1999 Chevy Corvette Convertible - Hard To Top

Is It A Convertible Or A Hardtop? Yes, It Is!

Jerry Heasley Feb 1, 2002 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0202_17_z 1999_chevy_corvette_convertible Front_bumper 2/9

The build became, like the personalized plates read, "4 FUN". Jeff literally went wild inside and out. He lowered the body 1.5 inches. "That's real easy. Just loosen a nut up on each corner of the car. The looser you make each nut, the lower the car goes."

Seeing as how he had a Z06-style roof, Jeff went ahead with other Z06 styling elements, including a set of rear brake cooling scoops ahead of the rear wheels and the screens in the openings around the front fog lights, plus chrome-plated Z06-style wheels.

Inside, Jeff added the heads-up display and an "export" 300 KPH (Kilometers Per Hour) speedo, like used on Corvettes that are shipped to Europe or Asia. "I found one used and put it in there 'cause I thought it was kind of cool looking. Whenever I go to car shows people go, 'Oh my god, 300 mph.' That's the first thing people want to know, how fast will it go."

Jeff gets a kick out of the interior look. "Some Z06s were two toned, so I dyed the trim panels. Z06s have the logo on the seats; instead, I fitted Wet Oakley seat covers. That's a Momo shifter knob and different colored red shifter boot. The steering wheel is fitted with a stitched-on red and black cover from a company called Wheel Skin."

Vemp_0202_18_z 1999_chevy_corvette_convertible Aftermarket_rims 3/9

The LS1 engine is mostly stock except for the trademark red Z06 fuel rail covers. "I added a Twin Flow air intake, which is low restriction. Mainly, I like the looks. That's why I got it."

For show, a 4-foot purple neon tube is mounted under the rear bumper to light up the tops of the exhaust tips. Jeff also added purple neon inside the front fender coves.

The taillights are "export." Domestic cars have solid red light assemblies. Exports have amber and red on the outside and clear and red on the inside. Jeff also went with the "export" license pocket in the back. Domestic cars have a back up light on each side of the license plate. But many countries in Europe have those big long license plates, so GM had to eliminate the back up lights in export models to make room for the big license plates. That's why they integrated the back up lights up top with the taillights.

The fixed roof hardtop is removable and can be tilted back, which is how Jeff displays the car at shows. Almost everybody's seen older Corvette convertibles with removable hardtops, but this one is unique in every respect. It took some nifty engineering work and an innovative mind to figure it out, but Jeff Mudd created a C5 convertible that is Hard To Top.


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