America’s Sports Car has paced the Indianapolis 500 more than any other model in history with a total of 14 races under its belt, and the longstanding tradition has given rise to its own category of collectability. While many collectors have and will spend years assembling a modest stable housing just a handful of these decorated Corvettes, Keith Busse’s assemblage of Corvette Indianapolis Pace Car editions has the distinction of being the only privately owned complete set of its kind in the world. Keith Busse, a founder of Steel Dynamics Inc. in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has had a passion for Corvettes his entire life and has collected them for decades, but establishing his pace car collection as a complete set was an arduous and extensive journey on a path unlikely to be trailed again.
Busse is active and well known in the Corvette community, winning countless awards from the hobby’s most respected judging events, and those ties proved fundamental in the building of this collection. This assemblage features at least one representative example from every year that a Corvette paced the Indianapolis 500 dating back to the first time in 1978. 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. Rather, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Chevrolet gave Busse special authorization to duplicate the pace cars from those years using the officially licensed paint schemes and pace car graphics. The official Indianapolis 500 graphics were sent directly from the decal manufacturer to Fort Wayne, where they were applied to the cars at Tom Kelley Chevrolet before Busse took delivery.
In recent years, the official pace cars have been produced and earmarked for placement in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and GM’s Heritage Collection. Nevertheless, Busse’s assemblage 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. The collection will first be offered together as one complete set, however, if an acceptable offer of purchase is not achieved, each car will then be offered individually without reserve; additionally, two tickets to the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Race on May 27, 2018, will also be included with each car. As an added bonus for the philanthropic, proceeds from the sale of The Keith Busse Corvette Pace Car Collection will benefit the Keith Busse Automotive and Classic Art Foundation, which seeks to provide financial support to higher education institutions and charitable organizations in Northeast Indiana.
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
2014 Chevrolet Corvette
2005 Chevrolet Corvette
2004 Chevrolet Corvette
2004 Chevrolet Corvette
1995 Chevrolet Corvette
1978 Chevrolet Corvette
These are just a few of the wild rides from the Mecum 31st Annual Spring Classic. It runs May 15th to the 20th, so pack your bags for the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Click the link below for a complete lineup and tell us your favorite car in the comments below.