The C5 Corvette was produced from 1997-2004. During that time, the Corvette celebrated its fiftieth birthday, saw great success at the Le Mans racing series, and achieved supercar status with the ‘04 Z06, which lapped the Nurburgring in under 8 minutes. The LS1 engine produced more horsepower than any base Corvette engine since the sixties, and the head-up display was technology right out of a fighter plane.
To celebrate the success of the C5 both in the market and on the racetrack, GM released a Commemorative Edition package. Available with any ‘04 Corvette, the car received special badging, and Le Mans Blue paint. The Z06 commemorative car received several unique features of its own. Instead of a fiberglass hood, the Z06 became the first regular production car to be equipped with a carbon fiber hood. The Z06 also borrowed the stripe scheme used on the C5R to further delineate that the Z06 was really a car built to go fast.
Production for the last year of the C5 was high, in spite of the anticipated C6 for 2005. Total production for the Commemorative Edition was 6,899, but the total was split evenly amongst the three available body styles. Total production for the year was 34,064, and the coupe was still the top seller.