The '00 C5 remained stock for exactly no time at all. A prototype Nitrous Oxide Systems "bottled throttle" package was custom-installed on the Vette by Holley in their Bowling Green corporate engineering lab, and its breathing and sound have been upgraded with Borla intake and exhaust pieces.
An amazing job was done to squeeze all of a standard police car's radios, lights, radar, and other equipment into the tight confines of the C5. Joe had to be sure nothing was done sloppily on the Vette because of its extreme visibility in the public arena. Needless to say, he wasn't disappointed. Everything necessary to turn the C5 into a fully functional patrol car was installed in a very professional - and creative - manner so as not to compromise the car's comfort or appearance. "It is a working patrol car," says Jakub. "It works the street along with all its other stuff," making it the ultimate squad car. You'd be amazed by the number of people who blow by this thing even though it says 'SHERIFF' and has lights and all. I guess they don't expect a Corvette to be a police car." Makes sense to us-we'd expect to see red lights chasing after a Vette, but not in one!
The C5's appearance is always changing. Originally equipped with the exotic N73 factory magnesium rims, the Crimestopper Corvette currently rides on Alcoa chrome factory wheels wearing Goodyear runflats. Even with all the police gear installed inside the Vette, its interior still seemed too "normal" with its factory Sport seats. Thus, DJ's Upholstery in Bowling Green was recently turned loose to add some extra pizzazz to the cockpit.
Since its unveiling at the April 2000 C5 Birthday Bash at the National Corvette Museum before 1,300 enthusiasts, the convertible has received a couple of different custom paint schemes to encourage the desired interaction with the public. Clay Bilyeu of Clay's Auto Body is responsible for the paintwork the C5 displays. In fact, it is Clay's five-year-old son, Thomas, a poster child for the "Reach for Your Dreams" program, who is portrayed on the C5's hood, wrapped in an American flag. The paint design has been a collective effort between Clay, Captain Joe, and airbrush artist Lewis Solis.
From the time it entered service with the Sheriff's Department, the C5 has seen duty all across the nation, and received tons of recognition and accolades. Between local Warren County activities and making guest appearances just about everywhere in the nation, the Crimestopper Corvette and Captain Joe have put in over 60,000 miles of service. It immediately became the Kentucky State D.A.R.E. Car of the Year, and was then hailed as the 2001 International D.A.R.E. Car of the Year in Los Angeles. A bunch of famous groups and people have appeared with the Vette to make anti-drug videos, including the Navy's Blue Angels, AirForce's Thunderbird pilots, and the pop band In-Sync. The C5 even appeared in President George W. Bush's Inaugural Parade through Washington, D.C., where Joe drove it with Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon!
Most importantly, however, the Vette does its job breaking the tension between officer and student. "You can give me the toughest kid going," Captain Joe says, "and I guarantee you within 20 minutes to half an hour, me and him will be buddies because of that car." Think you can do better than Jakub? Go ahead and try-we D.A.R.E. you!