Is this a C4 Corvette or a C5? The answer is…
Accessorizing a car can be a fun way to make it feel more personal—but it can be easy to go overboard. One of my Twitter followers inquired about a car they had spotted at work—and at a quick glance I identified it as a C5 Corvette with a body kit of some sort. No big deal, those are all over the place. But wait! This C5’s “body kit” appeared to involve some definitely nonstandard modifications to the roofline and the glass… This wasn’t a C5 Corvette at all. It was a fourth-generation (C4) Corvette changed to resemble its successor.
The car appears to have started off as a fairly standard C4 Corvette. My knowledge of the intricacies of the various years of the C4 is not great, and the license plate didn’t turn up a result in my various databases, so it was unclear exactly in which year it was made. I’m sure that a C4 expert on here will be able to comment with the correct year or range of years. (Editor’s note: The easiest tell on a C4 without its front and rear fascia is the fender vent, which in this case has been obscured by another addition. —JB)
Factory bumpers and lights appear to have been removed and something called a Rocketz body kit installed, which tries to make the C4 look like a C5. It appears to be a complete fiberglass kit and is easy to spot on the pictured car since it is a different color than the rest of the body. This could be intentional but it is likely that the owner bought the kit painted in another color and just decided to leave it as is—for now, anyway.
In addition to the C5 lookalike body kit, there is also a “Vader” cowl hood attachment installed. It is only an attachment as it is visible in the pictures that it was poorly installed and is coming apart from the factory hood. There are also NACA ducts in this cowl attachment but they likely lead to nowhere as the C4 air intake draws from beneath the bumper and it is very likely that the hood is not cut underneath.
The look is completed with a badge on the cowl attachment that states “Supercharged 650HP.” Given the car’s state otherwise, I am hesitant to believe that there is in fact a blower under that hood—but anything is possible. The badge comes from a company called Zip Corvette and it’s possible that one of the many ’Vette tuners uses it as part of their buildout.
As is often the case, there are more questions than answers with this car. How recently was it converted, and why? Was the owner a few bucks short of a C5—an answer which seems increasingly unlikely as prices for fifth-gen ’Vettes settle next to those of their predecessors—or was this a case of someone trying to update a long-cherished car? How many of these kits were sold? Are there any satisfied owners out there who would like to share their cars with us? If you have the answers, let us know!