8 Mile Pace Car: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette

With the Corvette having been chosen as the Official Pace Car for the 1978 Indianapolis 500, Chevrolet decided to make the most of this and proceeded to produce 6,502 Pace Car Replicas for sale through its dealer network. This is one of those cars, and it might well be the lowest mileage example in existence today. With a mere 8 miles on its odometer, it has barely accumulated the mileage equivalent of a quick trip around the block. The owner has done his utmost to preserve it but has now decided that the time has come to part with it. The Corvette is located in Miami, Florida, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $21,100, but at this price, the reserve hasn’t been met.

With such low mileage, it is no surprise to find that the Corvette’s presentation is perfect. There is not a mark or chip to be seen anywhere on the paintwork, while the glass is also spotless. Incredibly, while the Corvette rides on a set of genuine Pace Car wheels, these are not original to the car. The original owner was so dedicated to preserving the car that he removed those and has carefully stored them to preserve the rubber and to ensure that the tires didn’t develop flat-spots. Those original wheels and tires are included with the car. Also included is a huge collection of documentation. The original Window Sticker and EPA sticker remain attached to the car, while the Owner’s Manual and all of the guides and other new car information that the owner would have received on purchase is also present. Even the commemorative jacket that came with the car has been carefully preserved.

The determination to preserve the Corvette is probably best demonstrated when you look inside the car. Not one piece of protective covering that would’ve been present in the car when it was delivered to the dealership has been removed. The protective plastic still adorns the Silver leather seats, the cardboard remains over the carpets, and the protective sleeve still covers the wheel. Even the tape to protect the power window switches is still present. As a result, interior presentation is perfect, and as was the case with the Pace Car Edition, the car comes loaded with equipment. Air conditioning, power windows, power seats, power locks, a tilt/telescopic wheel, and an AM/FM radio/8-Track player were all part of the package. In addition to all of these goodies, the original owner also decided to add cruise control to the mix, which added an additional $99 to the already significant $13,653 retail price of the Corvette.

Powering the Corvette is the 350ci V8 engine, while the car also receives a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Just because this car has only accumulated 8 miles during the past 41-years, don’t for one moment think that it has been left to go to seed. The car has received regular maintenance and servicing, and the engine has been started regularly to keep the fluids pumping, and the rubber components supple. In preparation for the sale, the car has been gone through from one end to the other, and a few items have been replaced to ensure that it is safe to drive. The oil and filters have been replaced, as have the shocks and brakes. All of the original brake components and the shocks have been carefully boxed, and are included in the sale. The only thing that hasn’t been done is a road-test. The owner doesn’t want to do this to avoid accumulating any additional mileage. Personally, I think that it would have been worth the effort to take it for a spin around the block. After all, one mile isn’t going to make a lot of difference, and at least that would provide some indication that the car is mechanically sound.

So, what to do with this Corvette? Does the next owner drive it, or continue to preserve it as a time capsule? As a long-term investment, this is a car that hasn’t been a winner for the automotive speculators who bought them new. In 1978, this car cost the owner about $13,750, which equates to approximately $54,150 today. That latter figure would represent a “break-even” point on the original investment. At the current bid price, that leaves a long way to go, but then again, we also don’t know what the reserve on this car has been set at. These have been known to sell for prices in excess of $60,000, but that is a pretty rare occurrence. There is one currently listed for sale with an odometer reading of 103 miles, and that is listed for $48,000. This one might sell for around that sort of figure, but the right person will need to want it. Could that right person be you?

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Comments

  1. Shermanator

    Nice car, but if he’d have invested that $14K in the stock market, or even a good money market account, he’d have made a lot more money in those 40 years. Just storing and insuring it that long has to eat up any profit. I really don’t get it.

    Like 15
    • Superdessucke

      About $700,000 to be exact (at average 10% annual return). And he puts the storage, insurance, and maintenance in there to grow along with it he’s probably well over a million

      Like 5
  2. Classic Steel

    Wow good luck on sale.

