Get Ad-Free Access: Just $39/year
1997 Chevrolet Corvette
Early concept design of the C5 (Image Courtesy of GM Heritage Media).
The Stingray III, also known as the California Corvette Concept, was introduced in 1992.
Jim Perkins, former General Manager of Chevrolet, helped convince GM's top brass that the Corvette should remain the flagship of the Chevrolet fleet.

The C5 Corvette was not simply a re-design of the C4, but a completely new design from the ground up. It was the first truly unique Corvette since the C1 Corvette. Since the C5 Corvette was a completely original design, the car did not borrow many parts from previous models. In fact, there are very few parts on the C5 Corvette that were not specifically designed for the car.


Lloyd Reuss served as President of General Motors for just under two years.
Jack Smith would replace Lloyd Reuss as President of General Motors in 1992.
John Cafaro, former chief designer of the 1993 Chevy Camaro, was one of the designers and project managers of the C5 Corvette development team.
The CERV IVThe CERV IV (Corvette Engineering Research Vehicle), was an early concept C5 Corvette.
Tom Peter's "Red Corvette" design won the early favor of Charles Jordan.
John Cafaro presented the "Black Corvette" in response to Tom Peter's Red Corvette. The "Black Corvette" would be the test bed for many of the options being developed for the C5 Chevy Corvette.
Corvette Chief Engineer Dave Hill. Dave led the Corvette engineering team during the development of the C5.
Larry Shinoda for a C5 Stingray ConceptLarry Shinoda for a C5 Stingray Concept. (Image Courtesy of GM Media.)
Early Production C5 Concept DesignEarly Production C5 Concept Design as featured in Motor Trend Magazine.
Alpha C5 Corvette Test Cars
C5 Beta Test Cars were camouflaged to conceal the design of the actual car.
The C5 Corvette was unveiled on January 6, 1997 at the Detroit International Auto Show.

C5 Corvette Model Year Research Hubs (1997-2004)

Everything you wanted to know about every C5 Corvette, all in one place. From VIN and production numbers to galleries, options codes, sales brochures, videos and even recent sales. The ultimate place to start research.

C5 Corvette Model Year Guides (1997-2004)

The ultimate guide to each and every C5 Corvette model year. We list all specifications, options, performance numbers, colors, recalls and much more. Everything you every wanted to know about the C5 Corvette years. 

Buying a C5 Corvette? Read This First!

Built from 1997 until 2004, the C5 Corvette is considered one of the most reliable Corvettes built to date. Given its increasing affordability, the C5 offers a lot of power and performance at a great value. Still, as with any sports car, the way the car was maintained, cared for and driven can dramatically affect the overall quality of the car you are considering.

The C5 Corvette Newsfeed

Get all the latest news stories, upcoming auctions, cool cars for sale, prices, videos and more about the C5 Chevrolet Corvette! The latest headlines here.

1997 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway C12
When Chevrolet introduced the fifth-generation Corvette in 1997, Callaway immediately began development of a platform that would compliment and enhance the all-new C5 model.  Reeves Callaway, owner and founder of Callaway Cars, wanted to build a car that could also compete in the GT2 Class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The result was the...
Given its extensive history of design, engineering, and performance milestones, the Chevrolet Corvette rightfully earns its moniker, “America’s Sports Car,” making it a top contender for serious sports car enthusiasts. Whether you have a preference for a specific generation or have budget constraints, the Corvette remains a compelling choice. Even...

C5 Corvette Production Summary

The Corvette C5 was a better car across every function than its predecessor. Performance, quality, handling, packaging and functionality improved across the board, this was the best Corvette so far. The 5th generation marked the return of three distinct body styles: coupe, convertible and hardtop coupe, the latter being the basis for the Z06 track monster that was introduced in 2001. Production volumes were consistent at between 30,000 and 35,000 units per year during the C5 run.

C5 Corvette Technical Research

Production and sales numbers, order guides and sales brochures, we have more C5 Corvette research than you could ever want. 

Activate Your Membership

The membership for serious Corvette enthusiasts and owners. Get access to premium content and a lightning fast experience, with no ads and annoying pop-ups. Your membership also supports the hard work and hundreds of hours our historians and writers invest in the site.