Rare in Yellow: 1986 Corvette Indy Pace Car

I blame Matchbox for making me not appreciate the years when a yellow Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car was an easy car to find. As a kid, this was one of numerous toy cars in my possession, making me slightly numb to their regular presence at cars shows and in driveways; hence, when I spotted this one here on eBay it occurred to me I hadn’t seen one in the flesh in years, and that this particular example deserves to be restored back to its original replica condition. 

This particular car has clearly been used, due to the high-ish mileage for a Pace Car and the later Corvette wheels (that look awful as it is and are made worse with the black spray paint) that have been swapped on. Interestingly, there’s a bit of controversy that surrounds the 1986 C4 Pace Car: Corvette decided to designate all ’86 roadsters as “Pace Car replicas,” driving many enthusiasts to ignore the seemingly unlimited supply of special edition Corvettes.

However, the yellow Pace Car replicas are considered to be a touch more desirable because the actual Pace Car was a yellow convertible and due to the fact that just over 700 yellow convertibles were made in 1986. So, if you wanted to own that year’s Indy 500 tribute car but you didn’t want just another 1986 model year convertible with some stickers applied, you could at least buy the car in the proper colors. This example is just such a vehicle, and it does come with the dealer-applied Pace Car graphics.

The seller notes this Corvette is far from perfect; supposedly, the clear coat is failing and the power antennae stopped working. As mentioned, the wheels definitely need to be swapped out. But it runs out nice and the A/C and power features still work. Swap on the proper blade-style C4 wheels and simply enjoy this Pace Car – my money is on it returning a modest gain off of the initial purchase price within a few years.

Fast Finds


  1. Chris

    I like yellow cars, but I know a lot of people don’t.


      I like yellow cars to but why does anybody think black wheels look good on any car is beyond me. I can’t wait till this fad is over.

      • Kincer Dave Member

        My dad and I had the same conversation the other day about black wheels, we don’t get it and probably never will. I’m with you I can’t wait til this fad is over!

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        It depends on the car.
        Here is my Charger Blacktop Edition. They look good here, but I’m in agreement on them looking bad on most other cars.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        How about a bigger picture.

    • Jeff

      I really like that yellow GSX! For years I have admired them, but I never owned one.

    • Bmac Bmac Member

      I like-em

      Like 2
      • Bmac Bmac Member


        Like 2
      • Big Mike

        I like Yellow ones in this case also.
        My 1975 Nova

        Like 1
      • Big Mike

        Or maybe two in case!!
        My 73

  2. nessy

    Rare in yellow? Not at all. I believe all of these 86 Pace Cars were either yellow or red with over 80% of them being yellow. I am not a Corvette guy but I do recall reading this in a book on the history of all the Pace Cars.

    • gbvette62

      It’s not possible that anywhere near 80 percent of the 86 convertibles were yellow.

      There were 7300 86 convertibles built, so over 5800 of them would have had to have been yellow. The total number of yellow 86’s built, for both coupe and convertible, was only 1464 cars. Yellow cars were only 4% of the total 86 production. GM has no records of how many yellow 86’s were coupes, and how many were convertibles, but I’d guess that it was pretty close to a 50/50 split.

      All 86 convertibles came with a set of Pace Car decals, no matter what the exterior color was. The actual Indy Pace Car was yellow, but there were plenty of silver, black, blue and white 86 convertibles running around, with Pace Car decals on them.

      • nessy

        No, that is not what I said. Not 80% of the stock 86 convertibles were yellow. 80% of the Pace Car editions were yellow. All 86 convertibles were not considered Pace Car editions. You could only order the Pace Car replicas in yellow or red and red came out later during the year. Anyone could put the stickers on the doors on any color car, however, the limited edition 86 Pace Car Corvette was always either yellow or red.

      • gbvette62

        Chevrolet considered all 1986 convertibles to be Pace Car editions, and all of them came with Pace Car graphics, not just red and yellow ones. This is a Chevrolet hand out from 1986, showing a gold, silver, red and black convertible, all with Pace Car graphics installed.

