C7 Corvette Exterior Customization Guide
Posted by Matthew Books on November 08 2016
Completing a Vette
Of the great American muscle cars there is one that outshines them all in terms of overall performance and value. Through its many model years, the Corvette has been a staple of the car customization community stretching back to the early 1950’s. We’re going to break down for you how to completely realize your Corvette customization from the exterior body, to the interior trim kits and down into the engine bay in this customization guide series. Each chapter will completely cover what’s out there, available for you and what you can do to trick out your prized possession. Without further ado, here's our living Corvette C7 Exterior Customization Guide.
Standard C7 or Z06 front grille? Standard or NPP exhaust? How do you remove the Stingray emblem from a C7? Will that vinyl graphic screw up my paint? From the front grille to the exhaust ports, here’s everything you need to know to customize your Corvette’s exterior.
Front End Options (There's More Than You Think):
Lights, grille, wind splitter! There’s so many opportunities for a unique Corvette out there it’s astounding. When it comes to the front end there may seem like there's only so much you can do, prepare to be surprised.
Whether you refer to it as a wind splitter, lip spoiler or just ground effects this is one area of the car that has plenty of options. If you prefer carbon flash, carbon fiber or stainless steel, the aftermarket world is rich with alternative options for you to choose from that Chevrolet never even dreamed of. With an installation that we’d rate as intermediate, our front lip spoilers attach through a combination of both 3M adhesive tape along with 4 screws. You can’t argue with the results once installed, each wind splitter/front lip spoiler creates a unique high performance look on the C7 that you can’t get anywhere else.
For the extreme side of customization, consider tweaking your headlights. There are great products out there for adding a color changing component to your headlights or C7 side markers from the likes of Oracle that will surely be the envy of any who notice it, and it’ll be hard not to. Now it’s extreme in difficulty because the level of complexity and risk involved in doing this kind of mod. Before you even install the mod, you’ll need to remove the headlight. The risk here is considerable, you can end up damaging your front fenders, scratching paint and breaking the headlight itself, which sell for $999.99 a piece! So consider these purchases carefully and make sure your installer is fully insured before going through with it.
Now one of the easiest mods you can make is to the front grille itself. While it may sound daunting, the act of the install of our own grille overlays is relatively simple, so we’d rank grille overlays as a beginner to intermediate customization. Where do you start with grilles? We offer a variety of options from complete overlays to simpler kits that fit into the existing spaces created by the factory grille. Want something wild? Consider our Shark Tooth Grill. Do some image searches through your favorite search engine online. Try, “c7 corvette front grilles” and shop around. There’s plenty of options out there, and while it’s easy to suggest our own, we realize everyone is different, cars are art and art is subjective. So find something you want and run with it, the only person you should worry about offending is yourself for not doing this mod sooner.
Perhaps you want to start with something subtle? In that case consider a mod to your hood vent grille. This is an area of the front end that is often overlooked when someone considers what to do to their car. Our parts are pretty cool in that you don’t have to permanently remove anything, you can take it back to stock if you want to. What’s cool about these trim pieces is that since they’re a polished stainless steel product your vent will glisten in the sunlight when viewed from the right angle.
Lastly, we cannot talk about the front end and not mention your vinyl decal options. There’s no better way to either accent your paint scheme or change it completely. We’ve got everything from a sport fade gradient to a nice detailed trim piece around your hood vent.
Sides, You Don't Have to Choose One:
Side vents, side skirts, side mirrors and side graphics, there’s a considerable amount of options available just to customize the sides of your Vette.
Side spoilers, side skirts, ground effects or underbody spoilers are a few of the terms used to describe them, ugly is not one of them. This addition to the body of your Corvette C7 is one that is extremely transformative and can have a positive impact on the overall look of the vehicle.
Again, there are multiple styles to choose from here but we’re going to base our findings off of our own designs. For you Z06 owners out there, you lucky devils, we’ve got two types of side spoilers. One is for those of you who purchased the ground effects package directly from the factory, this simple kit extends the ground effects and gives it a great stainless steel accent. You can even customize it further by choosing to add an optional fin kit to it. If you’re a Z06 owner that didn’t choose the factory ground effects package or a C7 owner, the C7 Side Skirts we manufacture (by hand) will give you a truly unique look. Made from stainless steel and layered with carbon fiber these are truly exceptional parts for your Corvette. What’s better is our side skirts install with nothing more than factory bolts and 3M adhesive tape material. This means you can easily return to a stock vehicle, you’re not drilling any holes, anywhere, and we even have simple to follow installation video detailing the process of the installation.
Regardless of which model of C7 you own, the customization options are limitless when you choose to add a custom vinyl car decals. These decals allow you to do all kinds of things with your car, from pin striping to complete color and texture changes, to simple, gradual changes in tone like our Sport Fade or Metallic Sport Fade. They’re very easy to remove if you grow tired of it and it will not harm your paint if applied properly.
Side vents, everyone’s got them and they’re usually bland and utilitarian in form and function. Add a simple kit and they become statement pieces that generate conversation and show trophies. You can add LED lights behind them for a very aggressive glow, you can put some great looking mesh grilles in front of and behind the stock grilles placed there by the factory. There’s even replacement kits, which depending on your level of skill can be an easy DIY project for you to tackle. Just, be careful whenever you’re dealing with anything that can harm your paint. A throwback accessory that’s available for the C7’s are the retro spears. These are great little accessories that are easy to install, they come with a template, and are instantly recognizable to anyone who knows the look of the C1 Corvette and its spears.
