Indiana industrialist Keith Busse spent 30 years quietly amassing the world’s only privately owned, complete set of Indy 500 Pace Car Edition Corvettes, including some that actually paced the race. From a 1978 C3 to a 2017 Grand Sport, this unique collection includes at least one example from the 14 years a ’Vette has paced the 500.
On Saturday, May 19, Busse’s prized assemblage goes under the hammer at the Mecum Indy 2018 auction at Indianapolis’ Indiana State Fairgrounds. “This is a Corvette lover’s dream—the only collection of its kind in the world, a collection that can never be duplicated,” says John Kraman, consignment director at Mecum Auctions.
According to Kraman, what truly sets the collection apart is that it includes examples from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017—years that Corvette pace car editions were not offered for sale to the public.
What Busse, who cofounded Fort Wayne–based steel giant Steel Dynamics Inc., did was to obtain special authorization from Chevrolet and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to replicate the track cars using authentic graphics and decals.
At the sale, the entire collection will first be offered as a single lot. But if it fails to meet a set reserve, each car will then be auctioned individually, with no reserve. All proceeds will go to Busse’s charitable foundation.
Of the 16 Corvette Indy pace cars being auctioned, some are even more collectible than others. Here are the five standouts.