A special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible will serve as the official pace car of the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials made the announcement at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic auto auction, where a bidder will have the opportunity to purchase the first of 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee cars.
The top bidder will have the opportunity to drive the car during a parade lap in front of the field of 33 starters shortly before the green flag flies at Indy.
The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet chosen to pace “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing” and the seventh Camaro. Adding to the rich heritage is the fact that 2011 will mark the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500, as well as the centennial year of Chevrolet.
Chevrolet will donate full proceeds of the auction to the David Foster Foundation, a charity devoted to supporting families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. David Foster, the 15-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter, founded the organization in his native Canada.
Equipped with a 400hp V8 and 6-speed automatic transmission, the actual pace car for the race requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in front of the racing field. The pace car, along with the matching festival cars, features a Summit White exterior accented with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument panel trim. The instrument panel trim 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.
“It's an honor for Chevrolet to pace the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, especially during this landmark year,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “This is also a great opportunity for us to build on Camaro's strong momentum, while supporting an important charity.”
The auction for the commemorative edition pace car takes place Saturday evening, Jan. 22, during SPEED's live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson event. The vehicle carries lot number 1284 and bids can be submitted at the auction in person or online by clicking this link for a 2011 absentee bidder registration packet.
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet name have long been associated with one another beginning with Arthur, 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 track, pacing the greatest 33 drivers in the world on May 29.”