12k Mile: Corvette Indy Pace Car

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I know a lot of 1978 Indianapolis Pace Car Corvettes were put away when new but they always catch my eye. This one is for sale here on Craigslist in Lincoln, Nebraska for a very reasonable $15,500. I bought an Indy Pace Car out of a bankruptcy auction 20 years ago and just loved the car. It was a 4 speed but I sold it after our first child was born and bought a car that was more “practical!” I think I paid $13,000 for it back then and it had been in an accident at some point and repainted.

This fine example was equipped from the factory with the base L48 350 cubic inch V8 engine that produced 185 horsepower and an automatic transmission. A buyer could opt for the L82 350 cubic inch V8 engine as the performance option that produced 220 horsepower in 1978. The L82 had a special air induction system below the radiator that funneled air up through the radiator. I learned about this when I bought my current 1979 Corvette and had to replace the radiator shroud.

You don’t see too many 12,000 mile cars. This one is about to roll over to 13,000 but it appears to be in remarkable condition. The 1978 Corvette Indy Pace Cars came fully loaded with a special silver interior and front and rear spoilers that became an option in 1979. Each Pace Car came with door decals that could be added at the owner’s discretion. The factory decals and owner’s manual is included with the sale of this car. A total of 6,502 Indy Pace Cars were built in 1978.

There is really no bad angle when you look at this car. 1978 was the first year for the large back window (fastback) that continued through 1982. The original paint is said to be excellent on this car as is the running condition. Many thanks to Ikey Heyman for bringing this car to our attention. Let me know below if you are a fan of these cars and if you have ever owned one.


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  1. Mike

    Looks great without the deals.

    Like 5
  2. David

    I saw one of these rolling down the street in Cork, Ireland earlier this month. Definitely a head turner there.

    Like 0
  3. Brian Scott

    It’s astonishing how many people bought these and mothballed them, thinking they were going to be ultra-collectible. As such, they’re not really worth anything because there are hordes of them with crazy low mileage. Supply & demand 101. Want a modern example of the same principle? The 2012/2013 Boss 302 Mustangs (esp. w/ 501A “Laguna Seca” package)… don’t ask me why I know this.

    Like 2
    • Dez

      Always worth something if you like Indy and corvettes!

      Like 0
  4. Del

    Never owned won but apparently the worst year for build quality in a Vette is 1978..

    Some weird ducting under the hood. Is that duct tape holding the air cleaner intake ?

    Like 1
    • Dex

      If you’ve never owned one you have nothing to back up your “worst year for build quality” comment. I’ve owned 3 since 1979 and they were all nice, unrestored, and very few problems. Would own another one!

      Like 0
  5. Ron

    I tried to call but number was disconnected?

    Like 0
  6. John Oliveri

    The Eldorado Convertible of the Bi Centennial year 1976 also was a largely bought and Moth Balled vehicle only to go up a few thousand dollars in 44 years, but if you do the math, 44 yrs of storage, you lost money, still wouldn’t mind owning one, but I’d take the Lipstick MK IV over the Eldo and it’s troublesome FWD axles

    Like 0
  7. Kenn

    No way that’s a 12,000 mile car. Take a good look at the odometer. None of the numbers line up. That’s been wound backward, and a sloppy job at that. Who knows what the actual mileage is? It sure isn’t only 12K

    Like 0

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