A Retired CEO Is Auctioning Off His Collection of Indy 500 Corvette Pace Cars
A retired steel executive is selling a complete set of Indianapolis 500 Chevy Corvette pace cars that he spent 30 years collecting.
Keith Busse, the retired chairman and cofounder of Steel Dynamics in Fort Wayne, Indiana, owns 16 Corvettes that were specified as pace cars for the Indy 500. His collection will go up for auction in May in Indianapolis.
Busse’s collection contains Corvette pace cars that were made between 1978 and 2017. The Indy 500 has only been paced 14 times by a Corvette, which means Busse’s collection is fairly unique.
Three of Busse’s vehicles are from 2004, when GM assigned pace car status to a trio of Corvette styles.
In auto racing, pace cars lead the competing cars through a warm-up lap before the race begins, but do not participate in the race itself. They are also tasked with controlling the pace during caution periods.
Busse says some of his Corvettes didn’t actually pace the Indy 500, but were used in other ways on race day. Four of his cars are ones GM specifically authorized him to duplicate using colors and decals from those years’ races.
Why is Busse selling his collection? He tells The Journal Gazette that he wants to get a fresh collecting start with rumored re-engineered Corvette pace cars that may come out in a few years. And with several non-Corvette cars also in his collection, he’s starting to run out of room.
Mecum Auctions, which is handling the sale, plans to auction off the cars as a single collection. Busse estimated that they will sell for $1 million to $2 million.