THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indianapolis 500 pace car replica owned by Joseph Greco
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Starting in 1978, the Corvette’s 25th anniversary, Chevrolet would go on to provide Corvette pace cars for the fabled Indianapolis 500-mile race in 11 different years through 2012. The company also created a limited number of replicas for sale in showrooms. However, the ’78 models were so popular that over 6,500 were built, far more than the original 2,500 planned.
They were gobbled up by enthusiasts and many were stored for years in garages and barns as future collectibles. “This car was # 92 of the original 2,500 pace cars made,” says Greco. “This is a stock car that was in storage over 30 years. This car has the (more powerful 220-horsepower) L-82 motor, which is very limited. Most had the L-48 motor.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
Greco says he bought the car last year “on a whim.”
WHERE HE FOUND IT
He purchased the Corvette sight-unseen from a Boston dealer, who had discovered it in a Kentucky barn. Greco’s car emerged with about 3,200 original miles on it. A similar car in the same barn had only 13 miles on the clock and was sold in 2011 to a Saudi sheikh for $50,000.
Greco’s pace car, including its special silver leather upholstery and 25th anniversary badge, is in pristine condition. He has all the manuals and the original paperwork.
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“Drive it and enjoy it as much as you can,” he advises, “and if you see something that gets your attention, do not hesitate on buying it. You only live once.”
Greco estimates the value of this car, with its low mileage, at $28,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“This car reminds me of my younger days growing up,” Greco says. “It was always a dream of mine to own one, but finding one in this condition was a real challenge. That’s why, when I was told about this car, I didn’t hesitate in buying it. It’s a pleasure to drive and a real head-turner. I get several compliments every time I take the car out. I belong to one of the largest Corvette clubs here on Long Island, the Corvette Society, and I enjoy bringing it to the shows.”