Thanks to the heads up by Marshall that PC 0001 was at the Indy Auto Show I decided to drive down and have a look. Figured I'd also stop at the Indy Speedway Museum and check out what I think is PC 0002. Well, no luck at the speedway. They don't display the Pace Cars. I was told by a employee that she didn't even know where they're stored! Personally, I would rather see their Pace Car collection than all the antique race cars.
On to the auto show. There it was!! Looked at it with a very critical eye, just how I am! I wish GM took better care of such a special Vette!
Paint on the hood and surround badly cracked and scratched from dusting.
Incorrect black tinted tops instead of the mirrored tops. They actually had an 81 VIN engraved on the pass side. Was dated Aug80. Someone must have misplaced the correct ones!
Undercarriage was sloppily painted with spray cans; exhaust, dirt and grease included.
Power antenna replaced with a stationary mast.
Had an 8track/CB radio which wasn't offered in 78 on Corvettes(??)
Drivers seat showed a little more wear than a 716 mile car should show. Probably careless guys moving the car around.
[QUOTE=LukesVette]Was this car ever owned privately or was it always in GM hands?[/QUOTE]
From what I read this Pace Car went straight to GM's "museum". I'm not sure but I don't think it was even at Indy for the race.
Don't get me wrong on the condition, It's still a beautiful Vette, especially considering it's origin. Other than the sloppy undercarriage, it has "character"!(but I wonder how it was stored to let the paint crack up?)
No one tripped over me taking the undercarriage shots, but I attracted the attention of one of the reps there. He's the one that took the VIN and speedo pics for me!
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!!
Thanks for getting those closer shots Mike.
The car I saw last year at the track (I assume it was the #2 that the 500 Museum claims to have - I forgot to check the VIN at the time) had the same holes on the top of the rear end. Those are for the flags for the race. The one that was at the track had stickers on the console indicating the radio frequency the driver should ahve been on. Surprising this one doesn't have one. That could either mean someone "cleaned" them off, not understanding their significance, or that it never had them , possibly supporting the idea that it was never at the track. Interesting...
Marshall, thanks for that additional pic. Close inspection seems to shows it as the same radio as in 0001. Apparently they used the AM/FM/8track/CB combo that was available in higher end GM cars in 78. That is not the regular production UP6 AM/FM/CB radio offered in the Corvettes that year.
Also notice it's another automatic. So much for the speculation that all the track cars were 4speeds.
One more pic. Notice the radio had 2 sliders under the display and no CB readout showing like the normal 78 Corvette CB. This was a new radio available in 78, probably for Cadillacs, Buicks, etc.
Also, is that the clip for the mic under the glovebox?
Could be??? I looked back at the pics Marshall took back in June at the Indy car show and the Vette apparently owned by the museum doesn't have the 2 names on the sides. Neither does the one pictured as Unsers.
The info I went by is from the "Chronology of the Chevrolet Corvette" which simply states 0001 went to the "museum in Detroit" while 0002 and 0003 were used at Indy. 'The Pace Car that is driven is given to race winner Al Unser".
Also, I noticed the same non power antenna on the Indy Museum's Pace Car.
I could be wrong but doesn't this look like the same car you two just saw at the show.
Mark, that sure does look like 0001. I've seen that pic before and assumed they had names on all 3 Pace Cars.
Spent a while last night googling various Pace Car combinations and looked through a few Corvette books I have from the early 80s. All of the promo shots at the race track show the Pace Car without the names on em. So the following is just my SPECULATION.....
In another post on the other Pace Car thread you stated that Al Unser sold the 71 Charger he received for that race because it wasn't the actual Pace Car and therefore held no real meaning for him. Well, he's held on to the 78 Corvette for 30 years now so it probably means a lot to him. The ACTUAL race used car? VIN 0002? No names on the doors.(would he take the names off??).
The Pace Car owned by the Indy Museum was probably the back up. Also no names. Being a museum I doubt they would remove names from the doors. 0003?
0001 owned by GM with the names on the doors.....maybe just used for a few pre race laps so the celebrities(Rathman and Cloutier, whoever he was)could wave to the fans. I would think that pic is not during the race with the guy waving to the crowd and all! And names on the doors so people would know who the heck they were waving at!
There were no Corvette parade or courtesy cars. Those were either Camaros or Monte Carlos.
Mark, get me in through your contact Ellen to see the museum's Pace Car and I'll head right down there again!!
One more observation I made at the Indy Auto Show. They had an information placard in front of the 0001(should hve taken a pic!!). One of the statements was about the first 300 units having special Goodyear tires with "Corvette" on them. We know this didn't happen. So how much other info was wrong? Anyway, it also stated a different cam was installed(L82 cam or something bigger?) and special dual exhaust. What did they mean by "special"? 0001 had factory Y into a cat and to the Y again.
It would be interesting to get a look underneath the speedway's and Unsers' Pace Cars to see if there's true duals.
[QUOTE=dwright][QUOTE=steves74]I also enjoyed the pictures. Thanks Mike. Dumb question...can you get a 78 pace car with manual trans??? If so, how rare are they? Thanks [/QUOTE]
There is nothing in the Black Book that says you couldn't order the 4-speed for your PC. In fact it says all options were available.
No cost addition for the manual or auto.
Out of 46,776 built that year, only 3,385 ordered the 4-speed.
38,614 got the automatic.
That only totals 41,999, so not sure of these numbers.
and of course, there is no way to tell how many PC got 4-speeds, but i am sure there were a few.
We actually have 4 members listed with a PC VIN and manual tranny. One is listed as a 3-speed manual. (Former member Timmer)
Is it possible that the 3-speed manual was standard?
The plot thickens.
The discrepency in transmission numbers is because the wide ratio 4speed was standard and not listed in the options charts. The 3385 4speeds listed were for the close ratio units that were only available with the L82. If ya didn't check the option box or ya got an L48 then you got the wide ratio.
No 3 speeds offered, that must be a typo.
Speculation says about 250 4speed Pace Cars produced. But mostly a guess.
Vette(s): 1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48
There were no 3-speed tranny's, no special exhaust, and certainly no tires with Corvette on them.
The Pace Car with Jim Rathman on it was the actual Pace Car, the honorary Pace Car driver actually drives the Pace lap. The 71 Pace Car driver was a Dodge Dealer from the Indy area, and apparently not very experienced in driving at high speeds, he wrecked the car during the actual race. I believe the Rathman car was the only car that actually Paced the race the others were spares inwhich Indy kept one and Al got the other, was there a fourth? Hell I don't know.
And yes Mike, there were Monte Carlos there in 78, I've got pictures of the Hurst (shifter) Girls riding round the track in a Monte Carlo.
I just purchased a huge package of pictures from the 78 Indy 500 from a guy whos Pacer used to be on display at the NCM. All pictures of the Pace Car and one of the Monte Carlo.
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