case, there's a brand new black convertible top to keep you dry.
Documentation is extensive. As I mentioned, we have the original window sticker, as well as all the judging sheets from Bloomington Gold leading up to this car's certification.
L71 Corvettes are about as blue-chip as '60s muscle can get. Despite their relatively plentiful supply and high survival rate, they remain top-notch collectibles and continue to show market increases year after year. Recent auction results show that these cars are still bringing top dollar. The reason is simple—they're spectacular cars to own and drive. When you show up at an event with a real 427/435, you are well and truly The Man, and when the time comes to sell, there will always be more buyers than sellers. Matching-numbers cars that have been properly restored and certified like this Lynndale Blue roadster are hedges against an uncertain future. I can't predict what the stock market will do tomorrow, but I can guarantee that there will be more than a few guys who want this car in their garage. Call now!