I have never seen a green Corvette with a tan interior. This particular C5 could almost be called classy. But no, like most used Vettes, this one has been personalized with a big neon green sticker plastered across the hood and front fenders that says – what else? – “Corvette.”
I’ve got an inkling that if this car were a person her name would be Christy. And Christy was the captain of her high school cheerleading squad but went on to excel in college and eventually get a master’s in kinesiology. She’d have made a great physical therapist if it weren’t for the rich old man who swept her off her feet right after graduation. Yet domestication can grow a little stale. And as clichés go, Christy doesn’t always follow the rules. She has her looks, her wild side, and there is always time to have some fun.
Speaking of life choices let me ask YOU: if you went to all the trouble of installing a Bluetooth phone wouldn’t you attempt to hide the microphone? Nah! The previous owner stuck this one right in front of the gauges. This detail like everything else on this car seems just so obvious. Oh well, the helpful salesman, riding shotgun, is a sharply dressed Persian gentleman who tells me we can do burnouts and hit the highway.
Hell, yeah let’s go!
Turning the key wakes the beast. The 5.7-liter LS V8rumbles to life.
Wait a sec, aren’t Corvette clutches supposed to be more forgiving than this?
“Some say” that LS torque makes for forgiving shifting in any Corvette. I’m no novice, but this clutch is full of tricks. I feel the C5 is forever on the cusp of stalling which makes for demanding footwork.
The exhaust is loud, but more like rusty-Tahoe-in-the-Midwest-loud.
In normal city driving the Vette feels slow. Not much happens through the first quarter of throttle input. After the first quarter, the game picks up with smooth effortless acceleration.
This is more like it!
Do Corvettes have steering feel? I don’t know if they do and so far, I haven’t noticed any. Maybe they’re just too American for that. The steering’s fast, but on center, it has all the precision of a soccer mom’s Suburban that’s lumbered through 18 straight seasons.
Despite the steering vagueness and the fact that the steering wheel Itself is fugly, the wheel actually feels surprisingly comfortable in-hand. Couple that, with the fact that this sportscar could cruise all day long on the highway at 2000 RPM, and I’m starting to get the appealing ease to this kind of American motoring. I’m used to engines that demand to be worked. And this is a sports car that’s actually capable of chilling. The versatility is new to me and refreshing.
I’ve heard that American cars are good at going and not so good at stopping. Not so – at least here – the brakes are confidence inspiring and sure.
Back at the dealership, I hand back the keys feeling tickled but underwhelmed. The sales manager tells me that it’s going to take $8k down to get a palatable monthly payment. I am thanking him as I walk out the door.
This particular Corvette has a few good attributes, a few issues, and is a reasonable prospect. But I’m not inspired. Here’s hoping the other cars will be more inspiring.
A friend of mine surprised me by buying a new C5 once. It’s really the only real performance car he’s owned, and the only one with more than 4 cylinders except for a V6 Ranger and a VR6 Golf. Oh, and the slant six Dart he drove for a few years. It did seem to excel at long distance highway cruising on smooth roads in the mountain West. Pop it in 6th and it returned excellent fuel economy, and the sky was the limit on speeds in parts of Nevada or Montana where enforcement was non-existent. But he didn’t keep it long. He’s driving a Tesla now which is pretty much better at everything the Vette did well.
Green ‘Vette with a stick shift and tan interior would be one of my dream rides, but it sounds like the previous owner had far more money than taste.
The C5 is a performance bargain and currently occupies the sweet spot for value for a Corvette . I know this is an exercise for you at this point , but at the end you are interested in a C5 I I suggest the List Of Craig or Facebook Marketplace. Seems they are asking $15,500 that is a lot. For that price it should be relatively low mileage and pristine inside and out. Enjoying the articles and I’m a recent owner of a 2017 LT1 seven speed manual and I think your starting to come around to the goodness of Vette’s.
It sounds like a great color combo, one of my faves. I love green cars. I wouldn’t be surprised if the modified exhaust has thrown the stock tune off. Driveability should be good from the low rev range. The clutch is probably out of adjustment also. Maybe it was recently replaced and the mechanic didn’t bother to get the adjustment correct. This doesn’t bode well for the condition of the car but hey, it’s a used car. The dealership should have squared the car away before offering it for sale. C5s are good looking even with rather ahem, large ba-donk-adonk. I especially like the front fender vents. Okay, what’s next? It’s more fun to look than to buy!
I used to prowl the North Hollywood car lots when I lived in the Valley back in the day as well, lots of interesting iron (or ‘glass) to try there.
The C5 was such a huge jump from the C4, seemingly much bigger than the next one to C6. If you end up really interested in a C5 or end up with one, read “All Corvettes Are Red”, it’s a very good treatise on the development of that generation.
If I ever went for a C5, it’d likely be a regular Coupe in the pewter color with the 5-spokes from the early part of the run. Plenty fast, fairly reliable and cheap enough to both buy and maintain.
Count me as another fan of dark green cars with tan interiors.
That slow throttle response seems to be a GM thing, at least in my recent experience. Almost everything else I have driven has a fairly linear throttle, if not one that has a really strong tip-in. But the GM cars seem to have an extra-long pedal travel and require a good deep push to get much happening on the other end of the line. Personally, I have found this to be a really irritating little trait.