As the former owner of a 1997 Corvette, the first year of C5 production, I can personally attest to what a great piece of machinery it is, even after the odometer has climbed to nearly 80,000 miles.
Mine was #7803 out of an initial run of 9752, not even close to being the first or the last of even that first year of production.
That’s why a car currently being offered for sale by Buyavette, a Corvette dealership based in Atlanta, caught my attention.
You see, Buyavette has the last C5 ever produced, but it’ll set you back a cool one million bucks to become the first registered owner of this milestone Corvette!
That’s right – the car has never been registered and is still on MSO. It even has the plastic still on the seats, the steering wheel, and even the floor mats. It’s been driven just 29 miles over the past 13 years and is truly about as close to buying a brand new C5 as you will probably ever get – though we wouldn’t be surprised if someone else has a 97-04 hiding in a garage somewhere with even lower miles, just waiting to unveil it in a few years.
This historic last C5 is currently on loan to the National Corvette Museum, ironically assembled just down the road at the GM assembly plant on July 1, 2004.
It’s a 2004 Commemorative Edition, with Lemans Blue exterior and shale interior. Options include the $3,700 1SC Preferred Equipment Group (Commemorative Edition package, polished wheels, Heads Up Display, memory package, tilt-n-tele, auto-dimming rearview mirror, auto headlights, cargo net with privacy shade), Museum Delivery, Bose CD stereo, dual power sport seats, dual zone electronic climate control, power windows, power locks, power steering, power brakes, power mirrors, cruise control, ABS, traction control, and Active Handling.
So is it worth a million bucks? Well, look at it this way. There have been only six other generations of the Corvette since 1953, so that means with the C7 still in production and going strong, there have been just six “last of a generation” ‘Vettes ever made so far. This is one of the six.
And in case you’re in the market instead for the last C6 Corvette – a 2013 with a 427 engine, by the way – better look elsewhere! According to a post on Feb. 13, 2013 by our buddy Rick Conti, that historic C6 now resides at the GM Heritage Center with other noteworth General Motors vehicles in Warren, Michigan.
As for the other generations, we found on the Web that the last C1 – a black 1962 convertible with two owners, the same one since 1965 – apparently brought $150,000 at the Mecum auction in Seattle in 2014. Corvette Blogger’s own Steve Burns provided us with the scoop on the last C2, saying that 1967 Corvette VIN 22940 is possibly the most publicized Corvette of all time thanks to ProTeam Corvette. It was the subject of an extensive restoration and TV series on SPEED and then sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2007 for $660,000 including commissions to an Arizona Collector.
Steve also pointed out in a 2013 blog that the last C5 was in the Bob McDorman Collection until late 2010 when it sold for $45,100 including commissions. Someone is looking to make a nice profit just seven years later, huh?
Alas, we weren’t able to unearth any information on the whereabouts of the last C3 Corvette. Hopefully it’ll turn up one day. Where are you, 1982 Corvette VIN 25407?
As for the fourth generation, there’s no such mystery as Mike Yager of Mid America Motorworks bought the last C4 Corvette, a very special white on red 1996. Indeed, Mid America worked closely with Chevrolet to produce a truly unique, one-of-a-kind Corvette to commemorate the historical significance of this generation. From the tradition of earlier models, it received Grand Sport flares and hash marks, ZR-1 wheels, specially embroidered emblems for the seats, windshield graphics and a unique “Last C4” emblem on each side. The car was also signed by nearly every plant employee and assembly line worker, in addition to GM dignitaries. On June 19, 1996, Yager was on hand to watch and videotape the Last C4 as it made its way down the assembly line. As each station completed its tasks, workers began disassembling the production line equipment behind the car. It took two days to build the Last C4 and Yager helped assemble the right front suspension and rear shock assemblies.
So, now, with all this background, do you think this last C5 is worth a million bucks?
As Buyavette boasts on its website, “Last of a generation cars like this one only come along once in a blue moon, and there’s only one place in the world that you can see the last C5.”