How To Spot The Changes To The 1969 Corvette
Do to the criticism of the 1968 Corvette, Chevrolet worked to resolve those problems for the 1969 model year. Numerous quality control and construction problems were addressed. The door panels were redesigned to increase interior room. Overall fit and finish improved in the ’69 model over the ’68.
In 1969 Chevrolet included a fiber optics system on the center console that enabled the driver to monitor the lights function. The Corvette’s engine statistics, including horsepower, torque, displacement and compression ratio were displayed below the shifter. The ignition key moved from its 1968 location on the dash near the upper right corner of the tachometer to the steering column in response to new anti-theft regulations. Power steering had become popular with a majority of Corvettes so equipped in 1969. Shoulder supports are gone so the top of the door panel is narrow and flows straight down to the arm rest. Headrests become standard do to DOT regulations. The steering wheel diameter went from 16 inches to 15 inches while the wheel size increased one inch from 7 inches to 8 inches.
Engine choices for the 1969 Corvette were mostly the same with the popular 427 cu. in. 435 hp motor still the king of the hill. The 327 cu in. selection was dropped in favor of the L46 350. Other engine options were still basically the same, with the 350-300hp, 350-350hp, 427-390hp, 427-400hp, 427-435hp, and L88. A very expensive option is offered on the L88 in the form of ZL1. For $4800 over the base Corvette price, you got an L88 with an aluminum block. The side exhaust, which had been an integral part of the Corvette image since 1965 returned in 1969. The back up lights were integrated into the tail lights so the Stingrays only have two red taillights. The front grill is now black. The “Sting Ray” name tag had strangely disappeared from the 1968 Corvette, but reappeared in 1969 as one word “Stingray” to the front fenders above the 4 gills. The four side gills have an optional chrome insert package that make each appear as a chrome louver. The 250,000th Corvette was built in November 1969.