Pace Car Find: 1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car

1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car Front Corner

In 1978 the Corvette was picked to be the pace car for the Indy 500, to honor the event Chevrolet built a limited number of Pace car replicas. There were about 6500 of these replicas built and this one might be one of the lowest mileage ones out there. It was put in a barn almost as soon as the owner got the car, it currently only has 13 miles on it. It has been pulled from its barn and is now for sale over at Corvette Mike of New England.

1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car Interior

This Corvette is in really great condition and the seller says it even still has the new car smell. The limited edition pace car was essentially an options package, which included the two tone paint and the silver interior. These cars were highly optioned and this one even came with a CB radio.

1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car Engine

The engine looks just as fantastic as the rest of the car and supposedly runs great, but we would bet that the fuel lines are in need of replacing. The Pace car option was primarily a cosmetic package and most came with the standard L48 engine. Thankfully this car is an L82 model, so it is powered by a 220 hp 350 V8. The L82 provided the perfect balance between power and weight in the Corvette.

1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car Side

This Corvette looks fantastic and we love that it still is covered in the dust it has acquired over the years. However, there were a lot of these cars built and many of them were put in storage right away. This has greatly impacted the value of these cars. The seller hasn’t said how much they are asking, but based on the current market we would guess they want somewhere in the upper twenty thousand range. We would like to thank reader Chris R for sharing this find with us.

Comments

  1. Kraig

    It’s a stinkin’ Disco Vette! There are a ton out there with low mileage in better shape. Another source opined the asking price would be around $50k.I sure hope not.

  2. Michael

    Twenty grand? Nope. The car would need a good going over. Tear down of engine tranny, whole drive train for that matter of fact. It’s been setting to long without any starting, or driving. I bet the rubber bushings for the body are dried out, so there is another exspence. The body would need a good buffing out, and the interrior would have to be gone over. Might be a barn find, yet for the type of Vette it is. I’d say maybe ten grand. Twenty grand could buy you a lot nicer vette. If you shop around.

  3. fred

    Cars ,and other things , designed to be collectors items seldom and.

  4. Tincrazed

    This car is located off exit 6 on rt 3 in Plymouth Ma at a place called Corvette Mike’s. Went to see the car today. Nice but he is Looking for something Farther north of $20,000.

  5. Foxy

    I’m thinking either you or Hemmings found one of these sitting in a carport somewhere with only a few miles and a flat tire. I wonder if this guy bought it ans is looking to cash in. . For Michael, I think you are going a little overboard with your assessment. I’m not a vette fan myself, but I have rescued a few barn finds . This car has 13 miles on it. unless it was in a very wet place,and it’s obvious from the dust on it that it wasn’t there would be no reason for a complete rebuild. the interior still has the plastic on it and you say it will need replaced. I agree the price should not be real high, because there are quite a few with low miles, but 10 grand,, give me a break.

  6. J. Pickett

    Okay, 1st. many of these were put away, remember the mid 70’s were for creating collectors editions, (76 Eldo Conv. anyone?) 6500 made. 2nd. Dry stored with plastic left on interior. Yes clean out the fuel system, dry spin it to get oil pressure after changing all of the fluids. Check all the hoses and belts. Remember it is only original once. What body mounts, that ‘s nit picking. Look at them, they’re probably fine. As I see it there are 2 major concerns, ie, unrealistic price and or, concern about driving it and putting miles on it. Otherwise I’d love to have it.

  7. Wink Dinkler

    If I remember right one went across the block at Barrett Jackson Scottsdale with the plastic on the seats and doors the engine was in much better shape and it barely made it to 20G. It had 4 miles. The one at Bob McDorman Chevy in Ohio was serial number one with 10,000 miles and it barely broke 10,000 dollars. I have always heard This Corvette Mike wants top dollar for everything and usually gets it. I never buy my collector cars from a dealer. Never.

  8. Michael

    To Foxy, where in my comments do I say, the interior would need to be replaced’? I don’t see it in my comments. I said it would need a going over. “Going over, not replaced. ZESH if people could only read. Fine the car has low miles. Doesn’t mean a thing, I know of people buying very low mile cars, and then having to put a bunch of money into them. A friend that bought a 1978 Silver Anniversary Vette with a L82 that had 20 grand on it’s odometer comes to mind. it was a nice find too. Until four thousand here, and two thousand there. Six thousand there, and eight grand here. When the car should have had a rebuild right from the get go. I like the Vette Pace Car, yet I am thinking in the real world. The lack of oil changes, and lubs will take a toll on a low milage car too. If the car is so good, I’d exspect to see it in The Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale in 2012.

