At $8,500, Does This 1990 Chevy Beretta Indy Pace Car Deserve A Shot?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The traditional quaff in the winner’s circle at the Indy 500 may be milk, but as today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Chevy proves, the race’s pace cars have to be a little flashier than a plain old bottle of moo juice. Let’s see how excited you could get over this older Indy pacer’s price.

According to Kelly Blue Book, the average transaction price for a new car in 2019 is just north of $37,000. Of course, nobody wants to be average and that’s why used cars like yesterday’s 2015 Porsche Macan S—which also happened to be $37,000—are such an attractive proposition.

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Oh sure, the purists may want to spend their Porsche pennies on something a little lower to the ground, but as was pointed out by many of you in the comments, if you’re going to get on the crossover caravan, the Macan is a fine contender in which to do so. That price tag just sweetened the deal with a narrow 53 percent Nice Price win for the above-average car.

Hey, has it ever bothered you that the AMC Pacer never was tapped to be an actual Pace car at the Indy 500? How about the Edsel Pacer? Did you even know there was an Edsel Pacer?

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There’s a lot of history in the old Brickyard and we can all be part of that history in one of two ways: we can take the track tour, or we can buy on of the series of pace car replicas that enters the market each year to commemorate the race.

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This year’s car was the Chevy Corvette Grand Sport which represented the 30th time that a Chevy has paced the race. Another Chevy paced the race in 1990, a special “concept” edition of the company’s Beretta coupé that was driven at the race by then General Manager, Jim Perkins.

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Modifications for the race pacer included a 3.4-litre edition of Chevy’s stout pushrod V6 and an open-top body that uniquely kept its B-pillar and center roof section intact to accommodate the Beretta’s beer tap door handles and to keep it from folding in half.

A total of 4,500 Indy Pace Car coupés were offered to the public, 1,500 in yellow like the actual pace car, and another 3,000 in turquoise, because, hey, it was the ‘90s.

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This 1990 Chevy Beretta Indy Pace Car commemorative edition is thankfully one of the yellow ones since the turquoise is a little too Radwood for my tastes. It also comes in what looks to be in exceptionally decent condition for a Beretta. The base car is not something that people typically maintain like it was grandma’s hand-me-down china or a bruised testicle. Generally, if you’re going to find a Chevy from this era that doesn’t start with “Cor” it’s likely to be ratty. Props to this 64,000-miler for beating those odds.

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Props as well to the amazing digital dashboard that also seems to have survived the storm intact. Like many car companies, GM was big on digital dashes in the ‘80s and ‘90s and many of those have gotten flaky over time. This one still looks to have all its fluorescents fluorescing. The rest of the interior appears to be pretty on-point as well, with decent plastics and excellent-appearing upholstery, including Indy script headrests on the front seats.

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This being a ’90 and a fairly inexpensive car to begin with, there are no airbags. The restraint system is instead comprised of door-mounted seatbelts that you could theoretically leave buckled and just limbo in under and then close the door. In practice, it proved a lot less of a hassle just to use them in the normal fashion.

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Powering all the yellow and graphics here is a 3.1-litre V6 good for 135 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. That’s mated to a three-speed automatic so don’t expect any heroics with the car.

You can expect to make the scene in it, however, whether that be Radwood or just your local cars and cocaine. The Indy Pacer graphics and screaming yellow zonker paint stand out, as does the simple fact that this is a 1990 Beretta and it’s not in the junkyard. That’s got to count for something.

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The seller hopes it counts for $8,500 and we’re here to help with that determination. What do you think, does this clean title and very yellow Beretta make a case for that price? Or, is that asking just plain off the pace?

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You decide!

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Western slope, CO Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Jason Holt for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.