AUSTRALIAN WILL Power, the 2018 Indianapolis 500 victor, has one pace car as part of his prize-winning booty, but a fortnight earlier the only privately owned complete set of Chev Corvette Indy 500 pace cars went under the Mecums auction hammer.
Realising a sizeable AUD $2.35 million for owner, the well-known collector Keith Busse, the 16 Chevrolet Corvettes illustrate the historic linkage between the Indy 500 and America’s favourite sports car.
The collection includes four official track cars, two official pace cars – one being a factory pilot car – five authorised duplicate pace cars plus a Corvette Pace Car Edition from every year that featured a Corvette.
The Corvette has been the pace car on 15 occasions and Busse’s collection includes not only the 2004 pace car but the 2004 track car gifted to race winner Buddy Rice.
Busse, a lifetime lover of Corvettes has gone the extra mile to ensure his collection was complete.
Mecums description of the collection explained its importance: “What makes this collection so assuredly singular in its existence are Busse’s 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 examples, as the pace car editions from those four years were never offered for sale to the public.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Chevrolet gave Busse authorisation to duplicate the pace cars from those years using the officially licensed paint schemes and pace car graphics.
Nevertheless, Busse’s collection stands as the only complete set of Corvette pace car editions in private hands, and the opportunity it presents to bidders in Indianapolis is one that isn’t likely to come again."
Busse is an active and well-known figure in the Corvette community, and he has won a number of awards at judging events over the years.