2003 Chevrolet Corvette LeMans Pace Car

After the dominating C5-R won the GTS Class at the 24 hours of Le Mans for the second consecutive year, the Corvette was again selected by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the race’s sanctioning body, as the official pace car for 2003. Fortunately for Chevrolet, this invitation coincided nicely with the 50th anniversary of "America’s Sports Car." Thus, it presented General Motors with a fantastic opportunity to showcase the highly capable production Corvette to the world.

Records indicate that Chevrolet seized this important opportunity by sending a total of six new 2003 Corvette coupes to France; two to function as Pace Cars while the others were used as Safety Cars. All were similar in appearance, painted the distinctive "Anniversary Red" (color code 94) and equipped with Champagne-colored aluminum wheels as well as all of the special 50th anniversary badging. Each had the 1SB Preferred Equipment Group of options as well as the new F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control system. All of the cars were powered by the aluminum 5.7-liter Chevrolet LS1 V-8, rated at 350 horsepower, making them more than capable of swiftly performing their important track duties.

The vehicle presented here is the actual pace car used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003. This particular car stands out from the other known vehicles sent to France, as it is the only one equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. Along with its special LeMans graphics scheme and roof-mounted blue marker lights, it is also equipped with Simpson three-inch wide five-point safety harnesses for both the driver and a passenger. Additionally, there is a Pe Mall hand-held fire extinguisher mounted on the harness bar in the rear compartment. Interestingly, this car is configured as an export model with amber rear side marker lamps, a slightly different style tail and reverse lights, as well as an elegant provision for the longer European style number plates. Strobe lights are installed in the front, rear, and side lamps. Also included with the car are operator’s manual in French as well as English, roof top light covers, spare grille & side badging, 1:32 scale Slot Car model of the exact car, factory build sheet and window sticker (both laminated for preservation) and a 50th anniversary Corvette VHS tape (still sealed).

The car was retained by General Motors after the race as part of their Heritage Collection. It was subsequently sold when the company was going through bankruptcy proceedings. When the car was sold to the public, General Motors issued a branded title from new. GM wanted to avoid potential warranty claims for a car that has seen track time and has modifications from the original, which included a special low restriction Borla exhaust (that gives the car a remarkable tone at idle or on the throttle!). Since then, it has been maintained in its original condition with the odometer showing less than 2,300 miles. According to its VIN, it is a very early example, making it a "Pilot Car" which was used to refine the production process for all 2003 Corvettes.

Most cars with LeMans history are exotic machines, often complicated and expensive to acquire and maintain. This Corvette offers a unique opportunity to own a piece of international motorsports history that can grace a show field, be the star of Cars & Coffee, accompany you to dinner, or even drive across the country. Best of all, it can be serviced in Any Town, USA.

 

Offers welcome and trades considered 

 

$87,500

Stock number 7738

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