  9. E. Lomax

    First let me say I agree with J. Pickett about everything that needs to be gone over especially the fuel system. If they didn’t drain and flush it the gas will be varnish. My parents had one of these pace vette’s and it had sat for about 4 or 5 years with gas in the tank and lines. Yep varnish, it would die about every other day. It took the local Chevy dealer were they bought it from about 2 weeks of it dying to clean the fuel system. Second the asking price when it was 4 to 5 years old was about $24,000. The dealer proved the numbers matched the pace car serial numbers, so my dad new it wasn’t just a 78 vette painted to look like a pace vette. I know as classic and collectors cars get harder to find the price goes up, but $20,000 or more is way to much for a car you have to put alot of money into to make it drive-able. And Third, that vette did not come with a c.b. radio. So in my opinion its not totally stock. If anyone buys it they better check the numbers so they don’t get cheated. I say good luck to any interested parties, because I think seller is getting the gold mine and you are getting the shaft!

  10. Michael

    AMEN E. Lomax !

  11. E. Lomax

    I totally agree Michael, if its so great then it should be at Barrett’s. Your post wasn’t there when I posted mine. From what I have seen people who bid at Barrett’s have more money then brains…..LOL!

  12. Sean Bush

    The C.B. radio option was built into the radio head unit, not an add-on.

  13. J. Pickett

    Barrett Jackson and other televised auctions have done more harm than good to the collector market. Trailer Queens sold to middle aged men trying to show off their manhood by going on tv and getting into pissing matches. Some people say that the prices have caused more cars to be restored. I say that it makes every nincompoop on Craigslist or Ebay think that aunt mollie’s old Fury III with a 383 two barrel think it’s a “Muscle Car”. This has driven many low end enthusiasts out of the market. Original means to them, new unoriginal paint, everything that doesn’t have cloth is “leather”, as if they never heard of vinyl. This is an interesting car but overpriced.

  14. R.A.B

    To LOMAX: Regarding the CB radio not being original – check the window sticker on Corvette Mikes site – it is original and a $170 option. As for draining the gas – no luck there either – half a tank of 33 year old gas still in it!

  15. E. Lomax

    To J. Pickett: I agree, everyone who finds a car prior to 1990 in a barn, old garage, in a pasture or in a storage building thinks it a classic or a muscle car. They think if its totally restored new everything that it automatically deserves a starting price of $20,000. We have a car sales booklet called Illinois Auto & Rv. There are alot of classic cars and classic muscle cars that are way over priced. People think that they have the very first totally original of what they are selling, Its my opinion that these auction shows make people stupid. They ask or should I say demand tens or hundreds thousands of dollars for vehicles that didnt cost $10,000 new. And to R.A.B.: 33 year old gas? More like varnish, you will have to pull and probably replace everything from the carb all the way to the tank. I am not sure if it can be cleaned.

  16. J. Pickett

    Dear Lomax, I in fact did buy my last classic from Illinois Auto and RV. I got a good deal because the seller got tired of trying to make it run right. (Weber Carb w/ manual choke.) But too often you find over priced modified cars. Painting it satin black doesn’t make it a classic. Pulling an Olds or Pontiac original engine and replacing everything with a 350/350 Chevy eng trans. ruins resale on a running car from the 60’s. A 383 full size Chrysler product is not a muscle car. Just because you tore it apart and don’t have the energy to put it together does have a negative effect on the value. A running Olds, Buick or Pontiac from 1960-65 is much more desirable with the orig. eng. than a crate 350.

  17. E. Lomax

    Exactly Pickett, I totally agree with you.

  18. J. Pickett

    Hell I’ve seen vettes from the 70’s with crate motors, 62 Chevy’s that came with 327’s with crate 350’s. Cadillacs with 350’s. People it seems would rather buy the crate than put rings and brgs in the original engine. Let me tell you that an old BOP with the original 371,394,389 is much cooler than the late model motor in the same car. I will allow that if the old motor is trash, a later motor of the same design, for exaple a 455 Pontiac in place of a 326 is less hurtful for one thing it is outwardly identical But be careful “modernizing a collectable. Watch what you paint it at resale time it could hurt and limit your market.

  19. Ricky lawrence

    I bet the rubber bushings for the body are dried out, so there is another exspence. The body would need a good buffing out, and the interrior would have to be gone over. That is what you said Michael. Going over it with a wash cloth is not that big of a deal and is something usually done when cleaning a car. There is no reason the bushings should need to be replaced.Come on get real,you just jealous that you can’t but it.

  20. J. Pickett

    Remember, it’s only original once. And worth more that way. Change only what you have to. If it has a few scratches leave em.

  21. glenn M. Sapp

    I have an original owners manual that came with the 78 Pace Car I owned ain the 80s if anyone ia interested….. gms

  22. Victor Sachez Sr

    I agree with some not all of the comments, I have to say that these pace car Vettes are nice for what they are and certain people think they are the cars to have, I had one and sold it for a 1985 Z-51 vette the 85 puts the 78 to shame but, there is a following for these cars. I am finishing up a frame off on a 1969 #s matching Z-28 and believe me they are only original once finding one that is not restored is hard and the rest have to be gone through or sent to the grave /// keep up the car hobby

  23. Shannon

    Who cares whether or not about going through everything! The car has been sitting for over 30 yrs. So …….who wants to take a chance on driving it now, just clean it up and admire it as it is.

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