When you’re looking back at traffic as you pass them why not look at another place to enhance the C7, the mirrors. Our stainless steel mirror trim goes on like a sticker and stays there until you’re ready for it to go or until you sell/trade the car, its bond with the glass is that strong. You can even customize the colored accents in the mirrors allowing you to personalize the part even further. Our mirror trim is also officially licensed by General Motors, making it an official Chevrolet part so you can rest assured that it’s been quality checked by the best.
As we get closer to the rear we can’t pass up talking about what you can do to your rear quarter vent grilles. You can recreate the Z06 style vents with a stainless steel kit or you can wreathe the vents in carbon fiber and polished stainless steel. You can even drop a grill behind the vents for another subtle accent, though this is a very advanced installation and should not be taken lightly. The Z06 community shouldn’t feel left out as we offer a fantastic Expanding Diamond Mesh Grille. This solid stainless steel piece sticks on easily over the stock grille mesh and looks awesome.
Hit the brakes! The last area on the sides of your car you can trim out and fully customize is, of course, your wheels. You didn’t think we’d skip over them, did you? Consider your choice carefully as wheels can be the single most expensive customization you can make. Though you can’t argue with the results, a change of wheels can result in a stunning change in appearance and even performance if you opt for a lightweight set of carbon fiber wheels. Where we come in is the brakes (also customizable!). We prefer the factory brakes since our stainless steel kit is designed around the stock setup. Our polished stainless kit looks great if you’re considering switching out your wheel to a black setup. With a dark wheel the bright polish of the stainless steel really accents the brake and it becomes an interesting feature to look at. Valve stems are also something that’s easily customizable, here again is something that you can find in abundance online. A simple search for, “C7 Corvette valve stem caps” will drown you in results. The last product, beyond the tires themselves is mud guards. These accessories aren’t a mud flap what you would expect to find on a truck. We use the highest quality stainless steel, ABS plastics and vinyl wrap material to give you a mud guard that’s not only going to protect your paint, but it’s going to give you something that looks amazing.
Lastly, there’s paint. Any number of local paint shops can do over your Vette and make it look 100% unique in the world. Don’t believe me? Check out the SEAIII photo gallery. I think you’ll have a hard time finding another C3 Corvette that looks anything like it anywhere in the entire world. There’s an argument to be made between paint and vinyl graphics but this isn’t the article for it. Just know you’ve got options if you don’t feel comfortable sacrificing your factory paint for a new color or even an accent you can start with a vinyl graphic.
The Rear End: This One Shouldn't Break the Internet
Allow me to write this next bit in my best Richard Hammond (Top Gear, The Grand Tour) inner voice…
The license plate, the staple of any vehicles derrière. What better way to accentuate this notable feature than to wreathe it in something befitting a vehicle of such stature? Of the many varieties of available C7 license plate frames out there, we have to say, none compare with our own. There may be some that come close and use rare materials, which we think is cool by the way, but none compare in terms of overall quality and customization. If there is one important piece of information for you to take away from this article, let it be this. If you own a $65-$100,000 vehicle, why on Earth would you bolt on a cheaply made piece of plastic being stamped out by the thousands in a foreign country? If you wish to part with your dealer provided license plate frame, and who can blame you they’re all crap, please consider putting your hard earned money down on a frame that is equally as good as the car you’re putting it on. You wouldn’t spray paint your car. You wouldn’t bolt on an auto parts store muffler. So why would you bolt on crap around your license plate?
Speaking of the C7 Corvette exhaust, have you considered your exhaust? If there’s one area the designers left out at General Motors, it’s the exhaust port area of the rear end. It looks unfinished, the pipes are exposed behind the tips and the whole of the area around the tips looks unfinished. The good news is, you’ve got options. You can change out the tips, you can even change out the entire exhaust, but that’s something for another customization guide. Our Exhaust Port Filler Panels offer a great opportunity to customize your Corvette C7. They’re available in a variety of finishes and styles from brushed to perforated, mesh, lit and unlit as well as black powder coated. These are relatively easy to install; we’ll call the lit versions an intermediate skill level but we have a great video demonstrating how both versions go in.
You may not realize it but the tail lights on your C7 Corvette are extremely customizable. You can change out the lenses and go with the all-white look like the Z06 sports. Or, you can put on some trim around and even on the lenses themselves. We’ve got several great kits for the lights and even offer a genuine GM licensed kit featuring the official logo. With our kits you can trim around the edges or change the look entirely with high quality stainless steel and all of them install easily with extremely durable 3M adhesive.
Something quick and easy is our C7 rear valance trim. It’s a nice, easy way to define the lines of your rear valance and it goes on easily. Again, there’s an installation video to help guide you through the process.
Finally, one of the coolest accessories you can install is the C7 Corvette Rear Diffusers. Made from either stainless steel or carbon fiber this is one accessory that not only looks good but gives you boost in performance as well. Since this installation is a bit more involved than some of the others we’re going to rate this one as advanced.
At the end of the day, you’ve got a lot of options for customize the C7 Corvette exterior, and this is just the outside! Whether you want to start small or go all in we hope this customization guide is a good resource for you. If you find we missed something, please let us know in the comments below. We’ll gladly include your suggestion, we’re not biased, we just want a good resource for everyone. Make sure you’re subscribed to our emails so you’ll be notified when the next guide comes out. We’ve still got the interior and the engine bay to go over!
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