All Nine Former Camaro Pace Cars On Display at Brickyard for Indy 500
Chevrolet vehicles have been the official pace car of the Indy 500 more times than any other manufacturer. Since 1948, a total of 27 Chevys have served as the race’s official pace cars, 9 of which were Camaros, including this year’s special 2017 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Edition which will be driven by the legendary Roger Penske.
At the Brickyard, Chevrolet will be displaying examples of all nine Camaro pace cars this weekend, from the inaugural 1967 model to the new sixth-gen special edition that Penske will lead the field with on Sunday.
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Models on display will include:
1967 Camaro RS/SS
Chevrolet prepared a primary Camaro pace car for this race along with an identical backup, each of which was powered by the SS model’s 396-cubic-inch Big Block V8 engine. Additionally, a number of identical Camaro models painted white with blue stripes and blue interiors were also used as festival and VIP vehicles at pre-race events.
1969 Camaro RS/SS
The 1969 Camaro Indy pace car had a distinctive orange-over-white paint scheme, and as with the 1967 model, came in both a primary and backup model, each with the 396 Big Block. In addition to those two versions, though, Chevrolet also produced 3,675 replicas, which have become valued collector vehicles.
1982 Camaro Z28
The 1982 Camaro Z28 pace car introduced racing fans to the third-generation Camaro. Powered by a specially prepared all-aluminum Small Block V8 engine and driven by former Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Rathmann, 6,000 replicas were produced of this model.
1993 Camaro Z28
To celebrate the launch of the fourth-generation Camaro, the 1993 Camaro Z28 pace car featured a black-and-white paint scheme accented by multicolored ribbons. The production model’s 275-horsepower LT1 engine powered the pace car, and Chevrolet produced 645 replica models.
2010 Camaro SS (2009 Indianapolis 500)
Appropriately enough, the Indy 500’s fifth Camaro pace car was a fifth-generation model. Equipped with a production 6.2-liter LS3 engine rated at 426 horsepower, the unmodified muscle car was driven by Transformers star Josh Duhamel. Chevrolet produced no replicas, although 25 similarly styled festival cars were built.
2010 Camaro SS (2010 Indianapolis 500)
For its first back-to-back appearance at the Brickyard, the 2010 Camaro SS pace car wore an Inferno Orange exterior with White Diamond racing stripes. Good Morning America news anchor Robin Roberts became only the second woman to drive an Indy pace car when she got behind the wheel of the SS. About 200 replicas were produced, including 50 that were used as festival cars.
2011 Camaro SS
The Camaro had its first three-peat the following year, this time given a white-and-orange theme that was meant as an homage to the 1969 pace car. The Camaro was driven by racing legend A.J. Foyt, who was famously awarded the first Camaro pace car after winning 1967 Indy 500, but declined to accept the vehicle because it didn’t have air-conditioning. 500 replicas of the retro-styled 2011 Camaro SS pace car were built by Chevrolet.
2014 Camaro Z/28
Three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti drove the 2014 Camaro Z/28 pace car, which was designed with the track in mind, featuring a 505-horsepower production 7.0-liter LS7 V8 engine. The Z/28 also featured high-performance equipment that included carbon-ceramic brake rotors and large, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels.
2017 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Edition
Four identically prepared pace cars have been built for this weekend’s race, all with exclusive Abalone White exteriors that feature “100th Running of the Indianapolis 500” graphics on the doors, as well as the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway wing-and-wheel logo on the quarter panels. Roger Penske’s ride also incorporates the exterior graphics that will be featured on the Camaro 50th Anniversary package that goes on sale this summer.