An iconic and inseparable part of American automotive history, many might argue that the Chevrolet Corvette is the best American sports car ever. Born in 1953, the Chevy Corvette was intended to win over those enamored with European sports cars at the time and convince them to look home. To this day, throughout its 69-year history, Corvette sales are still pretty solid, thanks to a winning formula that Chevy hasn’t deviated from. Anyone who takes a Corvette home gets a huge power, a great reliability of General enginesand breathtakingly beautiful design, all at an affordable price.
Over the years, for a car as iconic as the Corvette, Chevy has released many special editions, whether celebrating milestones and events, or reaching a wider customer base. For customers who want nothing but the best, a car as legendary as the Corvette has to add exclusivity, which it does with certain special editions. This is something many car manufacturers do. Today, older special editions of a car like the Chevy Corvette are collectibles, and even the more recent ones are selling like hot cakes, thanks to the history and emotions these editions evoke among “Vette fans.” So let’s take a look at ten of the coolest special editions Chevrolet has ever released for the Corvette.
10 1969 Corvette Stingray L88
The Corvette has always been a high-performance sports car, but it has also walked the line between a sports car and a muscle car for years. Due to its performance characteristics of housing big V8s and going like hell, the Corvette also has muscle car chops even though it is a sports car. An example of this is the 1969 Corvette Stingray L88.
In the ’60s, the Chevy Corvette was one of the most beautiful cars around, with its smooth curves and bulging fenders. The rarest version of the highly popular C3 Corvette, the L88 has become somewhat of a legend in recent decades. Chevy made just 116 units of the Stingray L88 models in 1969, and it featured a high hood with a heavily modified 457 cu-in V8 block that produced 580 horsepower. Today, this special edition easily costs more than half a million dollars, and with good reason.
9 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans Commemorative Edition
There’s no denying that the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the biggest motorsport competitions in the world, pushing both cars and drivers to their limits. In the early 2000s, when the Chevy Corvette C5-R won in its classthe feat, of course, called for a celebration.
Thus came the limited edition model, the Corvette 24 Hours of Le Mans Commemorative Edition. This special edition came with an exclusive paint job dubbed the ‘Le Mans Blue Metallic’. On the inside, the car came with a two-tone leather interior, with silver and red stripes running down the center of the exterior. Chevy only made 2,025 copies of this edition.
8 1969 Corvette ZL1
The 1969 Chevy Corvette ZL1 is not only one of the rarest Corvettes ever, but also one of the rarest American cars. The ZL1 was sold as a special package that Chevy offered on the 1969 Corvette for those who always needed more power, and it came with an all-aluminum 7-liter V8 engine.
While the ZL1 officially made 430 horsepower, experts believed it made at least a hundred more horses. The 1969 Corvette ZL1 was even the fastest production car built at the time, according to a test by Motor Trend in 1968. Rumor has it that only three people ever bought the ZL1which is why it is easily one of the rarest American cars ever.
7 1996 Corvette Grand Sport
1996 was the last year for the Chevy Corvette’s fourth generation, and Chevy unveiled the Grand Sport to mark the end of the C4. This wasn’t the first time Chevy had used the Grand Sport nameplate on a Corvette since the first time they did in 1963.
The 1996 special edition Corvette Grand Sport only came off the line in blue, with a white stripe running down the center of the car. Under the hood, the GS housed an LT4 V8 engine, which had an output of 330 hp, which gave it a lot of punch for the time.
6 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition
1960 was the first time a Chevy Corvette entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that milestoneChevy built the Z06 Carbon Limited Edition in 2011. For this limited edition Corvette, the brand has also infused racing technology into their Corvette production.
While the original plan was to build 500 of the Z06 Carbon Limited Edition models, Chevy ended up building just 252, making it even more exclusive and rare for years to come. Equipped with a 505 hp V8 engine, the special edition Carbon Magnetic Selective Ride Control had a special carbon bonnet, carbon ceramic brakes from Brembo and rode on black 20-spoke wheels.
5 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary Edition
2003 marked the 50th anniversary of Chevy’s production of the iconic Corvette, and it’s not an achievement many automakers are allowed to celebrate. This, of course, called for a festive edition and so Chevrolet built the Corvette 50th Anniversary Edition.
This special edition Corvette was available in both coupe and convertible versions and was given a special shade of red, which Chevy called the ‘Anniversary Red Metallic’. The cabin received a shale two-tone leather interior with embroidered trim and painted aluminum wheels. It even got special badges to celebrate the Corvette’s 50th anniversary.
4 1998 Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car Replica
This car looks like something straight out of a Hot Wheels commercial. late 90s, the convertible variant of the C5 Corvette was chosen as the Pace Car for the Indy 500 raceand in keeping with tradition, Chevy again produced a limited run of pace car replicas for the general public.
Not much separated the actual pace car from the special edition replicas Chevy made, except that the replicas didn’t come with the official pace car gear. Chevy gave the replicas a special paint job called ‘Radar Blue’, and it came with all the pacecar decals, right down to the painted yellow wheels and matching interior colors.
3 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition
This special edition Chevy Corvette was Chevrolet’s way of paying tribute to past C7.R racers. The 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition looked in every way like a sports car fit for the track, but one that also allows for the road, and Chevy has only made 500 copies of this special edition.
It came with a visible carbon fiber ground effects package and a carbon fiber hood. The grilles and vents were finished in Spectra Gray Metallic. The C7.R Edition is rated at 650 hp and came with a Z07 Performance Package equipped, with carbon-ceramic disc brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
2 2007 Corvette Victory Edition
The Chevy Corvette has been one of Chevrolet’s most successful race cars, as evidenced by all the special editions the car has been awarded for its motorsport victories. For example, in 2008 Chevrolet introduced a Victory Edition to the European market to celebrate more than 50 race wins for Corvette Racing.
The Corvette Victory Edition was based on the C6 Coupé and featured its powerful 404 hp V8 engine. Customers were given the choice of getting the Victory Edition in black or yellow, while the wheels came in gray and the interior got special trim. Only 250 copies of the 2007 Corvette Victory Edition were produced, making it a rather rare ‘Vette’.
1 2018 Corvette Carbon 65
Marking and Celebrating 65 Years of the Iconic Chevy Corvette was the special Corvette Carbon 65 in 2018. Chevy produced just 650 units of the car, in keeping with its 65th anniversary, and offered it as a package upgrade for the C7 Grand Sport, the 3LT and the Z06 3LZ trim levels. The Carbon 65′ Vette came with part of the hood covered in carbon fiber, along with a carbon fiber spoiler and visible carbon fiber ground effects.
Even the intake ducts and roof were carbon fiber on the coupe, and the interior had black suede competition seats with blue trim. Even the interior had glossy carbon fiber, including the steering wheel. One of the fastest Corvettes ever made, the Corvette Carbon 65, at its best, came with a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivered 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.