Chevrolet just announced that on June 23rd it would stop taking orders for the 7th generation Corvette. After 5 years in production, this true blue collar hero is going for retirement before a radical new mid-engine successor arrives.
But now that it's part of the Old Vette club, how does it stack up? I took a liberty of ranking them so that you can call me names. Let's go!
#7 - C5 (1997-2005)
I hate this one. For me the C5 is not the least good Corvette; it is not good at all.
The dreaded 90s design when everything was rounded and smoothed out, made this generation the ugliest one. We know it's made of plastic, but does the plastic need to look like it is melting? Even the taillights are sagging down like a pair of granny's dirty pillows.
And then there is the awkward roofline, ugliest interior made of plastic and the 'Why so Serious' cuts in the front bumper.
Sure it was fast and cheap to get, but so are the STDs as well.
#6 - C1 (1953-1962)
C1 Corvette was GM's first attempt at making a sporty little car like they do in Europe. It was horrible. For lightness, they used this new-age fiberglass (plastic), but they never worked with it before, so many of the early cars were hand built, on a budget. As a result, the fit and finish on C1 were so poor that water would constantly leak in.
It also went on sale with a 150hp straight six mated to a 2-speed auto and leaf springs for suspension at the back. Sure it looked gorgeous, but it was not fun to drive.
However, with time, the build quality improved, the small-block V8 came along with up to 360hp, and there was a 4-speed manual as well. Now we are talking!
#5 - C4 (1984-1996)
First of all, it looks good. Most eighties cars haven't aged well, but the C4 Corvette is still looking sharp. In fact, my mother would probably think it's a Ferrari.
But it didn't end up higher because it took Chevrolet 15 years to develop it, and then when it came out, it was a dud. The C4 debuted with a terrible “Crossfire Injection” and equally terrible 4+3-speed manual transmission, both of which were dropped over the years as the C4 evolved into a proper bomb!
Near the end of its life, this Corvette was producing up to 405hp, which was more than America's new favorite monster - the Viper. And it had the digital dashboard and pop-up headlights. How '80s is that?!
#4 - C6 (2006-2013)
Things are really heating up now. After the woeful C5, it didn't take much to make a better car, simply fix the design. But Chevy didn't stop there because it also had more power, better handling, and a better interior while keeping the price low compared to its rivals.
And that was just the start. When the ZR1 came along it was so fast it could outrun the Ferrari Enzo hypercar. Not only the Ferrari, ZR1 took upon on smashing pretty much every lap record on the planet, Nurburgring included.
It was an American sports car that others feared.
#3 - C2 (1963-1967)
I bet you just called me some name for not putting the C2 on the top.
First of all, I admit, Sting Ray is fantastic. It might be the most recognizable American car ever. It looks great, even more so with the side exhaust or the split rear window that appeared only in the first year of production. It also cemented the idea of what an American sportscar is - massive 7.0-liter Big Block V8 with loads of power and suspension that can't handle it.
The C2 might also be the coolest car ever; it's a style icon, a Hollywood star. There was no bad version of it, and I can talk praise forever, but I firmly believe there are two other cars that are better. Read on.
#2 C7 (2014-2019)
With the C7 the Corvette was perfected. No longer could anyone complain about the build quality, or the interior and the materials, or the technology. C7 was as modern and advanced as any other new car on sale, except most likely it had even more power, but a lower price. If you bought anything other than this Corvette you are a snob.
The design is also amazing - Sharp, angular with details giving nods to previous generations. And the more aero you stick on it, it just keeps looking better. Except for the hypercar-slaying ZR1, that one was a minger.
C7 is the latest evolution and thus the greatest generation of Corvette. End of discussion!
#1 C3 (1968 - 1983)
1968 C3 Corvette is my favorite car ever. It is the prettiest car ever made, in coupe or convertible form. It is sharp and curvy at all the right places. With its long hood, short ass and those pedestrian slicing chromed bumpers it is a perfect blend of our prehistoric urges - erotica and aggression.
Plus the combination of an old rumbling V8 and 50-year-old suspension puts you right at an edge where you feel most alive.
Compared to C2, there isn't a single angle from where the 68 C3 looks bad, which is not something you can say about its predecessor. Besides, this one was based on a concept car called Mako Shark, and sharks look better than sting rays.
In terms of speed and handling, it is simply better, and that is even without mentioning the 510hp ZL1 version! As for the cool factor - astronauts who walked on the Moon drove these. I don't care what you do in life; you will never beat riding on top of the giant bomb to the Moon.
I know that this generation had some lows, like the neutered 170hp V8 during the '70s oil crisis, and how they slowly got rid of the chrome bumpers and replaced them with bulkier plastics, but this generation had the 1968 C3, and that to me is the greatest car ever made.
PS. In an unbiased list, the C3 would probably go below the C2. But this is my list, and I'm not backing down!