Guide for the 1999 Corvette

We’re breaking down everything you need to know about the fun and sporty 1999 Chevy Corvette.
Written by Ethan Moser
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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The powerful and stylish 1999 Chevrolet Corvette was named one of Car and Driver’s ‘Top 10 Cars’ for 1999. Here’s an inside look.
  • The ‘99 Corvette has a V8 engine, 24.8 cubic feet of trunk capacity, and 345 horsepower.
  • Compared to other sports cars in its class, the 1999 Corvette is far more affordable.
  • You can find a used model for between $12-15k, with convertibles costing more than coupes.

Ownership costs for a 1999 Corvette are lower than you might expect

Expect to pay between $12,000 and $16,000 for a used 1999 Corvette coupe, according to
Kelley Blue Book
. Prices for a convertible are slightly higher.
Here are a few factors that may impact your costs when buying a 1999 Corvette:
  • Location
  • Type of seller
  • Body style
  • Mileage
The true cost of ownership for your 1999 Corvette goes beyond the price tag, though. In order to understand how much you’ll actually end up paying for your Corvette in the long run, you'll need to take into consideration:
  • Insurance (average $900 annually for ‘99 Corvette owners)
  • Maintenance
  • Potential repair costs
As the 1999 Corvette is more than 20 years old, drivers should expect that repair costs will factor into their overall cost of ownership—but this amount will depend on your car’s mileage and current condition at the time of purchase. Thankfully, with over 33,000 1999 Corvettes produced in the U.S., finding spare parts for this fifth-generation beauty shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.

Find a 1999 Chevrolet Corvette for sale using an online forum or contacting a local Chevy dealership

If you’re looking for the best place to buy a 1999 Corvette, sites like
Edmunds
and
Autotrader
can be a big help to you by locating local Chevrolet dealerships that carry the model. Look for a certified pre-owned vehicle so you can review the vehicle history and check its VIN.
If you’d rather buy from a fellow classic cars enthusiast, however, checking out online
Corvette forums
can help you find independently listed Vettes in your area. Make sure to specify that you’re looking for a C5 Corvette, and whether you’re after a Chevrolet Corvette convertible, coupe, or hardtop version.
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What does the 1999 Corvette bring to the table?

Offering a powerful LS1 5.7-liter aluminum V8 engine, the 1999 Corvette builds upon the success of earlier fifth-generation Corvettes with a lower curb weight and substantially stiffer frame, making for a noticeably smoother ride. Back in 1999, its base MSRP was $38,197.
The Chevrolet Corvette base offers:
  • Cruise control
  • Leather seats
  • Power driver seat (only in the hatchback)
  • Rear wheel drive (RWD) drivetrain
  • 15-inch steering wheel
  • 104.5-inch wheelbase
  • Eight exterior colors, including Torch Red
  • Four interior upholstery colors
  • Bose sound system (standard on coupe and convertible, optional on hardtop)
  • 18 combined mpg
  • Optional heads up display
The Z51 handling package on the base hardtop is excellent, too. Note that some—but not all—‘99 Corvettes have a 6-speed manual transmission, so do your research carefully. Otherwise, it’s a 4-speed automatic with overdrive.
The 1999 Corvette is the third addition to Chevy’s fifth generation of Corvettes. The sports car received widespread acclaim from drivers and critics alike, being named Autoweek’s Readers Pick for “America’s Best Car” in 1999. 

Strengths and weaknesses of the 1999 Corvette

If you think a 1999 Corvette might be the used car for you, you’ll first want to take a look at the pros and cons of owning and driving the model before you buy. 

The good: speed

Following in the tradition of all Corvette models, the 1999 Corvette boasts an impressive speed rating, going from 0-60 miles per hour in as little as 4.8 seconds!
Reaching max speeds of 171 mph, the 1999 Corvette is a dream car for all performance-oriented drivers. 

The good: cargo space

The 1999 Corvette nearly doubles the coupe trunk capacity of the 1998 model, offering a whopping 24.8 cubic feet of cargo space. This model is ideal for both performance and practicality.

The good: safety

While sports cars aren't necessarily known for their safety features, the 1999 Corvette features a range of advanced safety technologies including an energy-absorbing interior as well as a high-strength steel safety cage designed to keep passengers safe during a collision.
Additionally, an ahead-of-its-time anti-lock brake system and standard all-speed electronic traction control system help to give the 1999 Corvette enhanced grip on low-traction surfaces. 

The bad: mechanical issues

The 1999 Corvette is more than 20 years old, so it is unsurprising that the car is plagued by a few common mechanical issues. In particular, drivers of the model have reported that the car sometimes suffers from a leaking battery, needle bearing failure, and warped rotors. 
While many of these issues are the result of common wear and tear, when purchasing an older car, it is important to factor in the possibility that these issues could raise your overall cost of ownership by introducing unexpected repair bills. 

The bad: transmission issues

In all fifth-generation Corvettes, common issues have been reported in relation to the car’s manual transmission, specifically, the steering column locking up after the ignition is disengaged and staying locked even after the driver restarts the car. In certain rare cases, the steering column has also been reported to have remained locked while the car is in operation. 
While Chevrolet dealerships have developed a method for disengaging the locking mechanism, it should be noted that this is the only currently known method for resolving this common issue among fifth-generation Corvettes. 

The bottom line—which 1999 Corvette to buy

Unlike some newer Corvette models, drivers have only a few options to choose from when it comes to the 1999 Corvette: coupe, convertible, or hard-top. 
The specs and fuel economy of each of these options are relatively similar, so the choice between the three is mainly a matter of personal preference. However, it should be noted that the convertible option will offer significantly less protection in the case of an accident. 
While there is little choice in terms of trim levels for the 1999 Corvette, you do benefit from a number of choices in terms of aesthetics. The 1999 model is available in a number of different exterior paint colors and interior upholstery colors.
If you want to drive the ultimate classic car, look for a Torch Red convertible Vette with a manual transmission. Otherwise, save some money by opting for an automatic and a less flashy color.
If you’re not convinced that the ‘99 Corvette is your dream car, you may also want to test drive a
Camaro
of the same era. While you’ll get slightly less horsepower, you’ll also spend a lot less!
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