Thank you for checking in here at Hobby Car Corvettes, as we continue with our C3 Vette Rundown Series. Two weeks ago, we brought you the specs and deets on the firstborn child of the Third Generation Chevrolet Corvettes, the 1968. This week, we are pumped to discuss the release and ultimate success of the polished and perfected, 1969 C3.
Let’s get to it!
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT
Last week we discussed the unfortunate but necessary plight of the 1968 being the test run child. Chevrolet of course took customer feedback to heart and made the necessary changes to please the people. Most talked about was the lack of interior room, leaving drivers and passengers feeling cramped.
This year, door panels were revised providing additional shoulder room in the C3’s tighter cabin. The steering wheel was also reduced from 16 inches to 15 inches to make for easier entry and exit. Chevrolet also made tilt and telescopic steering columns an option this year. In 1968, only telescopic was an option on its own.
ADDITIONAL CHANGES MADE
Change is constant, necessary, and exciting. In 1969, in addition to giving the customer more interior space, Chevrolet made some other aesthetic and mechanical changes to the next C3 Corvette. Small block engine displacement increased from 327 cubic inches (5.4 L) to 350 cubic inches (5.7 L). However, output remained the same. All other engines and transmission choices also remained the same. The tire size did remain the same, but this was the first year for optional white lettered tires and the last for red striped tires. The wheels also got an inch wider, jumping from 7 inches to 8 inches.
Because of the aforementioned change in the column, the ignition switch had to be moved, and went from the dash to the column. They also added a lock-out feature for safety. This feature required that Corvettes with an automatic transmission must be in park to remove key, and those with a manual transmission must be in reverse to remove key. Corvette prided themselves on their attention to safety, hence one of their ad slogans “Putting you first, keeps us first.” The door handle was wisely changed to a rectangular chrome lever, easily usable by either hand on either side of the car. In the 1968 C3s, the door handle design required use of the left hand on the driver’s side and right hand on the passenger’s side. 1968 was also the last year for low back seats. Headrests, although listed as an option, became mandated by federal safety regulation, so were included in every 1969 C3. The seatbelt homes, which were small compartments behind the hand brake where seat belts were meant to be homed when not in use, were deemed unnecessary and removed this year. In 1969, the backup light was moved from below the bumper to above, located next to the tail lights. This specific change was a big cost saver for Chevrolet. On the shift console, a plaque offering vital engine statistics was added below the shifter. This year, front fender Louver trim was also added as an option.
DID YOU KNOW?
- On November 7, 1969, the 250,000th Corvette came off the production line. This was an exciting day for Chevrolet!
- In 1969, the “Shark” once more became a “Stingray”. We had mentioned that the 1968 Corvette had lost the Sting Ray moniker. 1969 held the name once again, however this time, spelled as one word “Stringray” as opposed to previous “Sting Ray”.
- The revised spelling was a throwback to the spelling Bill Mitchell had originally used for his 1959-1960 Stingray race car.
- In 1969, there was a parts production strike, which played a big part in the jump in production compared to other years. Once the strike was over, production for 69’s was extended by four months to make up for lost time. Production ran from September of 1968 to December of 1969, compared to January of 1970 to July of 1970 the following year.
- This is the only year side exhaust, “side pipes”, was a factory option. Following 1969, side pipes would continue to be a popular aftermarket addition for many C3s to come.
A Good Year
Overall, 1969 proved to be a huge success for the C3 Chevrolet Corvettes. After initial release, feedback was able to be gathered and design to be revised. We don’t have to say much to defend that 1969 was a drastic improvement for the C3 Corvettes. The numbers speak for themselves. In 1968, the number of C3 Corvettes sold totaled 28,566. In 1969, Chevrolet saw an increase of more than 10,000 units sold, totaling 38,762 Corvettes sold! This was an incredible jump in sales, which speaks to the quality of improvements made by Chevrolet. The third generation Corvette continues to excite and impress us to this day, which is why we are eager to continue this highlight series with you. Stay tuned to see what Chevrolet has in store for it’s 1970 release. We can’t wait! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us at Hobby Car Corvettes, located in Martinsburg, PA, if you have any questions or interest in owning your very own C3 Corvette. We are the definition of Corvette people, eager to share our passion with you. Let’s connect!
