2003 Z06

The 2003 Z06 Corvette was a big step up from my earlier C5’s.  It was the Z06 model, which comes with more power and a better suspension.

When I ordered this car, I made arrangements to pick it up in Bowling Green, KY at the National Corvette Museum.  They have a special package that includes a private tour of the Corvette plant, where you can see the Corvettes being built.

After the plant tour, you go across the street to the Museum, where you also get a private tour.  At the end of the tour, you turn the corner, and your Corvette is sitting there on display.  They give you an orientation, you sign the paperwork and then you’re on your way!  It’s a great way to spend a day and the tours are pretty fascinating.  I even got a tour in the back of the Museum where they had some really cool stuff, including a Corvette station wagon prototype (not their best idea).

The Z06 has the same-size 5.7-liter Chevy small-block V-8 as in a base Corvette. But more compression, a higher-lift cam, lighter valves, stronger valve springs, a higher-intake manifold, lower-restriction air cleaner, and higher-capacity titanium exhaust system allow this LS6 version of the 5.7-liter to produce an additional 55 horses and 25 lb-ft of torque over the base model’s 350-horsepower LS1.

The Z06’s performance-oriented Z51 suspension provides Krazy-Glue-like grip in the corners, yet offers a more than tolerable ride on most types of road surfaces, thanks to sufficient wheel travel and well-tuned damping rates. The Active Handling helps keep even the most inexperienced driver going in his intended direction, but push the deactivation button, downshift to second, and the 400 lb-ft of torque will allow this long-nose patriot to slip its tail out like Grandma on an icy sidewalk. Proper steering input corrects the oversteer, and off you go, with a big grin on your face.

Bill Sefton
Bill Sefton
Bill Sefton, Chicago native, and passionate car collector. Currently retired, but still involved in the car collection community. Reach out, happy to connect!