L-82 Pace Car: 1978 Corvette 25th Anniversary

Not just “another Corvette”, this 1978 25th Anniversary Edition is for sale here on craigslist in the humble town of Mt. Union, Pennsylvania near Altoona. Interested? Read on…

This particular car has a reported 60,000 original miles on the higher-output L-82 220hp V8. We see chrome side pipes. automatic transmission, power locks and windows, optional front and rear spoilers, and from the pictures, it looks as though it has the AM/FM/CB combo radio tucked neatly into the black leather interior. It proudly wears the “Pace Car” black-and-silver with red pinstripe, but there’s no mention whether or not it came with the vinyl graphics that were part of the rather pricey “Pace Car” package.

If that’s the original paint color, this car is one of 15,000 produced that year with that combo, and if we’re right about the CB radio option, it’s one of only 7000.  We don’t see glass tops, which would bring it to one-of-900, but that’s fine in this case, as the asking price is a reasonable $10,900.

Overall, the car appears to be in rather nice nick and, although the seller is a little shy with finer details, this could make a really nice drive-and-show for anyone, particularly if you’re on a budget.

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  1. TimS Member

    Probably the best example I’ve seen, because it can be driven.

  2. Bear

    These Gen 3 Vettes are currently under valued, especially the latter years of the series.
    And there are some very nice well cared for examples out there, often available at a bargain price that still gains one an entry ticket into the “Corvette Owners Club”.
    The 2 biggest negatives of the C3 Vettes was the low power V8s that were installed in many of the latter year models (new strict smog requirements really hurt cars made in the mid-70s to early-80s), and the fact that many structural body parts of the C3 were made of sheetmetal so buyers need to inspect cars diligently for hidden rust issues (…yes, rust issues on a Corvette!). (I’ve seen C3 Vettes that looked gorgeous at 1st walkaround, but once I got on my hands & knees I discovered that they were hiding severe rust issues underneath! “No wonder it is priced so cheap!” :-( )
    I predict that the C3 Vettes will see a sizable increase in value over the next decade, although they will likely never reach the lofty prices of the C1s & C2s.
    So you’d better buy one now, while they are still the “affordable Corvette”. :-)

    • Steve R

      They aren’t under valued. The late-90’s early-2000’s LS cars are much faster and handle better for about the same price. These cars get the respect, in terms of resale value that they deserve.

      Steve R

  3. Barry Stephenson

    The seats are out of a non-Pace Car version. In 78 only, the Pace Cars had the seats with larger bottom and back bolsters. These seats became standard equipment on later C3 model years. So, my guess is that was not born a pace car.

  4. Suttree

    If it checks out this one is a bargain.

  5. Rick

    Not a real PC. All 78’s wore the Anniversary badge; Pace Cars had the silver leather interior with silver mirror T-tops. This is nothing more than a clone. A VIN check would support that I think.

  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    At least this one looks like it’s drivable. The price is what C3’s seen to start at around here so if it’s your cup of tea I think it’s worth looking at.

  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice car, no mention of it being a pace car in the ad. I really like the looks with the side pipes, but I have seen the needle and the damage done.

    • Sandy Claws

      Not really a fan of side pipes, burnt my leg on one years back, so I am a little wary of them. I had a friend who was an MD about this time and bought a new Vette with a four speed. Mighty fine car for the time. The best part of the car was the little sticker on the back that labeled him as a physician that more than once got him out of a speeding ticket. Does anyone else remember those? The idea here in the Midwest was that doctors often needed to speed to the hospital to save a patient so the cops had to give them a pass on the speed limits. Haven’t seen one of those in years. Kind of made sense, if volunteer firemen get a sticker to tell the cops to back off, why not doctors? Never been a big fan of speed limits anyway. The freeways were designed 60+ years ago for 80MPH with cars that compared to todays offerings handled like loaded lumber trucks. A drunk or distracted driver (or a left lane hog!) is far more dangerous then someone doing 90 who is paying attention. The police shouldn’t lay in ambush to catch (profitable) speeders, instead they need to flow with the traffic and see what is going on. In Germany I am amazed at the speeds, but even more amazed at the respectful and attentive drivers. Oh my, I do talk too much. Wife wife reminds me of that quite often. Oh yes, one more thought, Mr Leinie, is that name a reference to a certain tasty beer we make around my neck of the woods?

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hi Sandy, another great comment. I agree on the burn factor. I did put chrome side pipes on my Dodge Lodge van back in 73, not as easy to be a burn victim stepping in the van. In S. Wisco the volunteer fire fighters put there 4 ways on and hammer. Yes I thought about trying that, but that would probably be an additional ticket thrown in with the others. Good catch on the handle Sandy, fond of the Original brew. Started drinking it on 9 day whitewater trips on the Flambeu with a handful of guys. Sad to say only two of us still above ground. I will be comining up for the Leinies Family Reunion this summer. Hopefully we can meet and have one and talk cars. Take care, Mike.

      • Sandy Claws

        @Leiniedude. You are too kind. My handle is what I was called by a youngster a while back. Said I was a mean old man and looked like an angry crab crawling on the beach, called me “Sandy Claws” Even made up a short little song to the tune and style of Santa Claus is coming to town. Kind of liked that. At my age, at least I am still moving. Whitewater rafting, that is a blast. I did some MANY moons ago on the Snake in Wyoming, but today I am fretful even getting in and out of the tub. As far as beer, Chippewa Falls has some of the worlds purest water and supreme beer. Ever get over to Stevens Point and try Point Beer? Micro breweries may be in fashion, but the old local standbys still rule this tired old heart. This spring after the leaves come out, might take a trip along the river in the old girl and check out the Potosi offerings. So many wonderful experiences to drive to here in Wisconsin. We are truly blessed.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Ya Sandy, I dated a girl going to college up there a long time ago, I know that Point beer pretty good! I am heading to Potosi myself this summer. A nice 180 mile day trip for me. I have a large 2 sided ceramic Potosi beer sign the museum wants from me, to donate! LOL. Check out the musem while you are there. take care, Mike. https://www.potosibrewery.com/museums/

  8. motoring mo

    Hard working and tough, yes.

    No one from Mt. Union is humble.

  9. gbvette62

    In spite of what the author says in the headline and in his post, this car is not a Pace Car, and it’s not a 78 Silver Anniversary either. None of this is on the seller, as they don’t claim that the car is anything other than a 78 Corvette.

    Besides the black over silver paint and red pinstripes, 78 Pace Cars had a unique silver interior with Pace Car only seats, a special Pace Car Emblem on the console, mirrored glass tops, silver rocker panels and a Pace Car only VIN number.

    78 Silver Anniversary edition Corvettes were painted a special two-tone silver over charcoal paint combination, that included charcoal pinstripes on the fenders and sport mirrors. While all 78 Corvettes had nose and gas door emblems that said “53-78” and “Silver Anniversary”, only cars with option code B2Z and the two-tone silver and charcoal paint, were actually 78 “Silver Anniversary” editions. The Pace Cars and Silver Anniversary”s were the only 78 Corvettes available with two-tone paint.

    This looks like it might be a good Corvette for somebody, as long as they buy it knowing that it’s just another 78 Corvette, with custom paint and some modifications.

  10. Tom Justice

    I agree that the seller does not say anything about pace car or anniversary car so I don’t know why the editor on this site starts out saying it is such. Mr. Glantz please do your home work.

  11. Norbert L Bax

    Somebody needs to look at the VIN as all Pace cars in 79 started with a 900001-9006502 all other corvettes started with the 400000 ser #, thinking this is a clone but in his Craigslist ad he says nothing about it being an actual pace car.

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