Outside of the Indianapolis Speedway Hall of Fame is a bronze memorial bust of Louis Chevrolet. He and his brothers Gaston and Arthur were racers who competed in the Indy 500 for over a decade. Their cars were reliable and over engineered which caught the eye of William Durant, and the rest is history. The Chevrolet brothers and the cars that bear their name have been a dominant force at the track since the beginning, which is why more Chevys have paced the race than any other. The countdown to the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 is underway, so Team Corvette has built something special for Memorial Day.
The first example was a 1948 Fleetmaster convertible, but thankfully technology has advanced beyond splash-oiled straight six engines. The 14th Chevrolet Indy 500 Pace Car is a custom version of the Grand Sport Convertible. As always, a few cars are outfitted with lights and radios to serve as the actual pace cars, and a few dozen others are built as festival or parade cars. These serve to introduce the drivers to the crowd and give Indy enthusiasts something special at dealerships across the country.
Sporting a white and blue paint scheme, a snazzy graphics package compliments the Z07 carbon fiber package. It is one of the more subtle designs considering Pace Cars of the past. My 2007 Indy Pace Car was Atomic Orange with wild stripes.
But at least it doesn’t have the “unique” looks of the 1998 Indy Pace Car…
The press release also reveals some nice features of the new car. Magnetic ride control with special sway bars and springs are standard equipment. Sorry stick enthusiasts, all cars will have the 8-speed automatic transmission. Giant Brembo brakes measure 15.5″ front and 15.3 rear. The 460 horsepower LT1 allows it to reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds with a quarter mile time of 11.8. No mention of price or availability was made, but hopefully, they will a few for us ‘Vette fans. Chevrolet has been burned by quantity in the past. Orders were unrestricted for the 1978 model, and over 6,500 were built!
We’re not going to show you the 1986 or 1995 pace cars because C4s seem to evoke fights in the comments section. Tell us your most loved and disliked examples from the past and stay with us for updates on when the 2017 cars will be available. As always, Autofluence has all your Chevy news.