I may have mentioned that. Here's my thoughts

It looked like this but with C6 wheels, which are so much better

The red is a bit much for me. It's a Corvette, I feel like it grabs enough attention as is without being bright as hell. Red also doesn't hide shitty 90's GM paint quality well at all, there were chips all over the place, orange peel like crazy, and although it seemed well taken care of it was covered in swirls (easy enough to fix).

The interior on the C5 is often lauded as being shit-tacular. I disagree, I actually find the interior to be reasonably decent. Replace the antiquated radio with a touchscreen head unit and it's a really nice place. Materials are okay at best, maybe when new it was shit but as a cheapish used sports car it's not even close to being bad. The Bose audio sounded fantastic, the automatic climate control was really nice. The whole cabin is shockingly roomy: I've only driven the convertible C6 and this thing is a temple by comparison, largely because of the unobstructed access to the cavernous rear hatch area.

The seats are also quite comfortable and have power adjustable lumbar and side bolsters. That's a really nice feature for a fat man like me: instead of being insanely invasive all the time like the recaro's in the ST twins, they are just flat out comfortable and supportive, and iimmediately adjustable from couch comfort to track ready.

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The steering wheel is pretty crappy though, I'll give you that. Who cares, how does it drive?

Well, it's a Corvette. That means it makes a shitload of torque, glorious sounds, and is altogether fast in a straightline. The C5 is reasonably powerful: in the C6 my reactions were HOLY FUCK THIS THING IS FAST AS HELL while in the C5 it was more like HOT DAMN THIS THING IS QUICK! The internet tells me it's 4.7 to 60 which is very very fast.

The steering feels light compared to the C6 which is great because I felt like it was a little bit too heavy in the C6. This was a pretty nice balance between comfortable and sporty. Same goes for the clutch, compared to the C6 this was more comfortable IMO. The shifter, ugh. This had an aftermarket short shift of some kind, I hated it. It took way too much effort to shift, I kept not being able to get it in gear which I just don't understand: it wouldn't go into first a couple times, I grinded a few gears here and there. It wouldn't be surprising to do that if I was new to manuals but I daily one, something was off. Of everything with this car that would have been my biggest dealbreaker. I have to find one with the standard transmission and see what it's like. If the previous owner thought this improved the car, it must be a horrible stock shifter.

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We took it down a relatively curvy road and I drove it fast. I was a bit surprised at the amount of body roll. It was certainly not like driving a tall hatchback or floaty sedan, but surprisingly high for what it is. The C6 was flat as Kansas around similar bends, this had quite a bit of give. Overall that made the C5 feel more like a grand tourer than a proper sports car: a little bit over the line towards muscle car rather than sports car.

Taking the top off doesn't really hurt handling much. It is glorious though: the targa roof is brilliant. Easy to put on and take off by yourself, really opens up the car. Cabin noise is surprisingly quiet with the top off so long as you don't roll up the windows.

Overall, I still love the Corvette, and I'm even more convinced that C5 is the way to go. The C6 is the better car, no doubt, but for the money the C5 is hard to beat. I have to get one with the Z51 package though, for daily use the base model is fantastic but for autocross I feel like it would be a let down. I'd like to get it in black and with the HUD as well. My target will be a 99-01 black coupe with Z51, HUD, and manual 6 speed.

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If you find yourself shopping for an affordable sports car, do yourself a favor and drive a C5. The Corvette is a seriously good car and the values are totally reasonable (although many people's asking prices are too high). I know for sure I will own one in the next few years now, it's that good.