Both classic and modern Corvette models are known for their distinctive headlight layouts and setups. Some Corvette enthusiasts even claim they can identify a model year or generation by the headlights alone.
Your Corvette headlights make cruising at night safe for you and other drivers. And if you own a classic ‘Vette, it’s crucial to monitor the condition of your headlights for safety and overall ownership satisfaction.
Whether you drive a C1 or C8, original headlights will only last a while. Therefore this post will outline the types of headlights/headlight bulbs used by each generation of the Corvette so you know where to start if you’re looking to upgrade the lights of your ‘Vette.
Defined as “a type of small, agile, 19th-century warship,” the Corvette name implied speed, strength, and maneuverability and was a perfect representation of the powerful and agile sports car that so many had worked to design.
The concept of the C1 Corvette was a runaway success at its 1953 Motorama debut, and the response it received was staggering.
The C1 Corvette came from the factory with sealed beam headlights.
The arrival of the 1963 C2 Corvette Sting Ray was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. Even before it was made commercially available to the public, Chevrolet’s marketing team wasted no time building an ad campaign that would match the seductive design of the latest Corvette.
The C2 Corvette features sealed halogen headlamps.
The C3 Corvette, commonly referred to as the “Shark” generation, was more than just a reimagining of the earlier C2. Instead, the C3 was an entirely new take on the sports car persona for which the second-generation Corvette had been highly regarded to become a plush but powerful “boulevard cruiser.”
The C3 Corvette is equipped with sealed halogen headlamps.
With a production run of fifteen years under its belt, few within General Motors questioned the absolute necessity to retire the third-generation Corvette in favor of making way for a fourth-generation model – the C4.
After all, the C3 had mainly been based on mechanical designs initially implemented in 1963 with the onset of the C2 Stingray.
The C4 Corvette came from the factory with halogen headlight bulbs.
After a production run of more than a decade, there was no question that it was time for the next evolution of the Corvette to emerge and replace the C4. After all, the fourth generation Corvette had remained in its basic form for twelve years, which had made it the second longest production Corvette – second only to the third generation C3 Corvette, which had, in turn, remained in production for fifteen years!
The C5 Corvette featured headlights with halogen bulbs
In some respects, the C6 Corvette could be considered the C5 after an extreme makeover. The C6 Corvette had a sleeker, more chiseled appearance, with more horsepower and noticeably improved levels of quality and refinement. Unlike any other Corvette, the C6 was also the first ‘Vette to be developed in tandem with another GM car – the Cadillac XLR.
The C6 Corvette came from the factory with OEM HID headlights.
On January 13, 2013, Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2014 C7 Chevy Corvette Stingray at the Detroit Auto Show. The car, which had been kept carefully concealed by Chevrolet since their announcement that a seventh-generation Corvette was under development, was revealed to the world over a live internet feed.
The C7 Corvette comes equipped with LED and HID bi-xenon headlights.
Generations of GM engineers and designers, many of whom had the distinction of working with the late, great Zora Arkus-Duntov during his decades-long career with Chevrolet, shared in his vision of transforming the C8 Chevy Corvette into a mid-engine racer that would not only rival Porsche and Ferrari on the racetrack, but dominate them on the open road as well.
The C8 Corvette features high-tech all-LED headlamps.
Replacing headlight bulbs is a trivial task for most Corvettes. If shopping online, we recommend a reputable online auto parts vendor (such as SuncentAuto’s sizable headlight bulb selection) over eBay and the like, but there’s no replacement for visiting your local auto parts store if you’re unsure!