Corvette Funfest took over Effingham, Illinois, a few weeks ago for a weekend of beautiful cars and raucous behavior. While we were there, we came across this awesome 1969 Corvette L88 and absolutely had to share it with you.

Affectionately nicknamed "The Babe" in honor of its original owner, the Corvette now belonging to Tom O'Brien of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, is regarded as an independent endurance road race car. It was built and driven by Milton "Babe" Headley, who completed driving school with the car in 1972 before beginning his racing career sponsored by his own small Corvette shop.

A year later in 1973, Headley took third place for the season overall in the SCCA North-East region and had many successful starts in IMSA. After getting his hands on his professional FIA license, he spent '74 and '75 racing in SCCA, IMSA, and Trans Am, before continuing his racing career in a different Corvette. Before retiring in 1980, Headley achieved great success ultimately finishing second to the great Bob Tulius in 1978 - the highest level of success ever achieved by an independent driver/owner in the series.

In 1977, the Corvette was purchased by Scott Perfetto, whose log book remains with the car to this day, and the new owner (also a Pennsylvania native) followed in Babe's footsteps by attending driving school before continuing to race in regional A/P and GT-1 competition. In 1983, the car was again sold, this time to a man named Gary Griffith, who raced the car only twice that year using Perfetto's log book before his untimely and unfortunate death. After being put up for sale at a swap meet by Griffith's wife, being bought by Corvette Shop and Salvage Yard owner Bob Smith and sitting in obscurity for a while, the Corvette found O'Brien and underwent the restoration it so desperately deserved.

In 2005, Headley was reunited with the L88 he formally owned, and jumped behind the wheel of the now-restored Vette one last time. Unbelievably, the car that began his career and the first road race car he ever drove would ultimately be the last one he ever drove. He passed away in 2007.

1969 Corvette L88 - "The Babe" Specifications


Balanced 460 cubic-inch L88 with 14.5:1 compression producing approximately 700 horsepower

Race-prepped 4-bolt main block ('74 crate/race block)

.030 over J&E pistons with floating pins

Forged 4-inch stroke crank - drilled and chamfered

Traco rods

'69 L88 heads and intake (ported and matched)

McClendon Racing 850 cfm Holley carburetor

Chevrolet Racing .600/.600 camshaft

Harland Sharp roller rockers (1.7:1)

Stainless "elephant" push rods

Stainless valves (3 angle valve grind)

Cloyes double roller racing timing set

Melling HV-77 oil pump

Milodon 8 quart road race oil pan

Remote oil filter and cooler

A/N fittings and lines

Power Master 150 amp alternator

MSD-6AL ignition, Pro Billet distributor, 8mm wires

Holley fuel pump, Fram remote filter

Aluminum radiator


Race-prepped "full cage" Corvette chassis

Solid suspension bushings

Adjustable rear camber rods

Raised solid rear crossmember mounts

Offset trailing arms

Bilstein stocks

Heavy duty springs

ATL fuel cell with dry brake


Borge Super T-10

G&G roller bearing tail housing

Heavy duty drive yoke

11-inch Borg and Beck three-finger racing clutch

Hayes clutch disc

Lakewood scatter shield

Hurst Competition Plus shifter

Remote cooler with A/N lines and fittings

Rear End

Heavy-duty housing

3.55:1 axel ratio

Heavy-duty yokes, U-joints, and half-shafts

Remote cooler with A/N lines and fittings