In case you missed out 40 years ago, here’s your chance to become the first registered owner of an iconic 1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car.
This Corvette was delivered to Dick Poulin Chevrolet in Rochester, N.H., in 1978 and has been driven sparingly by Dick Poulin himself ever since.
Now, though, Mr. Poulin is downsizing his collection of classic cars, and his pace car is actually up for sale at the dealership for the price of $29,900.
We like the fact that someone could buy this car and actually get some enjoyment driving it since it has already covered 27,321 miles – for most cars an amazingly low number for a car that’s 40 years old.
But many pace cars, as you are probably aware, were originally bought as investments and never driven at all in the aftermath of The Wall Street Journal frenzy that predicted the cars would soar in value. You can still find them with plastic on the seats and the sticker on the window and less than 5 miles on the odometer. While those are nice, they really are just a heavy paperweight because how can you justify driving a car like that at all – knowing that you’re decreasing the value with every tenth of a mile you cover?
We’re glad to see that Mr. Poulin enjoyed this car (#2291 out of 6,502 made) but still took good care of it – always storing it in a temperature controlled facility apparently under a cover based on photos on the internet listing when he wasn’t driving it. With the cold weather common in New Hampshire, it was also good to see that none of those 27,321 miles came during the winter time.
For a collector, an important fact is that the car has never been titled or registered so the new owner would become the first registered owner.
Lots of documentation also comes with this car, including certificate of origin, original window sticker, original GM Indy Pace Car decal set that was never applied, a commemorative 1978 jacket that matches the silver interior, a car cover, and plenty of miscellaneous original items and service records.
For buyers of a certain age, including this writer, we’d also ask Mr. Poulin to throw in the Bob Seger eight-track tape that is shown inserted into the player in one of the photos.
All in all, the car appears to have been well taken care of, based on the photos, and the ad says it “runs and drives like new.” The only negative we’d see is that the car has the standard L48 engine, not the more desirable L82, and only has one option – the $99 Cruise Master Speed Control.
While this pace car hasn’t reached the astronomical figures predicted by some back in 1978, if it fetches the asking price, it would still be more than double the MSRP of some $14,500. That’s still much more than a regular ’78 would ever bring these days, and with Mr. Poulin getting the car at the dealer invoice price, he stands to make a nice profit – though like others who have owned the pace cars for 40 years, he could have made a lot more in the stock market!
But then you can’t drive a stock down the road with a big smile on your face the way you can with a beautiful pace car like this, can you?
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