Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Corvette FRC has only 7000 miles on the clock, and that’s across two owners! Let’s see if the low mileage and the fixed roof add up to a price that’s low enough too.
With an 83% Crack Pipe loss, yesterday’s weird Cadillac/Thunderbird/Pontiac mashup proved that, yes, there is such a thing as too much freedom. That oddball custom may not have been everyone’s interpretation of the quintessential American car, but today we’re going with a rare edition of one that undeniably is.
The C5 Corvette is perhaps the third-least loved edition of Chevy’s long running sports car, after the late editions of the C3 and the earliest of the C4s. That would explain why the market for C5s has been in the doldrums for a few years now despite the model being a watershed for the marque.
Consider this, the C5 ‘Vette introduced the hydroformed box frame under its plastic bodywork. That served to stiffen the car considerably over its C4 predecessor, and sounds wicked cool to say at a party. The C5 also moved the gearbox (either 4L60 auto or BW T-56 six-speed) to the rear imbuing the car with the Corvette’s first-ever road-going transaxle. That gave the car better weight distribution and again, is great party conversation fodder.
This 1999 FRC is even cooler than that, and is one of the rarest Corvette models around. The fixed roof coupe started out as an attempt by GM’s bean counters to add a stripper model to the Corvette lineup. That was going to be a car with a smaller less powerful motor, a mandated automatic gearbox, cloth seats, no power anything in the cabin, and puny wheels and tires. This was all to be wrapped in a fixed-roof body eliminating the pricy targa or convertible toppers.
Thankfully, the whole idea of a bargain bin ‘Vette besmirching the brand was shelved, but the FRC that arose from the ashes of that plan was—and is—a pretty special ride. First off, that fixed roof body, which is derived from the convertible, proved to be 12 percent stiffer than the standard car, making it the stiffest Corvette in history at the time. The FRC also received some pretty killer kit, including the 345-bhp LS1 under the hood, and that T-56 out back as the only powertrain combo available. The Z51 performance suspension was also specified as was a single interior color (black) and only six exterior colors.
This one comes in Arctic White and with only 7,000 miles on the odo. That amazingly low mileage is even after having two owners. Two owners who perhaps could not drive stick, or who maybe simply preferred to take the bus places. I don’t know, If I had one of the best handling and performance-minded Corvettes at my disposal… well, you wouldn’t see me for a while, you’d just hear my cackles of delight off in the distance somewhere.
Okay, use it or lose it, right? With only 7K on the clock over the course of 17 years all the seals have probably turned to raisins, and the fluids have deconstructed to their base elements, or so the theory goes. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case here, as it’s described as being in perfect working condition and it looks great too. And, seeing as it’s being sold by a dealer it probably has been through their inspection process which means… well, probably nothing. Still, work with me people!
I mentioned that this is one of the rarest of all Corvettes. The FRC did pretty well when it was introduced in 1999, selling 4,031 that first model year, good to capture fully 12 percent of Corvette sales for the year. It sold fewer the next year, and when the romper-stomper Z06 arrived the following model year the fixed roof car was unceremoniously kicked to curb by Corvette performance aficionados, and sales tanked.
That’s too bad seeing as this is one of the more interesting and flingable ‘Vettes you could—and still can—buy. To buy this low-mileage example you’d need to show up at that dealer with the ability to plunk down $25,900. What do you think, does this FRC seem to be worth that kind of asking? Or, would you like to see the price as low as the mileage?
H/T to Shaun Eller-Moore 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.