Thanks to America’s “The Latest is the Greatest” mentality, the C5 Corvette doesn’t always get the respect it deserves for saving the brand – and for being a pretty darn good sports car.
As the former owner of a 1997 and a 2002, I’ve seen firsthand just how good these cars are (though admittedly they’re nowhere near the caliber of the C7). I’ve also seen firsthand how the C5 values have plummeted because of said C7.
Today we take a look at a 1999 Corvette FRC (Fixed Roof Coupe, for those of you who are alphabet-deficient) that was for sale at the whopping price of $25,900!
We say ‘was for sale’ as the Craigslist ad for the Corvette was pulled after it was featured yesterday on Jalopnik’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe where, incidentally, their readers voted 62 percent that the $25,900 price was crack pipe!
This one is said to be worthy of such lofty pricing because its two owners have managed to put just 7,000 miles on the odometer in the past 17 or so years.
If you’ve followed the history of the Corvette, you will remember that in the days preceding the C5, there was talk of offering a bargain-basement, no-frills model for those of us who aren’t loaded enough.
The overwhelming sales success of the regular C5 models apparently made the idea of a cheaper C5 go away, as the accountants no doubt were saying don’t cheapen the brand, just count the money pouring in from the coupe and convertible.
I’ve always loved the convertible-like roofline of the FRC better than the coupe. Those feelings aside, we’re really kind of at a loss to explain why the FRC ever existed in the first place (on the scene for just 1999 and 2000), as it quickly morphed into the Z06 starting in 2001. Perhaps it was just to serve as a training ground for the Z06 while its LS6 powerplant was being developed.
The FRC offered the same 345 horsepower LS1 engine as the other Corvette models and was only available in six exterior colors. You could have any color interior as long as you checked “black” on your order form. Likewise there was only one transmission choice, a Borg-Warner T-56 six-speed.
The most remarkable thing about the FRC could be its tightness on the road as it was said to be 12 percent stiffer than the regular coupe. Personally, we’d definitely miss the “fun factor” of the removable roof in the coupe.
This particular example in Arctic White is one of 4,031 sold in 1999, or 12 percent of total Corvette sales for the year. Sales dropped to 2,090 the next year, and the FRC then transformed into the Z06 in 2001. This is a good chance to lament the folks who bought a 385hp Z06 in 2001 only to see the power jump to 405 the very next year. What do you think that did to the resale of the ’01?
Regardless, if you’re looking for a near-perfect example of an FRC, this ’99 might have been the one to judge all others against.