How Many L79's Based On Body Style Were Sold?

Chevrolet did not keep, or at least did not release, information on how many of any particular body style were sold with what specific options. So, there is no known figure on how many of the 49,034 RPO L79 options were sold in a coupe, convertible, sedan or sedan pickup body style. The same applies to how many H.D. 4-speeds, close ratio 4-speeds, base 4-speeds, Positraction, vinyl tops, radios, etc., there are no records showing a breakdown by particular body style or in combination with other options.

How many of a individual option and what series and/or body styles they were available in is known for regular production options; combinations of any two or more options are not. Exterior paint colors sold were a choice the consumer made and not technically an option so even the overall number of red/blue/green/etc. Chevelles, Chevy II, or Corvettes is not known. Toss in an unknown number  with RPO ZP3 special order paint, and you now have an unknown to factor in. While something simple like the number of Chevelles sold with bucket seats (RPO A51) is known for a given year, the colors of those seats and the body styles they were installed in is not known and it's not known how many went into 136xx Malibus or 138xx SS396 series or how many went to sport coupes or convertibles.

Examples of what is known and what can statistically be calculated given the number of Chevelle, Chevy II or Corvette V8 sport coupes, convertibles, sedans, and sedan pickups along with the number of known L79 options. In the 4 year run from 1965 through 1968, a total of 49,034 RPO L79 options were reported sold by GM in the Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette models. The series for each year is shown in the table below in addition to the percentage of L79 engine option sales for each Chevrolet series.

Chevrolet Series Line/Year 1965 1966 1967 1968 Total (Percentage)
Chevelle (13xxx) 6021 option n/a 4048 4082 14,151 (29%)
Chevy II (11xxx) n/a 5481 6 1274 6,761 (14%)
Corvette (19xxx) 4716 7591 6375 9440 28,122 (57%)

Corvettes would naturally be the easiest to calculate per body style since the Corvette was only offered in two body styles, a sport coupe (19437) and convertible (19467) configuration.  Chevy IIs and Chevelles offered the L79 in any series/body style (except the SS396 series), so calculating the percentage of probable L79 options in a given body style is still possible, but subject to a wider dispersion and, therefore, a less likelihood of even approximating accuracy.

We'll use the 1967 model year Corvette as an example and see how to mathematically figure the number of L79 possibilities dispersed between the two body styles.
19437 sport coupes: 8,504 or 37% of total Corvette production.
19467 convertibles: 14,436 or 63% of total Corvette production.
Total 1967 Corvette production: 22,940 units.

Using an evenly distributed formula:
19437 sport coupes: 37% of 6,375 L79 options results in 2,359 sport coupes.
19467 convertibles:  63% of 6,375 L79 options  results in 4,016 convertibles.

When one tries tossing into the mix transmission type, Positraction rear ends, and other options to include paint color or interior colors that were not reported, those figures become very diluted very quickly. So the next time you see a 1965 Chevelle, Tuxedo Black, L79 4-speed with white interior being sold as '1-of-20' or 1-of-{any figure}, you can pretty much guess which part of the human anatomy the figure is being extracted from.

Many of these 1-of-xx figures come from an appealing and colorful production poster by Chevelle enthusiast Dan Carr. This poster has production figures for 1968 to 1972 Chevelles and Dan breaks down the figures in a very unbiased way (mathematically) in an attempt to show how many of a body style might have been ordered with various SS and non-SS specific options; mainly which SS package, transmission types and cowl induction hoods for 1970 through 1972. With Dan's permission the following excerpt from his explanation on how certain figures were determined is presented here.

The same methodology applied to any option like the LS6 engine can be applied to the L79 engine as well.

1968 - 1972 Poster by Dan Carr

See for ordering information on Dan's poster.