Lot 116

Arizona 2024

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray L89 Convertible


$313,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
Engine No.
T1126LP 19S710749
Gearbox No.
P9T05 19S710749
US Title
  • Highly desirable, exceptionally well-documented, top-of-the-line L89; one of only 390 produced for the model year
  • Currently offered with just 361 miles indicated at time of cataloguing
  • Presented in factory-correct color combination of Daytona Yellow over black vinyl
  • Powered by numbers-matching 427-cu.-in. aluminum-head L89 V-8 and four-speed M21 transmission
  • Stunningly restored; NCRS Top Flight Award winner in April 2014
  • Original Corvette order form, window sticker, manufacturer’s statement of origin, sales agreement, Protect-O-Plate, manuals, NCRS judging record, NCRS Shipping Data Report, and restoration photos
Addendum: Please note the title for this lot is in transit. A 4-6 week delay is expected.

In 1969, Chevrolet built and shipped just 390 Corvettes with the 427-cubic-inch L89-code V-8 engine package. For a princely $395, L89 buyers were treated to an unrivaled 435-plus horsepower symphony created by the package’s exclusive pair of high-flow, lightweight aluminum cylinder heads. Resting between these heads was an aluminum tri-power intake manifold with three Holley 2300 carburetors.

By the time he had placed the order for this Daytona Yellow L89 Convertible via Fort Walton Florida’s Hood Motor Company, 28-year-old Steve Honnell was already regarded as one of the Southeast’s most promising drag racers. Despite being a Ford employee, and even carrying Ford-sponsorship on his Holman-Moody-powered Ford drag cars, Auburn, Alabama-based Honnell longed to explore the other side of Detroit’s horsepower wars.

On New Year’s Eve 1968, he took delivery of Corvette chassis 710749, which had been completed at Chevrolet’s St. Louis, Missouri factory on 14 December. In addition to the coveted L89 engine package, Honnell’s tastefully specified convertible was fitted from new with power brakes, power steering, a 3.55 Posi-Traction rear axle, full-transistor ignition system, M21 close-ration transmission, AM/FM radio, headrests, and an auxiliary hardtop. Upon receipt, Honnell reportedly clad the car in a garish metallic-flake paintjob and Cragar drag wheels. At some point very early in his ownership, the numbers-matching L89 engine was reportedly removed, placed on a pallet in his garage, and swapped for a drag-prepped LS6 V-8.

Having purchased this car for the sole purpose of drag racing, Honnell never bothered to title or register it, and as presented today L89 number 710749 indicated just 361 miles at the time of cataloguing; the bulk of which must represent quarter-mile blasts he enjoyed between 1969 and 1977, until the car was tucked away in storage alongside its original engine.

In 2005, Honnell finally sold his long-forgotten L89 Convertible to Danny and Kenneth Watkins, who promptly removed it from storage and set about disassembling it and beginning a comprehensive restoration back to original specifications. The process would take eight years to complete in collaboration with Honnell. The sole notable addition that the Watkins made to 710749 is a correct-for-1969 N14 exhaust system; the car otherwise remains particularly correct, as delivered new, and presentable throughout. Importantly, evident stampings clearly illustrate that this stellar L89 Convertible still retains all major numbers-matching powertrain components—namely its signature aluminum heads, engine block, and M21 four-speed transmission.

Upon completion, 710749 was submitted for National Corvette Restorers Society judging. In April 2013, it earned a Second Flight Award (91.7 points) at the NCRS Southeast Chapter Spring Regional Meet, and in April 2014 it was awarded Top Flight recognition (96.6 points) at the NCRS Heart of Ohio Chapter Spring Judging Meet.

This prized L89 Convertible is accompanied by an outstanding trove of original documentation, including its Corvette order form, retail buyers order form, scheduled price sheet, receipt for payment, a dealer copy of Corvette order, car invoice, window sticker, tank sticker, manufacturer statement of origin, Protect-O-Plate, Corvette owner card, manuals, temporary Florida tag assignment, a 1974 Sheriff’s inquiry into this car’s registration/titling history, as well as a hand-signed letter from John Z. DeLorean thanking Steve Honnell for his purchase. Additionally, an NCRS judging record, and a Shipping Data Report are supplemented by a compendium of detailed pictures documenting the Watkins’ award-winning restoration.

Furthermore, this stunning L89 Convertible has been registered with marque expert Kevin Cavanaugh's L89 registry for more than 30 years.