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5/29/07 7:52pm - Original Message: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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!!

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While at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway recently, they had a display of the ACTUAL (not replicas) Pace Cars from 75 to 79.  I took some detailed pix of the 78 Vette, although the one picture I really wanted was of the odometer.  It read just at 2300 miles.  However, with the window up, I could not get a good shot.  Then I missed them driving it back to the museum. 
 
The things I found most interesting were the flags IN the rear of the car, the lock on the gas lid (not sure if the locking gas cap was an option in 78 and this is how they did it, or if this is special) and the sticker with the CB channels still on the console!
 
Hope everyone likes these!
 
manget12007-05-29 17:53:10

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5/29/07 8:25pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

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

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Wow Marshall thanks for sharing the pictures Thumbs%20Up  I would love to get to see that 78 Pacer someday, thats one of two I'd love to see one day.  That one, and Al Unser's 78 Pacer which he won for winning the Indy 500 that year. 
 
I can't get anyone to tell me the last 4 digits of those two Pace Cars VIN#.  You didn't happen to see the VIN# did ya?
 
You did answer the question I had on how the two flags were mounted to the car.  And for the lock on the gas cap door, thats really unusual, something they added and I can't see why since thats a muesum car.
 
cilrah2007-05-29 18:25:44

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MARK
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5/29/07 8:30pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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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

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Great pics, Marshall!!
One of the members of our local club owns one of the parade cars...you can still see the marks on the top where they stuck the suction cups for the people riding on the top to hold on to. He also has a ton of documentation on it, and pics at the Brickyard while in use...it ain't THE car, but it's a close cousin!


btw...the lock on the fuel door would be to keep anyone from messing with it at the racetrack...you REALLY don't want your Pacer stopping in the middle of a lap while pacing 200mph cars! It's been done...Adams' Apple2007-05-29 18:34:18

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Joel Adams
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5/29/07 8:52pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
ranger3 Lifetime Member
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North Charleston, SC - USA

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1975 L48 AT AC T-top

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Thanks Marshall...great pictures!

Scott


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5/29/07 9:00pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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
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Actually the Pace Lap was conducted at 110mph, but who's counting Big%20smile  Another answer I can't get answered is which Pacer is the one that led the field on May 28th 1978.
 
I've heard several different stories.  I've heard the one Al |Unser got was the original, the one in the meusum is the original Wacko  Even the NCM can't tell me the correct answer, their 78 Pacer is Reggie Jackson's old Pacer.
 
 
 
The Pace Car you pictured has two yellow flags, the one Jim Rathmann drove has a Green and a yellow flag.
cilrah2007-05-29 19:09:31

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5/29/07 9:12pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
Dejablu Lifetime Member
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Wichita, KS - USA

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2005 Daytona Sunset Orange Coupe ----------- Sold 1974 T-top, 4 spd to BillKS

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Thanks for the great pictures, Marshall. 
 
Larry


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5/29/07 10:18pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
mkapp7879
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[QUOTE=cilrah]
 
I can't get anyone to tell me the last 4 digits of those two Pace Cars VIN#.  You didn't happen to see the VIN# did ya?
 

[/QUOTE] I've been also trying to find out this info. Seems that since all 6502 Pace Cars were built before the race possibly any of them could have been used. I always have people asking if mine was used at Indy, no. 0009. NO. I saw 0006 on ebay a while back, also not used at Indy. I did find this piece of information, compiled from published articles over the years. Would like to verify it, tho.

http://www.islandnet.com/~kpolsson/vettehis/vett1978.htm

Great pics, gonna save em!



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5/29/07 11:12pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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

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I don't believe the actual Pacer was the one given to Unser. Even tho there were no driveline modifications for this car, there were MANY safety related mods done on it, such as the strobes, the fire suppression system, and seat harnesses...I may be wrong, but I think Unser's car was one of the first Pacers made, and was definitely one of the festival/parade cars, but not the actual pacer. That's just my opinion...I have no facts to back that up...

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Joel Adams
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5/29/07 11:21pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

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1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
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I agree with that Joel. 
 
