At $22,800, Might This Crazy Mixed Up 2002 Chevy Corvette Z06 Be A Straight Up Deal?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Corvette seems to be shy a zero on the mileage in his headline. He’s less shy in his effusive praise of the car’s mods, but should those mods mean its price should drop a digit too?

As Animal House’s Dean Wormer once so eloquently espoused, ‘fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.’ Contrastingly however, fat, funky and stupid cool is an admirable life plan and that’s just what yesterday’s 2005 Lotus Elise purported to be. Customized to the tune of a $30K investment, its current $35,900 asking price just couldn’t seem to support the end vision, and that was despite the presence of a wicked cool plaid gear knob. Man, I just gotta get me some of that.


In the end, the Lotus position turned out to be an incredibly narrow but decisive 50.25-percent Crack Pipe defeat. This was a somewhat surprising turn of events. I really thought that plaid knob would push it over the top.

Yeah, so personally customized cars generally don’t find much favor outside of those from whose minds the modifications do spring. It goes the same way with our own personal body mods too. You may see that Rick & Morty tramp stamp as a bold expression of your unique and original innate being, while those around you—and most importantly, your grandma—just want to ignore this bad decision you’ve made.

A lot of decisions have been made to personalize this 2002 Chevy Corvette Z06 and to be honest with you, at least one of them is a bit questionable. Let’s get one thing out of the way first off though—despite appearances, this is and always has been a C5 Corvette. Yes, it does have C6 headlamps modded into its nose, but don’t let those throw you.


Now, I think we can all agree that the C5 ‘Vette, even in Z06 coupe form, is one of the lesser notches on the marque’s bedpost. With respect to GM designer John Cafaro, who led the C5 work, its basic Corvette silhouette is undone by its soft corners and bulbous nose. Those give the car a certain, dare I say it, Pontiac vibe. The door handles being shared with the Olds Aurora don’t help any either.

Still, the C5 is notable for being the last Corvette to possess pop-up headlamps and that’s a plus. Whoever modded this car stole that one notable feature, replacing the pop ups with C6 lights, and those look oddly out of place in the car’s Jimmy Durante nose. It’s sort of like giving Kate Upton breast reduction surgery and then saying ‘there, isn’t that better?’


Other exterior mods here include flared rear arches and a subtle ducktail above the tail lights. The interior has been swathed in custom leather and suede and that at least does appear to improve greatly upon the cheap-ass look of the standard C5 wheelhouse.


Mechanical updates on the big V8 include high-flow heads, a bigger throttle body, and a cold air intake all farting though a custom Borla exhaust. The engine massaging was done 6,000 miles ago, and the car overall has 71K on the clock. That’s a bit more than the seller claims in his headline, and hopefully his claimed 481 WHP doesn’t suffer from the same miscount.


Paint is even newer than the engine work, and the deep ebony coat looks damn fine in the pics. Speaking of which—I know he’s just trying to be dramatic, but geez people, don’t post black and white pics of your car in your online classified. This isn’t an I Love Lucy rerun, we want to see your car in all its Technicolor glory.

Wheels are C6 just like the headlights, but the car carries those with a good bit better sense of style. Of course this being a Z06, the roof doesn’t do anything.


The title is clean and the car is claimed to have an accident-free history. The seller notes that he is the car’s third owner. The first was a Texas Millionaire who only managed to put 2500 miles on the car. The second owner racked up the road, putting an additional 60K on it. Now this guy’s brought the total up to its current 71,000 miles. Good for him.


Those miles are still pretty low, but it’s obvious that a lot of time has been spent making the mods on the car rather than driving it. Now it’s ready for a new owner, and maybe some further re-imaginings. To take that plunge you’ll need $22,800. That’s not a lot of money for a Corvette, but still a decent dent in the wallet for most of us who aren’t Texas millionaires.

What’s your take on this C5/C6 mashup and that $22,800 price? Does that make it a deal despite the ad’s confusion about the miles? Or, do the miles and the mods make you question the whole thing?


You decide!


Orange County, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Nathan Oum for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.