The 1969 Corvette marked a big milestone for Chevy as they reached over 250,000 of these cars produced. However Chevy received a ton of criticism for their redesign of the Corvette in the previous year, and were looking for ways to redesign the car to be more attractive to Corvette fans.
All the changes the 1969 Corvette underwent were minor and there were no revolutionary changes. The only changes which were attended by the engineers were those that were mentioned by car owners and the automotive magazines. Thus the wheel was rendered an inch shorter and for a sum of $120 Duntov got a tooling regarding the inner door panels which now could be opened up half an inch per side providing extra shoulder width.
The door knobs and the interior door handles were also taken care of and were only redesigned because of safety measures. The ignition switch which was previously mounted on the dash was moved towards the steering column and the newly mandated column lock combined with it would provide an additional level of security. There was also an advising light introduced which would let the drive know when the pop up headlights were not completely popped up.
When it came to the exterior the changes were also very minor. A return to the Sting Ray design had been experimented with. One other minor change was that of the door handles. The old ones were replaced with single lever door handles, and they had thumb operated push buttons. The headlights also had a new washing system and the windshield washer jets had been moved up to the wiper arms. The backup lights at the rear which were previously separated head now been incorporated with the inboard tail lamps. The frame had also been well taken care of and it was stiffened so that it provided less body shake and for improved handling, while the rim width got one inch up, to 8.
When it came to the engine, the changes were a little more obvious. Because the emission laws were strict and every car manufacturer had to stick with them, the small block of the Chevy was changed to just 3.48 inches, and thus the displacement was affected reaching from 327 to 350 CUB inches, on the 4 inch bore. Also the compression was down by a quarter point in each case and reached to 10.25:1 and 11.0:1. The engine’s peak power was also reduced by 200 RPM and reached at 4800 and 5600.