Setting the Pace: 5k-Mile 1988 Pontiac Grand Prix Daytona 500 Pace Car

  • February 17, 2021
The Rundown
  • 5,017 Owner Stated Miles
  • Specially Modified 3.1L Fuel-Injected V6 Engine by GM for Use at Daytona 500
  • 5-Speed Manual Transmission
  • Factory Build Sheet & Clean Carfax
Why We Like It

This 1988 Grand Prix SE, the third car off the production line, was pulled by GM to create a pace car for the 1988 Daytona 500. GM engineers fitted it with a more powerful, specially modified 3.1L fuel injected V6 engine providing the power NASCAR required for sustained high-speed race performance, and it was specifically tuned to run without a catalytic converter which was deleted at the factory. Add to that racing suspension and a 5-speed manual transmission, and you’ve got a winning combination.


setting-the-pace-5k-mile-1988-pontiac-grand-prix-daytona-500-pace-car74031341-770-0@2XIn addition to the factory performance modifications, other special features include an upgraded middle dash for safety light toggles in a separate panel next to the radio, a center console with an array of toggles for various seat adjustments, and broadcloth bucket seats with a second center console with two more bucket seats in the back - cool! This is a very rare example of an actual Daytona Pace Car, which were somewhat difficult to get because of their special VIN status. This one has been cleared and assigned its original VIN through the state of Florida, however, you should check with your local DMV to verify that all the paperwork is acceptable.


Valuation Verdict

Unlike some other pace cars produced over the years, the 1988 Pontiac Grand Prix Pace Car was never offered for sale in the form of a commemorative or special edition replica for retail sale. It was made expressly for the purpose of pacing the Daytona 500, not for street use, making it an extremely rare NASCAR collectable, yet a drivable vehicle today. Since it’s not a production car, establishing a value is somewhat objective, but we feel this Pontiac has a lot going for it: it’s a super-low mileage, factory custom performance-modified car with build sheet that was actually used at the Daytona 500, and it will appeal to both Pontiac collectors and NASCAR fans. It’s hard to find another modern vehicle with such uniqueness, condition, originality, rarity and historical significance for this price, which we think will be well bought for its next owner.

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