The Indianapolis 500 race has used a pace car every year since 1911. There are few reasons to have a pace car: The first is to lead the pack on a series of warm-up laps at the beginning of a race, the second is to release the grid of cars when the officials give it the green light, and the third is to enter the track during cautionary periods in order to regroup the pack at a reduced speed.
Supplying a pace car is an honor that automakers over the years have leveraged as a means of highly visible (and effective) marketing. For 1978, Chevrolet received that honor, and there ended up being a total of 6,502 pace cars produced in the black, silver, and red paint scheme seen on today’s feature car. It is being sold by a private seller in Hernando Beach, Florida and the auction will end on Tuesday.
The third-generation Corvette debuted in 1968 and lasted through 1982. 1978 was a special year for the C3 Corvette because it marked the 25th anniversary of the model. All units carried commemorative emblems on the nose and the fuel door, and the rear window took on a fastback design for a more streamlined look. On the inside, Chevrolet incorporated new gauges, a glove compartment (replacing the prior map pocket), and a redesigned center console that was aircraft-inspired.
Just 29,538 miles have been logged by this C3, and it has been owned by the seller for just over a year since they purchased it on AutoHunter in 2022. About 500 miles have been added over the course of ownership. The car is powered by a 350cid small-block V8 mated to a three-speed automatic transmission and is said to be largely unmodified aside from the installation of upgraded brakes and a replacement exhaust system.
Worth noting, one of the traditions of the Indy 500 is for the winner of the race to be presented with the pace car or at least a replica of it. This AutoHunter opportunity might be the closest any of us could ever get to competing in a race or even attending one in person! Check out the auction today.
The auction for this 29k-Mile 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car ends Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. (MST)