FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What Corvette models does Vette Lab focus on?

First, let’s make one thing clear: We love all Corvette years and generations. From 1953 to the present, the Corvette has been an American icon, and there’s not a single one we don’t enjoy driving and wrenching on.

That said, Vette Lab’s business focuses on C5, C6 and C7 Corvettes built from 1997 onward. The reasons are varied, but focused on two primary drivers: First, we have the most experience working on and tuning C5, C6 and C7 Corvettes, so we’re in a position to offer customers the best service and products related to those cars. Second, cars built before the C5 start falling into the restoration/classic car/collector market, whereas C5 and later cars are still daily-drivable high-performance machines. The C4 sort of straddles both worlds – and it’s actually on our radar for future parts – but the C5 Corvette is a far better car for very little additional cost over a C4, so that’s where we’ve decided to focus our resources for now.

Again, you won’t hear any beef from us about any generation Corvette. All are welcome in our shop, on our Instagram and Facebook accounts and in our garages. But to ensure we’re delivering top-notch parts and customer service, we’re focusing our business on C5, C6 and C7 Corvette models…and the C8 when it arrives. 

I’m new to Corvettes: What do C5, C6 and C7 mean?

The C-number combination is used to denote specific Corvette generations. The original Corvette, C1, was built from 1953-1962; the model has gone through 6 major revisions since then, yielding todays C7, or seventh-generation Corvette. You can probably guess what the upcoming mid-engine Corvette will be known as: C8. Though, unlike previous revisions, there’s a chance C7 and C8 will be built concurrently.

Corvette generations break down by year like this:

C1: 1953-62 – The original Corvette evolved from a straight-six sporty car to a true domestic sportscar by the time production ended with the 1962 model year. The C1 also used a solid rear axle design and was the last Corvette to have exposed headlights until the C6 in 2005.

C2: 1963-1967 – The Sting Ray generation cemented the Corvette into the minds of a generation of auto enthusiasts (several generations, actually). Engines ranged from a peppy 327 all the way to a monstrous, loping 427. The body featured the famed split-window fastback for one year only before reverting to a one-piece rear window, and a convertible was also available.

C3: 1968-82 – Known as the Mako Shark generation, the C3 Corvette featured swoopy fenders based on a concept car of the same name. Though it started strong, the C3 also had to endure the emissions regulations and horsepower drops that affected all cars during the 1970s. That the C3 Corvette lasted an incredible 14 model years is testament to the appeal of the original design.

C4: 1984-1996 – Wider and sleeker than before, the C4 Corvette debuted in early 1983 as a 1984 model (there was no 1983 Corvette). Though it had some initial teething troubles, the C4 quickly gained a reputation as a stellar handler. It also marked the rebirth of Corvette performance when the Tuned Port small-block gave way to the second-generation LT1 engine, followed by the LT4 and the ZR-1 with its Lotus-developed LT5 V8.

C5: 1997-2004 – Though it shared some styling similarities with the late C4, the C5 Corvette had major updates under the skin. The LS-series small-block engine debuted, marking the powerhouse we’ve all come to know and love; the transmission was also moved to a single-unit transaxle at the rear of the car for better weight distribution. Finally, hydroformed frame members greatly enhanced structural stability and interior integrity.

C6: 2005-2013 – The C6 Corvette continued the advancements seen in the C5, but improvements in engine management and powertrain development resulted in significant power leaps. The LS2 V8 displaced 6 liters at first, while the LS3 debuting in 2008 bumped that up to 6.2 liters. A six-speed automatic also arrived, and a new Z06 added an enormous 7-liter LS7 V8 that made over 500 hp. At the top of the heap was the supercharged ZR1 making 631 horsepower and debuting for 2009.

C7: 2014-present – Stingray returned to the Corvette lexicon for the 2014 C7 model. Powered by a new-generation LT1 V8 engine, the new car debuted a more modern supercar aesthetic with rectangular tail lights. That rear treatment created a stir upon debut, but the C7 Corvette’s styling has aged very well. Over the course of C7 production, new features like an 8-speed automatic transmission, supercharged LT4 Z06 model and a 755-hp ZR1 have become part of the legend.

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