Thursday, May 19, 2011
Chevrolet and the Indy 500 both turn 100, and the Chevy Camaro is once again the pace car
It may seem like the first Chevy Indy pace car was the 1967 Camaro, because that’s the one you seem to hear about the most. But actually, bowties took the helm twice before that. Way back in 1948, a Chevy Stylemaster convertible was used as the Indy pace car. This stately Stovebolt was appropriately decorated with colorful pace car graphics that encased the entire side of the car. Then in 1955, the first year of the popular small-block Chevy V8, a red and white Bel Air convertible led the field.
The 2011 Camaro pace car will be painted Summit white with orange stripes, ala the 1969 edition. 500 of them will be available for sale to the public later this spring.
It had been announced that Donald Trump and his massive ego were to drive the pace car this year, but most people didn’t seem too thrilled about that choice. He later ended up backing out, claiming that it took away from his political ambitions. Insiders believe it was because once he saw that the car was a convertible, his hair refused to participate.
So, the honor will go to four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt. Racing fans slept much easier after the change.
The second slideshow has pictures that I’ve taken of random pace cars, mostly around the Kansas City area. You’ll notice that ’69 Camaros seem to dominate that album.
The last slideshow is a repost of pace car dealer promotional models. I know you’ve seen it before, but I think it’s a neat slideshow, and it took me a long time to Photoshop all those pictures together like that. Enjoy!
General Motors photos from every year of Chevrolet pace cars:
Random pace car photos from all over Kansas City:
Pace car promotional model cars: