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Watch as Chip Foose pens his own vision of the Chevrolet C5 Corvette

The C5 Corvette has established itself as a performance bargain, but few have ever praised its styling as the best-looking Corvette. To see what might be possible with this 21st-century fiberglass sports car, we asked Chip Foose for his take on the design.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/11/04/chip-foose-pens-own-vision-of-chevrolet-c5-corvette

Wow! What an artist! I have a C5 convertible and am a huge fan of the C2 which I never could afford. This design uses all the great assets of the C2 and C5 brilliantly. I am overwhelmed by Mr. Foose’s talent. Great video!

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I am guessing there is no drug testing on him? Great way to “Pimp My Ride” ruin a car. I get it, it’s not “the pinnacle” McLaren F1 that everyone loses their shit over, but the Corvette design was a great design for the era it came out in, and has aged pretty gracefully considering the first PRODUCTION CAR, let alone the original design is now 22 years old. It doesn’t look like a bad Ferrari body kit like the C7 and C8 “try hards”.

No disrespect to him but the car he designed does not look any better than the original. I love the new Corvette from last year and this year. I loved the 1963 -1967 Corvettes. I never liked the C5 due to its boxy look especially the rear end.

Interesting design concepts there Mr. Foose. As the owner of a show winning 1966 C2 convertible and a past owner of a 50th Anniversary C5 Convertible; I have enjoyed both types of cars - but they are definitely from different generations both in design and performance.
And frankly, I loved the C5 for both it’s problem free performance and it’s fine looks as is. Hard for me to ever hack up a C5 to change it’s good looks.

I own 2 C5 Z06 models. I think they are the best looking Corvette body styles so far. I don’t like the design that Chip drew at all. If I wanted a Fiat or a wanna be Italian sportscar, I would have bought one. Not everyone is a fan of the squashed look he drew.

I appreciate his talent, but everyone has their own taste and definition of style. Foose’s take on design is definitely his own, and is well-recognized and distinctive, but it has also become somewhat predictable.

My goodness, what a thrash by owners. If you want stock then just remain, Chip isn’t about stock and never has been so what did you expect ?

I’ve watched Overhaulin and now this video. I continue to find Foose to be a smug arrogant @$$. I’m not sure who died and made him pope of car design. I agree with the previous comment that he’s nothing more than “pimp my ride” with “mods” than anyone could pickup at their local Walmart. Anyone can draw a car. Only guys like Dave Kindig can actually transform a car into something from out of this world - interior, exterior, engine bay, etc…

Chip Foose is extremely talented, but sometimes lets his art override purpose. First, lose the idea that to look good, a car has to be champagne colored. That is the worst color for a sports car, especially a Corvette. Second, it doesn’t need sharp edges and gills to look modern. I own a 50th Anniversary coupe and I love the smooth lines, rounded edges and especially the color. The C6, C7 and especially the C8 are not nearly as smooth or as well disigned as a C5.

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I suppose if I owned a C5 and looked at it every day through the eyes of a proud owner, I might come to love it, too. As it is… At its '97 debut it seemed a logical, evolutionary extension of the C4’s styling. Unfortunately, I always thought the C4 was remarkable for its lack of styling. The C5 doubled down on the all C4’s cues I disliked. It looked like someone had put it in an oven until it got soft, put a big straw up the tailpipe and blown as hard as they could, and then allowed it to sag slightly. Then dropped it straight down on its rear end. One of my buddies owned one of these and I got plenty tired of looking at that fat ass whenever we’d go to any long-distance shows. ( He just barely traded it in on a '19, thank heavens!)
Chip’s vision is at least sleek. I can’t quite decide about the gills on the lower rear quarter and I think the split rear wing spoilers look more like something you’d expect on a Hot Wheels, but other than that, I’d be happy to have one in my garage.
Sorry to those of you who I’ve offended, but there’s a good reason the new Stingray received so much positive attention at its intro…

I don’t know why people get heated over the design or look of a particular car. It’s a matter of taste. One person on here says they never liked the C5s. I like the C8s and think the C7/ZR1 has got to be about the meanest looking thing on the planet, and would buy one in a heartbeat if I had the coin. The C8 looks fantastic IMO but I’ve always been a big fan of the C3s and the C5s are my favorite generation. I love the “boxy look.” Always preferred the pre-68 GM cars, Novas, Chevelles, etc except for the Vette because I prefer square over round for a car. Was on another Hagerty topic the other day regarding the newest performance Mustang, and everyone was calling it ugly. I think they’re the best looking Stangs ever followed by the fox bodies. Not a ford guy but my point is to each his own. As far as Chip’s take on the C5 I like mine just the way it is. I think it’s an absolutely awesome looking car. I like GM’s vision over Chip’s.

Never understood his predilection for two tone paint jobs, that just screams Fifties to me. Thought many of his vehicles would have looked better using a single color.

Chip was right on the money in his analysis of the C5. True artist as he was able on the spot to create something that underneath the design details was essentially timeless. Beautifully done! Love the dirt under the fingernails…a true car guy!

I suspect some of his suggestions would conflict with the structural design of the C5, especially his bobbing of the rear. And, “building a new fiberglass body” kind of negates the bargain aspect of the C5. It is an interesting lesson on design, though.

As usual Chip knocks it out of the park. Lightening of the rear is something the design really needed. The front of the C5 always looked real blah to me, but I’m sure he’d come up with something to make a massive improvement.

Love Chip Foose and everything he does. For the first time Chip has made a beautiful car look cartoonish. The C5 is gorgeous to begin with especially coming out of the 90’s and replacing the C4.

As always very excited to see what Chip would do. A let down for sure.

Oh well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally think the C5 Corvette will always look tremendous.

Chip Foose is fantastic though and a genuinely good guy.

I suppose Chip Foose is kind of a polarizing element in the car world. I for one would never let him anywhere near any of my cars, as his tendency toward candy-colored pimpmobiles is an acquired taste I’ve never been able to master. And although no doubt a talented artist, his designs tend to be pretty uninspired. Chip’s next car always looks like… well, Chip’s last car. He always does the same car, just on a different chassis. Today’s example just reminds of what would happen if you crossed a Miata with a bar of soap. Actually feels a bit more pedestrian than the GM offering. Seeing the two cars side-by-side, I heartily prefer the original.

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I guess we all have our own opinions on the C5 and on Chip. I loved the way the C5 looked when it came out and I love my C5 today. I feel the same about my C4 and although my past C3 was vastly underpowered, I loved the styling when new. My take on Chip is that he is looking at a car built over 20 years ago with 2019 eyes and forgets that you can design anything but it has to be manufacturable at a certain price point. He is a great designer and 1-off builder but not suited to a production line train of thought. The world needs both sides of the coin so there is room for everyone. Hello to all my Vette brethren!

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Jeez guys, I guess haters gotta hate!

While I don’t care for ALL of his designs. I certainly respect his genius and absolutely LOVE some of them. Not many will like everything he does, because he is designing cars for specific individuals, customized to their likes and esthetic tastes. He explained that’s why he does one-offs

“Anybody can draw a car”? I do not know anyone with his auto design and drawing ability. (Dave Kindig is awesome, totally agree, but I don’t know him!). His talent is quite rare IMHO.

Arrogant a$$? The “Pope of car design”? My goodness!

When did you ever hear him say a single negative word about another designer? Even with this car, he explained how designers get pressure from the engineers and manufacturing constraints which can greatly effect final outcome. Many times he strives to build a car that he thinks the original designers would have built without those constraints.

Most telling to me about his character is that he seems absolutely beloved by his crew and producers. They worked like dogs to do his family truck in secret. You don’t do that for someone you don’t care about and appreciate.

He never knocked the C5, he in fact praised a lot about it, especially the mechanicals. Personally I like the C5’s look but I also really like a lot of what he’s doing to the car. I‘ve owned a Silver Anniversary and a 2007 Z06. Can’t wait to drive the 2020.

Ask yourself this question: how would you feel if YOU got this car on Overhaulin? I’d go with a darker silver and a buckskin dark tan interior, drop in a blower and I’d be over the moon.

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