Although the C5 styling, structural rigidity and much more curvaceous design was new there was no mistaking it was a Corvette. Despite the fact the door sills were almost four inches lower the chassis was much more ridged than its predecessors allowing for more precise handling and less potential for rattles. The wheel base increased more than eight inches which gave the C5 a roomier passenger area.
Originally the C5 Corvette was only available in a coupe although designed from the ground up to be a convertible which was introduced in 1998. And again the Corvette was chosen as the official pace car for the Indianapolis 500.
In 1999 a third body style, a lighter and faster hard top, became part of the C5 line up. This style was the first since 1967 coupe that was not an open air car.
Whether you are looking for performance or quality parts and accessories for your C5 Corvette, Eckler’s has the knowledge and parts you need.
The C5 Corvette was the first Corvette to utilize a hydroformed frame. This new frame production process yielded a 450 percent improvement in stiffness. The results was dramatically improved ride and handling while reducing weight and improving step-in height. It also saved GM over $25 million in tooling costs.
The C5 Corvette was the first to utilize a transaxle. The reason: better weight distribution for improved performance.
The 5th generation Corvette was truly all new... body, chassis, interior, even the LS-1 aluminum engine (driving a rear-mounted transaxle) was an all new design, but based on the traditional small block V-8. Both performance and creature comforts were increased in the completely new redesign.
The 1998 Corvette convertibles have a trunk, and car lovers couldn’t be happier. In fact, the trunks were actually large enough to carry a couple of golf bags and luggage. The mileage was favorable as well. Limited Indianapolis Pace Car replicas were produced, sporting the recognizable Radar Blue with contrasting Yellow interior and specially accented wheels.
Total Production: 31,084 (19,235 Coupes & 11,849 Convertibles)
In 1999 the Chevy Corvette was available in three different body styles;. the coupe with removable targa roof, the convertible, and the hardtop model . The 1999 Vette hard top was the first fixed-roof Corvette in over thirty years. The hardtop Corvette was the most affordable of the three body styles and was perfect for those who loved Corvettes that were simpler and still a great performance-oriented Corvette. It had a 6-Speed Manual Transmission and Z51 Performance Handling Package as standard features. Those who wanted options could pick up the Heads Up Display, Twilight Sentinel, and Power Telescopic Steering Column.
Total Production: 33,270 (18,078 Coupes, 11,161 Convertibles, 4,031 Hardtops)
Base Corvette Sport Coupe
Base Corvette Fixed Roof Coupe
Base Corvette Convertible
Power Passenger Seat (coupe/convertible only)
Sport Seats (coupe/convertible only)
Body Side Moldings
Dual Removable Roof Panels
Removable Roof Panel, Blue Tint
Air Conditioning, w/auto temp control
Selective Real Time Damping (coupe/convertible only)
Performance Axle Ratio (automatic only)
Active Brake Control
6-Speed Manual Transmission
Telescopic Steering Column, Power (coupe/convertible only *)
Sport Custom (Magnesium) Wheels
Remote Compact 12-Disc Changer
AM/FM Stereo Cassette
AM/FM Stereo CD
Heads Up Instrument Display (coupe/convertible only *)
Front License Plate Frame
Performance Handling Package
Magnetic Red Metallic Paint (coupe/convertible only)
In 2000 the Corvette came with the upgraded Z51 Performance Handling Package, which now had the added larger front and rear stabilizers. The 2000 Corvette had new 5-spoke forged aluminum wheels as a standard feature, which had a high-polish finish as a great option. New exterior colors were available for the coupe and the convertible – Millennium Yellow finish and Dark Bowling Green Metallic. Torch Red was a new interior color available for the 2000 Vette. The Active Handling System was now available on all of the 2000 Corvettes.
Total Production: 33,682 (18,113 Coupes, 13,479 Convertibles, 2,090 Hardtops)
The Corvette Z06 was introduced to Vette lovers in 2001. The tires were 1” wider than the coupe and the convertible. The car didn’t have room for a spare tire, so a jack and tire repair kit were included as a requirement. Making the car lighter and faster was important, so the front and rear glass was thinner, the exhaust system was remodeled and built in titanium. The coupe and convertible base Chevy Corvettes each got a new LS6, kicking the horsepower up to 350hp. The 2001 Corvette Z06 got 385 horsepower from the new LS6 engine, as well as a new manual transmission. No automatic transmission was available for the RPO Z06.
Total Production = 35,627 (15,681 Coupes, 14,173 Convertibles, 5,773 Z06 Hardtops)
The 2002 Corvette didn’t see a lot of modifications for the coupe and convertible. The new hot color was Electron Blue, while Dark Bowling Green Metallic and Navy Blue Metallic were both discontinued. There was an unadvertised magnesium wheel option for $1500, and floor mats were now standard for all models.
Total Production = 35,767 (14,760 Coupes, 12,710 Convertibles, 8,297 Z06 Hardtops)
Happy 50th Anniversary Chevy Corvette! The 2003 Corvette special edition was available and was the pace car for the Indy 500. An optional graphics package was available for Corvette buyers who wanted their 2003 Anniversary Edition Corvette to look like a pace car. The special edition had a special Anniversary Red Metallic paint, darker than the old Magnetic Red color, available. The Magnetic Red Metallic and Light Pewter Metallic were discontinued. The selective ride control RPO F55 was introduced in 2003, replacing the F45 ride control. Safety standards called for a thicker hard top on the Z06 this year.
Total Production = 35,469 (12,812 Coupes, 14,022 Convertibles, 8,635 Z06 Hardtops)
The 2004 Commemorative Edition Corvette was introduced to send the C5 run off in style. The commemorative Corvettes came in Le Mans Blue with a really nice shale interior color. There was special embroidery on the headsets. The Z06 received special red and silver graphics on the hood and tail. Around 2025 Z16 options for the Z06 Corvette were produced.
Total Production = 34,064 (16,165 Coupes, 12,216 Convertibles, 5,683 Z06 Hardtops)
Base Corvette Sport Coupe
Base Corvette Z06 Hardtop
Base Corvette Convertible
Preferred Equipment Group - Coupe
Preferred Equipment Group - Convertibale
Commemorative Edition - Z06 Hardtop
Commemorative Edition - Coupe
Commemorative Edition - Convertible
Memory Package (Z06 hardtop)
Body Side Moldings
Dual Removable Roof Panels (coupe only)
Removable Roof Panel, Blue Tint (coupe only)
Auto-Dimming Mirrors (Z06 hardtop)
Magnetic Selective Ride Control (coupe & conv)
Performance 3.15 Axle Ratio (automatic, coupe & conv)