This year’s Indianapolis 500 will be paced by a Chevrolet Corvette for the 13th time. Twenty years ago this purple and white convertible was the third Corvette with that honor. It quickly became the envy of the Corvette enthusiasts throughout the country. To ensure its rarity, General Motors only produced 527 of these cars. The original sticker price was a whopping $44,000, and dealers easily commanded $50,000-plus in the weeks following the race.
Jason Sharkey found this car in the Chicago area and discovered that the seller had never bothered to title the car because he said he felt it was too valuable to be driven on the streets.
A mere 8,000 miles are on the odometer. Jason is preparing to have the car certified gold at the Bloomington Gold event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June. He and his wife will then display the pace car at future car shows and parades to honor its history as a festival car from the 79th running of the Indy 500.
The 1995 Corvette came with a 5.7 V-8 engine that produced 300 horsepower and could go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds with a maximum speed of 161 mph. Surprisingly, the LT-1 engine could deliver 17 city/24 highway miles per gallon under normal highway driving. Jason notes that the suspension is rather stiff but gives a comfortable ride over long distances.
The pace car designers at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky., chose the eye-catching purple over white exterior with purple and black interior seats and dashboard to set it aside from all previous models. To complete the job they subcontracted a local body shop to apply the final graphics.
The C4 Corvette would continue into production until 1997, when it was replaced with the C5. That corvette would also be recognized for its technological advancements and pace the 1998 Indianapolis 500.
Until next time, happy cruising!