    I hope whomever buys it has their vault ready to lock away from elements as it can’t be driven or enjoyed to keep value 😞

    So how many engine hours are on the car to keep it available to run i wonder?

    If in 1978 the indy pace car was 4k more than base at 13,653.

    Fyi. Carsforsale has a 17658 mile black vette 78 four speed for 19,991 that looks gorgeous and drivable 😉 I suggest if the owner this list can get his mega deal to buy this and catchup on the fun he has missed out on 👍👀

    Like 4
    • Classic Steel
    • Nate

      Who says you can’t drive it? Let’s say the reserve is set at $25,000-$30,000. Somebody gets a REALLY nice (barely) used car for a price that is a lot less than a new car, Corvette or otherwise. At that price, I’d drive the hell out of it and not worry about depreciation.

      Now, if the owner is looking for unreasonable bucks for this car, then yeah, you wouldn’t be able to maintain that value while putting miles on it. But that hasn’t happened…yet. AND, mileage or not, comments above show that a 1978 Corvette isn’t a good investment if you want to grow your money. So, let’s assume the max bid on this car will keep the car priced low enough that its new owner won’t be afraid to drive it.

      Like 5
  3. Thomas Price

    I always find it hard to imagine buying a high end American ( or any ) sports car, then just squirreling it away to never be driven.

    That poor car was built to be out on the road…not locked up in a climate controlled garage, started every 6 months or so, and looked at.

    As @Shermanator said, pretty poor investment over 40 years.

    What I would imagine is someone buying this, then just laying rubber out of the seller’s driveway all the way down the block…

    Like 17
    • Superdessucke

      You’d have to install a cam kit, aluminum intake, headers, a real dual exhaust system, and a high stall torque converter in order to do that but yes, I see your point!

      Like 7
  4. Pookie Jamie

    How about that guy in Punta Gorda who bought a Walmart for his cars? Forward this to him. He may buy it

    Like 3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      They had a guy on American Pickers who bought a Walmart and opened a motorcycle museum,
      Not sure where it is, though.

      Like 2
      • Pookie Jamie

        Wheels of time? David Walksler

        Like 1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Not David’s museum.
        I Googled it and it turns out that it is in Iowa. That explains why the Pickers knew about it.
        https://nationalmcmuseum.org/

        Like 1
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hey Dennis, nice link! My big brother lives in Cape Coral, Florida, we went to an old Walmart in Punta Gorda. A great museum there. Mostly cars, but always changing. Take care Bro and keep the roof rack loaded!!!!!!!!!

        Like 1
    • Billieg

      I lived next door to that guy (Rick Treeworthy) Believe me he probably already has 2.

  5. Frank Sumatra

    At least the owner knew how to take care of a stored vehicle. I also have a very strong feeling the reserve may be a lot higher than anyone would want to pay. I hope BF follows this one and keeps us informed. This will be a good indicator of whether or not there is any car from this era that was worth the time, effort, and opportunity cost, of tucking it away. I think I know the answer, but I like being surprised.

    Like 9
    • Superdessucke

      **Spoiler Alert

      No.

      Like 4
      • Frank Sumatra

        Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

        Like 3
      • Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

        winner
        winner
        chunkin’
        dinner

        Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I was thinking the same thing – no way does this meet the reserve the seller has on it. After all of the trouble and expense they went through with the car, they aren’t letting it go for EBay money.

  6. DonziDon

    I owned one of these in he early 90’s Mine had 18k miles on it. I got it for 10k kept it for 3 years and sold it for 14k. A local towns Rotary club bought it and used it to sell raffle tickets for their fund raiser. They raised over 20k so it was a win for all of us. My car was a L82 automatic with an 8 track player and it was fun to drive and sure got looks and comments everywhere I went. I too thought the car would to up in value and while I made a few bucks on mine thanks to a seller who was moving and needed the car sold fast there were are too many of these with low or like this car super low miles to make them valuable or rare. For the right price I would buy another one as they are cool looking even with 220HP. I am curious to see what this one sells for and wonder why it didn’t end up on Barrett Jackson!!

