NEW! Award 69: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette L82/4-Speed 626 Mile Pace Car – Sold?

by | May 2021 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

June 25, 2021 Update – While the seller deleted their Craigslist ad and did not provide a replacement, we suspect this ’78 Corvette Pace Car may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

June 12, 2021 Update – Our “NEW!” (short for “No Effin Way!) Award is not a curse; virtually every ride we’ve ever awarded it to ended up lingering unsold. This 1978 Pace Car Corvette is our latest poster child as the seller refused to budge off their ridiculous $66,000 asking price when they posted a new ad to replace their original Craigslist post.

Despite being equipped with the more desirable L82 V8 and 4-speed manual, this 1978 Corvette Pace Car Replica originally listed in May 2021 on Craigslist has only traveled 626 miles since new. That’s an average of just 15 miles annually. Owned for the past twenty years, the current caretaker states, “it’s time to let someone else enjoy it.” How exactly does one go about enjoying an extremely low-mileage sports car that will only lose value if you drive it? He also calls it “RARE.” Sorry, with 6,502 pace car replicas produced and the vast majority of those tucked away when new, it’s relatively easy to find a ’78 Pace Car for sale. Yes, even examples with the more desirable L82 engine and four-speed manual.

Then there is the asking price. $66,000. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Pace Car Replica priced about $6,000 more than this guide’s #1 “Concours” estimate of $59,400 after factoring in a $3,500 premium for the four-speed option. Shockingly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the asking price is $28,000 higher than this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $38,444 after factoring in a twenty-eight percent premium for the desirable power train and CB radio options. Finally, our third pricing source, Classic.com, likely confirms the current caretaker remains fixated on two Mecum sales of similar Corvettes with only 12 original miles selling for a similar $66,000 after factoring out the ten percent buyer’s premium.  Unfortunately for the seller, Classic.com and Hagerty confirm the high prices of January 2019 were an anomaly that have not been replicated to date.  Consequently, we’re awarding the current caretaker our latest “NEW!” (short for “No Effin Way!) Award for an asking price that is not aligned with the current market.

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 and 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 a 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 premium for the “limited edition” C3, with values of C1 and C2 Corvettes already increasing in value at the time, but collectors also 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.

Don’t get us wrong: we love this Pace Car replica as not only does it have all of the most desirable options, the current caretaker clearly enjoyed detailing the car and winning all of the typical Corvette awards one would expect of such an original car.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Available for sale is my RARE !!!! 1978 CORVETTE PACE CAR

what makes it rare is that it equipped with the:

4 Speed Manual Transmission and the L82 ENGINE

I have owned it for 23 years and its time to let someone else enjoy in my opinion the Best Pace Car

this car has 626 miles

all original of course

the pace car came as a loaded corvette
here are the options

L82 350CI 220HP ENGINE
M21 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION
FE7 GYMKHANA SUSPENSION
GS4 3.70 REAR AXLE

AM/FM CB RADIO
POWER ANTENNA
LEATHER INTERIOR
POWER WINDOW
POWER DOOR LOCK
TILT/TELE STEERING WHEEL
AIR CONDITION
PULSE INTERMITTENT WIPERS
MIRROR T-TOP ROOF BLUE
FACTORY ALARM
REAR DEFOGGER
SPORT MIRRORS
Pace Car Package

this car has achieve Triple Crown Status
that is by obtaining NCRS Mclellan award, 5 Star Bowtie, Bloomington Gold Award, Gold Spinner

my 78 pace car has been featured in several magazines and has been used as a bench march in 2 restoration books

this car is for the collector of fine cars and is priced at $66,000

if you want an affordable pace car to drive the are plenty of automatics car out there with higher miles

thank you for looking​”

Show or go: what would you do with this Corvette Pace Car Edition?  Comment below and let us know!

3 Comments
  1. James

    I bought it for $62,500 and for me it was every penny and PS I will drive it. LOL

    Reply
  2. john

    just give it a little more time with all this car hype and the 55 and old car buying car of the 70’s and 80’s the right pacers (L82 4Speeds will go for $75k . i will say i told you so

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Hi John, the problem with the ’78 Pace Car is that Chevrolet made too many of them (one per dealer at the time) and too many people tucked them away like this example. Supply and demand will keep prices of these flat, even the L82/4-speeds. I predict the early C4’s will start to get more love as enthusiasts realize it was a much better car.

      Reply

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