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“Barn Find” Rescue: ’78 Pace Car Goes From Tired To Great… Part 5

Join us as John G. continues rescuing this '78 Pace Car from years of neglect

When we last left off John G. had meticulously laid 5 coats of black and 4 coats of clear to this once-dilapidated 1978 Pace Car, and while waiting for the paint to harden he moves on to some other projects. If you need a review of John’s restoration or missed an episode, here are the links: part one, part two, part three, and part four. Each episode is a quick 5-10 minute read with lots of cool pictures, and you won’t be disappointed watching the transformation.

A refresher of what he started with.

And what it looked like after episode 4.

His first project was polishing and repainting the original emblems, and he remarks, “They look a million times better. I’m toying with the idea of going with flags on the front, rather than the huge 25th anniversary emblem… I held up one of the fender flags, and I think it looked sweet.”

John is still tossing around the idea of replacing the front nose emblem with flags from an earlier car, and comments, “The round 25th emblem is huge looking, and kinda hurts the sleek lines of the car. I dunno though, I’d probably never hear the end of it at car shows from Vette guys.”

Moments later… “I ordered a 77 front emblem for it yesterday. It’s been decided. Between this Pace Car and my other Vette, I have no issue making the purists freak out.

Alrighty then, there is certainly nothing wrong with making your personal custom choices and letting the chips fall as they may with how other enthusiasts view the changes from stock. After all, if John was really worried about triggering the purists, he would have left the factory engine, right?

Now that the paint has hardened, on to some fun stuff! John says, “Cut and buffed the front fender today just to get an idea on what the final product will look like. Wet sanded from 1000 to 3000 and hit it with some Meguiars heavy cut compound, followed up with their finishing polish. It’s looking pretty flat and slick.

It’s very clear from the pictures, John knows what he is doing!

More updates from John: “Got the car out in the sun today. I’m really liking the new nose emblem! Also got the bumperettes painted, the other emblems installed, front grills painted and installed, and buffed the tail lights and side markers. Mirrors are also back on, and door glass installed and adjusted.”

What a cool assortment of vehicles! This is a good time to come up for air. Next week John will be pulling the dash and center console, and removing the rear window to clean things up. And before John knows it, he has the whole interior “pretty much gutted“. Thanks for joining me on this transformation. We have an active community on our Facebook page, I would love to see you there!  Douglas B.