It feels like just yesterday that the fifth-generation Corvette made its debut, promising a bright future for America's Sports Car. But, it was actually 20 years ago, and the C5 could soon become a collectable. Well, certain C5 Corvettes as classic-car insurer Hagerty explains in .
Based on data acquired through insurance quotes, Hagerty predicts that C5 Corvette prices could bottom out next year. Over the last 12 months, Hagerty observed a two-percent (or $400) fall in average quote values for all C5 Corvettes, and certain models like the Z06, Indy 500 Pace Car, and 50th Anniversary already appreciating.
Manual-transmission C5s are worth around 10 percent more than their more common automatic-equipped counterparts, and interestingly, convertibles are more valuable than coupes. The ultimate C5 is the 2004 Z06 Commemorative Edition—just 2025 were built to celebrate Corvette Racing's Le Mans success and each came with a carbon-fiber hood.
Hagerty also highlights the oft-forgotten Fixed-Roof Coupe (FRC) as being a Corvette to look out for, and we agree. Built for the 1999 and 2000 model years, the manual-only FRC was as a cheaper, more enthusiast-focused alternative to the regular hatchback Corvette. Its lighter, stiffer structure eventually made the basis for the track-ready Z06.
But we can't help but think a regular, manual-transmission Corvette Coupe would make a great buy too. It's not rare, but it's got Chevy's bulletproof, powerful LS1 V8 under the hood, and a 175-mph top speed. And it's more practical than the Z06 and FRC. What more do you need?
If you can spring for a Z06, though, we'd recommend it. We've been beating the C5 Z06 drum for a long time, but there's a good reason for that—with a skilled driver and a good setup, it's as fast as anything on track. And you can have a great, track-prepped Z06 for $25,000 or less.
As we've theorized before, however, regular C5 Corvettes could hold their values since so many seem to be owned by unmotivated sellers. But, if you see a manual-transmission C5 at a good price, especially a FRC or a Z06, buy it now. They could become unattainable sooner than you'd expect.