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46k Mile 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indy Pace Car

When it comes to the question of limited edition classics, some vehicles are more limited than others. Take the 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indy Pace Car as a case in point. The company had intended to produce a mere 2,500 examples of this classic. However, they felt that dealerships would become upset if they were to miss out on receiving one to park in their showroom. So eventually, 6,502 Pace Cars rolled off the production line. Our feature car is one of these vehicles and is in excellent condition for its age. It has a genuine 46,000 miles on the clock and is ready to be enjoyed by a lucky new owner. It is located in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set a sale price of $12,400 for this survivor but may be interested in trades for the right vehicle. I want to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for spotting this Corvette for us.

The 1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car is easy to spot in its iconic Black and Silver paint combination. The owner makes no mention of previous restoration work, so we should probably take it as read that the paint is original to this vehicle. This car is in excellent condition for its age, shining impressively. There are no significant flaws or issues with the paint, while the fiberglass beneath is also excellent. The alloy wheels are starting to show some signs of tarnishing and would benefit from some work with a high-quality polish. The owner doesn’t mention any issues with rust on the frame or birdcage, and there are no obvious signs of corrosion visible anywhere else on the vehicle. The plastic trim is in excellent condition for a car of this age, while I can’t see any problems with the glass. Overall, this Corvette makes a very positive first impression.

Lifting the hood on this Corvette reveals its numbers-matching L48 version of the 350ci V8 that should be producing 185hp. The car also comes equipped with a three-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The overall performance of the C3 Corvette had been significantly hampered by tightening emission regulations over the past five years or so. However, this vehicle should still be capable of covering the ¼ mile in around 17.1 seconds. That number may not seem impressive by today’s standards, but it was about as good as it got in 1978. When the seller found this vehicle, it had been in storage for a considerable length of time. He worked through the process of reviving it and has sunk quite a bit of money into it returning it to a roadworthy state. He has replaced the original carburetor and air cleaner with products from the good people at Edelbrock, but the originals are included in the sale. He has also done considerable work on the suspension and brakes, and the car now runs and drives in an as-new state. The previous owner treated this engine to a rebuild. Given that these engines are notoriously long-lived, it should offer its next owner years of reliable and enjoyable motoring. The owner claims that this Corvette has 46,000 genuine miles on the clock, but he doesn’t indicate whether he holds verifying evidence.

It’s a shame that this owner doesn’t supply any interior shots of this Corvette because it is another area where he has spent considerable money recently. He has treated the seats to new covers in Gray leather, while the floors wear a new carpet set. The air conditioning has recently been recharged, and it now blows ice cold. The impression that the seller provides is that this interior presents extremely well. As well as air conditioning, the buyer will find themselves in a vehicle that includes power windows, power locks, a power antenna, a tilt/telescopic wheel, a rear defogger, an AM/FM radio and 8-track player, and a removable glass T-Top.

With 6,502 examples produced, the ’78 Indy Pace Car represents around 14% of all Corvette sales for that model year. This one is a low-mileage driver-quality survivor and is ready to be enjoyed immediately by its next owner. Values for these vehicles haven’t gone through the roof, but they have been stable for the last couple of years. We have seen various examples here at Barn Finds, and their conditions have ranged from the stunning to the pretty awful. This one looks like a good one, and the asking price seems highly competitive. It has only been on the market a short time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this car finds a new home very quickly. If you are interested, you may have to act sooner rather than later.


  1. mike b

    At least half the appeal of these, for me, is the silver leather seats. So gray leather? Hmm. Glad to see someone left the stickers in the box.

    Like 4
  2. Sam Shive

    How many more of these are left. Everybody figured these would be a get rich car. At 185 HP it’s lucky to get out of it’s own way.

    Like 1
    • Llouis200

      I use to live in Pittsburgh and when these cars came to the dealer some upped the price to 30’000 and they sat for a long time . Nothing that exciting here.

      Like 1
    • Bick Banter

      How many are left? Quite many. These were among the most speculated upon and stored cars in automotive history. So you can find them with low mileage and in mint condition all day long.

      Like 0
  3. George Mattar

    Dime a dozen car. The media, in particular the New York Times, called this car an instant collectible in 1978. What? With 6,500 made. All the same. And most are L48 automatics. Boring boring and more boring. I detail cars and just spiffed up a 9,000 mile original for the owner to sell. Paint and body fit terrible. Screws on the door panels pushing through. Glove box door would not stat shut. Just a pile of late 70s GM junk. At least this seller doesn’t want $50,000.

    Like 4
    • Frank Sumatra

      You might be thinking of the Wall Street Journal article printed on March 27th 1978.

      Like 3
  4. mrobin

    Everyone comments on these cars because of poor investment opportunities, they were not really great cars (poor performance..for a vette), but damm they sure look GREAT !

    Like 14
  5. Tim Member

    I would doubt the 46 K original miles. Why would a person need to rebuild the motor, replace all the suspension parts the seller listed and brakes and some rotors? 46 K miles? Come on.
    I have a 79 L82 Vette. 116 K miles. Motor never touched other than routine maintenance. Runs and drives great.

    Like 4
    • John S Dressler

      My guess for rebuilding the motor would be that he didn’t want to just toodle around in a 185 horse Vette. So he had the engine pulled, put a hotter cam in it so it actually had some respectable horsepower and then did his best to beautify the rest of the car so it looked better than it did when he bought it.

      This all assumes of course that the car wasn’t literally underwater for a while before he bought it for pennies on the dollar and began the process of restoring it.

      Like 1
    • Gary Wilson

      I was going to comment but you already said exactly the same thing I was thinking. It doesn’t make sense for a car that supposedly only has 46000 mi, but needs the engine rebuilt along with everything that was supposedly done, including seat covers & no interior photos. If the car was genuine I would think it would be worth at least a few thousand more then what he’s asking

      Like 0
  6. Fran

    Its 78 Chevy Corvette Pace Car time, again. LQQK for 3 more to pop up!

    Like 1
  7. Frank Sumatra

    Put the 1978 glasses on and tell me what other American car available that year was more interesting? I get all the “dime a dozen” and “bad investment” cliches, but would you really rather have an “F” body or a Mustang or Chrysler “performance” car?

    Like 5
  8. Darrell Danyluk

    It’s been repainted, front and rear bumper guards are supposed to be black vinyl not painted.

    Like 0
  9. Darren Connolly

    Not quite “as good as it got”. 1978 LRE was quicker. 😁

    Like 0

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