The C5 Chevrolet Corvette was the generation that left behind the “two seat musclecar” approach and went straight for the curves. It was the first Vette to use a transaxle and a torque tube, had great power and handling capabilities, and could even turn decent fuel mileage numbers when you weren’t doing triple-digit speeds while running errands. As a donor car goes, you would struggle to find a better bang-for-your-buck machine than a C5, and there are companies out there that specialize in trimming off the fiberglass and plastic off and leaving the Corvette as a rolling chassis, ready for whatever your twisted mind offers up. Why are we bringing this up? Between the Mustang that Lohnes found and the Duster we featured as part of our LS Fest coverage, it appears that using Corvette skeletons with a random body is a very real option for those who want to use a proven platform for a performance machine instead of just trying to make an old car dance properly.
With a wheelbase of 104.5 inches, the Corvette is pretty compact, but we found a few close options if you wanted to keep from modifying the major assembly of the rolling chassis any. A Chevrolet Citation, Celebrity, or 1995-up Cavalier all sport 105″ wheelbases, and all could be cool as a RWD converted autocross monster…picture a Citation X-11 wringing out an autocross course like Brian Finch’s Camaro. The “AeroBird” era Ford Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar/Lincoln Mark VII, first generation Dodge Avenger/Chrysler Sebring coupes and, of all things, the Jeep Liberty KJ, also fit. Or, you could do like Gordie Rutkowski did with the Duster and it’s C6-sourced drivetrain and modify the location of the suspension…in his case, the front suspension got pushed forward to meet the Duster’s 108″ wheelbase.
So, you’ve got the rolling skeleton of a C5 Corvette at your disposal, running and ready. What body do you slap on top of it?