Unlimited Edition: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette L82 Pace Car – $27,800

Nov 2019 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

In 1978, Chevrolet caused a frenzy with its original Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replicas like this one posted over the weekend here on Craigslist in Wayne, New Jersey.  The second owner is currently asking $27,800 which judging by the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool shows he has his Corvette priced about halfway between the #2 “Excellent” level of $34,800 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $22,600. If you are serious about purchasing this Corvette, you can start the conversation by texting the private seller at (973) 393-3450.

As part of its Silver Anniversary celebration activities, Chevrolet had the updated 1978 Corvette C3 chosen as the official pace car for the Indianapolis 500 that year.  To commemorate the event, Chevrolet initially planned to offer 2,500 Indy 500 replica pace cars—100 for each year of production—to the general public. However, dealer interest can consumer demand for the car was so great that Chevy decided to build one replica for each of its 6,502 dealers at the time. Thus what was called the Limited Edition Indy Pace Car Replica Corvette (RPO Z78) made up about 15 percent of total production. The Pace Car’s main distinction was black over silver metallic paint scheme separated with a bright red pinstripe. Pace cars also came with front and rear spoilers. Pace car interiors reflected Bill Mitchell’s influence, with full silver leather or silver leather/gray cloth upholstery and gray carpeting. All replicas were equipped with new thin-shell design-lumbar support seats, new glass t-tops, alloy wheels, power windows, air conditioning, tilt/telescope steering wheel, power locks, rear defogger, sport mirrors, heavy-duty battery, and AM/FM stereo with either eight-track tape player or CB radio. The final touch was the Indy 500 decal set included uninstalled with each limited-edition car.  Not only did dealers charge a premiums for the “limited edition” C3, with values of C1 and C2 Corvettes already increasing in value at the time, collectors scooped up the new Pace Cars to speculate on their future value.  Consequently, many examples ended up being no-mileage time capsules waiting for their prices to rise.  Unfortunately, prices of these pace cars remained low until only recently as there was a glut of low-mileage examples always available for sale.

We like this example as with 85K original miles, its been nicely used however its condition remains immaculate.  Our only concern with this example is why the owner is choosing to sell after only nine months of ownership:  confirm the story before you hand over your cash.  Otherwise, good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This beauty is in great condition, and garage kept.
I’m the second owner, only had for 9 months. As you can from pictures I have original window sticker, both build sheets and sales slip from date of purchase. Also included are original corvette service, repair and electrical manuals
The car has been updated with new front and rear wheel bearings, tires, exhaust, rebuilt Q-jet carburetor, fuel pump, fuel sending unit, alternator, and water pump. Also added was ceramic coated headers and Edelbrock intake and valve covers.
Breaking system was completely rebuilt with new master cylinder, front and rear calipers, front and rear rotors, pads, proportioning valve and hoses.
Interior has been refreshed with new carpet, new seat covers, arm rest and gauge lenses.
For those purists, I also have original intake, alternator, exhaust manifold & air cleaner.

Do you have a Corvette Pace Car story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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