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11/16/07 10:11pm - Original Message: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
Posts: 4057
As most of you probably already know, the 1978 Indy Pace Car was the first Corvette to be produced with its own sequential VIN number.  There were 6,502 of these Pace Cars produced and were numbered through 6502.  Heres what the VIN looked like, 1Z87LS906502, the 90 in the VIN identified the 78 Corvette as a Pace Car and the 6502 was the production number. 
 
My love for the 78 Pace Car has sent me on a search for the original Pace Cars that were actually at Indy on May 28th, 1978.  I have always been told that there were four Pacers at Indy on that day.  Well my never ending search is coming closer to an ending Thumbs%20Up
 
On October 1st of this year while traveling back from Dallas I had the opportunity to stop at the Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerdue, NM.  I was hoping to find Al Unser Sr's 1978 Pace Car and see the VIN # in the museum, but I was disappointed to find out it wasn't in the museum Cry  Well after visiting awhile and getting ready to leave an older gentleman walked out of a backroom, it was Al Unser Sr himself Shocked
 
We talked for quit awhile but the conversation soon turned to his 78 Pace Car and the others that were at Indy that day in May.  Al told me that the Pacers at the track that day were numbered 00, 01, 02, 03.  The Pace Car that he was awarded for winning the 1978 Indy 500 was at his home in his garage and was number 01.
 
I had emailed the Indy Museum back in October requesting information on their 78 Pace Car but I never heard back from Them.  Tonight I recieved an email from Ellen Bireley at the Indy Museum and she said that my email had been bounced around the company and finally landed on the right desk, her's.  She stated that the Pace Car in their museum was numbered 02.  I returned her email and thanked her and asked her if she had any idea where Pace Car 00 and 03 were.  Ellen immediately replied and said to give her some time and she might be able to help me out Clap
 
So I'm hoping within a few days to hear back from her and finally finish this crazy quest to find all the original 1978 Pace Cars.


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MARK
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"Keep up the Pace"
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11/16/07 10:27pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
Norsky Lifetime Member
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Twin Lakes, CO - USA

Vette(s):
SOLD - "The Toy" - 1970 Convertible
SOLD - "The Beast" - 1990 ZR-1 (#682)
"BLKBRRD" - 1978 Trans Am, 400ci/285hp, 4 spd, Black w/black interior, Hurst t-tops

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WELL DONE...!!!  Quite the stroke of luck to be able to talk to Al Sr. and then to actually get a reply from the Indy museum.

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Jim Olson 

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11/16/07 10:33pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
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Atta boy, Mark!! It would be kewl to know the info aboot the "real" Pacers.
One of our club members has one of the parade cars, with pics of it running around the track that day.

I hope the lady can come up with a definitive answer!!

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Joel Adams
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11/16/07 10:43pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
Posts: 4057
You know I got about 40 miles down the highway and thought to myself, why didn't I get his autograph doh I guess I was just so happy to have gotten to meet and talk to Al that it never entered my mind. 
 
Also I had always thought that the original Pace Cars were numbered 01-04 but now I know its actually 00-03. 
cilrah2007-11-16 20:43:52

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MARK
LIFETIME MEMBER #117

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"Keep up the Pace"
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11/16/07 11:20pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
suncountry Lifetime Member
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Moses Lake, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 L48 4-spd, Mahogany Metalic exterior, Buckskin interior 350ci/350hp, 3rd owner, fiberglass spring, 255/50-16's Torq-Thrust II

Joined: 4/16/2005
Posts: 2134
Great job Mark,ClapClap As you collect this information maybe Adam can find some place to store this research that would make it easy for future members to find.

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C3VR Lifetime Member #110 We are all young at heart Glen
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11/17/07 2:20am - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
RADARB8 Lifetime Member
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Montesano, WA - USA

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had a really nice one. sold it to a good friend. Purchased 2004 custom coupe in Feb. 2009 did not tell anyone here until August 2009. BAD I KNOW.

Joined: 9/27/2003
Posts: 1931
I would like to think and would like to volunteer maek to write an article on or about the pace car and his sreach or quest for the next shark byte. thanks for helping out, that way when you get the rest of the story we and future members will have this great story and bit of history in type.
L


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11/17/07 5:58am - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
Chevyjunkie93
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Cleveland, GA - USA

Vette(s):
77 xtreme project,80 project,and a 74 L48/auto white with blue interior!

Joined: 11/4/2007
Posts: 152
That sweet! It would be a kool article... I would love to read it. Keep us posted .
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11/17/07 10:38am - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
mkapp7879
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Joined: 10/21/2003
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Mark, I've also been half-heartedly researching this info as many people ask if mine was used at Indy(0009). No. Neither was 0006 as I corresponded with the owner of that one a while back. 
 
I never thought there'd be a VIN 0000 but maybe.
 
As for the first built, I've read where it went to the "Detroit Museum"(Detroit Historical Museum?. Founded by "Mr" Cadillac so probably heavily influenced by GM). I don't see it listed in their inventory so I sent an email asking if they know anything about it.
 
My BET is that it's at the General Motors Heritage Center. This is more store house than museum as it is not open to the public. I don't see it looking through their photo gallery, but they only have about 200 pics and about 800 cars. Many more impressive than a stock Corvette.
mkapp78792007-11-17 08:40:41

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11/17/07 11:44am - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
manget1 Lifetime Member
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Indianapolis, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Silver 1974 Convertible - L82 4 speed Low miles (was only 8,900 when I bought it in March 2006) - Now 42K miles. Original owner bought it as an investment for son's college expenses. 2008 Jetstream Blue Convertible - DAILY DRIVER!!

