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The 1997 Chevrolet Corvette
1997 Red Corvette Coupe

1997 finally introduced the C5, the original plans called for the introduction in 1993. Due to financial and management decisions the new Corvette was delayed again and again. During the development of the car a writer documented it's progress, the book he wrote is called "All Corvettes are Red" and is a fascinating story. This new Corvette is the first to use almost all new components, even the first Corvette used many components from other cars. The C5 is faster (345 hp), lighter (68 lbs less than 1996), stiffer (4.5 times stiffer!) and quieter than the previous versions. The front/rear weight ratio is balanced at a near perfect 51.4/48.61. The new LS1 engine produces 345 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Only one model, the coupe, was available in 1997 and production was started late so only 9,752 were built. VIN numbers this year include prototype and pilot cars so VIN serial numbers do not match production. A very unique floor system was created using balsa wood sandwiched in plastic. The combination of these materials provides rigidity, strength and noise isolation to make this Vette the stiffest and quietest yet. Using 1500 less parts than the C4, production was easier and less parts to rattle. The new shape was wind tunnel tested until it was down to 0.29 coefficient of drag, allowing for better performance, mileage and top speed. The C5 Vette also gets good enough gas mileage to avoid the gas guzzler tax that most other high performance sports cars must pay. The instrument panel features blacklight analog gauges and a "Driver Information Center" (DIC) to allow configruation of the car. The DIC also allows engine service codes to be read without the need for a diagnostic computer. The frame of the car uses a process called hydroforming to perfectly form the 14 foot long side rails. The new side rails give the car it's rigidity and also allow easier entry and exit because the driver and passenger do not need to step over the frame to get into the car. This is the first Corvette with the transmission in the rear (trans-axle). This is what allows for the almost perfect weight ratio. The standard wheels on the 1997 C5 are affectionately known as "Wagon Wheel" for their large spokes.
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Production Options and Build Statistics

Total 1996 Corvettes Built - 9,752 (All Coupes)

Coupe Serial Numbers: 1G1YY22GxV5100001 to 1G1YY22GxV5109093

The "Vehicle Identification Number" (also VIN or serial number) is stamped on a plate on the lower edge of driver's side windshield.

Position Character Description
1 1 US built
2 G General Motors Product
3 1 Chevrolet Motor Division Vehicle
4&5 YY Corvette
6 2 or 3 Body style number
2 = Two door hatchback style 07, 08, 77, or 87
7 2 or 4 2=Active manual belts with driver and passenger inflatable restraint system
4=Active manual belts with frontal and side-impact driver and front passenger inflatable restraint system
8 G LS1 5.7-liter (346 cu. in) Sequential multiport-fuel-injection (SFI) V8
9 ? A check digit that calculates the characters in the serial number and gives it a single digit code and can be used to verify that the serial number is legitimate
10 V The model year V=1997
11 5 Bowling Green, Kentucky
12-17 100001 and up Production Sequence for Coupes

Engine Serial Number

1997 Corvette engines have the last six digits of the VIN stamped on the block after the engine number. The date code the engine was manufactured was also cast into the block. The engine serial number includes a production sequence number starting with 0001001 and one of the suffixes below.
Code Engine Horsepower Compression Transmission Fuel Supply Extra Features
ZYD LS1 350-cid 345-hp V-8 10.1:1 Automatic Multi-Port Injection  
ZYC LS1 350-cid 345-hp V-8 10.1:1 Manual Multi-Port Injection  

Production Options

RPO Description Price Production
1YY07 Base Coupe $37,495 9,772
AAB Memory Package $150 6,186
AG2 Power Passenger Seat $305 8,951
AQ9 Sport Seats $625 6,711
B34 Floor Mats $25 9,371
B84 Body Side Moldings $75 4,366
CC3 Blue Transparent Roof Panel $650 7,213
C2L Dual Roof Package $950 416
CJ2 Dual Zone Climate Control $365 7,999
D42 Luggage Shade and Parcel Net $50 8,315
F45 Selective Real Time Damping $1,695 3,094
G92 Performance Axle Ratio (Auto. only) $100 2,739
MN6 6-speed Manual $815 2,809
NG1 MA/NY State Emissions Requirements $170 677
T96 Fog Lamps $69 8,829
UN0 Delco Bose Stereo with CD $100 6,282
U1S Remote Compact 12-Disc Changer $600 4,496
V49 Front License Plate Frame $15 2,258
YF5 California Emissions $252 885
Z51 Performance Handling Pkg. $350 1,077

Color Options for 1997

Interior options for exterior colors are suggested by Chevrolet. Other combinations could be ordered.
RPO Exterior Interior Production
10U Arctic White B-LG-R 1,341
144 Sebring Silver Metallic B-LG-R 2,164
244 Nassau Blue Metallic B-LG-LO 292
41U Black B-LG-R 2,393
53U Light Carmine Red Metallic B-LG 381
70U Torch Red B-LG-R 3,026
91U Fairway Green Metallic B-LG-R 155
Color Codes: B=Black, LG=Light Gray, R=Firethorn Red

Interior Colors

RPO Color Production
193 Black 6,481
923 Light Gray 2,543
943 Firethorn Red 728

1997 Corvette Specifications

Mechanical Dimensions

Feature Coupe
Wheelbase 104.5 inches (2.654 m)
Overall length 179.7 inches (4.564 m)
Overall width 73.6 inches (1.869 m)
Overall height 47.7 inches (1.212 m)
Front tread 62.0 inches (1.575 m)
Rear tread 62.1 inches (1.577 m)
Standard Tires Front/Rear P245/45ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle GT / P275/40ZR-18 Goodyear Eagle GT
Ground Clearance 3.7 inches
Curb Weight 3,229 (auto.trans.)
3,218 (man.trans.)
Steering Power-assisted, speed-sensitive, magnetic variable-effort power rack and steering
Front suspension Independent SLA forged-aluminum upper and lower control arms and steering knuckle, transverse monoleaf springs, steel stabilizer bar, and spindle offset.
Rear suspension Independent five-link design with tow and camber adjustment, cast-aluminum upper and lower control arms and knuckle, transverse monoleaf springs, steel tie rods and stabilizer bar, and tubular U-jointed metal matrix composite driveshaft.
Brakes Antilock four-wheel power disc
Body construction Fiberglass; integral perimeter frame with center back­bone/all-welded steel body frame construction
Fuel tank 19.1 US Gal (15.9 Imp Gal) (72 liters)

Engine Specifications

Feature Base Engine RPO LS1
Type V-8, 90-degree Overhead valve
Block Cast aluminum block and cylinder head
Displacement 346 cid (5.7 liters)
Bore & Stroke 3.90" x 3.62"
Compression ratio 10.1:1
Brake horsepower 345 @ 5600
Torque 350 lb-ft @ 4400
Main bearing Five
Valve lifters Hydraulic, two valves per cylinder
Fuel supply Sequential Multi-port injection (MPI) system
 


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