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Amazing 626 Mile 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car!

A 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indy pace car, one of 6,500, big deal, right? How about one with 623 miles that has won the Bloomington Gold Award, four NCRS Top Flight Awards, and a host of others? OK, now you have my attention and hopefully, I have yours. Normally, I wouldn’t give one of these a second look, but when you consider all of this ‘Vette’s attributes, it has to be closely eyeballed. It is located in Glen Cove, New York and is available, here on craigslist for $64,795. Thanks go to Pat L and Ikey H for both sending in this tip!

The ’78 ‘Vette saw some notable changes from its ’77 predecessor, most significantly, the tunneled rear window, a Corvette styling cue since ’68, was replaced with a fastback, fixed rear glass. The instrument panel was revised, a glovebox finally added and a bit more power was coaxed from the venerable, 350 CI small-block V8. And of course, there was the Indy Pace Car version, to commemorate the Corvette’s role in that quintessential American motorsport contest. But there was more too, specifically, a two-tone silver, 25th-anniversary model to celebrate that notable milestone.

This four-owner Corvette has been cooling its heels with the current seller for the last twenty-two years. While not stated, it would seem that it was originally purchased and held by an enterprising owner who assumed future, collectible value with this special model. How else do you own a car like this and not drive it? If you were going to equip a ‘Vette for road manners in ’78, this example would be the way to do it. Specifically, it has a 220 net HP, “L82”, 350 CI, V8; a close-ratio, four-speed manual transmission; 3.70:1 limited-slip differential; and “FE7” Gymkhana road suspension. The seller makes no mention of how this Chevy runs, but then it sounds like this one is more a looker than a driver.

So what can you say about the overall condition of a 42-year-old car that has only experienced 600 miles and has clearly been pampered its entire life? Nothing really, the discussion centers more on how this car was stored, how the seller used it, and what he did to preserve it. There is a long list of automotive publications that have featured this Corvette over the years so it has to be in top shape. The underside appears as it did when it left the St. Louis assembly plant so many years ago – it doesn’t look like it has even seen 600 miles. The seller makes no mention of any shortcomings and the accompanying images give no evidence of any needs.

The interior of this Corvette is beautiful; silver upholstery is a matter of preference of course. It is color-keyed beautifully with the contrasting black instrument panel and console top. It’s almost surprising that it is not still wrapped in plastic but that would probably make the car unavailable for competitive judging. The instrument panel is a bit more generic-looking than its predecessor but it’s still arranged well, with bright and easy to read gauges.

The seller is asking a serious price for a late C3 ‘Vette, probably too serious. It is existentially not rare, just well equipped, thoroughly documented, and barely used. So, what do you do with it? Sit on it some more and see if the value escalates, or trip the light fantastic and drive it for enjoyment?


  1. Rick

    At half that price, maybe. Collectible to the people that want one, like me. But never at that number.

    Like 10

    And why can’t you drive it?

    Like 2
  3. TimS Member

    The truly rare ’78 Pace Car is the one that has been driven and enjoyed.

    Like 16
  4. gbvette62

    There are at least 5 78 Pace Cars within in 50-75 miles of me, that have less than 100 miles on them, and those are just the ones I’m personally aware of. A (former) Chevrolet dealer in Delaware still has their 78 PC on their showroom floor, with 16 miles on it. They’ve been asking $45K for it for about 15 years, with no takers.

    There really rare Pace Cars are the ones that have been driven over the years.

    Like 18
    • Jon

      It’s like the ’76 El Dorado convertible … the last one so people bought them for collector status and paid a premium … if it “floats your boat” you’ll pay for it … otherwise “it’s just iron” as we say in the car industry … I had ’75 and ’77 Vettes (plus the ’61 I let get away) and would rather have either one than this … that “newly designed” rear window did absolutely nothing for the car other than give it an undesired greenhouse effect … …

      Like 1
      • jokacz

        I recall someone sued GM over the 76 Eldo convertible. He bought one because GM said it would be the last convertible Eldo, which turned out to be false. Wonder how he made out. 75 Vette convertibles were another collector investor sucker bait, not the last vette ragtop by a long shot.

        Like 2
    • Djjerme

      I never understood the excitement of a stupidly low mile classic. Doesn’t make me want to hear the story..

      “Oh yah, I bought this new off the showroom floor and then put it in the back corner of the garage for 40 years, only taking it out for parades and shows.”


      I’d rather hear how a car was driven hard, rolled in a field at 120+, had an owner die while smashing it into a phone pole, then was rebuilt by his son who drove it 100k miles back and forth across Canada.

      That car is worth more to me.

      Like 3
      • Frank Sumatra

        Interesting take. Hope you find that elusive Canadian Death Car. happy hunting!

        Like 8
  5. JoeNYWF64

    Lets hope there is grease inside those suspension fittings, & that’s not the original oil filter – wiped off.
    I’m guessing a/c, p/w, and maybe cruise control were all standard on the pace/anniv cars?

    Like 1
  6. Frank Sumatra

    Perhaps BF should replace cars with < 1,000 miles with art works. The paintings and sculptures will get driven the same amount.

    Like 7
    • Jim ODonnell Staff


      I like it, good suggestion, I’ll take it up with the board.

      Here’s a stab at it:


      Like 3
      • Frank Sumatra

        Nice, but it needs a luggage rack and have you checked the birdcage for rust?

        Like 2
  7. Racingpro56 Member

    Dreams of Barret-Jackson money again here.
    Neither rare or desirable.

    Like 12
  8. K

    If you drive it to dinner and add 46 miles you’ve killed the value.

    Like 9
    • Ike Onick

      So eat someplace closer or order in.

