No matter how well you maintain your C5, you're probably going to have to replace a window regulator or two before your ownership days are over. Yep, it's almost a right of passage on '97-'04 Corvettes, just like buying new rear tires, adding a column-lock bypass, and turning off the traction-control button before hitting the road. Don't believe it? We'll see you again when your window gets stuck halfway down in the middle of a rainstorm.

Do I seem bitter? That's because this recently happened to our very own '03 C5 Z06, in the middle of a torrential downpour, on the driver-side window. And it got stuck all the way down. For an hour-long drive home.

Once back in town, and with a really stylish garbage bag taped over the door, it was time to work on a replacement. After one look at the pricing, availability, and installation time of OEM units, well, let's just say we were set on seeing what the aftermarket had to offer. Luckily, the Corvette aftermarket is full of high-quality reproduction window regulators for the C5. In fact, Zip Products had the perfect set in stock for half the cost of OEM, with all the same functionality.

That's right, just $139.95 per side (PNs DR-584 and DR-585), and Zip was able to ship them out to us on the same day we ordered them. Compared with the OEM units at $299.99 each, Zip's regulators are essentially “buy one get one free,” and they even bolt directly in place of the stockers.

All that was left was to install them, so we partnered up with AntiVenom in Seffner, Florida, to get the job done. Greg Lovell, the shop's owner, has been installing regulators in C5s since 1998, and his crew has the job down to a science. In a little less than two-and-a-half hours, we were back on the road with functional windows, and a little cash left in our pockets.