2003 Chevrolet Corvette 50th Anniversary - SOLD
     
  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
  • Image Gallery
With just over 24,000 original miles, it has obviously led a very easy life and it remains completely stock, right down to the original Goodyear F1 run-flat tires.

Celebrations in the car business aren’t a new thing, particularly with the Corvette. Anniversary editions have been a familiar sight in Chevrolet showrooms for decades, and they serve as kind of the anti-pace car. Where the pace cars are often loud and garish, the anniversary cars always seem to be elegant, sophisticated, and subtle, which seems to be what many Corvette buyers appreciate. And not many anniversaries are bigger than the 50th, so in 2003, GM knew they had to do something special for the Corvette faithful. They wisely didn’t put a cap on 50th Anniversary model production, because they turned out to be the most popular way to buy a 2003 Corvette, and included a few very special features that would foreshadow the future of Corvette performance. Most notably, the 50th Anniversary cars were the first to offer GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, which has since been used on every high-end GM performance car and has even been licensed by Ferrari! Everything that was awesome about the C5 was amplified in the Anniversary cars, making them the ones to own if you can have just one.

This is arguably the most attractive of all C5s. The C5 was revolutionary in its under-the-skin hardware, but the shape was still pure Corvette, making this car instantly recognizable everywhere it goes. In Anniversary model terms, the coupe is considerably rarer than the convertible (4085 built vs. 11,632), and while they did have a long list of features, this particular coupe is equipped with every single available option, including dual tops, heads-up display, and the “Stinger” body side moldings. With just over 24,000 original miles, it has obviously led a very easy life and it remains completely stock, right down to the original Goodyear F1 run-flat tires. The 50th Anniversary cars’ most distinctive feature, the lovely “Anniversary Red” paint, makes this car simply gorgeous in the sunlight. It’s elegant and sophisticated, but flashy enough to belong on a Corvette, and you will probably get tired of people asking you, “Hey, what color is that?” whenever you’re stopped at a light or getting gas. It talks directly to people on a level that makes them want to reach out and touch it.

Condition-wise, this car is almost as-new in every way. The low mileage certainly helps, but it’s been properly maintained, with a good coat of wax protecting the finish since Day One. C5 build quality was always excellent, and this car fits together as well as any, with tight gaps and doors that close with a reassuring solidity. Subtle 50th Anniversary badges replace the usual nose and tail emblems, with another set on the front fenders, just in case nobody noticed this was a special car. You’ll note that the rubber is as-new, the dark-colored moldings haven’t been baked by the hot sun, and there are no signs of damage anywhere on the car save for one or two nearly invisible nicks on the nose. The car is just lovely.

Anniversary models also got a gorgeous two-tone interior in a color called “Shale.” It’s not quite gray, not quite beige, and it works exceptionally well with the ruby red paint. If you’ve not driven a C5, you’ll probably be surprised by how comfortable it is, how easy it is to climb aboard, and how much space you have for your gear. The C5 was truly revolutionary in Corvette terms, and it’s most visible in the passenger compartment. The optional sport seats were standard in Anniversary cars, giving you the most comfortable chairs available, all wrapped in that lovely sandstone-colored leather. This car is fitted with every single available option, including the highly desirable 6-speed manual transmission (kind of odd that the automatic was standard in a Corvette, don’t you think?), dual-zone climate control, Bose stereo system, and power seats, windows, locks, and mirrors. It also has the heads-up display, which projects speed, RPM, and other details onto the windshield so that it looks like it’s hovering out there above the front bumper—once you’ve driven with it, you’ll wonder how you got by without it. Of course, it goes without saying that everything inside this car is in exemplary condition, with virtually zero wear on the seating surfaces and even the original floor mats are still wrapped in protective plastic. Special embroidery on the headrests further identifies this as an Anniversary model, as do icons on the gauges, which do a wonderful sweep every time you turn the key. The C5 also offers a remarkably spacious trunk, which, in this car, is fitted with both a cargo net and a privacy shade, and there are convenient storage hooks for the removable top. And speaking of the top, this car has both the smoked glass and solid body-colored roof panels, which offer you plenty of choices for your motoring.

The C5’s robust 5.7 liter all-aluminum LS1 really needs no introduction. After a brief mourning period for the old small block, the LS1 quickly established itself as THE V8 powerplant of the future. Smooth, slight, efficient, and virtually indestructible, it was everything the greatest Corvette yet deserved. With 350 horsepower, it was plenty quick, but it’s also docile, tractable, and perfectly happy to sit in rush hour traffic with the A/C blasting. And with a booming aftermarket of go-fast parts, it’s actually somewhat rare to see one like this, which remains in 100% factory-fresh condition, from the air filter to the exhaust tips. That means it should run beautifully virtually forever, service is quick and easy, and parts are available everywhere. But don’t let that user-friendly demeanor fool you, because this is a seriously quick car, even by today’s standards. Let it spin and it’ll run 12-second quarter mile times, pull high 5-second 0-60 sprints, and will run up right next to 170 MPH on the big end, figures that are still faster than 98% of, well, everything else. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that since this car is comfortable, quiet, smooth, and pulls down 25 MPG that it’s also a slug, because this is truly a car that does everything well.

Part of that performance advantage comes from the 6-speed manual gearbox, which, despite hanging out back, has great feel and precise action. Gear ratios are well-chosen, and with 3.42 gears out back, there’s torque available at any speed. On the other hand, drop it into 6th, cruise at 75 MPH, and enjoy the ride, because thanks to the F55 Magnetic Ride Control, it was the best-riding Corvette up to that point. The F55 system offers driver-adjustable settings that you really can feel, and it reacts so quickly that you may not even notice some of the bumps. It really is that good. Massive disc brakes at all four corners are, of course, part of the package, and the exhaust has a mellow sound that never gets tiresome and ends in neat polished tips that were sorely lacking on earlier C5 models. Finally, the Anniversary cars got a gorgeous “Warm Nickel Metallic” finish on the forged aluminum wheels, a look reminiscent of the ultra-rare magnesium wheels from early in C5 product6ion and the perfect accent to the beautiful burgundy paint. And as I mentioned, those are the original 245/45/17 front and 285/35/18 rear Goodyear F1 run-flat tires, which still have plenty of tread left on them.

This Corvette also has some special history, having been driven on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it was invited to be a part of the “Special Collection” at Corvettes at Carlisle, an invitation-only privilege reserved for exceptional cars.

Unlike so many previous Corvettes, the 50th Anniversary cars are more than just a few badges. This is arguably the best of the C5, a gorgeous car with cutting-edge tech that coddles as well as it excites. If you’ve been looking for an affordably-priced Corvette with a great pedigree and no stories, why not buy the one with the most options in the best color? Call now!

Vehicle: 2003 Chevrolet Corvette 50th Anniversary
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 113028
Mileage: 24,010
VIN: 1G1YY22G635108463
Engine: 346 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.42
Wheelbase: 104.5 inches
Wheels: Front: 17x8, Rear: 18x9 forged aluminum
Tires: Front: 245/45/17, Rear: 295/40/18 Goodyear F1
Exterior Color: Anniversary Red
Interior Color: Shale leather
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