The C5 Corvette has established itself as a performance bargain, but few have ever praised its styling as the best-looking Corvette. To see what might be possible with this 21st-century fiberglass sports car, we asked Chip Foose for his take on the design.
The C5 Corvette is a fantastic car, and it’s a performance bargain right now. Featuring a thoroughly modern hydro-formed frame underneath the fiberglass body, this two-seater packs a lot of handling capability to match the push from a range of Gen-III LS V-8s.
To start, Chip points out a few of the things he doesn’t like about the C5’s design. While I have certainly heard complaints about car designs being too angular or sharp, this is the first time I’ve felt I am being subliminally urged to buy a few doughnuts. He calls the overall car round and the styling “heavy-handed.” In other words, he sees room for improvement.
Even with just a quick sketch, Chip starts to morph the rounded shape of the C5 into something more aggressive. He takes the roofline and scraps it, electing for a speedster look with a swept-back shape borrowed from Callaway. He also brings some Corvette heritage to his rendering by adding three vents, à la the mid-year 1965 Corvettes, in front of the door and behind the rear wheel.
Once a rough sketch is complete, it is time for an overlay. A fresh sheet of paper covers his previous work while allowing him to see what is below. This lets Chip refine the shapes and bring the rendering closer to a final look. The rear overhang really takes shape during this phase, and the addition of an angled cut for the bottom “makes the rear of the car look lighter,” in his estimation.
The final look is a two-tone speedster that appears familiar but is a radical departure from the common C5 many of us know and love. Is it better, or just different? Let us know in the comments below.