2011 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
Replicas to Be Offered
In the Feb. 24 issue of Old Cars Weekly, we told you that Chevrolet would be producing Camaro pace cars for the 2011 Indianapolis 500 in a paint and interior combination that harkens back to the white and orange 1969 Camaro pace cars. In the article, we said there were no plans at that time to produce replicas. My, how things can change in less than two weeks.
Today, Chevrolet announced it would produce Indy 500 pace car replicas to the public. Given that it's the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet and the Indy 500, and the "hotness" of the new Camaro convertible, the announcement wasn't shocking. Read on for the details:
- New Camaro SS Convertible in white with orange stripes and orange
leather-trimmed interior evokes classic 1969 Camaro pace car model
- Five hundred replicas will be built this spring
- 2011 is the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500
A special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible will be the official
pace car of the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet will produce 500
matching replicas of this special Indianapolis 500 Pace Car so that enthusiasts can purchase their own piece of history.
The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet and the seventh
Camaro chosen to pace what is known as "the greatest spectacle in
racing." Adding to that rich heritage is the fact that 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of both Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500.
"It's an honor for Chevrolet to pace the Indianapolis 500, especially during this landmark year," said Rick Scheidt,
vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "This is also a great
opportunity for us to build on Camaro's strong momentum, pay tribute to
its history and celebrate the ongoing launch of the new Camaro
The pace car and replicas feature a Summit White exterior accented
with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in
orange leather, with front-seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500
logo, along with white door panels and instrument panel trim. The
instrument panel trim also features extensions of the orange exterior
The color combination is similar to the design used on the 1969
Camaro Indy pace car – replicas of which have become among the most
popular Camaros in the collector world.
"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet name have long been associated with one another beginning with Louis and Gaston Chevrolet's participation as competitors in the Indianapolis 500," said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus.
"It is fitting in this 100th year for both brands that we reinforce
that relationship through this year's Camaro pace car, which resembles
what many argue is the most famous pace car in IMS history, the 1969
Camaro. We are looking forward to seeing this car on the track, pacing
the greatest 33 drivers in the world on May 29."
All the Indy Pace Car convertibles will be Camaro SS models equipped
with the 6.2L V-8 engine, and the choice of a six-speed manual or
six-speed automatic transmission.
All 500 pace car replicas – and the Festival Committee cars – are SS
convertibles fitted with the 2SS equipment package, and offer these
- Four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers and hydraulic assist
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control
- Competitive/sport mode that enhances on-track performance
- Performance Launch Control (with the manual transmission) that
optimizes hard-acceleration launches for quicker, more consistent
- Twenty-inch polished aluminum wheels and performance tires
- Head-up instrument display
- Center console with auxiliary gauge package.
Along with the 2SS equipment, the cars feature the RS package, which
includes high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and unique taillamps.
The regular-production versions of the 2011 Camaro Convertible begin
arriving in Chevrolet dealerships this month, opening a new chapter in
the Camaro's ongoing 21st-century rebirth. Even before the introduction
of a convertible model, Camaro was the sales leader in its class in the United States in 2010 – for the first time since 1985.
Chevrolet's pace car heritage
Louis Chevrolet, who founded the brand
with William "Billy" Durant in 1911, was a racer, mechanic and
pioneering engineer. He raced in the early years of the Indianapolis
500, which also started in 1911, and was a luminary of the event in the
years after he retired his racing helmet. That included driving the
official Indianapolis pace car, which was developed by Indy 500 founder Carl Fisher, who believed a rolling start was safer than a standing start. The first Indianapolis 500 featured a pace car driven by Fisher.
The first Chevrolet selected as the Indianapolis
500 pace car was the 1948 Fleetmaster Six. The brand would go on to
lead the racing pack more than any other manufacturer. The list of
Chevy pace cars includes:
- 1948 Fleetmaster Six
- 1955 Bel Air
- 1967 Camaro
- 1969 Camaro
- 1978 Corvette
- 1982 Camaro
- 1986 Corvette
- 1990 Beretta
- 1993 Camaro
- 1995 Corvette
- 1998 Corvette
- 1999 Monte Carlo
- 2002 Corvette
- 2003 SSR
- 2004 Corvette
- 2005 Corvette
- 2006 Corvette
- 2007 Corvette
- 2008 Corvette
- 2009 Camaro
- 2010 Camaro
- 2011 Camaro.
Founded in Detroit in 1911,
Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with
annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 140 countries.
Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable
vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited
performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic
performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting
pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning
passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and
Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions
including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco
offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric,
gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range.
Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience
technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash
Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding
Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com