Perhaps the most balanced engine for the 1969 model year was the L89 big-block, rated at 435 horsepower. Chevrolet started out with a four-bolt main, cast iron block, then engineers crafted a pair of high flow, lightweight, aluminum heads to top it off. Resting between the heads was an aluminum tri-power intake manifold with three Holley Model 2300 carburetors. While the L89 was rated at the same 435 horsepower as the iron-head L71, the L89 was known to produce slightly more power thanks to its larger exhaust valves (1.84 inches versus 1.72 inches). It also weighed about 75 pounds less, thus reducing unnecessary weight from the front end and helping handling characteristics. The option didn’t come cheap though %u2013 it required an additional $832. A cast iron transistorized distributor was standard for all L71 and L89 engines.
Because of a UAW strike in early 1969 and a large number of unfilled orders, the newly appointed head of Chevrolet, John DeLorean, decided to extend the model year to 16 months. The extended model year helped Corvette set a new sales record of 38,762 vehicles. And of those, only 390 rolled off the St. Louis factory floor with the L89 option. But those that did represent some of the fastest and most balanced C3s ever made.
Born in St. Louis, MO, this Fathom Green over Green Vinyl 1969 Corvette was delivered for sale in Texas on October, 24th 1969. Sold new by Rudolph Chevrolet in El Paso, Texas, the Corvette came equipped with the following accessories: L71 427, Aux. Hardtop, F41 suspension, 3.70 Posi rear, HD clutch, Power steering, AM/FM radio, front louver trim and the L89 Aluminum head option. Coming in at a sticker price of $6312.55, the Corvette was not a cheap car for 1969. The Corvette comes documented with the Retail Order from Rudolf Chevrolet, the Corvette Order Copy, the Protecto Plate and the Tank sticker. The motor is has the correct LP engine code for a 427/435 HP car with 11.0:1 compression and 3×2 BC. There are no VIN numbers visible on the engine pad. The transmission is a B suffix Muncie(read close ratio 2.20:1) and the rear end is a 3.70 posi unit.
As any C3 collector will tell you – documentation is paramount when looking to buy any car purporting to be a 427 from factory. Don’t let this documented factory L89 Corvette pass you by!