    Like 3
  7. gbvette62

    If you want a really rare 78 Pace Car, buy one that’s been driven. There are quite a few of these that have never been driven, still in storage all over the country, many still on the MSO. I’m an NCRS judge, and I’ve judged 4 or 5 Pace Cars with less than 15 miles on them.

    There’s a Chevy dealer in Delaware that never sold their Pace Car. It’s been sitting on their showroom floor since 78, like this car, still in the wrappers. They’ve been trying to get $40K for it for years. Though compared to this one, the Delaware one is comparatively high mile one, as it has a whole 18 miles one it.

    As Pace Cars go, the base L-48 and automatic, is the most common and least desirable.

    Like 7
    • DonziDon

      I believe the rarest and most desirable is the L82 with the CB radio option. Only seem a few of these. Mine had the 8 track player and I sure did enjoy cruising down the road with the 8 track playing and hearing the clunk as it changed songs!!

      Like 3
      • gbvette62

        The rarest, or lowest production is the L-48 with a 4 speed. The L-82 with a 4 speed and F-41 Gymkhana Suspension, has proven to be the most desirable. Since the AM/FM Stereo 8 Track was standard, the only optional radio offered in the Pace Car was the 8 track with CB. It’s my understanding that a little less than half of them came with the CB, but I’ve never seen any real numbers.

        The following breakdown came from an old issue of Vette Vues magazine. The total is actually a little higher than the 6502 GM built, so the info’s not right, but it’s probably close.

        L-48 4 speed = 70
        L-48 automatic = 3434
        L-82 4 speed (wide ratio) = 114
        L-82 4 speed (close ratio) = 512
        L-82 automatic = 2384

        Like 2
  8. Will Fox

    This makes…..what…like the fifteenth `78 Indy Pace Car edition that someone squirreled away for investment back then? My city has 1-2 more of these as well. And the unfortunate part is, this model hasn’t seriously climbed in value over the years. The `76 eldorado cvts. were a much better investment. It took 40 some-odd years, but their value is going up.

  9. Frank Sumatra

    I heard a funny quote that is probably used for a lot of “Investment Grade” Collector Cars (How’s that for an oxymoron?) :

    “There were 6502 1978 Pace Car Replicas produced, and at any given time 7,000 of them are for sale.”

    Like 11
  10. Bob McK Member

    In my opinion Corvettes need to be have standard transmissions. But I am sure there are many people that don’t agree with me.

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      Here is a data point- I just got back from lunch on a beautiful Fall day transported by my 6-speed Corvette. My fourth manual transmission Corvette. I didn’t know they came with automatics!!!!

      Like 3
    • Classic Steel

      I agree on manual but sadly think the link lil joke is true on newer generations that won’t or cant drive stick .

      I love the manual transmission and
      the shift on a daily drive. Its also nice to run the ponies while shifting the gears by hearing the engine rev just enough to grab the next one👀👍

      Millenial Anti Theft Device Vinyl Decal in Black 5″ https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F123730578389

      Like 3
  11. Comet

    Rule #1. When a new product is pitched as a collector, limited, or special edition, it usually doesn’t increase in value over time.

    Like 6
  12. Mark

    I own #84. This one has the Leather/cloth sear option…have been told this is a “rarer” option, but can’t find ANY WHERE the #’s of pace cars produced with this option…does anyone know? Thanks

    • gbvette62

      There are a number of of places where the production numbers for 15C, cloth and leather seats, are listed as 2606, and code 152 all leather seats as 5703. Obviously one or both of these numbers are wrong, since they total 8309, way more than the 6502 Pace Cars actually built.

      Roughly 21 percent of all regular 78’s came with the cloth interior. If that percentage was the same for Pace Cars, it would put the number of cloth seat ones at around 1365, though I suspect it was higher in the Pace Cars, maybe as high as 2600?

