Apparently even sharks are susceptible to strikes, because for four months during production of the 1969 Corvette, auto workers went on strike. In spite of this, GM still sold 38,762 Corvettes for the 1969 model year. The ‘69 did away with the troublesome door-opening mechanism found on the ‘68 car, and introduced several other new features to the Corvette.
Most notable among these introductions is definitely the introduction of the Chevy Small-Block 350 as the standard engine for the Corvette. In the base configuration, the new engine produced 300 horsepower, but 7 other engine options were available. The all-aluminum ZL1 was rated for 430 hp, but many estimate it actually generated over 500 horses.
For the first time in 1969, the Coupe outsold the Convertible by about 5,500 cars. Perhaps Corvette buyers preferred the more weather resistant T-Top design over the convertible, or perhaps the coupe was just more appealing to the eye. For whatever reason, Coupes outsold Convertibles in every year until 2003.
The maximum price of a 1969 Corvette was over $10,000, and only two buyers decided that the ZL1’s incredible performance warranted such cost. Standard Corvettes started in the mid $4,000 range, and today, ‘69 ‘Vettes range from $20,000 to $90,000. Models with the L88 easily bring over half a million dollars.