Pace Car Frenzy

As the 1978 Pace Car approaches a 40th Anniversary, much remains to be learned and documented about the assembly methods used to build 6,502 replicas. The articles that follow drill down to assist restorers understand some of those methods and how Pace Cars were shipped from the St Louis Assembly Plant. In this series, we look at pace car decals, pace car values as of 2008 and how the 2008 Pace Car served as a graphic salute to the 1978 Pace Car.

Final application of decals and the "hot" metallic silver lower half occurred on the St Louis campus but not in the St Louis Assembly Plant. Due to the volume of Corvettes being built and limited production capacity, Pace Cars were moved to the main plant’s Final Process (paint repair) area where Impala’s were finalized for shipping. What follows is a description of the final process for completing the RPO Z78 paint scheme and decal application. It also describes the special accommodation for Pace Cars to prepare for shipping via the freight trucks. Tom Russo's most recent submission to the NCRS The Corvette Restorer can be previewed by clicking the Pace Car ad to the right.


Pace Car Front Spoiler: Dealer Prepped or Factory Installed?

Limited Edition Pace Cars continue to be rolled out of storage from their "as shipped from the factory" and onto auction blocks, revealing new information about the final process and special shipping requirements. In this article, Russo and NCRS 1978-82 Team Leader Pearce address the issues of judging a Pace Car when the front spoiler is stashed in the rear storage compartment along with those boxed decals.


Pace Car Decals: Production & Assembly

The popularity of the 1978 Pace Car has yet to wane after the first rolled off the St Louis factory floor over thirty years ago. GMs marketing program to tether the Corvette Pace Car to the Indy 500 race continues to add value to those Limited Editions of 1978.
But what made that 1978 model wasn't horsepower, torque or cubic inches but rather paint; convenience options and extensive graphics. This article will document not only Pace Car decals as delivered to dealers but will also describe service replacements and explore how aged new old stock (NOS) decals differ from restoration decals.


Indy Pace Car 30th Anniversary: What's happened to Pace Car values?

Have Pace Car values held true or fallen off since 1978?
The 1978 Corvette Limited Edition Pace Car began life in a frenzy as they rolled off the St Louis Chevrolet factory amid a buying flurry among speculators, investors and enthusiasts. In 2008, Chevrolet had built ten Indy Pace Car replicas.
Chevrolet announced that Corvette would pace the Indy 500 May 2008 for the 10th time. A 2008 Z06 with black and silver graphics commemorated the 1978 pace Car. But, it began in 1978 with the 1st Corvette to pace the most spectacular event in sports.
Read how "America's Sports Car!" survived this media attention.


Leading the Pack: The 2008 Replica

In 2008, Chevrolet announced that Corvette would pace the Indy 500 for the tenth time. This articles explores the rising value of 1978 Corvette Limited Edition Pace Car and what speculators, investors and enthusiasts can expect in the future. James Prather, former editor and publisher of Vette Vues describes how he scooped the story of the 1978 Pace Car in the Summer of 1977...before Chevrolet released the story for Vette Vues.