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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.

Production Options and Build Statistics

Total 1997 Corvettes Built - 9,752

Serial Numbers
Coupe1G1YY22GxV5100001 - 1G1YY22GxV5109093

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

VIN (Serial) Number Decoder

11US built
2GGeneral Motors Product
31Chevrolet Motor Division Vehicle
62 or 3Body style number
2 = Two door hatchback style 07, 08, 77, or 87
72 or 42=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
8GLS1 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
10VThe model year V=1997
115Bowling Green, Kentucky
12-17100001 and upProduction Sequence for Coupes

Engine Serial Number Decoder

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.

CodeEngineHorsepowerCompressionTransmissionFuel Supply
ZYDLS1 350-cid345-hp V-810.1:1AutomaticMulti-Port Injection
ZYCLS1 350-cid345-hp V-810.1:1ManualMulti-Port Injection

Production Options

1YY07Base Coupe$37,495.00 9,772 100.2%
AABMemory Package$150.00 6,186 63.4%
AG2Power Passenger Seat$305.00 8,951 91.8%
AQ9Sport Seats$625.00 6,711 68.8%
B34Floor Mats$25.00 9,371 96.1%
B84Body Side Moldings$75.00 4,366 44.8%
CC3Blue Transparent Roof Panel$650.00 7,213 74.0%
C2LDual Roof Package$950.00 416 4.3%
CJ2Dual Zone Climate Control$365.00 7,999 82.0%
D42Luggage Shade and Parcel Net$50.00 8,315 85.3%
F45Selective Real Time Damping$1,695.00 3,094 31.7%
G92Performance Axle Ratio(Auto. only)$100.00 2,739 28.1%
MN66-speed Manual$815.00 2,809 28.8%
NG1MA/NY State Emissions Requirements$170.00 677 6.9%
T96Fog Lamps$69.00 8,829 90.5%
UN0Delco Bose Stereo with CD$100.00 6,282 64.4%
U1SRemote Compact 12-Disc Changer$600.00 4,496 46.1%
V49Front License Plate Frame$15.00 2,258 23.2%
YF5California Emissions$252.00 885 9.1%
Z51Performance Handling Pkg.$350.00 1,077 11.0%

Color Options for 1997

Interior options for exterior colors are suggested by Chevrolet. Other combinations could be ordered.
Interior Color
10UArctic White$0.00B-LG-R 1,341 13.8%
144Sebring Silver Metallic$0.00B-LG-R 2,164 22.2%
244Nassau Blue Metallic$0.00B-LG-LO 292 3.0%
41UBlack$0.00B-LG-R 2,393 24.5%
53ULight Carmine Red Metallic$0.00B-LG 381 3.9%
70UTorch Red$0.00B-LG-R 3,026 31.0%
91UFairway Green Metallic$0.00B-LG-R 155 1.6%
Color Codes: B=Black, LG=Light Gray, R=Firethorn Red

Interior Colors

193Black$0.00 6,481 66.5%
923Light Gray$0.00 2,543 26.1%
943Firethorn Red$0.00 728 7.5%

1997 Corvette Specifications

Mechanical Dimensions

Wheelbase104.5 inches (2.654 m)
Overall length179.7 inches (4.564 m)
Overall width73.6 inches (1.869 m)
Overall height47.7 inches (1.212 m)
Front tread62.0 inches (1.575 m)
Rear tread62.1 inches (1.577 m)
Standard Tires Front/RearP245/45ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle GT / P275/40ZR-18 Goodyear Eagle GT
Ground Clearance3.7 inches
Curb Weight3,229(auto.trans.)
SteeringPower-assisted, speed-sensitive, magnetic variable-effort power rack and steering
Front suspensionIndependent SLA forged-aluminum upper and lower control arms and steering knuckle, transverse monoleaf springs, steel stabilizer bar, and spindle offset.
Rear suspensionIndependent 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.
BrakesAntilock four-wheel power disc
Body constructionFiberglass; integral perimeter frame with center back­bone/all-welded steel body frame construction
Fuel tank19.1 US Gal (15.9 Imp Gal) (72 liters)

Engine Specifications

FeatureBase Engine RPO LS1
TypeV-8, 90-degree Overhead valve
BlockCast aluminum block and cylinder head
Displacement346 cid (5.7 liters)
Bore & Stroke3.90" x 3.62"
Compression ratio10.1:1
Brake horsepower345 @ 5600
Torque350 lb-ft @ 4400
Main bearingFive
Valve liftersHydraulic, two valves per cylinder
Fuel supplySequential Multi-port injection (MPI) system

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