      Like 3
  9. jokacz

    They were a joke in ’78 and they’re a joke now. If it were a non pace car or non 25th anniversary car with that amount of miles it would be more interesting, but still not particularly desirable or valuable.

    Like 9
    • Ike Onick

      In 1978, an L-82, 4-speed, 3.70 rear end and FE-7 suspension is a joke? I’m thinking your comment is. Tell us what you were driving in 1978. I was driving a 1972 Dodge Dart and would have been very happy to have that Corvette.

      Like 4
  10. Skorzeny

    Who says you can’t drive it?

    Like 7
  11. A.G.

    On a good day this car is worth half the asking price. For $20K nice, clean examples can be found.

    Like 9
  12. Keith

    Way too much $$$, once you start driving it you can kiss the value goodbye.

    Like 6
  13. Timrod

    Is the 78 model the slowest Vette ever? My Rav 4 is probably faster.

    Like 4
    • R Soul

      1975 holds that badge of honour in the C3 category.

      Like 2
      • Bill Voss

        It depends on the 75. I drove around a Nova running a built up 350 race car that turns mid 12s in the 1/4. Maybe I should mention the 75 has a 525hp 7,000 RPM 388 cu in stroker 4 speed Muncie and 4.11 rear. It looks absolutely stock. The C3s make a great platform for a hotrod.

        Like 4
      • Jon

        Yeah, the ’75 only had 165 HP with the L48 … the L82 had 205 hp … my ’61 had 270 with the 283 2-4bbl engine … the ’77 only showed 85 mph for top speed – what a joke … I did, however, manage to get a speeding ticket in the ’75 for 110mph in Sikeston, MO …

        Like 1
  14. Bill Voss

    I have a 78 L82 silver Anniversary with 81 k miles. number matching and all original. It’s in the paint shop and once painted I expect it’s value to be in the low 20s. $64.7 K seems to high. I only hope it brings the price.

    Like 4
  15. Vin Cardone

    I owned and drove a 1978 Silver Anniversary Pace Car L-88 . I bought it October 1998 and for 22 yrs enjoyed the Rochester 4 bb and made it fly. When I sold it May 2020 I felt like I lost my best friend…

    Like 7
  16. Ken

    Was this the Vette from the Lambrech Chevrolet auction in Pierce, Nebraska several years ago?

  17. Steve


    Like 2
  18. Frank

    Its 42 years old not 48.

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Oooops fixed, thx!


  19. Paul

    I remember back in the day when these cars first came out. Everybody and their mother was buying them only as an investment and storing them away.
    I imagine that there are too many of them out there with this kind of mileage to warrant the price that this guy is asking for his.

    Like 5
  20. EL Puko

    There’s still a pile out there with ten miles on them.

    Like 2
  21. ACZ

    I’d love to have it. Right engine, right trans, VERY wrong price.

    Like 7
  22. Comet

    Nice car but 30K too high on the asking.

    Like 5
  23. Mark

    I have a 79 L48 that I bought 35 years ago…. I exploded the original motor after about 1000 miles… The cam broke at 5500 rpm… Anyhow I put a L79 66 327 in it to be different… It wasn’t the fastest car around buy a long shot but with 4:11’s in it, it was respectable… I would easily smoke L82 corvettes if the Era… My car has no value but it was a lot of fun to drive.

    Like 5
    • djjerme

      That’s BS.. the car most definitely had value. Yours had a colorful history and you enjoyed driving it. The value is in the fun you had with it. Can’t put a total price on it, and that value will never diminish in your mind.

      In the end, all we have are the memories, and your car it sounds like had plenty.

      Like 2
  24. Big Mike

    I saw the exact same car with 299 miles yesterday. Half the miles and half the price at $33k. Nice collectible cars, but not sure on the asking price of either.

    Like 2
  25. George Mattar

    Junk new. Junk now. Although this car never appears to have been wet. Have seen many of these cars with fewer miles that look much worse with rust all over the suspension. Give me a 67 any day. Way over priced. 20K will buy you a really good one. At least it is a 4 speed.

  26. Big Grouch

    I was around in 1978, I knew of three of these that were ordered with no dealer prep, decals not installed, plastic on the seats, and picked up on a trailer from the dealer. Everyone thought they would get rich some day. But too many were bought like that so the value goes way down. I see a maybe 20k car and I would drive it often. When it’s sold as a collectors item, it isn’t.

    Like 1
  27. Racingpro56 Member

    Quick story. In 1979 I was stationed at Offutt AFB. My downstairs neighbor was an active duty sailor (not sure what a Navy guy was doing at SAC Headquarters back then) who was a submariner. Whatever his job was on a nuclear sub he wouldn’t talk about, but he reenlisted while he was there and received a huge reenlistment bonus. He paid cash for a new ’78 Vette. Overheated on the way home and had to be towed back to the dealer. He was deployed again and never got to drive it.

  28. Bill Voss

    This post has been fun to folow.

    Like 2
  29. Ralph Sweet

    I have a 78 Silver Anniversary With L48 t-tops auto transistor I purchased in 1986 paid $8200 for it.., I still have it has 73000 miles On it redone it 7 years back it drives great looks great and is fun to drive

    Like 2
  30. Al

    I had a ’78 Silver Ann loaded with the L82 w/ 14k orig miles. Had it from ’91-’93. I traded my ’82 Harley Sturgis for it. Tried selling the Sturgis for several mos for $7500, but ended up ‘settling’ for the vette trade. Vette was nothing special, a dog compared to my ’70 Vette LT1, M22, marlboro maroon/black conv I also had since ’81.

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