Evaluation: Used in drag racing and hillclimb events in Pennsylvania in period but never wrecked. Bought by the current owner from the original owner in 2007, and then restored by Kevin Mackay in 2014. Excellent paint and panel fit. The brightwork is excellent. Convertible top fits tightly. The underbody and engine are excellent and show no use as well. The interior is like new. As well kept and presented as it deserves to be, this incredibly rare ZL1 the star Corvette in an auction week that is absolutely jam-packed with America’s sports car.
Bottom Line: This ZL1 is one of two built. It doesn’t get much rarer than that. Like the L88 that came before it the ZL1 was never advertised and prohibitively expensive but even more so as it added more than $4700 to the price tag with zero other options selected. That was double the base price of a Corvette, but it got you a 560-hp version of the all-aluminum Can-Am racing engine.
In the weeks leading up to Scottsdale, car media speculated that this could be the most expensive Corvette ever sold at auction. Indeed, we didn’t really have any comparable sales to go on. The other ZL1 built last sold at auction more than 30 years ago, for $300,000 reportedly after being seized by the DEA. In the end it didn’t quite break the all-time Vette record. That still belongs to a $3.85M 1967 L88 Coupe. But it is the most expensive C3 (1968-82) Corvette sold at auction and the third most expensive Corvette ever.