|Type||2 Door Coupe/Convertible|
|Colors||Tuxedo Black, Can-Am White, Monza Red, LeMans Blue, Riverside Gold, Fathom Green, Daytona Yellow, Cortez Silver, Burgundy, Monaco Orange|
|Engine||350ci – 300HP Engine (standard), 350ci – 350HP Engine, 427ci – 390HP Engine, 427ci – 400HP Engine, 427ci – 430HP Engine, 427ci – 435HP Engine|
|Vin||194379S700001 – 194379S73876|
|Transmission||3-speed manual (standard), 4-speed manual (optional), 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic (optional)|
|Original Price||$4,781.00 (Coupe), $4,438.00 (Convertible)|
|P||Muncie 4-Speed M20 Wide-Range (2.52:1 1st gear)|
|A||Muncie 4-Speed M21 Close-Range (2.20:1 1st gear)|
|B||Muncie 4-Speed M22 Close-Range (2.20:1 1st gear) Rock Crusher|
|K||Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 with 350 Engine|
|L||Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 with 390 & 400 HP Engine|
|Y||Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 with 430 & 435 HP Engine|
|MODEL||1969 CHEVROLET CORVETTE|
|BODY STYLE||Two-door convertible/coupe, front engine, rear wheel drive|
|MANUFACTURING LOCATION||St. Louis, Missouri|
|CONSTRUCTION||Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP or “fiberglass”) body, all welded, full length, ladder construction frame with 5 cross-members. Front section flat;rear section contoured over rear axle. Side-rails and intermediate cross members box construction. Rear crossmember “C” shaped; front crossmember concave for engine clearance.|
|VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN)||194379S700001 – 194379S738762|
|ENGINE SUFFIX||GC: 350 CUBIC INCH, 350 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION, TRANSISTOR IGNITION GD: 350 CUBIC INCH, 350 HP, MANUAL TRANS., AIR CON., TRANSISTOR IGNITION HW: 350 CUBIC INCH, 350 HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION HX: 350 CUBIC INCH, 350 HP, MANUAL TRANS, AIR CON HY: 350 CUBIC INCH, 300 HP, MANUAL TRANS HZ: 350 CUBIC INCH, 300 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANS LL: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANS LM: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400 HP, MANUAL TRANS LN: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANS LO: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430 HP (L88), MANUAL TRANS LP: 427 CUBIC INCH, 435 HP, MANUAL TRANS, ALUMINUM HEADS LQ: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400 HP, MANUAL TRANS LR: 427 CUBIC INCH, 435 HP, MANUAL TRANS LT: 427 CUBIC INCH, 435 HP, MANUAL TRANS, HEAVY DUTY CLUTCH LU: 427 CUBIC INCH, 435 HP, MANUAL ALUM. HEADS, HEAVY CLUTCH LV: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430 HP (L88), AUTOMATIC TRANS LW: 427 CUBIC INCH, 435 HP, AUTO TRANS, ALUMINUM HEADS LX: 427 CUBIC INCH, 435 HP, AUTO TRANS ME: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430 HP (ZL1), MANUAL TRANS MG: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430 HP (ZL1), AUTOMATIC TRANS MH: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390 HP, MANUAL TRANS, TRANSISTOR IGNITION MI: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390 HP, AUTO TRANS, TRANSISTOR IGNITION MJ: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400 HP, AUTO TRANS, TRANSISTOR IGNITION MK: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400 HP, MANUAL TRANS, TRANSISTOR IGNITION MR: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430 HP (L88), MANUAL TRANS MS: 427 CUBIC INCH|
|ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER||3932386, 350 CUBIC INCH, 300 HP, 350HP 3832388, 350 CUBIC INCH, 300 HP, 350HP 3935439, 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, 400HP, 430HP, 435HP 3946052, 427 CUBIC INCH, 430HP (ZL1) 3955270, 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, 400HP, 430HP, 435HP 3963512, 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, 400HP, 430HP, 435HP 3956618, 350 CUBIC INCH, 300 HP, 350HP 3970010, 350 CUBIC INCH, 300 HP, 350HP|
|HEAD NUMBER||3919840, 427 CUBIC INCH, 435HP, IRON HEAD 3919842, 427 CUBIC INCH, 435HP, ALUMINUM HEAD 3927186, 350 CUBIC INCH, 300HP, 350HP 3927187, 350 CUBIC INCH, 350HP 3931063, 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, 400HP 3946074, 427 CUBIC INCH, 430HP, ALUMINUM HEAD 3947041, 350 CUBIC INCH, 300HP|
