When it's anniversary time, GM always manages to build some
gorgeous Corvettes. Forget the gaudy, over-dressed pace cars, if
you want a beautiful C5, this wonderfully sophisticated 2003 50th
Anniversary Corvette convertible is the smartest choice.
Chevy kept it simple for the Corvette's 50th, and while some fans expected something more unique and special, the truth is that this car IS unique and special. The Anniversary Red paint has a depth and color that makes you want to touch it and it hugs the smooth Corvette panels in a seductive way that's not flashy but rather elegant, don't you think? Like many anniversary models, this one was treated like it was something special from the very beginning and seems to defy the years (has it been almost 15 years already?!?) and miles with a brilliant shine and very few signs of use. The owner obviously was fastidious about keeping it cleaned and shined, as well as resisting the urge to add all those bolt-ons that you see on lesser cars. Instead, it's simply a stunning Corvette with just enough special details to make it worthy of the 50th Anniversary badges it wears on the front fenders.
The Anniversary cars also got a special interior called "Shale." It's not quite gray and not quite tan, but seems to echo the hue of the special magnesium wheels and it works quite well with the red paint. Like the exterior, the interior has been expertly maintained and shows only very minor signs of use. Carrying the optional sport seats, the driver's compartment is comfortable and functional, one of the biggest triumphs of the all-new C5 design. Other options include the 1SB preferred equipment group, Magnetic Ride Control (it debuted on the Anniversary cars), the heads-up display, dual-zone climate control, and a powerful AM/FM/CD stereo that sounds fantastic. Special 50th anniversary embroidery on the seats helps identify this car as something special, as do the matching floor mats, but Shelby could take a lesson from the Corvette guys about how many logos to put on their cars. Peel back the matching convertible top, which features a class rear window with a defroster, and it stows under the "waterfall" hard deck for a clean, smooth look. And even with the top down, the C5 offers a roomy trunk that makes this 2-seat convertible surprisingly practical.
The engine is the same LS1 found in other Corvettes, but that's hardly a bad thing. Smooth, torquey, and virtually indestructible, it's a great companion for this Corvette. It's completely stock under the hood, and again I tip my hat to the owner for resisting the siren call of the myriad modifications available for these cars. Not that a modified Corvette is bad, but when you're talking about putting one in your own garage, stock is always the smart investment. It's backed by a somewhat rare 6-speed manual transaxle with 3.42 gears out back, and with a towering overdrive it just loafs along at highway speeds. The legends of Corvettes pulling down 27 MPG are no joke. It's quite clean underneath, too, and all the factory equipment is intact, from the exhaust system to the shocks. And those lovely wheels are truly special, as they're forged aluminum anniversary pieces wearing 245/45/17 front and 275/40/18 rear Michelin radials.
If there's a C5 to hang on to for posterity, it's probably the Anniversary model, especially a 6-speed convertible. And even if it doesn't turn into a major investment, at least you'll have the honor of owning the prettiest C5 ever made. Call today!
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