1997 Chevrolet Corvette C5

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4 seconds to 60 is fast even today. The Chevrolet Corvette could have done it back in 2001. Certainly the mid-engine C8 was much faster, but my favorite Corvette was the 5th generation from ’97 to 2004.
The 1997 C5 was the last Chevrolet Corvette with headlights. This car, for the first time in the history of serial automobile production, received an exhaust system made of titanium (we are talking about the Z06 modification). Compared to the steel exhaust on the base model, the titanium system, made of pipes with a diameter of 3.5d, became lighter by 8kg. In addition, for the first time in the history of American automobile production, the Z06 of the farewell series was fitted with a carbon fiber hood.

Significant technical innovations were introduced in the fifth-generation Corvette, but I like it not only that. This car has a special charisma. In my opinion, it’s one of the best American sports cars of the ’90s. The Corvette C5 has had some resounding, racing victories. So in 2001, it won at Le Mans.
The creation of this magnificent car was the work of engineer Dave Hill and designer John Caffar. From 1997 to 2004, 248,000 of these cars were produced. Their production was carried out in the city of Flint, which is in the state of Michigan.

1997 Chevrolet Corvette C5 – price and value.

You could buy a brand new Chevrolet Corvette C5 for $48,000. Today on the carguru website I saw ads for a Corvette with 80,000 miles on it for $13,500. A sports car in good condition can be bought for $25,000-$30,000. Cars in Z06 modification and with not much mileage can be more expensive.

Exterior and photos of 1997 Chevrolet Corvette C5.

Compared to the previous generation, the C5 received sleek and streamlined body shapes. Body panels were made of fiberglass and dressed on a space frame, partially made of aluminum. By the way, compared to the frame of the fourth-generation Corvette, the frame of the new car became 4.5 times stiffer! There were deformation zones in the front and rear of the body.
The Corvette C5 was available in body types: – targa, convertible and hardtop. The soft-top convertible roof could be raised in just 18 seconds. It could be black, beige, or gray and was made of five-layer material Twillfast.

The most powerful modification – Z06 was produced exclusively in hardtop body. Such cars can be recognized by a nameplate on the front fender. In 2002, this nameplate was labeled 405H.P, which spoke about the increased by 20 hp of power. In addition, in front of the rear wheel of the Z06, there was a special air duct in the sill, which was designed to blow the rear brakes.

With a body length of 4560mm, the width is 1869mm, height is 1212mm and wheelbase is 2650mm. The coefficient of drag is 0.29. The base version had a curb weight of about 1600kg, the Z06 was 200kg lighter. So better dynamics was provided not only by more powerful engine, but also by less weight. The Z06 was equipped with a light, stationary antenna on the rear fender, instead of a retractable antenna – as in the base version. Probably it was possible to save weight. The Corvette Z06 was equipped with Goodyear Eagle F1SC tires with 265/40 R17 tires in the front and 295/35 R18 tires in the rear.
The Chevrolet Corvette 50th Anniversary Series featured special coloring. The series was produced in honor of the model’s 50th anniversary.

1997 Chevrolet Corvette C5 interior and equipment.

I think everyone is used to the fact that the speedometer of American cars is programmed in miles. So the speedometer of Chevrolet Corvette C5 is programmed to 200 miles. It is interesting that by pressing one button (number 5, – to the right of the dashboard) you can switch from miles to kilometers. In this case, if the C5 was traveling at 60 mph, the red arrow will immediately move to the number 100. Recall that the graduation ends at 200, and the Corvette’s top speed is well over that value in kilometers.
Already in those years the Chevrolet Corvette was equipped with a projection on the windshield. The owner could change the brightness of the projection and its location on the windshield.

The interior of the Corvette C5 is quite different from the Japanese and German sports cars of those years. Four-spoke steering wheel (which from stop to stop makes only 2.46 turns and becomes heavier with increasing speed) and large gaps – it all reminds about the country of origin of the car. The gaps between the door panel and the front panel are particularly large. The Bose music system includes 8 speakers, the largest of which are 203mm in diameter and mounted in the doors. The power of the system is 252 watts, CD changer is installed in the trunk and is able to accept 12 disks.

It is noteworthy that in front of the passenger, a handle is provided above the panel with the Corvette inscription. This is a reference to the first generations of the model.

The parking brake lever is mounted closer to the passenger’s seat. To the right of the gear lever there is a small cup holder – it is unusually small in size. In the glove compartment, in a special bag there is a manual, a pen and a pressure gauge with the designation Z06.

Engine and technical characteristics of Chevrolet Corvette C5.

The base engine for the fifth-generation Corvette was the LS1. It is an aluminum V8 with a displacement of 5.7L and a compression ratio of 10.1:1. Initially, this engine produced 345 hp at 5600 rpm and 480 N.M. Torque. By the way, the power of this base engine for the C5 was only 30 hp less than the ZR1 in the previous generation.

Most of the Corvette C5 was equipped with an automatic, four-speed gearbox – Hydra-Matic 4L60. Such a car, even with a very long 3.42:1 main pair, is able to accelerate to 100km in 5.05s. The maximum speed of Chevrolet is 275km. The Corvette with a manual transmission is capable of reaching 100km in 4.75sec.
For better weight distribution, the gearbox was mounted in the rear. This is largely responsible for the weight distribution; – 51/49%. For lightweighting, the 63mm diameter driveshaft is made of aluminum.
In 2001, the Z06 was modified with the LS6 engine with an output of 385 hp. The compression ratio and piston stroke were increased. In 2002, LS1 power was increased to 355 hp, and LS6 to 411. It was the latter that was able to accelerate to 100km in 4s and reach a top speed of 300km per hour.

This is a powerful, beautiful and iconic car that can be bought today not so expensive. Even with the base version and automatic transmission, it is a fast car, even by today’s standards.

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