This 2006 Daytona 500 Corvette Z06 Pace Car is one of three identical Z06 Pace Cars that were built to support the 2006 Daytona 500 race, and which carry a unique paint scheme designed by the GM Design Staff for the Daytona 500 that year. This Pace Car has been in the GM Heritage Collection since the event and was used by Chevrolet solely for display purposes at the 2006 Daytona 500. This car has not been used for any on-track activities.

Like nearly every one of the Heritage Collection cars, it will be sold on a salvage title, and the buyer is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle complies with all applicable laws and regulations prior to any sale or use of the vehicle on public roads.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:2006 Daytona 500 Z06 Pace Car
Years Produced:2006
Number Produced:3
Original List Price:$65,800 (2006 Z06)
SCM Valuation:$48,500–$54,000
Tune Up Cost:$500
Distributor Caps:n/a
Chassis Number Location:Lower-left windshield corner
Engine Number Location:Pod forward of cylinder head on right side
Alternatives:2007 Corvette Pace Car convertible; 2007 Corvette Ron Fellows Z06; 1995 Corvette Pace Car convertible
Investment Grade:B

This car sold for $72,600, including buyer’s premium, at the 39th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, on January 19, 2010.

Don’t get me started on this, but the day you see me driving any Corvette with pace car decals to Sunday brunch wearing a pair of Dockers and an NCRS shirt will probably be, well, never, thank you. Quite simply, I find the entire marketing shtick of selling pace car replicas—Indy, Daytona, or Gopher Hollow Raceway—as quite possibly the apogee of bad taste and wanton pandering to wannabes.

The Corvette Z06 is a brilliant motorcar devised by a Warren, Michigan, brain trust that makes any Mensa member look like the class dunce. And you are never going to improve it—or your standing in any group of real car guys—with $59.95 worth of vinyl stickers and some furtive story that it’s one of 1,200 made.

If this analysis ended here I’d opine that the value of any Pace Car edition is exactly the same as a comparable non-pace car model, minus the cost of removing the decals. But that is not quite the case here, as the ex-Daytona 500 “Official Pace Z06” selling for the righteous side of $70k at Barrett-Jackson was presented as the second of three actual pace cars from that year.

Outfitted as noted above with most of the extras necessary to lead the field on its parade and pace laps (and during caution periods) at Daytona, this particular example is not a replica at all, but the real thing. Unfortunately for it, however, the car wasn’t used on the track, but for display purposes only.

Pace Car fame is fleeting

The appearance at Daytona changes my opinion only minutely, because this car didn’t have any meaningful role to play at the event, didn’t pace the field, and didn’t contribute to history. (Ironically, its own engineering is both more powerful and more sophisticated than the tube-framed, carbureted “throwbacks” the other Corvette Pace Car led around the tri-oval.)

At its heart, this Corvette is just a standard-issue Z06 with a handful of bolt-on extras installed, including a racing harness that’s less convenient than the stock three-point inertia belt, a booming Corsa exhaust that will make you wish you were still at brunch, strobe connectors (the actual rooftop strobes removed), and a fire extinguisher that, okay, we probably should all carry, just in case.

What this premium-priced Corvette lacks in active duty it makes up for in flamboyant paintwork, which CM Executive Editor Paul Duchene fittingly jested “will make you glad you’re inside.” GM Design created the undoubtedly expensive treatment from DuPont’s line of Hot Hues colors, which includes such hallucinogenic shades as “Amber Ecstasy” and “Hot Poppy.”

Salvage title probably not an issue

Of slightly less concern is this Corvette’s salvage title, which under normal circumstances could detract from the value and make the vehicle more difficult to insure. As a known Pace Car from GM’s Heritage Collection, however, the situation is understandable and probably will have no affect on value or usability over the long term.

In terms of value, if this Daytona Pace Car had been priced in keeping with any other four-year-old Z06, I’d recommend the new owner peel off the decals (if possible), ditch the racing harness, and enjoy the heck out of a great low-mileage used car, smug in the knowledge that it had once enjoyed a brief but fairly meaningless courtship with fame.

However, seeing as how the price paid was nearly 50% above the value of an ordinary used Z06—and actually almost $7,000 more than a 2006 Z06 cost new—I’m not quite sure what to say. From an end user/driver/private enthusiast’s point of view, either I’ve completely missed the point, or someone else has.

But there is a caveat here. If this car is going to a museum that specializes either in Corvettes or in Daytona 500 artifacts, it could be considered fairly bought, as it now has a commercial purpose. If it went to a collector who has a Pace Car collection and needs this car to fill out a royal flush, the price also makes sense; when you need something very specific, you have to be prepared to pay.

And as with all cars sold at no reserve, there is some solace in knowing that if you “paid too much,” it was only by one bid.

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