Busted Knuckles Auctions is proud to present this rare and unique 1998 Chevrolet Corvette Indy Pace Car Convertible. This particular example is documented as being one of the 105 Indy 500 Parade Cars. The Chevrolet Corvette is widely recognized as America’s sports car. Since the car’s introduction in the 1953 model year, the Corvette has embodied the American driving experience for generation after generation evolving to stay on the edge of technology through the decades. Much of that credit falls to the Corvette having a starring role in the 60’s television show “Route 66”.
In similar fashion, the Indianapolis 500 has long been considered “The Great American Race”. With a history dating back to 1911, the race currently holds the title of the oldest continual automobile race in the world. No American racetrack can begin to match the prestige and legacy held by Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track’s recent sale to Roger Penske mark’s only the third owner since the legendary track was opened well over a century ago. Historically, the race organizers and management select a current model vehicle to serve as the pace car for the event that takes place over Memorial Day weekend. It is a great tribute to have your company’s vehicle selected for such an historic event.
Taking those two histories into perspective, it is no coincidence that a Chevrolet Corvette had been chosen to pace the Indianapolis 500 on numerous occasions over the years. The first time came in 1978, the second time in 1986, the third time in 1995 and the fourth time in 1998. Each time the Corvette has been accorded this prestigious honor, Chevrolet has produced a limited-edition commemorative vehicle and the same tradition was followed in 1998. The first three pace car editions, while appearing to be identical cosmetically to the car used at the racetrack, were very different mechanically from the vehicles that actually paced the field. That was not the case, however, with the 1998 pace car.
Thanks to power coming from a 345 HP LS1 engine, the cars that were used on the track had only slight engine tweaks adding about 25 horsepower to the vehicle and minor chassis refinements for better high-speed handling than the limited-edition car offered to the public. Other modifications involving safety equipment and lights were event-specific. Parnelli Jones, the 1963 Indianapolis 500 champion, was given the honor of driving the pace car in the 1998 race won by Eddie Cheever.
A total of 1,158 pace car replicas came off the Bowling Green, KY assembly line. The package, designated Regular Production Option (RPO) Z4Z, added $5,039 ($5804 if the 6-speed manual transmission was specified) to the base price of the vehicle. All pace car editions were convertibles (the first year a C5 Corvette was offered in that body style) and painted Radar Blue with bright yellow wheels. Yellow graphics with a checkered flag motif ran nearly the length of the car on both sides with a black and yellow interior. (NOTE: The 1998 limited edition marked the first time the decal package was applied at the factory. Previous editions were shipped with decals to be applied at the selling dealership.) Additional options included with RPO Z4Z were an upgraded sound system with CD player and Bose speakers, a digital clock, an anti-theft system, power adjustable seats with memory functions and Chevrolet’s active handling package.
The 1998 Corvette Pace Car editions remain in high demand today among collectors and investors, with much of that appeal credited to the similarities of the public special edition to the actual pace cars used in the race.
Documentation indicates the car was sold new in the state of Illinois. The car presents as originally equipped with the 345 HP LS1 engine and is one of 616 cars equipped with an automatic transmission. This vehicle has been a part of the current owner/investor’s portfolio for almost 15 years and housed in a humidity-controlled environment during that time. The odometer reads just under 30,000 miles, which we believe to be accurate but due to Missouri statutes the vehicle will be sold mileage exempt due to age. While all 1998 pace car replicas are rare, this is documented to be one of the 105 track cars present at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the event. While it was not one of the cars actually used to pace the event the fact it was present at the racetrack makes it incredibly rare and desirable! This limited edition, first year C5 convertible would make an outstanding cornerstone for anyone beginning a Corvette collection or a fantastic addition to any Corvette collector’s portfolio.
Basic information as stated by the seller
Make and Model
Seller – Dealer
Listing Type – Car
Year – 1998
Make – Chevrolet
Model – Corvette Indy Pace Car Convertible
VIN Number – 1G1YY32G4W5116300
Exterior Color – Radar Blue
Interior Color – Black/Yellow
Engine Type – 350 LS1 V8
Odometer Reading – 29,857
Is The Mileage Accurate? – Yes
Is The Engine Original? – Yes
Transmission Type – Automatic
Vehicle Title – Clean Missouri Title
Location of Vehicle – Lebanon, Missouri