Car of the Month

August 2002
1998 Chevy Corvette pace car
Owners: Howard and Patricia Thomas, Auburn IN

The Corvette made its fourth appearance at the Indy 500 in 1998, just three years after its previous appearance.  As with the 1978 and 1995 pace cars, GM created a limited edition pace car replica for sale to the public.  (All 1986 Corvettes were considered to be pace car replicas.)  Only 1,158 pace car Corvettes were produced, and Howard and Patricia Thomas are the proud owners of one of these cars.

Howard purchased their Corvette in March 1998, which means he was cruising around in his pace car  two months before the running of the Indy 500!  The car has a 345hp LS-1 engine and a 6-speed manual transmission, and is stock except for the addition of a Corsa Indy exhaust system.  The car had 23,000 miles as of June and is only driven in the summer in good weather.  Howard says they participate in car shows just about every weekend during the summer across four different states, and has won 85 trophies and awards over the past 4 years.  "One of our favorite shows is the Corvette Crossroads show in Mackinaw City, Michigan, which is held every August," says Howard.  "We also enjoy the C-5 birthday bash held in Bowling Green Kentucky every April."  Howard also attended the Corvette Pace Car Reunion held last October at the Indianapolis Speedway and has had the opportunity to take a lap around the Brickyard on three different occasions.

In addition to their '98 pace car, Howard and Patricia also own a 1978 Corvette pace car and at times will take both cars to shows.  "Both cars together at a car show really draws attention," says Howard.  In all Howard has owned six Corvettes and says the 1998 pace car is his favorite.

More pictures of Howard's car:

For being selected as Car of the Month, Howard has won his choice of a Johnny Lightning 1/64 scale diecast car from the gift shop or an 8x10 information card on the 1995 Corvette or 1996 Viper pace cars.  If you would like to have your car considered for Car of the Month, please send a short write-up (about 3-5 paragraphs) of your car and several photos to   (If you do not have a scanner, I can provide a mailing address for you.)  Please provide as much information as you can on the car, its background, and other interesting facts, and remember that the more information you provide, the better your chances of being selected! 


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