This Stripped-Out C5 Corvette Dune Buggy Isn’t Your Dad’s Mid-Life Crisis Car
White New Balance sneakers optional.
Jeep-influenced Chevrolet Corvette builds invariably turn out weird, but on occasion, they result in something you don't just want to drive every now and then, but actually can on a daily basis. Such is the creation of one Arizonan Corvette owner who chopped up their C5 to create the dirt-friendly dynamo you see here, which is now available on Bring a Trailer.
Built from a 1999 C5 hardtop (dressed to look like a Z06?), this distantly Ariel Nomad-esque buggy had its fiberglass body mostly stripped away, its frame rails chopped, and the remaining unibody reinforced with a partial cage made from DOM steel tubing. It seemingly bucks the exocar trend of appalling build quality, so while it probably wouldn't pass a crash test, its roll bar looks sturdy enough to save your neck in a rollover.
While flipping this Corvette on its roof shouldn't be the goal of driving it, doing so wouldn't be all that difficult with a mildly cammed, 5.7-liter LS1 V8 under the hood. Rowing to redline through too many of its six manually selected gears on the wrong trail would put you at risk of overcoming this buggy's slightly lifted factory suspension and all-terrain Firestone Destination MT2 tires, which grant a little extra ground clearance, but not enough to tackle the Rubicon Trail. Try to do any rock crawling in this, and you'll probably gouge this Corvette's oil pan or radiator open, if not also tear off its JL Wrangler Rubicon-sourced front bumper and those DOT-approved Hella headlights.
Given this buggy's totally disabled electronic assists, considerable power output, and still-low ride height, it's probably more at home pulling giant, dusty drifts in the open desert than it is overlanding, though without its doors, it won't be long before you fill its interior with an inch of sand. With that in mind, one can't imagine this buggy will ever see all that much use off the pavement, whereas a video shared by the owner shows it, still handles mightily.
If you don't mind dirtying those southwestern-style seat covers—and possibly your pants by hitting a saguaro cactus—you can take this buggy wherever you please, provided you place the winning bid for its auction. The high bid soared more than $7,000 as this article was being written, and you can bet your life it'll climb further before the hammer drops around lunchtime next Wednesday.
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