Joined: 9/3/2006
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Earlier this year, while displaying my car at a show at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I ran into a guy who claimed to own one of the original four.  He seemed very knowledgable.  Mark, I'll PM you his info. 

Also, on that same trip, I ran into Al Sr. in the pits.  I did get his autograph, but it doesn't mean that much to me.  I'd be glad to send you that as well.


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11/17/07 3:47pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
greypoupon69 Lifetime Member
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Irving, TX - USA

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#1 -1969 Corvette Coupe Riverside Gold, black interior,MN,A/C,350/350,PS,PB,window cranks. #2 -2000 C5, black/black, 6 sp, Bose system & lots of buttons.

Joined: 8/21/2004
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Mark, that's some interesting info!  I still want a pace car, but haven't found THE ONE (you know).  I need to add a garage building in the back!

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11/17/07 5:08pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
Posts: 4057
Cool idea Larry, thanks Thumbs%20Up  I'll have to see if I can complete the info on the other Pacers before the next Shark Bites. Thanks to everyone else also.  Marshal I'm going to email that guy and see if he knows what hes talking about. 
 
I did talk to Al Sr quite a bit about my Pacer and his Pace Cars.  Al has three of the four Pace Cars he was awarded at his home.  The one he is missing is a 1971 Dodge Charger, actually the Pace Car for that year was a 71 Dodge Challenger but that was the only Pace Car ever wrecked at Indy so they gave him a Dodge Charger.  He said he didn't like the Charger and it wasn't the Pace Car so he sold it.


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MARK
LIFETIME MEMBER #117

Click here to see my new friend P-Racer
"Keep up the Pace"
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11/18/07 1:13pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
dwright Gold Member
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Victor, NY - USA

Vette(s):
2004 Commemorative Edition Coupe, Auto w/HUD. 13K miles in 2015. Sold 1982 Red Coupe

Joined: 7/12/2004
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So if the first one was 0000 and the last one was numbered 6502, does that mean 6503 were produced and sold?

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11/18/07 1:23pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
Posts: 4057
[QUOTE=dwright]So if the first one was 0000 and the last one was numbered 6502, does that mean 6503 were produced and sold?[/QUOTE] Good question Dave, I've heard so much different info on these Pacers that I'm not sure.  I/we have all seen the last Pacer Car listed on eBay #6502.  Al stated that he has #0001, Indy has #0002, its totally possible that there wasn't a #0000.  I can imagine that Al had a few more important things then remember VIN's on his mind on that day.
 
This is the kind of stuff I'm trying to find definate proof of.


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MARK
LIFETIME MEMBER #117

Click here to see my new friend P-Racer
"Keep up the Pace"
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11/18/07 8:43pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
tuxblacray Lifetime Member
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Greensburg, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Previous: 1984 Silver / Charcoal Coupe, 1988 Maroon Coupe / 1989 Artic White / Mod. Red Int. Coupe, Present:1976 Stingray Black / Black, Auto, 350 slightly modified (355 hp) Luxor Wires Redline Tires. / 2001 Speedway White Vert, Torch Red Int, LS1, Auto.

Joined: 9/24/2003
Posts: 5174
Great work Mark! I know you have been working on this for some time now. Keep plugging away your doing a great job!

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12/19/07 12:11pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
6880Mike
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Horse Cave, KY - USA

Vette(s):
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82

Joined: 10/22/2007
Posts: 488
[QUOTE=cilrah][QUOTE=dwright]...its totally possible that there wasn't a #0000....[/QUOTE]
 
I agree.  Pace Car #1 was 00001; the last was 06502.
 
Smile
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12/19/07 6:59pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
BlueX2 Lifetime Member
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Joined: 3/9/2006
Posts: 2168
Very cool info. Keep us informed of what you find.

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Bryan

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12/19/07 8:49pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
T-Mans70,73 Lifetime Member
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Elma, WA - USA

Vette(s):
Red 1973 Convertible. L-48 Auto #'s matching Red 1970 LT-1 Convertible #'s matching

Joined: 6/25/2007
Posts: 692
There is some real cool stuff on these threads and this was one good read.
 
Good work.
 
So how much was the "Last Pacer" selling for?


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Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
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12/20/07 10:32am - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
Okie Dude Lifetime Member
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Eastern Oklahoma County, OK - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Black L48 T-Tops

Joined: 1/3/2006
Posts: 1560
Mark;

You write the article, I'll provide the space!  A couple or three pix would be good as well!

Your friendly SB Editor,


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Dennis Smith
C3VR Lifetime Member #103

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12/21/07 4:00pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
hunt4cleanair
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary NCRS Five-Star Bowtie 50th Corvette Anniversary Display, Nashville, TN 1978 Pace Car VIN 2324 L82/M21

Joined: 10/16/2002
Posts: 82
This group will love the article I wrote for one of the Corvette magazines slated for May publication...comes out in March I believe. Tells the story of the leadup to the launching of the 62nd running of the Indy 500 race.

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:
Tom Russo
Corvette Buildsheet Book: A Study Guide to 1973-82 Build Records
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12/21/07 10:03pm - Reply: '1978 Indy Pace Cars'
T-Mans70,73 Lifetime Member
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Elma, WA - USA

Vette(s):
Red 1973 Convertible. L-48 Auto #'s matching Red 1970 LT-1 Convertible #'s matching

Joined: 6/25/2007
Posts: 692
Mark, check this pace car out.
8.3 miles.
 


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Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
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