C5 Corvette Coupe with 300,000 Miles on It Finds a New Home

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High-mileage C5 coupe brings a new meaning to the term “driver’s car.”

There are different types of car buyers out there. Some people buy a car as an investment and store it in a climate-controlled garage so its value can build over time. Others buy a car to use it at track events. Then there are those who buy a car to drive it. The people who used to own this C5 Chevrolet Corvette coupe were definitely part of that third group. They put 300,000 miles on it.

That wasn’t the end of the road for it, though. As this video from Youtuber Scotty Kilmer shows, it still had more driving to do.

corvetteforum.com C5 Corvette Coupe with 300,000 Miles

A young man by the name of Hayden Craig Smith bought it. As you can probably imagine, people think he’s nuts for doing that. He says, “The biggest reason I was OK with buying this car with 300,000 miles on it is because the previous owner … said … the guy before him rebuilt the motor … at 200,000 miles.” The transmission also appears and acts as if it’s been rebuilt.


ALSO SEE: Sometimes You Need to Just Grab the Keys to Your Corvette and Drive


Smith was able to talk the seller down from an asking price of $4,000 to a final price of $3,500. The bad news is that he had to eat up some of those savings by buying a desperately needed new radiator.

corvetteforum.com C5 Corvette Coupe with 300,000 Miles

This ‘Vette has been cosmetically refreshed, too. It used to be orange, but a previous owner had the entire car taken apart and resprayed with white paint. What were once pop-up headlights are now fixed units with eyelids painted to match the body. C6 ZR1 wheels fill all four corners. Out back, a quad-tip Borla exhaust lets out the rejuvenated LS1’s battle cry.

As you can imagine, the body isn’t perfect. The passenger-side mirror is busted. So is one of the corners on the rock-chipped front bumper. According to Smith, “The guy before me actually had hit a bunny going 120 miles an hour.” (What a way to go.)

The interior looks just about how you’d expect it to look after 20+ years and traveling the distance between Los Angeles and New York City more than 100 times. Both seats are ripped and the driver’s door armrest has its own mouth now.

Does Smith regret his purchase? Not at all. He already considers himself a ‘Vette guy. He doesn’t mind the damage because he’s going to daily drive his new ‘Vette anyway. Bunnies, you’ve been warned.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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