INDIANAPOLIS — Corvette collectors better get to the front of the line as soon as they can. Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway have announced that versions of the latest Corvette will pace the Indy 500 for an unprecedented fifth year in a row. On top of that, there will be two pace cars for the first time in history, and one of them is aimed directly at the collector.
The pace car for collectors will have a special black-and-silver paint job that gives a nod to the famous 1978 Corvette pace car. That black-and-silver T-top model was the first ‘Vette to lead the pack at Indy three decades ago.
Chevrolet representatives said 500 copies of the 30th Anniversary Commemorative Edition Pace Car will be manufactured. The production mix is to include both coupes and convertibles, but no breakdown of body styles was released.
Race driver Emerson Fittipaldi is scheduled to drive the second pace car, a custom-decorated Corvette Z06. IMS officials said that this pace car will run on E85 ethanol fuel similar to the 100-percent fuel-grade ethanol used in cars competing in the IndyCar Series.
Fittipaldi will also autograph each of the black-and-silver 30th Anniversary Commemorative Edition Pace Cars after they are built at the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky.
The announcement of the special Indy 500 promotion came just after Christmas at the Indianapolis Auto Show. This gives General Motors plenty of time to promote the cars at the giant shows in Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago.