Those of us old enough can remember all the excitement that the 1978 Corvette Pace Car created when it first came out.
Thanks to an article in The Wall Street Journal espousing the car’s potential collector value, prices shot out of this world, with some folks supposedly paying as much as $75,000 for a car that listed for just over $13,500. Many examples were put away, never to be driven, hoping for a big payout someday.
We’ve always had a 1978 Pace Car on our bucket list of Corvettes, not because we wanted to make a big profit on one. But because we always loved the two-tone paint, the new fastback rear window, the cool shape of the silver seats, the mirrored T-top panels, the unique front and rear spoilers, the polished aluminum red stripe wheels, and the Indy 500 decals on the doors – well, just about everything, I guess.
While we were just barely out of high school when this mania hit and couldn’t afford to replace my 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo, I did manage to whet my Pace Car hunger by doing the next best thing. By then, I had been working at our local paper in Calhoun, Ga., for about two years and convinced my editor to let me write a story about the Pace Car that was on the floor of our local Chevy dealership. I’ve still got the photos I made that day.
And speaking of photos, if the photos on a current craigslist ad in Seattle for a 1978 Pace Car up for sale represent the actual condition of this car, this would be a good one to place a check mark by that bucket list item and not break the bank doing it.
The ad offers a Pace Car with 54,000 miles, which is low for a normal car but not overly impressive considering some examples still have only a few miles on the odometer 40 years later.
But fortunately the asking price of this one reflects that fact – as it is listed for only $15,995.
It may not really affect the value, but this one does have the appeal of being the 85th Pace Car produced out of the 6,502 in all. Unfortunately, it has the L48 engine and automatic transmission, not the more powerful L82 and a 4-speed manual.
All in all, though, this car appears to be a fairly priced way to get into a ’78 Pace Car. What do you think about this one in particular and the ’78 Pace Cars in general?
By the way, we’ve received word that Camaro Convertibles are being used as the festival cars for this year’s Indy 500. Could that mean another Corvette will be the pace car in 2018? We’ll find out for sure Thursday morning!
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