Are C5s collectible yet?


The fourth-generation Corvette lasted nearly a decade and a half, so the C5 was highly anticipated and a big breath of fresh air when it debuted for the 1997 model year. It was arguably the most radical ‘Vette in the history of America’s sports car.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/11/01/are-c5s-collectible


The C5 Z06 has certainly bottomed out and we are watching the best of the best go up in value. It is only time before that rising tide picks up all the ships.

I personally would love to have a fixed roof coupe because I love that silhouette, but production numbers are going to prevent me from finding one in my price range.


It is hard to believe that a standard C5 that is capable of 170MPH and 0-60 in the 4s and can be bought for $15,000 all day is of no interest. The styling is aerodynamic like none other before or after. Reliability is outstanding. Maintenance is minimal.
If you have never owned a Corvette or any really fast car, give a decent C5 a look. You won’t be sorry.


You described a perfect storm for an entry level classic AND performance car. Maybe we should keep the secret quiet till we can get one?


I bought a C5 convertible six-speed a year ago and am not sorry. The previous owner added headers, Calloway cold air intake and billy boat exhaust.I replaced the F1 Eagle run flats with the new Firestone Indy 500’s. The car is easy to drive fast and cheap to maintain. I bought it to drive now and then, but if it appreciates a little I’ll be thrilled.


I also bought a 2000 C5 last year. 6 speed base model. 48K miles. Mint condition both in and out. Except for some of the usual quirks, it’s been a great sports car. Rides like new and runs perfect. Trying to keep the miles low, but it’s a tough chore. Gets a lot of compliments and is a head turned. Stock exhaust, with a modification at the rear 90 degree bends. The sound result is awesome. Not too loud, but louder than stock. A supercharger, headers and a light cam upgrade is in its future. Don’t drive it hard, so just want to make it more unique to my liking.


I have two C5 Z06’s. One is an '02 with 13,750 miles on it and even has it’s original tires and nothing changed at all. The other is an '03 with 35,000 miles, Texas Speed Cam, Kook long tube headers, cold air intake system and new tires. I had the brake rotors replaced, new clutch and pressure plate and it is a brutal performer. Both are red with black interiors. I think the FRC body is the next split window. Right out of the box they are more car than I can safely handle and I like running on the edge with the modified one while just taking the '02 out for a leisurely drive every couple of months.


While I was never a big fan of the FRCs, I do know they’re something special. Despite all the HP of the C6s and C7s, 405HP is nothing to sneeze at. My favorite C5 Z06 recollection is one being sold at one of the televised auctions, and the hosts are glowing over what a special car it was for the time - never once commenting on the half-retracted folding-hardtop conversion that had been done to this particular car. I know where a low milage 04 Z06 is, and have certainly considered “making an offer”. I would certainly look into some form of drop-top conversion - kind of surprised more people don’t do this. Let’s face it, few Z06s are driven to their limits.


C5 Z06s are the 2000s supercar bargain of the century. I was dead set on buying a 911, but the C5 Z06 had everything and more:

405hp (with a flat torque curve), very lightweight at only 3100 lbs, near 50/50 weight distribution due to the transmission mounted in the rear, reliability and lower cost of parts compared to other sports cars, active handling/traction control (which can easily be turned off), very low coefficient of drag, limited production compared to base C5s, and a strong/technical online community to help you through any issues.

It was a no brainer.


I think they are mostly not driven to thier limits because they are so brutal and the power comes on so fast that most of us are not that skilled to handle them. Mine are wonderful cars to take out and you better have sticky tires on them and pick a warm day or you will be off in the woods pretty quick.


I had to put new tires on just to keep it from fish tailing going straight under power. the old run flats would not hook up. I think they were 10 years old. My 2001 base conv. was dyno’d 357 HP at the rear wheels, supposedly around what the 2001 Z06 does. I have not tried driving it near the edge. there is so much power, I don’t know where I can drive it safely that fast. Lord knows I don’t need more power.


Having owned a performance oriented car that was spec’d with run flats, I agree with @jglass in that they seem to limit traction at times. Sidewall flex is just too important on a lower profile tire.


I have Hagerty flatbed roadside assistance service up to 150 miles if I get a flat. I only used it once when my Challenger SRT picked up an air chuck and the hole was way too large for the air compressor and fix a flat to deal with. I am going to put new sticky tires on and drive my Z-06’s. Those run flat original tires are really terrible and dangerous I think. If I get a flat, onto the flatbed it go’s.


Fixed roof coupes are already on the rise and just by the production numbers will almost certainly be a collectible car in the years to come.


As a post script to my original comment on the C5 Corvette I would ask all buyers and builders of special interest cars two questions. 1. Is the car better now than it was new? 2. Would you take it out for a trip around the United States with no concern for reliability?
I was watching the Mecum Auction and was stunned when a '57 Bel Air went for three times the price of a 2006 Bentley Mulsanne. The reason for owning both cars is similar but long distance trips are reserved for the Bentley.
As far as the quality of the Chevrolet new verses restored. It is probably better after the restoration but new is new. No long vacations for the restored Bel Air.
The point is Corvette starting in 1997, created an amazing product. Near super car performance and drive it from LA to NY with no worries.


Modern cars have really changed long driving and events like the Hot Rod Power Tour. In the early days, it was exciting because you never knew if the cars would make it to the next stop. These days you hop in a Hellcat or C7, idle in event traffic with the AC on with no worries, and still blister the dragstrip events.