      Like 1
  13. Gerry

    I imagine his wife, if the owner is indeed married, has been in his ear for years about this car. She’ll likely get the last, unhappy word also. lol

    Like 5
  14. 71FXSuperGlide

    Certainly some interesting stable mates, assuming these all belong to the seller as well.

    Be interesting to see where this one ends up.

    Like 1
  15. w9bag

    Buying an older, low mileage car presents a conundrum. Keep the miles off (perhaps as a collectors car), gently drive it, or just make it a daily driver ? My ’85 Mercury Grand Marquis LS just turned over 10K miles, and is perfect in all aspects. She had 8,024 when I got it 2 years ago. The car was a gift from my best friend who has 14 cars in his collection. He wants me to drive the car to California and back (from Indiana). I will drive the car to visit my Dad in Bakersfield, CA after I retire next year. Old cars with low mileage are still a vehicle, meant to enjoy, low miles notwithstanding ! I would like to see this Corvette with 208K miles, telling me that it was enjoyed and driven with the purpose that it was intended !

    Like 3
  16. Superdessucke

    Here’s the factory brochure if anyone’s thinking of using their money to go back to ’78.

    http://oldcarbrochures.org/United%20States/Chevrolet_Corvette/1978_Chevrolet_Corvette/1978-Chevrolet-Corvette-Brochure/index.html

    BTW, I think this one is an L48. You’d get smoked like a Swisher Sweet by many very mundane modern vehicles.

    Like 1
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Nice brochure Superdessucke. As far as performance, we are talking about 41 years.

  17. Frank Sumatra

    Please allow me to share a few thoughts on the low-mileage garage queens we often see here. I recently purchased a below-average mileage car (2000 miles per year over its lifetime) Certainly not one of the extreme examples we often see here. The car (Spoiler Alert!) was owned by two very ,shall we say “finicky” NCRS members who maintained this car fastidiously. There is absolutely not a mark on the car, interior, exterior, engine bay, undercarrige. It may have never been driven in wet conditions. It still smells new inside. This is all the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me Zora! When it came off the delivery truck my first thought was “OMG, WTF did I just do !?? I will never be able to drive this car and really enjoy it.” “I will be the first person to put a scratch on this car” I cannot for the life of me begin to understand or imagine what someone would do with this car. How could you drive it? Please don’t view this post as a “humblebrag” about my purchase, I just wanted to share a thought or two on the pure joy of owning a true “driver” I will be storing the car soon. That will give me a good six months to get over this phobia and get ready to put some major mileage on the car. Hell, I might even use one of the cup holders!

    Like 3
  18. RUNDCCm

    Is fascinating —- the cardboard corvette logo floor mat protectors. Don’t see that everyday.

  19. john

    less than 10 miles and it already has an exhaust leak…………

  20. JoeNYWF64

    Exhaust leak? Why do you say that? An assumption? Then again, if those 8 miles were put on even in 1 single drive, that’s still may not be enough to evaporate the moisture in the mufflers, or burn off condensation inside the motor. Much worse for the engine if the car was started many many times & driven, say, around the block once each time.
    How many times was the oil & oil fiter changed? At least once a year(41 times) or just once – recently? -not good.
    I wonder if those original tires are cracked.

    Like 1
    • John

      Look at the exhaust pipe back by the gas tank just before the Mufflers there’s a hole on one of the two pipes

  21. Harry

    Back when these were ‘New’, our local dealer was converting basic ‘vettes into them in their body shop. A class mate worked there and was responsible for the two-tone painting. Hence , WAY more out there than factory built.

    Like 3
    • Pookie Jamie

      Could be way more out there, but vin tells the truth….

      • Superdessucke

        Correct. A real Pace Car will have a “9” as the eighth digit of the VIN. The unfortunate recipients of Harry’s classmate’s body shop handiwork will have a “4.”

        Like 1
  22. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Oct 25, 2019 , 8:45PM
    Current bid:US $30,100.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 60 bids ]

  23. Ron

    Reserve is somewhere around $75K, it is also listed on classiccars.com

    https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1263495/1978-chevrolet-corvette-for-sale-in-miami-florida-33186

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