If not the rarest Corvette Pace Car Replica, the striking 1998-1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica is unquestionably one of the most desirable 'Vettes ever made -- all but identical to the actual pace cars.

1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica
The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica is a highly collectible convertible.

Corvettes had paced the legendary Indianapolis 500 race four times by 1998, and Chevrolet observed each occasion by selling a limited-edition replica. The '98 shown here is one of just 1,158 built. Only the 1995 edition is scarcer at 527. In short, this is an unusually collectible Corvette.

1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica
The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica featured
an all-aluminum LS1 V-8 with 345 potent horsepower

Aside from lacking race-required strobe lights, rollover bars, and onboard fire extinguishing system, the '98 Pace Car replicas were identical to the actual pacers, a claim none of the previous Replicas could make. It also differs in having its Indy 500 livery applied by the factory, not the owner (save the windshield name decal). And striking it was, especially the wild flag logos, yellow wheels, and eye-popping yellow/black interior. It's the main attraction of a package that added $2,800 to the $44,900 base price of a fifth-generation or "C5" convertible.

Naturally, the Replicas inherited all the sterling features of the regular ragtop. To wit: an all-aluminum LS1 V-8 with 345 potent horsepower, rear-mounted automatic or available six-speed manual transmission, the stiff 'Vette structure, anti-lock brakes, and a chip-controlled Active Handling stability system that helped keep the car on course and out of trouble in the twisty bits.

With all this, plus sub-five-second 0-60 performance, the '98 Replica was a guaranteed sellout, and a certain future collectible.

For more convertibles of the 1990s and 2000s, see:

1990 Buick Reatta
1996 Chrysler Sebring Jxi1999 Pontiac Trans Am 30th Anniversary Chevrolet Camero SS
2000 Panoz Esperante2000 Plymouth Prowler2002 35th Anniversary Chevrolet Camaro SS
2003 Dodge Viper2004 Cadillac XRL

For more information on all kinds of cars, try these: