Corvette C5 1997-2004

For the 1997 model year, the first C5 Corvette,  there were only two body styles, a fastback coupe and a convertible. The convertible was the first of the Corvettes to have a trunk since 1962. The C5 Corvette saw a reversal of a trend started by the C4. With those cars, the lines simplified, but with the C5 models, the body lines tended to subtly reverse that trend. The C5 Vettes had the more aggressive look of the C3 models, while increasing the cars aerodynamics.

The C4 year of the Corvette saw the return of the convertible, this time with an integral roll bar, but GM now had a problem with the coupe; with the total removal of the roof, the coupe could collapse in the event of a rollover incident. The engineers solved the problem by using a hydroformed box frame, which remained the same for two generations of Corvettes. This frame style also solved a squeak problem that plagued the C4 models. In 1999, GM marketed a hard-top called a “fixed roof coupe.” This new model had a trunk similar to the convertibles, making a total of three models to choose from.

Chevrolet Corvette 1998

© Toynutz | 1998 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

The transmission in the C5 moved to the rear of the vehicle and connected to the all-new LS1 engine by a torque tube giving the C5 Vette an ideal 50/50 front to rear weight distribution. The LS1 engine produced 345hp (257 kW), which increased in 2001 to 350hp (261 kW). If you chose an automatic, it was the older style 4L60 automatic transmission, but if you chose the standard, you got a new Borg-Warner T-56 six-speed. This transmission could take your C5 Vette to a top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h).

Chevrolet Corvette 1998 rear

© Toynutz | 1998 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Visibly, there was little change in the C5 generation of Corvettes, only new colors, different wheel covers, horsepower increases, and some new options to choose from. Three of the more popular new options were HUD (heads up display), an active handling system,  and variable assist steering, which varied the assist from the power steering unit, and the operator had more assist at low speeds and progressively less as the vehicles speed increased.

Chevrolet Corvette 2004

 © Steirus | Newer Car, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

The C5 Corvette was a very fuel efficient vehicle, considering the power it had at the drivers disposal. The car achieved EPA ratings of 18 city/25 highway mpg with the automatic and 19 city/28 highway mpg with the standard, so the high-powered Vette avoided the “gas guzzler tax” put on many other vehicles in its class. Many factors contributed to the cars fuel efficiency, among them were its low drag co-efficient and relative light weight. The low weight was partially due to having ride flat tires instead of a spare tire.

The automatic transmission upshifted at the earliest possible moment, while the standard had a computer-aided shift, which obligated the operator to shift from 1st to 4th under certain driving conditions, the owner could purchase an aftermarket device to inhibit this mandatory shift mechanism. The suspension choices were somewhat limited for a basic C5 Vette. In 1999-2000, an option was the FE3 sport suspension or the F45 selective ride control suspension. The Z06 model was an exception and had no optional suspension choices; the FE4 racing suspension was the only one on that model. The F5 Vette could match or beat most of the premier performance and sports cars of its time. This car could do 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and a standing quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds with the six-speed standard transmission.

3 thoughts on “Corvette C5 1997-2004”

    1. Attention Donnie Graley
      I guessed at the picture you meant and removed the one I thought was it-if you do not reply to the email I sent you on facebook I will put the image back

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Streamlined roof-mounted emergency lighting pods were beginning to appear by 1940 and Meteor showed a number of ambulances so-equipped in their mailings. Meteor's flower cars were topped by 5-window business coupe-style roofs and featured a fake folded convertible top made of aluminum mounted at the rear of the flower box. Meteor introduced a new driver's door first seen on 1939 S&S carved-panel coaches that featured an unusual A-shaped window frame. Meteor then mounted a miniature coach lamp within the triangular panel that was now part of the body. Although the new arched door looked great on their service cars, flower cars and carved Gothic hearses, it looked hideous when combined with the vertical B & C pillars found on their limousine-style coaches and ambulances. The rear door window frames as well as the B-pillars and C-pillars were still vertically oriented and clashed with the sharply sloping outline of the front door's arched window-frame.S&S did the right thing and used vertical B-pillar front door frames on their regular limousine-style and landau-style hearses and ambulances. Although they could have used a regular door on their limousine-style coaches and ambulances (as did S&S), for some unknown reason, Meteor didn't and continued producing ugly limousine style coaches until 1950, when regular door frames returned.Quite unfairly, LaSalle had acquired the reputation of being a "cheap" Cadillac and was eliminated by GM just as Cadillac released their new Bill Mitchell-designed models in 1941. The new Cadillac was decidedly forward-looking, side-mounted spares had been eliminated and the new Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was available for the first time having been pioneered by Oldsmobile in the previous year. The prow-nosed look seen in the Thirties was gone, replaced by massive front-end highlighted by the now-famous egg-crate grille. Headlamps were now mounted in, rather than on top of, the front fenders. Equipped with a Cord-like coffin-nose hood the new Cadillacs were noticeably different from their predecessors and set the standard for American luxury during the 1940s. A mid-sized 29-passenger transit bus prototype called the 101 was built during 1941, but never saw production. However their experience with the vehicle helped procure a large contract to produce bodies for a post-war Reo transit coach.The A-framed Meteor coaches continued little unchanged through 1942 although a less-expensive series of coaches appeared in 1941 mounted on Chevrolet chassis that featured normal-looking vertically-oriented B-pillars. When seen on a flower car body, Meteor's A-framed front doors looked good and their 1942 version featured a 5-window business coupe roof mounted on top of a standard Meteor coach body that had been built with no structure above the beltline. The coupe's blanked-in rear quarter-windows were covered by a landau bar and the base of the roof flowed straight back to the rear of the flower box which still had a makeshift faux folded-convertible roof. The rear doors were left intact and could be used to load chairs or other graveside necessities. Access to the casket compartment was through the tailgate which had built-in casket rollers that matched those on the compartment floor. The height of the exposed stainless steel flower deck was hydraulically adjustable so that different-sized floral tributes could be accommodated and a tonneau was included to cover the bed when not in use.After an illustrious career with Henney and a short stint at the Des Moines Casket Company, automotive designer Herman Earl (1878-1957) worked for Meteor up until his retirement during WWII. Another famous wartime Meteor employee was John B. Judkins who became a consultant for the firm, when his Merrimac, MA coachbuilding firm folded in 1942. During the War, Meteor manufactured aviation equipment for the US Navy and ramped up for civilian production in early 1945.Immediately after the war Meteor built 969 bus bodies for Reo's post-war 96-HT 'Victory' bus (1945-1947). These Reo-Meteor coaches included a Continental 427cu in 6­cylinder gasoline engine mounted under the floor and featured sectional bodies similar to those produced by Wayne Works.1946-1948 Meteor coaches remained unchanged from the pre-war 1942 models and still included weird A-framed front doors with integral miniature coach lamps. As with other makers, post-war prices increased by about 50% and new Meteor coaches started at $5,000. All Meteor coaches were now built on Cadillac chassis and included rear fender skirts plus optional automatic transmission and air-conditioning. Ambulances could be ordered with built-in roof-top warning lights, a choice of sirens plus a clever front fender-mounted fire extinguisher.Cadillac's new commercial chassis was available beginning 1949, one year after the introduction of their famous P-38 Lightning-influenced rear fenders.

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