2011 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replicas to Be Offered to Customers

2011 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replicas to Be Offered to Customers

CHICAGO, Feb. 9, 2011 /

    --  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 Convertible."

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 stripes.

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.

Last month at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic car auction, Chevrolet auctioned the opportunity to purchase the first of 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee cars.. All the proceeds from the sale went to the David Foster Foundation, which supports families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. The Festival Committee car, which matches the styling of the actual pace car and the replicas that will be sold to the public, sold for $225,000.

Replica details

All 500 pace car replicas - and the Festival Committee cars - are SS convertibles fitted with the 2SS equipment package, and offer these standard features:

    --  Four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers and hydraulic
    --  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 performance
    --  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 Camaro Convertible delivers coupe-like driving dynamics with the fun of open-air driving. The Convertible model's enhanced structure is designed to eliminate the traditional compromises of open cars, such as cowl or steering wheel shake. The goal is a convertible that drives like the coupe. All the powertrain and suspension elements of the existing Camaro Coupe carry over unchanged in the convertible. The top has a smooth, tailored fit, with acoustical foam in the headliner that helps deliver a quiet ride with the top up.

Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to eliminate cowl and steering wheel shake. They include:

    --  A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
    --  A transmission support reinforcement brace
    --  Underbody tunnel brace
    --  Front and rear underbody "V" braces.

The power-folding top retracts in about 20 seconds. It is built in partnership with the same manufacturer as the Corvette convertible top, and operates in a similar manner. It folds in a simple "Z" pattern and latches with a single, convenient handle located at the center of the windshield header. Other convertible models in this segment still offer convertible tops with dual latches, forcing drivers into two-hand operations reaching across the car.

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.

About Chevrolet

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

SOURCE  General Motors

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Volume 2011, Issue 1, Posted 3:10 PM, 02.12.2011