QOTD: How Do You Rank the Seven Generations of Corvette?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd how do em you em rank the seven generations of corvette

Starting life as a simple show car design that proved popular among consumers, the Chevrolet Corvette is iconic among American sports cars. Throughout seven generations over six decades, the basic formula has stayed the same: engine at the front (for now), driven wheels at the rear, and immediately recognizable styling in the middle.

But how do you sort the generations, best to worst?

This question surfaced in my mind, all wave-like, when the TTAC Slack chat got around to discussing Corvettes. A rapid rash of comments followed with many photos posted, links to eBay ads reflecting our favorite generation, and no fights happened. More on that below, but for now, now have a look at over 60 years of American glory.

C1: 1953–1962

The original Corvette concept appeared at the 1953 New York Auto Show, merely a show car in the Motorama section. The viewing public was excited, encouraging General Motors to take action. Voila, the fiberglass Corvette C1.

C2: 1963–1967

The shortest-lived model, Larry Shinoda (later of Boss 302 Mustang fame) designed the swooping fiberglass shell using inspiration from an earlier Bill Mitchell design called “Q Corvette.”

C3: 1968–1982

The first Corvette with a t-top, it was also the first to have good years and very bad years. This model accumulated more and more trim after inception, becoming quite the Malaise pontoon boat by the end.

C4: 1984–1996

The C3 got so bad that it took General Motors extra time to reinvent the Corvette as the C4. In reality, there were parts delays and quality issues with the new design, and it wasn’t quite ready for 1983. The C4 seems to engender the most love from TTAC staff members who are bold enough to speak out when it comes time to talk Vettes.

It is by far my favorite, though it is not the “best” qualitatively. Factually speaking, these saw-blade alloys are the best wheels, and teal is the best color.

C5: 1997–2004

The last Corvette with pop-up headlamps, the C5 was a thoroughly nineties variation on the C4’s shape. It had better weight distribution and was much more modern underneath. The interior was greatly improved in this generation.

C6: 2005–2013

A refinement of the C5 rather than a do-over, the C6 honed in on the performance side of the Corvette. This model saw a shift away from the “old man” image that pervaded the model through the previous few models.

C7: 2014–present

GM was tired of the C6 by 2011, but delayed the C7’s introduction until 2014 so it could be sure it was ready. Chasing after Porsche customers and youthful buyers, GM injected power and technology and eliminated some of the golf bag space and the exterior’s soft edges. The Corvette is more serious now than ever before.

With a mid-engine model in development, the Corvette name isn’t going away any time soon. What order do you use when you play favorites?

(Your author’s picks: C4, C2, C1, C7, C6, C3, C5)

[Images via General Motors, seller]

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2 of 98 comments
  • Wintermutt Wintermutt on Mar 16, 2018

    A red 1962 Corvette is and will always be my favorite external design. However I would never own one - too much work. I hope that someday someone duplicates the design by 3d printing vehicles and placing them on a universal electric car chassis. (before i am too old to enjoy it obviously).

  • Road_pizza Road_pizza on Sep 19, 2018

    1: C2, because rolling sex 2: C4, because affordability 3: C7, 4: C6, 5: C5, 6: C3, 7: C1.

  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.
  • El scotto Pondering if he has a clean brandy snifter. Well but, ah, I mean the original Grand Wagoneer was fully loaded and had a V-8. The original Grand Wagoneer had an almost cult-like following with a certain type of woman. Attractive, educated high earning women; or those that put on the appearances of being that way.Our esteemed HerR DOKtor Perfessor again shows how ignorant he is of the American market. What he deems "bread-vans on stilts" are highly coveted by significant others that are also highly coveted. The new Grand Cherokee with the new well engineered V-6 will sell as well as the ones from the 80s some of us get wistful over. The only real question will be: LL Bean or Orvis edition?
  • El scotto Well, I've had cats that are smarted than a great many members of congress. I rather doubt that any of the congresspeople Matt named are engineers, finance people or project managers. Ya know, professionals you call in to get a job done.Today is Wednesday, this will be out of the 36 hour news cycle by Friday. Oh it might get mentioned again on OCT 6. Unless there are cute animals to put on TV that day.