Guide for the 1969 Corvette

The 1969 Corvette improved on the flaws of its predecessor with a reinforced frame and better storage.
Written by Shannon Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A bit of a carry-over from the 1968 model, the 1969 Corvette offered sophomore improvements to the design and engineering errors of its predecessor. Namely, this meant a reinforced frame, better passenger and cargo space, and, of course, the return of the iconic “Stingray” script as one word above the fender louver.
Further changes include an override switch to prevent the vacuum-operated hidden wiper system from freezing in the winter, side-exit exhaust pipes, and a luggage rack to increase storage for the trunk. 
As for the powertrain, the ’69 Vette had minor increases to the engine size options from the ’68 model with the exception of the rare and expensive ZL1 big-block V-8 option. This all-aluminum engine design put huge horsepower figures under the hood—but its racing performance was so impractical for street use that only two ZL1 models are believed to have been produced.
Here to talk more about the 1968 Corvette is
car insurance
comparison and broker app
. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know—from purchase tips and ownership expenses to vehicle strengths and weaknesses. We'll even show you how to save on
Corvette insurance costs
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

Ownership costs for a 1969 Corvette 

The 1969 Corvette came with the standard options to build as a convertible or 2-door coupe with six optional engine platforms and two non-standard transmission options—the 4-speed manual and the 3-speed turbo hydra-matic automatic system
While purchasing the big-block racing package—the ZL1—could so much as double the ’69 Corvette’s original buying price, even the L88 big-block engine came with a staggering $1,032 price tag. In today’s economy, this would equate to about $8,000 for the engine upgrade alone. 
Therefore, the ’69 model’s going price ranges significantly depending on the build. In general, however, you can expect a well-maintained 1969 Corvette to go for about $42,300 or more today.  
According to J.D. Power and NADA Guides, the values of a 1969 Corvette are as follows:
Cost factor
Original MSRP
Current low retail
Average retail
High retail
Of course, ownership costs will additionally need to take insurance, maintenance, fuel, repairs, and taxes into consideration. 
Depending on the car’s history and driving usage, these annual expenses can easily range from a few to several thousand dollars. However, while the ’69 model isn’t quite as financially valuable today as the breakthrough ’68 Vette, it is still a classic C3 Corvette—there is value in ownership to consider. 
Whereas newer models may depreciate over time, the ’69 could very likely accrue value as a financial investment
Key Takeaway While the cost of owning a 1969 Corvette may be unpredictable, the buying price averages at $42,300. There is also the potential for the classic C3 model to gain value in ownership over time. 

Where to buy a 1969 Corvette

You’ll most likely have success finding listings for a 1969 model on sites like
Classic Cars
. However, fellow Corvette enthusiasts may have some purchase tips or listing suggestions on
Corvette forums
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”

What does the 1969 Corvette bring to the table?

The 1969 model made a lot of significant improvements to the ’68’s design and performance flaws. Primarily, it received a steel-inforced frame to steady the harsh ride of the previous model, a smaller steering wheel to accommodate more ease in entering the cabin, and the ignition switch was moved to a more secure location on the steering column. 
Though it was still criticized for its lack of finesse and eccentric styling, the 1969 Corvette set a record for Corvette sales that would not be beaten until 1976. 

Strengths and weaknesses of the 1969 Corvette

If you’re looking to add a 1969 model to your collection, here’s a rundown of the standout features of the ’69 Vette—from the very good to the not-so-great.

The good: better space and storage

One of the biggest complaints of the ’68 model was tight cabin space and a lack of storage. The ’69 Vette made some laudable efforts to improve on this. 
A three-section map pocket was added to the dashboard to make up for the lack of glove box storage and a luggage rack was installed to allow for better trunk storage. Additionally, the inner door panels were adjusted to allow for greater shoulder space and the steering wheel was trimmed to add an extra inch to thigh clearance for the driver. 

The good: reduced vibration

With a stiffened frame to reduce chassis flex, the ride in a ’69 Vette became a lot less bumpy than a ride in its predecessor. 
Wheels were also increased from a 7-inch to an 8-inch width to improve stability.

The good: extensive safety features

The 1969 Vette received an extensive upgrade in standard safety features. This included the following: 
  • Energy-absorbing steering column 
  • Seat and shoulder belt restraints 
  • Anti-glare instrument panel
  • Padded sun visors 
  • Anti-theft ignition system 
  • Anti-theft steering and transmission locks
  • Headlamp warning light if lamp doors didn’t open fully
A new headlight washer system, reverse lights, and windshield washer jet system were also implemented to improve driving visibility.  

The bad: blindspots  

Though the luggage rack proved a useful addition in terms of storage, if a driver chose to utilize it, it completely blocked the view out the rear window
This might not be an issue if the car wasn’t frequently used for travel, but it rendered the extra storage effort essentially useless. 

The bad: lack of balance in engine speed and finesse 

As with the ’68 model, the ’69 Vette suffered from a discrepancy in speed and comfort when choosing an engine. 
While the smallest 350 cubic inch engine made for a smooth ride, it lagged in acceleration speed. On the other hand, while the big-block engines like the L88 could hit higher speeds faster, they sorely lacked the “civility” of the smaller engine models. 
MORE: 7 things to look for when buying a used car

The bottom line—which 1969 Corvette to buy

Buying options may be more limited with a classic model, but there are still some considerations to make while looking for the best 1969 Corvette for you. 
While the big-block engine builds can offer a zippier ride, you will likely experience quite a bit of noise and bumpiness along the way. Smaller engine sizes, like the standard L46, may be easier to manage, but they won’t have the extra power that can make sports cars so appealing. 
In terms of exterior design, the convertible is typically the thriftier choice, with the added bonus of endless airflow—for those who want it. While the coupe may be pricier, it comes equipped with the famous T-top removable panels the ’68 model introduced. It should be noted, however, that the T-bar is known to leak during inclement weather. 

How to save money on car insurance for the 1969 Corvette

No matter which build of the classic ’69 Vette you choose to go with, you’ll want to be sure to protect your new investment with good car insurance. With
, finding the lowest rates available can be quick and easy. 
The app is free to use and instantly cross-analyzes custom quotes from over 50 top insurance companies to pinpoint the most affordable premiums for your coverage needs. As a
licensed broker
, Jerry can then help cancel your old policy for you and handle all the transition paperwork to get your savings started seamlessly.  
The average Jerry user ends up saving $887 a year on car insurance so it’s definitely worth a look to keep that classic Corvette covered without breaking the bank!
“As a young person who owns a sports car and a high-end sedan, I couldn’t find quotes below a certain threshold. By using
, I managed to find full comprehensive coverage on both vehicles and am now saving $150 a month!” —Channing Y.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings