Production for the ‘97 Corvette was low, mainly due to a shorter production run, but in 1998, GM tripled production from the previous model year, and introduced the C5 Convertible. Chevy sold a total of 31,084 cars in ‘98, and 11,849 of these were the new convertible.
The convertible marked the first time since 1962 that the Corvette was equipped with a traditional trunk. Its 13.9 cubic feet of storage space are easily accessible through the lid at the rear deck, and since the convertible top is not powered, plenty of trunk room remains even with the top down.
The 1998 Indianapolis 500 was paced by Corvette, and in celebration, GM continued its tradition of releasing pace car commemorative editions. The ‘98 pace car was a convertible painted purple. Its interior was black and yellow, and its wheels were painted yellow. RPO Z4Z was available with the manual transmission for $5,039, and 1,163 cars were sold.
The Active Handling System (RPO JL4) helped manage handling and traction during slippery road conditions, and through a computer system, applied specific amounts of brake force to individual wheels to eliminate wheel slippage, oversteer, and understeer, regardless of how much throttle was applied.