"Gerald Chouinard is upset. He wants to buy a new Chevrolet near his Aurora, Ill., home, but he says the dealer won’t sell it to him—even though Mr. Chouinard put down a $1,000 deposit last September and never quibbled about the price, which exceeds $13,000. Now Mr. Chouinard has gone to court....”
So began the story in the March 27, 1978, issue of the Wall Street Journal titled “Few Want to Drive This Car, but Many Are Eager to Buy It.” There was already an incredible buzz among the Corvette faithful about the upcoming 1978 Special Edition Corvette, better known as the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica, but this article now broke the news to the rest of the world. Already the market was getting crazy about this car, even though production had just begun the week before the story broke, and no one had seen the car in the flesh.
Only one Pace Car was allocated to each dealer, so the total production was 6,502, and the speculators traveled all over to put their deposit on as many coveted Pace Cars as they could find or afford.
What was missing from all this hoopla was that the 1978 Corvette was a pretty good vehicle. The ten-year-old body was freshened with the inclusion of the large fastback rear window. The all-new interior was much more comfortable with an increase in space. Power was becoming acceptable again, with the L82 option delivering 220 hp. Compared to the other cars of the late 1970s, the Corvette was in a class by itself.