Chevrolet Corvette L71 Roadster

One of Bill Mitchell’s most flamboyant and memorable designs was the Mako Shark II, a car he commissioned first as a show car and then as his personal transport. The Mako Shark II premiered at the New York Auto Show in April 1965, and by October of that same year, a functional running model powered by a Mark IV 427-cubic inch V-8 was built and shipped to the Paris Auto Salon. During the remainder of 1965, the duo toured North America and Europe, giving the public a hint of how the next generation Corvette might appear, and all the while creating a huge firestorm of publicity and speculation. The press correctly predicted that show-goers were seeing the next Corvette when they saw Mitchell’s Mako Shark II. As Randy Leffingwell so aptly said in Corvette – America’s Sports Car, “Bill Mitchell’s designers blended Mitchell’s Mako Shark design with Zora Duntov’s engineering accomplishments to produce a street car worthy of desire.” And thus, the third generation Corvette was introduced for the 1968 model year.

This rare and highly collectible 1969 Corvette L71 Corvette has had a professional frame-up restoration to the factory built specs. It has its number-matching 427/435 horsepower engine with an M21 close ratio four-speed manual transmission. The Le Mans Blue exterior color is very well applied over excellently prepared body panels. The black vinyl interior and matching top are stunning as well, with barely any sign of wear. The same can be said of the correct and gorgeous engine compartment and the incredibly clean underside. It is documented with its original factory installed Corvette Order Copy, more commonly known as the “tank sticker.” Other options include power steering, rallye wheels with red line tires, and an after-market AM/FM radio and speakers for a more modern sound. 

This is a highly attractive, well-documented, and excellently restored example. As such, this outstanding Corvette has potential for both shows and tour, as well as continued appreciation by collectors and enthusiasts.

435 bhp, 427 cu. in. L71 OHV V-8 engine with three 2-barrel carburetors, M21 four-speed manual transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, independent rear suspension with transverse leaf spring, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.

Part of the RM Auctions event for John Staluppi in December, 2012.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper

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