In 1978, GM built two special Corvettes that caught the eyes of investors instantly; the 1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car and the 1978 Corvette Silver Anniversary Edition.
Originally GM stated that the Indy Pace Car would be a limited edition causing an investor storm rivaling anything seen in the Sci-Fi channel’s Sharknado. As a result, many investors ran out to dealers with wallets wide open, paid way over MSRP and shoveled their “investments” away in climate controlled vaults hoping that one day, they’d make a killing. However, GM decided to continue building as many Indy Pace Cars as they got orders for. Much to the dismay of those investors who shelled out nearly double the MSRP to scoop one up, GM built 6,502 Indy Pace Car Corvettes that year.
To this day, we still see those cars popping up on EBAY with extremely low miles – never driven.
Along with the Indy Pace Car, GM also built a special 25th Anniversary Edition Corvette featuring a special two-tone silver exterior and silver interior. Unlike the Indy Pace Car, 15,283 Silver Anniversary Corvettes were built.
With all the press that year about they Indy Pace Cars – and the prices that dealers were charging (see: Press: Canada Litigation and Press: US Litigation), we probably shouldn’t be surprised that some people ran out and bought a Silver Anniversary Corvette and tucked it away, hoping that one day, they would follow suit behind the Indy Pace Cars.
Recently, one such example surfaced on EBAY with just 4.1 miles. Below is that listing from EBAY with photos. Click on the photos for a larger view:
1978 Chevrolet Corvette L-82
Special Ordered Silver Anniversary Corvette for an NCRS & Bloomington Judge
Stored Carefully From New – Just 4.1 Original Miles – Never Dealer Prepped
Original Window Sticker Still Affixed, Invoice and Ordering Documentation On Hand
This Garage Find Was Just Released From His Estate – Never Before Offered Publicly For Sale
Stored on blocks in this location since the summer of 1978, this 25th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette was owned by early NCRS member and Bloomington Certification Board judge W. Paul Adams of Florence, Alabama. Paul worked for Ford Motor Company in the Muscle Shoals aluminum casting plant, but also after hours as a Corvette and Mustang parts vendor and technical expert out of his large garage behind his house. When the two special edition Corvettes were announced for the 1978 model year, he knew he had to have one.
As it happened, Paul’s brother-in-law E. Bart Smith, was a GM Executive Sales Representative in Fredericksburg, VA. Paul asked Bart to order him whatever he could get at the GM Employee Price (invoice) and Bart put the order in during late 1977. However, GM was not keen on ‘giving away’ any special edition Corvettes and stalled Bart’s request for nearly 5 months. Finally, they accepted the order for this car in March and built it in May of 1978, shipping it by the end of that month to Sites Chevrolet in Franklin, West Virginia. Bart Smith took title to the car in Virginia as a private person and had the car shipped to Paul’s home in northwest Alabama. Documents that prove these assertions are towards the bottom of this listing. Per Paul’s brother and estate executor John, the car was backed into the garage, the engine fogged and then put up on blocks in one of the garages behind Paul’s home. Also per John, it was not driven since that time and he was further not aware of Paul starting it up on any regular basis, though they were not close during much of that time. The original Delco Heavy Duty Freedom battery would seem to indicate that this is correct.
Last year, we became aware of the remaining cars in the Paul Adams estate collection, purchasing five other cars for clients as well as an amazing collection of new old stock Pantera parts that have since been returned to circulation after many years in storage. I considered adding this Corvette to the purchase, but we were going out on a limb as it was and so I left it behind. Fast forward to a few months ago: I had a client in mind for this car and thus occasion to call John to see if the car was still available. By the time it made sense to go get the car, our client had lost interest, but this time we did not!