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The Only One of Its Kind The ZL Corvette

Since I haven't talked a lot about the ZL1 Corvette, I figured that I'd take an opportunity to chat about one of the meanest cars ever built by man kind, this car was most certainly at the top of the food chain as far as muscle cars and sports cars built in the USA during the 1960's, well this one had a very short run at the end of the 1960's, or in 1969, what I mean by short is there were only two of them ever built.The ZL1 engine was conceived of to drag race the 1969 Camaro in the NHRA, and 69 ZL1 engines were put in to 1969 Camaro's only, the NHRA had a rule, that if you wanted to race in the stock class, that the car that you raced had to be a factory production model, and to be a production car the manufacture had to build at least 50 of that particular model, thus the ZL1 Camaro was born.But back to the task at hand, the 1969 ZL1 Corvette, this was probably the wildest production car ever built, the Zl1 engine was an all aluminum 427 CID big block Chevrolet, and this cut about 300 pounds off the weight of the car, so you can imagine what that would do for it's mile times, the engine was rated from the factory at 430 hp, but actually made about 625 hp on the dyno, and a 1969 Corvette was around 3200 pounds, this would mean that the car was capable of about 11.18's in the mile.

In street dress, I don't have a time with open exhaust and slicks on the car, but you could probably add about 1 second with a good driver.This car was built to impress, and that it did, there were a white ZL1 and a yellow one built, in I think it was 1989, if I'm not mistaken, the government seized the yellow one in a drug raid, in which the owner went to prison, they proceeded to auction the car their estimated value of the car was $500,000, but they sold it for the minimum reserve of $300,000 to a very lucky winner, and the white one I'm not sure where it is, but it's out there somewhere, now you hear the Ford guys and the Mopar guys tell you all the time, how their cars beat down the Chevy's, but not this one boys.

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.I've been in the automotive business for about 20 or 25 years, I have worked in all facets of the industry, from parts to restoration, all different makes and models, I just want to keep people interested in the old cars because it's where my heart is.

By: David Atkin



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