|CARBURETOR NUMBERS||ROCHESTER Q-jet #7029202: 350 CUBIC INCH, 300HP, AUTO ROCHESTER Q-jet #7029203: 350 CUBIC INCH, 300HP, MANUAL ROCHESTER Q-jet #7029204: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, AUTO ROCHESTER Q-jet #7029207: 350 CUBIC INCH, 350HP, MANUAL ROCHESTER Q-jet #7029215: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, MANUAL HOLLEY R3659A #3902353: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400HP, 435HP HOLLEY R4055-1A #3940929: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400HP, 435HP HOLLEY R4056-1A #3940930: 427 CUBIC INCH, 400HP, AUTO HOLLEY R4054A #3925519: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430HP HOLLEY R4296A #3955205: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430HP|
|DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER||1111490: 350 CUBIC INCH, 300HP 1111491: 350 CUBIC INCH, 350HP, TRANSISTOR IGNITION 1111493: 350 CUBIC INCH, 350HP 1111926: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, 400HP 1111927: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430HP, TRANSISTOR IGNITION 1111928: 427 CUBIC INCH, 435HP, TRANSISTOR IGNITION 1111954: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, 400HP, TRANSISTOR IGNITION|
|ALTERNATOR NUMBER||1100825: AIR CONDITIONING AND/OR TRANSISTOR IGNITION 1100833: 427 CUBIC INCH, 390HP, 400HP 1100859: 350 CUBIC INCH, 300HP, 350HP 1100882: 427 CUBIC INCH, 430HP, 435HP, TRANSISTOR IGNITION 1100884: 350 CUBIC INCH, 300HP, AIR CONDITIONING 1100900:|
|AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER||AK: 3.36:1 RATIO, 3-SPEED, 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION AS: 3.70:1 RATIO, 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION|
|POSITRACTION AXLE||AL: 3.08:1 RATIO, 3-SPEED, 4-SPEED, & TURBO HYDRA-MATIC AM: 3.36:1 RATIO, 3-SPEED, 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION AN: 3.55:1 RATIO, 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION AO: 3.70:1 RATIO, 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION AP: 4.11:1 RATIO, 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION AY: 2.73:1 RATIO, TURBO HYDRA-MATIC TRANSMISSION|
|PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE||SEP. 1968: 703041, JAN. 1969: 714695, MAY 1969: 723374, OCT. 1969: 734067, OCT. 1968: 706272, FEB. 1969: 717571, JUN. 1969: 725875, NOV. 1969: 736798, NOV. 1968: 709159, MAR. 1969: 720543, AUG. 1969: 728107, DEC. 1969: 738762, DEC. 1968: 711742, APR. 1969: 721315, SEP. 1969: 730963|
Options Codes, Production, & Pricing
|19437||Base Corvette Sport Coupe||22, 129||$4,781.00|
|19467||Base Corvette Convertible||16, 633||$4,781.00|
|–||Genuine Leather Seats||3, 729||$4,438.00|
|A01||Soft Ray Tinted Glass, All Windows||31, 270||$79.00|
|A85||Custom Shoulder Belts (std. with coupe)||600||$17.95|
|C07||Auxiliary Hardtop (for convertible)||7,878||$42.15|
|C08||Vinyl Covering (for auxiliary hardtop)||3,266||$252.80|
|C50||Rear Window Defroster (coupe only)||2, 485||$57.95|
|C60||Air Conditioning||11, 859||$32.65|
|F41||Special Front and Rear Suspension||1,661||$428.70|
|G81||Positraction Rear Axle, all ratios||36,965||$36.90|
|J56||Special Heavy Duty Brakes||115||$42.15|
|K05||Engine Block Heater||824||$384.45|
|K66||Transistor Ignition System||5,702||$10.55|
|L36||427 ci, 390 hp engine||10,531||$81.10|
|L46||427 ci, 350 hp engine||12,846||$221.20|
|L68||427 ci, 400 hp engine||2,072||$131.65|
|L71||427 ci, 435 hp engine||2,722||$326.55|
|L88||427 ci, 430 hp engine||116||$437.10|
|L89||Aluminum Cylinder Heads with L71||390||$132.15|
|MA6||Heavy Duty Clutch||102||$832.05|
|M20||4-Speed Manual Transmission||16,507||$79.00|
|M21||4-Speed Manual Transmission, close ratio||13,741||$184.80|
|M22||4-Speed Manual Transmission, close ratio, heavy duty||101||$184.80|
|M40||Turbo Hydra-Matic Automatic Transmission||8,161||$290.40|
|N14||Side Mount Exhaust System||4,355||$221.80|
|N37||Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column||10,325||$147.45|
|P02||Deluxe Wheel Covers||8,073||$105.35|
|PT6||Red Stripe Tires, F70x15, nylon||5,210||$57.95|
|PT7||White Stripe Tires, F70x15, nylon||21,379||$31.30|
|PU9||White Letter Tires, F70x15, nylon||2,398||$31.30|
|TJ2||Front Fender Louver Trim||11,962||$33.15|
|U15||Speed Warning Indicator||3,561||$26.35|
|U79||AM-FM Radio, stereo||4,114||$172.75|
|ZL1||Special L88 (aluminum block)||2||$4,718.00|
We currently have the following 1969 corvettes for sale: