The 1997 Chevrolet Corvette Still Makes Me Optimistic

Screenshot: MotorWeek

I may be tragically infected with a hyperactive sense of nostalgia, but the slippery, bubbly C5 has always been my favorite Corvette. I love how long Chevy hung on to pop-up headlights here, but most of all I still get excited by how much of an improvement this car was over its predecessor.

MotorWeek’s John Davis was obviously pretty fired up about it 20 years ago, too. I mean, granted, he pretty much fell in love with every car that ever made it onto that show. But his deadpan delivery and this episode’s aggressively rad guitar riff soundtrack take me right back to a time when this car looked like the freaking future and suddenly Corvettes looked as cool to me as their name sounded.


“Great care was taken to the attention of this layout and it shows,” Davis says, describing a cockpit I’ve heard third owners of these cars describe as “playground garbage.”

Whatever, I really do still think the C5 looks great even (especially) if it’s quintessentially late ’90s. So I’ll take any excuse to revisit it.

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About the author

Andrew P. Collins

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL