No Reserve: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Limited Edition Pace Car

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When Chevrolet released the Limited Edition Pace Car Replica of its Corvette in 1978, a group of hardy individuals squirreled one away, believing it represented an excellent long-term investment. Unfortunately, it took far longer than they anticipated for their investment to mature, with the Pace Car only recently gaining traction in the classic market. Our feature car is 1-of-6,502 produced and appears to be a tidy and clean survivor. It isn’t perfect, but it would be ideal for an enthusiast seeking a driver-quality vehicle. The seller listed it here on eBay in Miami Beach, Florida, with bidding sitting at $13,500 in a No Reserve auction.

The Corvette was selected as the Official Pace Car for the 1978 Indianapolis 500. As is often the case, the company elected to release a special edition to leverage off this exposure. It planned a run of 2,500 cars, but such was the demand that it relented and built 6,502 so that every Chevrolet dealership could get a slice of the pie. Our feature car is one of those vehicles, and it remains an unmolested survivor. The distinctive Black over Silver paint shines nicely, with it and the fiberglass showing no evidence of problems. The contrasting Red pinstripe and Pace Car decals look crisp, with no shrinkage or checking visible. The glass, including the removable roof panels, is in good order. Rounding out the exterior are the distinctive aluminum wheels that sparkle impressively.

When buyers ordered a Pace Car Replica, they received a vehicle with its interior trimmed in Silver leather or a Silver leather/Gray cloth combination. This car features the luxury of full leather, and its presentation is respectable. There is no evidence of wear on the upholstered surfaces, and none of the plastic has succumbed to the rigors of UV exposure. The leather-wrapped wheel shows some evidence of deterioration, and it is unclear whether it would respond positively to a high-quality conditioner. There are scratches on the console beside the shifter, but the overall condition is acceptable if considered purely as a survivor-grade classic. The carpet inserts on the door trims have typical dirty marks, but a deep clean may be all that is required to set that right. There are no aftermarket additions, with the Corvette featuring air conditioning, power windows, a tilt/telescopic wheel, and an AM/FM radio.

While Chevrolet built 6,502 examples of the Pace Car Replica, only 202 rolled off the line equipped with the range-topping L82 version of the 350ci V8, coupled with a four-speed manual transmission. This is one of those cars, and with 220hp under the driver’s right foot, it could cover the ¼-mile in 15.6 seconds. That may be a long way short of the figure available to buyers at the start of the decade, but it was the most potent combination a buyer could order in 1978. For potential buyers seeking a turnkey classic, this Corvette delivers. The seller states it runs and drives well, with the engine and transmission feeling strong and the clutch operating smoothly.

After decades in the wilderness, values for the 1978 Corvette Limited Edition Pace Car Replica have begun slowly climbing. It is difficult to say whether that means they are now becoming a sound long-term investment, but at least things are headed in the right direction. This car isn’t a pristine investment-grade example, but it is a clean and tidy driver with a desirable drivetrain combination. It has already attracted thirty bids, and there is still time remaining for interested enthusiasts to stake their claim. Are you tempted to submit a bid, or will you remain a curious onlooker?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. Maggy

    This car reminds me of little old ladies buying Bradford exchange collector plates hoping they would be worth huge $ in the future to pay for their grand kids college costs.When they dropped the chrome bumpers in 73 and 74 is when I really thought they ruined the look of the car imo. Curious to see what this one goes for.Looks nice if youre into these.Also never liked driving a car with all those stickers all over it.imo.

    Like 12
    • Tony Primo

      Bradford Exchange collector plates available at every Goodwill or second hand store for less than $5.00 a plate!

      Like 4
  2. jrhmobile

    I could always do without the Pace Car Edition decals, but I could live with this thing in black & silver just fine.

    And I know I’m in the minority on this, but I always thought the bubble-back versions were some of the prettiest C3s. And the ’78 was peak C3 for me because it had the bubble back but not the jutting underbite bumpers of the later versions. I’d need to warm over the L82 —significantly — so it’d perform like a Corvette should, but I think this is a fine example of Corvette.

    Like 10
    • Denny Chevy lover

      I don’t think your to much in the minority, if at all. I agree with 110%, as to the look of the Pace Car, preferably without the stickers, and the preference of the 1978, along with the color combination…Yes, with a no modifying, to the dash, upgraded sound system, a tweak to the exhaust, and some boost to the stock power plant, this could be a lot of fun to show, drive and enjoy, for many years to come 👍

      Like 0
  3. Robbie R.

    Beautiful car. This is also my favorite model year. Nowhere in the article or eBay ad is the mileage mentioned. Wouldn’t that be important for a survivor grade ride?

    Like 0
    • Johnny Major

      Ebay ad states 72,600 miles

      Like 4
      • Robbie R.

        Johnny, yes thanks I see it now. I was trying to view the ad on my phone which requires clicking on one of those small (almost hidden) arrows to get to another screen. Viewing it on my laptop is much easier and better. I was expecting it to be around 10 to 20k miles. Well taken care of to be 72k.

        Like 3
  4. Fran

    Here we are how many years later?
    Bad investment.

    But people are paying stupid money for everything today.

    Like 3
  5. PRA4SNW

    Here we go again, Barn Finds favorite Corvette Dealer with a “stellar” reputation.

    Buyer Beware!

    Like 6
  6. Ed

    A Chevrolet-Oldsmobile dealership for which I served as warranty administrator and wholesale buyer and seller ordered one of these and parked it in their “playpen” as we referred to their unsold special-run vehicles. This store sold more Oldsmobiles than Chevrolet cars and trucks combined so when Oldsmobile was discontinued, the brothers who owned the point foolishly sold it and I have no idea what was done with eight or ten unsold and never-driven vehicles. The building is now gone too.

    Like 1
  7. Al camino

    I had one of these four years ago, it was a barn find,with 1600 miles on it I thought it was worth money until I found out they made 6000 of them,they seemed to devaluate real quick,they came out of the woodwork I couldn’t even get 25000 for it so l traded for a 69 camaro convertible,still working on it

    Like 3
    • John S Dressler

      Good trade Al,

      Like 2
  8. ACZ

    If you ever wanted one of these, this is a good one to get. There weren’t that many L82 4 speed versions.

    Like 3
  9. P Wentzell

    I know someone who bought one of these at an auction (4 speed!) to “flip”. Cosmetically, the car just needed a good clean up. Upon driving, it was rough and raw. Sure, the car was over Forty years old, and I think, still had the original shocks. It got a refresh in and out and sold for a profit.

    Like 0
    • fran

      Could have only paid 4K for it? That would add up to a solid profit.

      Like 0
  10. eyes4color62@gmail.com CooterMember

    Love all models of the Corvette and have nothing disrespectful to say about any of them. If you guys remember, there wasn’t much coming out of Detroit these years and these, Trans Ams and Camaros are about all you had to choose from. Being 17 at the time I wanted one of these so badly. Always wanted to take one, paint it a nice shade of blue and get a nice drivetrain. And get those ugly spoilers off it! 45 years later and after a 3 year restoration, I finally have that car. A 79 with the ZZ4 crate engine and 350 turbo transmission. All new interior, trim and glass. I will likely never get what I have in it but that’s not the point. It also draws people in at the weekend car shows and we love driving it!

    Like 3
  11. GT

    So, what did it sell for?

    Like 0
    • ACZ

      Go look at the eBay auction.

      Like 0
      • Frank Sumatra

        Very helpful. Thanks.

        Like 0

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