The C5 Corvette in 1/64 scale
by Dave Weber, images by Doug Breithaupt

In March 1997 Chevrolet Division of General Motors introduced the all new C5 edition of their sports car that had first been produced 44 years ago . This latest edition in the ongoing Corvette saga was a completely re-engineered driving machine with a new transmission, suspension and interior and exterior designs. It was offered in 2 styles. These were the fastback coupe and convertible.

In 1998 GM reintroduced the functional storage trunk in the convertible. A fixed roof coupe was introduced in 1999. Other exterior styling changes to date have been minor.The only noticeable addition is a door guard side strip located midway between the top and bottom of the front fender scallop. This addition appears to have been introduced in about 1998 or 1999. The only way for a model/ toy collector to determine the representative year of manufacture for each miniature is to hope that the toy car maker imprinted it on the base of the model!

The best way to review the following models is in chronological order.


Both divisions of Mattel produced models for this introductory year. The Hot Wheels (HW) car model #515 (First Ed # 11 in 1997) was a fastback model as was the Matchbox (MB) car # 38. Yet close examination and comparison of the castings indicates the cars were made from separate dies. Matchbox also offered the C5 in their Premier edition series with rubber wheels and detailed paint. Maisto produced a fastback coupe with full interior. This model is a very nice casting and at $.50 each, a good value. However, the best replicas were made by Racing Champions in their Mint Edition series. A fastback model # 84 was introduced in 1997 and the convertible # 216 followed in 1999 ( near the end of this series) . Both models are excellently detailed replicas of the real car .


Hot Wheels


Racing Champions


The HW Collectibles line offered a convertible in the Corvette Showcase #2 set in 1999. This model also is a highly detailed replica of the full size machine! MB also introduced a follow up model convertible in their Motor Trend series which also was highly detailed. Both of the Mattel models had opening hoods as part of their enhanced detailing. Johnny Lightning has reintroduced a convertible # 735 in their latest Official Pace Cars set in 2001 . It was first available in 1999 and is offered in stock form as well.

Indy Pace Car - Johnny Lightning

Johnny Lightning


Welly # 2023 has issued a fastback coupe in their Series IX Street Wheels set. Although it does not have enhanced features, the detail provided for the cost is commendable. I noticed the base identification for the year shows evidence of being modified for some unknown reason. This model does have the above mentioned side strip cast on the body of the car. The Welly model is also offered with rubber tires and chrome wheels, as shown here. This greatly improves the appearance of the model. Another model, possibly representing 1999, was made under license for Mattel as a Mc Donalds promotional. Detail is lacking and there is no year identified on the base plate except the copyright year 2000.



Motor Max

Road Champs


This is the final year so far for any replica models. MB has just issued a nicely detailed convertible model # 57 in their 1-75 series. The only criticism is that the wind- shield is on too much of a slant! Even the pre-production picture in the 2001 Poster does not portray this defect and design error to such a radical degree. Motor Max by Red Box currently offers a nice C5 convertible. The quality of the casting is superior to the Matchbox convertible with a better detailed interior and diecast windshield header. Also last year, Road Champs introduced a 2000 coupe model in their Car and Driver Shock Racer series. Produced under new ownership by JAKKS Pacific, this model was accompanied by a small wrench to adjust the suspension of the model.


In 1998 HW issued a model of the Calloway C-7R ( model # 677 / First Ed #31) This model represents a radically modified C5 Corvette. This firm located in CT has been modifying Corvettes to the best of my recollection for about a decade. Their most recent products hardly resemble the original car at all

Calloway C-7R - Hot Wheels