The Chevrolet Corvette convertible served a tour of duty in the 1998 Indianapolis 500 by working as the official pace car of the legendary race, when four cars were used in the race and 1,600 of the cars were produced for sale to the public.
The driver of the pace car that year was pro golfer Greg Norman, who drove the test runs but was replaced at the last minute with Parnelli Jones because Norman withdrew because of shoulder surgery.
Corvette has served as the official pace car more than any other car, a tally of 11 times. The 1998 Corvette was among the most flash of the bunch with its 345 horsepower engine, Radar Blue paint and its signature yellow and black interior. A checkered flag stretched from the Corvette's functional front gill panel all along the sides of the car and up over its tail.
The public production Corvette was identical to the pace car although the public version didn’t come with the specially fitted strobe lights on the actual pace car that was mandated by the Speedway for safety reasons. It also can in a four-speed automatic transmission with a performance axle ratio at no extra charge, or the optional six-speed manual transmission at additional cost.
The car featured a Delco electronically tuned AM/FM radio with seek and scan modes, automatic tone control, CD player, digital clock, speed-compensated volume control and a Bose speaker system. Also included in the car was an electronic dual-zone heating and air conditioning system, dual-power leather adjustable sport bucket seats, memory package and floor mats.
Beginning with the 1998 pace car production, Chevrolet introduced an active handling chassis control system that utilized a yaw sensor, steering angle sensor, lateral accelerometer and other space-age technologies to enhance Corvette's handling with added accident avoidance capabilities.