From chugging bottled milk in the winner’s circle to kissing the brickyard upon passing the checkered flag, the Indianapolis 500 is a race replete with tradition and ceremony. Nothing emblematizes “the greatest spectacle in racing” more than the traditional pace car, a staple that has tempered the track every year since the inaugural race in 1911. Now, collection of original and unique Corvette pace cars is going up for auction.
Indiana’s nickname is “The Crossroads of America,” and the Hoosier state validates its title with an epic, 500 mile race around the Indy Motor Speedway, every labor day weekend each year. Kentucky’s northern neighbor doesn’t run its derby with horses, they do it with horsepower. With all that brain-addling, break-neck speed, something has to keep the pace in the event of hazards and race-stoppages. The Chevy Corvette has done so 14 of the last 39 years, and Indianapolis Businessman Keith Busse has kept pace, compiling each year’s iteration from ’78 onward. Most notable on the block are Busse’s 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 models, which were never released to the public. The rest are almost as rare – one was originally gifted to 2004 race winner Buddy Rice – along with a dashing black and silver 1978 C3, which was the first ‘vette to grace the IMS. From a yellow and purple C3 from ’98 that exudes glitz and glam, to a star-spangled Z06 from 2006, this collection boasts some hot wheels. Beginning in 2018, Indy pace cars will not be available for personal collection, so this is your last chance – strike while the asphalt is hot.