        It’s a little hard to read here, but the copy says “You can order a 1986 Corvette Convertible with special Indy 500 pace car graphics, ………Your choice of 12 exterior colors….”

        Under each of the 4 pictures of the cars, it says “Corvette Convertible Indy 500 pace car shown in Silver Metallic with Black convertible top”, or gold, red with white top and black with saddle top after the bottom one.

      • nessy

        Well what do you know. Look at that. You seem to be right. I stand corrected and thank you. As I said, I am not much of a Corvette guy. I only went by what I read in a book about the history of all the Pace Cars over time. I guess that book was wrong. I must say, I do not remember ever seeing an 86 Corvette Pace Car in any other color except yellow or red. All the cars at the track that day were yellow except for one red car right? That is also what the book claimed. It also said all the yellow cars had a very dark gray interior with a black top while the red cars had a red interior with a white top.

      • gbvette62

        Unfortunately, I know more about Corvettes than I really need too.

        The actual pace car was painted yellow, but Chevrolet provided the Speedway with convertibles in an assortment of colors, for use during the month of May. You may be associating red with the pace cars, because one of the most common GM publicity photos from 86, is of a red convertible with the pace car graphics on it.

        The 86 pace car was driven at the start of the race by former test pilot, General Chuck Yeager.

    • 86 Pace

      I have a much more rare 86 Pace Car. Its Gold Metallic with only 163 in that color

  3. 86 Vette Convertible

    The year has a lot going for it, but those wheels and decals kill it for me.
    I’ll keep and enjoy my ‘little red corvette’.

    PS unless physical limited or only drive in the city, all Corvettes should have a manual.

  4. Chuck Foster 55chevy Chuck Foster

    I have always liked Indy Pace car replicas, and being from Indiana I always wanted one, missed out on one of 50 1970 Dodge Challenger for $4500 back in the 90s, recently was tempted by a 1984 Fiero for $1,000, as a Chevy guy this would be a nice one to have as well, but I have tried to cut back after almost 20 cars and trucks projects. My last two acquisitions were a $700 Porsche 944 and a $300 Karmann Ghia, so much for resisting a cheap project. Good thing I don’t have a wife to complain about the cars sitting in my back yard.

    • Bmac Bmac Member

      Chuck, sounds like we have the same problem, except I have wife, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt me! Maybe a reality tv show, “car hoarders”

      • BMW4RunninTundra

        There was actually a “Reality” show based on the that exact premise! These guys would find a car ” hoarder” and offer to build one of his cars into the car of his dreams IF they could come in and sell off everything else, car wise. It was basically another car builder show with the drama being both the selling off and the two guys personality conflicts. They tried it twice. I know the first time was a bust due to their “Business Plan” not working too well in the “Profit Column”! The second time it came back on, not sure what happened, but my guess is the same “Business Plan” problem.

  5. Richard Holmes

    My fav pace car is the ’98–hey, it’s got yellow wheels.

  6. Rolf Poncho 455

    Yellow I like a lot mine is the mellow yellow 455

  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Yellow gets a lot more love here than green does.

  8. RP

    I have a strong affection for my yellow convertible, too.

  9. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    I love all of your Yellow cars! Wow! Just wow!

  10. Mike H. Mike H

    “The seller notes this Corvette is far from perfect; supposedly, the clear coat is failing and the power antennae stopped working.”

    Sorry to be pedantic, but . . . Depending upon where the author of this article is from geographically, his wording suggests that this car has at least (2) antennas, or it has flexible sensory appendages similar to an insect.

    Carry on.


  11. Unclehotrod13

    i think Lincoln had a pace car in the mid, late 1940’s a yellow convertible ??!!

  12. Paul

    I hate black wheels however they should be a must for most Ford products my F 150 has so much brake dust that the wheels look black within 5 miles after a wash!!

  13. Eric

    I have a corvette exactly like that. What do you think its worth??

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