[quote]In Indianapolis, Indiana, the 62nd Indianapolis 500 race is held. A 1978 Corvette is the official pace car, driven by Jim Rathmann. This is the first Indianapolis 500 pace car with a stock drivetrain. Pace Car with VIN 1 is sent to the Detroit Museum. Pace Cars with VIN 2 and 3 are used at the Indy 500 race. The Pace Car that is driven is given to race winner Al Unser.[/quote]
I've talked to a PR person from GM and the NCM, they both told me there are no records kept on where the first 4 Pace Cars went.  Like I said the one in the NCM is Reggie Jackson's.
cilrah2007-05-29 21:22:03

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MARK
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"Keep up the Pace"
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5/29/07 11:26pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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#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

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Perhaps Unser got the "back-up" car?

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Joel Adams
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5/29/07 11:40pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

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1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

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Found this on Kicksonroute66
 
[quote]A bit of racing trivia: When you win the Indianapolis 500 you also win a pace car (whatever pace car had been chosen for that year).  In 1978 when Al Unser won the Indy 500, the pace car happened to be Corvette.  There in the garage was his 1978 Corvette Pace Car (now with less than 300 miles on it).  I've seen many of these over the years, but never one owned by the winner of the Indy 500[/quote]
 
 
 
cilrah2007-05-29 21:41:06

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MARK
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"Keep up the Pace"
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5/30/07 5:13am - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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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I also spoke to a guy that day who (take it with a grain of salt, but he seemed very knowledgeble, and I saw him the next day in the pits) says he owns one of the four Pace Cars that were used at the course.  He tells me he has spoken with Al Unser and Al's VIN ends in 32.  This guys ends in 34.  No, I feel dumb about it now, but I did not look at or snap a picture of the VIN of this car.  I'll see if I can find it around next time I go to the museum.

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5/30/07 8:26am - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

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1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
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Don't worry bout it Marshall, there a million things that I could have asked you about that car that you probably didn't look at Wink  Thanks for sharing the info and pictures.

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MARK
LIFETIME MEMBER #117

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"Keep up the Pace"
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5/30/07 9:42pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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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One really silly kwestion at this point...IF Al got to keep the REAL Pacer...what the heck is that on display at the Speedway?
I did notice a couple of differences in the car Marshall took pics of, and the Unser car in Al's garage...granted, there have been a few years pass, but...I think these are two different cars...

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Joel Adams
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5/31/07 8:39pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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
Posts: 2383
From what I understand, there are always at least two (if not more) actual cars set up to run pace laps.  I guess one year, the pace car crashed and they had to put in a back up pace car.  So, as I understand it, in 78, there were four actual track cars.  One is held by the museum, one went to Big Al, one is owned by the gentleman I met and who knows what happened to the other one.

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6/1/07 8:17am - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

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1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
Posts: 4057
I heard the same thing Marshall, there were susposed to be 4 at the track that day. 
 
If I'm not mistaken, it was the 1971 Challenger Pace Car that crashed.  The driver used cones during practice to tell him where to start breaking when enerting the pit. Well the day of the race they removed the cones and he did not break in time, he hit a grandstand full of reporters and 20 were injured.  This is the only incident/accident involving a Pace Car.
cilrah2007-06-01 06:23:08

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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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6/1/07 8:24am - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

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1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

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Heres the actual story 1971 Pace Car

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MARK
LIFETIME MEMBER #117

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"Keep up the Pace"
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6/1/07 8:30am - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
sundevil74
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Leavenworth, KS - USA

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MM Red 1971 T-top,LS5,4-speed, black leather C5 seats, Hooker sidepipes. Previous: 64 Coupe, 65 Roadster L76 / N14

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Bit of 78 PC trivia:
May 28
  • In Indianapolis, Indiana, the 62nd Indianapolis 500 race is held. A 1978 Corvette is the official pace car, driven by Jim Rathmann. This is the first Indianapolis 500 pace car with a stock drivetrain. Pace Car with VIN 1 is sent to the Detroit Museum. Pace Cars with VIN 2 and 3 are used at the Indy 500 race. The Pace Car that is driven is given to race winner Al Unser. [26] [61.22] [140.81] [197.65] [224.15] [453.105] [565.16,26] [774.112]

This site on chronology of Vettes is pretty interesting.



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6/1/07 10:03pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
zgator
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Savannah, GA - USA

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1982CE,32,000 and counting. (fast!!) 1981 Vette, black on black. ZZ4 (quick!!)

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Was the car a 4 speed or auto?

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81 Black on black. (a real hot rod) 82 CE (a nice long cruiser). I allways tell the truth. Even when I lie.
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6/2/07 9:18pm - Reply: 'Actual 1978 Pace Car'
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
Posts: 2383
If you're asking about the one I saw, it was an auto.

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