No Reserve: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indy Pace Car

While it wasn’t the rarest of the limited edition models produced by Chevrolet, the Corvette Indy Pace Car was a car that sold extremely well when new. Today, the majority of examples seem to fall into two distinct camps. Some are cars that the owner has squirreled away in the hope that it would achieve stratospheric values in the future, while others tend to have been driven and abused within an inch of their lives. This particular car doesn’t fit into either of those camps, because it is a clean and original example that has been driven, enjoyed, and properly maintained throughout its life. The owner has now decided to part with it, meaning that someone might be able to secure the Corvette at a realistic price. It is located in Tucson, Arizona, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Corvette has reached $11,525 in what is a No Reserve auction. With 124 people currently watching the listing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that figure creep up just a bit more before the auction ends.

The Pace Car was available in any color that the buyer wanted, as long as it was the combination of Black and Silver. This one is a neat and tidy example, and given the fact that it appears to have spent its life being garage-kept in the drier climes of Arizona, the chances are pretty fair that it has made it through the past 42-years with no rust issues. The paint has a few very minor marks on it, but there is nothing of any real significance to note. The distinctive alloy wheels look to be clean, and free of any staining, pitting, or curb strike damage. One item that isn’t original to this car is the panels for the T-Top. These should be mirror-tint glass items, but someone has substituted fiberglass panels at some point. However, if the buyer wants to return the appearance to its original state, replacement panels are available. They will have to swallow a bit hard on that though because they tend to run out at around $600 per pair.

The interior of the Corvette isn’t pristine, but the next owner won’t be forced to hang their head in shame when the car is seen in public. The Silver leather upholstery on the seats is showing its fair share of wrinkles, but almost miraculously for a car that sees regular use, the side bolsters show no signs of wear, tears, of chafing. The remaining upholstery, the dash, and the carpet, all look good. Once again, one of the wear-prone interior items is the leather wrap on the steering wheel, but this one looks to be really good. The Corvette also features plenty of creature comforts, including air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a tilt/telescopic wheel, and an AM/FM radio/8-track player. The owner says that the A/C works okay, but it could use some more gas at some point. He also says that there is a relay under the dash that clicks, but it appears that he is unsure what this is for.

The young woman in this photo is getting a better look at the Corvette’s motor than we do, but I believe that what sits under the hood is the L48 version of the 350ci V8. This is backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission, while power steering and power brakes were both standard fitment. The lack of a clear view makes it impossible to be 100% sure about the engine, but I believe that I can only see one snorkel coming from the air cleaner, which is indicative of the L48. If it was the more powerful L82 version, we should be able to see a second snorkel, even in this view. If this is the L48, then the power output would be 185hp. Outright performance wasn’t the car’s strong suit when equipped as this one is, but it would be considered to be adequate for a weekend cruiser. The owner states that the Corvette has always been properly maintained and that it runs and drives like new

This 1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car is a tidy and clean example and is no trailer queen. For the person who wants a clean and tidy car to enjoy on a sunny weekend, this could be a good option. The fact that it is being offered in a No Reserve auction makes it a very tempting proposition. It is a car that is well worth a look, especially if the bidding stays around the current price.

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Comments

  1. Bill S

    L82 nice shape both

    7
    • SMDA

      What exactly are you commenting on, just to clarify.

      4
  2. Superdessucke

    Because it has a “4” as the 5th digit of the VIN, it’s an L82.

    http://l82corvette.tripod.com/vin.htm

    3
  3. AMCFAN

    In 1978 I think the owners missed the boat when these came out. Almost everyone who purchased these did so as an investment. They were packed away never to have been enjoyed. With over 6500 made there are tons still around, Take your pick at how many miles you want on yours. There will still be many examples around for decades.

    Interesting the seller states the a/c doesn’t work well. This is an indicator he doesn’t want to spend the $6-$700 to repair it. The a/c never very effective when working properly. The heat comes up from the floor and will bake you alive on a warm day. That may be the real reason for the glass tops being replaced (likely broken)

    You will want to check the tires. Those Eagle ST tires haven’t been available for many many years.

    5
    • Doug Weaver

      The tires leaped off the screen to me! I had a beautiful 1973 with an L-48 which we had modified, balanced and blue-printed, torque plates, etc, professionally, to mill out around 275hp. It was a wonderful car to drive.

      It rode like a hay wagon but folks didn’t buy these cars expecting them to ride like a Cadillac!

      1
    • Superdessucke

      I would love to know if there’s more of these or Cosworth Vegas around. My money is still on the Cosworth Vega but there’s definitely a ton of these too.

      • RH

        Silly comment about the Cosworth Vega since they made nearly 3000 more ’78 Corvette Pace Cars.

        2
  4. JoeNYWF64

    How do you get just the inside tailites to light up like that?
    Seems higher than stock – new springs?
    How does white carpet, steerin wheel & dash look so nice after 61k miles?
    I could see if it had 60 miles on it.

    • Jim

      The inside taillights are reflectors and are lit due to the camera flash perhaps? The interior is silver in color and not white.

      3
    • AMCFAN

      It is a reflection. Obviously had a flash. It sits higher because in 1978 GM used a fiberglass rear spring. There is only one and it mounts length wise across the rear.

      I had a 77 and prior years you will see the rear sagging about to drag the ground. My diff cover on mine broke and spring hit the road. Replaced it with a composite spring. Best thing ever. It handled better and had a better ride. New spring weighed 12 lbs compared to about 90 lbs oem. Big difference.

      1
  5. Frank Sumatra

    Too many “weasel-word” comments from the seller and I don’t care for his method of staging the car. And his seller name is “Maverick”. Buyer Beware.

    3
    • AMCFAN

      I dunno Frank. I am very critical of everything. Especially seeing a car prepped and staged. I have to disagree with you. I don’t see that here.

      I think the car is presented very honestly. It obviously lives in a nice clean well cared for environment. The house looks just as well cared for as the car. No doubt the car lives in that garage. I have had Corvettes and do not wish to own another. BUT if I were in the market I would give this a look. There are many Pacer Vettes around but agree this would be a great driver once a/c issues and tires addressed. It has been carefully driven AS IT SHOULD BE. Not stored in a wearhouse. I would continue to do so proudly.

      The female pictured adds to the value. She appears as classy as the Corvette. A woman like that wouldn’t stand for a beater at her house. Very classy indeed.

      As for ones ebay handle maybe the guy is really in to Top Gun……
      I mean everyone wants to be “Maverick”

      2
      • Frank Sumatra

        Valid opinions, but packed with as many assumptions as I made in my comments. The market will decide.

        1
  6. Vin_in_NJ

    Any time a car is staged with a woman posing in it, or next to it tells me the photographer is trying to draw your eye away form the details of the car and towards the girl

    Well played sir.. you got me.

    8
    • sourpwr Member

      At least he didn’t hose them both before the picture.

      4
  7. Tort Member

    If not the original or one of that actually was a pace car at Indy why would anyone want to drive one on the street? I can understand people buying one as an investment hoping the value can increase but to drive? That’s like putting Ramcharger’s on your sixties Plymouth or Grumpy Jenkin”s on a early Camaro or Nova and cruise around town.

  8. AMCFAN

    Frank, I like you am taking what is presented here. Any serious buyer would be wise to see the car in person and meet the owner. However. In five min or less the facts would be present. Non disclosed other issues, car flipper etc.

    I have purchased many cars in the last 20 years for a while on average maybe 4-5 a year on ebay alone. Not so much anymore. I do have a very certain criteria I look for before I bid to win. In a large part it is not the base subject it is what is in the back ground. Not a pretty woman. I.E. house/garage condition etc. all this helps in a buying decision. You can’t always fault someone who is selling a car who in real life talks like a car dealer OR writes like he talks.

    Like reading someone who is of different nationality that makes an ad for something. Writing how they talk…..We then then assume it is a scam. Or someone else who doesn’t use spell check doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    I think the guy will do fine on the Corvette. The car will sell itself. The woman is just a bonus. I call it well played.

    3
  9. Bob McK Member

    It has a automatic.. I’ll pass.

  10. JC

    Hmmm… I’m extra cautious on ebay since I “sold” a car only to find the “buyer” didn’t really exist and the address he had was an abandoned structure… this sellers profile says hes been an ebay member since 2001 but has no feed back? The ad itself is mostly a copy and paste, the inspection sticker expired in 2000, I see a DOD sticker there too. Finally, the tag on the back looks photoshopped in. I would only bid on this car if I could see it in person.

    5
  11. Bob McK Member

    Keen eye and good advice.

    2
  12. moosie moosie

    According to the Vin.# it is a genuine Pace Car (a very early one) with an L82. An awful lot of assumptions about this car & the seller. If I couldnt personally inspect the car I’d pass on it and find one I could actually feel and see first hand, not make assumptions based on a few pictures on the internet.

    1
  13. Del

    78 Vette. Worst year quality for Vette.

    Beware when Bimbo is in an advert.

    Too much blather about this junker

    1
  14. Ike Onick

    “78 Vette. Worst year quality for Vette. – Hard to say. 1968 usually wins that prize

    Beware when Bimbo is in an advert.- I’m guessing she is smarter than you.

    Too much blather about this junker”- Then move on.

    1
  15. Stan Marks

    What Corvette?? I don’t see a Corvette. LOL!!
    Be nice, guys.. That bimbo could be your sister.

    2
  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $12,025.

    Good price if car is all it appears to be.

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