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Nine times. No, we're not referring to how many times Ferris Bueller's been absent this quarter, we're referring to how many times the Chevrolet Corvette has handled the official pace duties of the Indianapolis 500. Actually, the ninth time will occur on May 27th of this year for the 91st running of the most historic motorsport event in America. It also marks the fourth time in a row a Corvette has led the pack at Indy.

General Motors will be producing 500 replica Indy Pace Car editions of the car to be offered to the general public. They'll be Corvette Convertibles in Atomic Orange with Indianapolis 500 exterior graphics, Indy 500 fender badges, a rear spoiler cribbed from the Z06, new aluminum split-spoke wheels in Sterling Siver finish, seats with embroidered Indy 500 logos, interior trim pieces painted Atomic Orange to match the exterior and Atomic Orange engine covers. Of course, the 400-hp LS2 is standard and the cars come with the Z51 performance package and a standard six-speed. Each car will have a base price of $66,995, although if one goes for the only option, a paddle-shifting six-speed automatic, the price rises a bit to $68,245.

You can read the official press release after the jump and don't let the Atomic Orange paint burn your retinas when you check out all the photos in our high-resolution gallery.

[Source: GM]


PRESS RELEASE:

Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica Corvette Convertible

A 2007 Chevrolet Corvette convertible will pace the 91 st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27, 2007. As it was selected as the Official Pace Car, Chevrolet will supply several identically prepared and uniquely trimmed Corvette convertibles ñ in new Atomic Orange paint with distinctive gold ribbon graphics ñ that will serve in the official pace duties of the race, as well as supporting activities.

Five hundred production replicas of those official cars will be offered to the public ñ all of them convertibles. Theyíll be available beginning this spring.

The distinguishing features of the pace car replica convertibles include:
  • Atomic Orange exterior color, including door handles
  • Indianapolis 500 exterior graphics ñ including gold ribbon graphics that flow outward from the front fender vents and ì Indianapolis 500î door logos
  • Special Indianapolis 500 fender badges
  • Z06 rear spoiler
  • New aluminum ìsplit-spokeî wheels in Sterling Silver
  • Ebony seats with embroidered Indianapolis 500 logos
  • Interior trim plate and pods painted Atomic Orange
  • Atomic Orange engine covers
All of the pace car replicas are equipped with the Corvetteís standard LS2 small-block V-8 and Z51 performance package. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with the six-speed paddle-shift automatic optional. The navigation system with Bose audio, as well as OnStar, is standard.

Pricing for the pace car replica convertible is $66,995 MSRP, including destination. The paddle-shift six-speed automatic is the only option, which brings the price to $68,245.

The performance-bred Corvette handles its official pace duties in nearly factory-stock trim, with little more than race track-required safety equipment and strobe lights added ñ as well as, of course, the eye-catching graphics. In years past, many Indy pace cars required extensive modification to perform their on-track tasks. The 2007 Corvetteís powertrain and suspension, including the 400-horsepower (298 kW) LS2 small-block V-8 engine, are more than adequate to maintain the speed, acceleration and handling required to lead the pack around the famed ìBrickyardî race track.

This year marks the ninth time Corvette has served as the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500. The previous years were 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. It also is a record fourth consecutive turn for the Corvette, as well as a record 18 th time for a Chevrolet, to be selected as the pace car.

Production replicas were not offered every time the Corvette was selected as the pace car. In fact, 2007 marks the first time Chevrolet has offered a regular-production replica since 1998. But along with the regular-production models, several dozen copies of all the pace cars have been used for official activities in support of their respective Indianapolis 500 races, such as parades. These cars ñ known as ìfestivalî cars ñ have become prized collectibles, along with the limited-edition regular-production replicas.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hmmm
      This probably isnt "American" of what Im about to say.. but what they heck..

      Its a nice car.. with some nice touches. But.. what I got out of the great gallery.. are some very tight shots of some very wide G A P S. I mean the plastic piece between the driver and passenger.. theres at least 1-2" right there. The doors could be fitted a little tighter. And while Im sure its a blast to drive and all of that... its the interior I have the most trouble with. Alright.. its a coupla Orange plastic pieces fit over the traditional black plastic. The fit and finish desperately need attention. And.. besides the standard badging on the seats, that make it look like an IRON-on.. there isnt much about that interior that I like.. at all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hmmm
      Better fit.. BETTER FINISH?? If spending almost 70g for a "SPORTS CAR" doesnt warrant wanting to have decent fit and finish.. then spending DOUBLE that is no difference.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Kudos on the Ferris Bueller reference! Great car, fugly color. Who the hell decided that all these copper/orange/aztec gold/etc. colors were the in-thing? Early 2000s (2001 perhaps) is the year that I remember it first hitting in quantity...Acura CL, Volvo C70, Aztek, and too many others that I've blocked out of my mind. Ugly may be distinctive or unique, but unique and distinctive do NOT have to be ugly. Otherwise, I'm sure it has all the C6 goodness we've all come to expect.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Great! Now that the toy model is built - let's see pictures of the real thing.

      Oh - and if you are looking to fit your Vette with these fine refined colored dash pieces, visit isle 4 of you local Pep Boys store.

      By the way, Nice seats...I think somewhere there are two first grade boys missing their backpack badges.
      Steve Spears
      • 8 Years Ago
      I too, get lots of compliments on my millenium yellow convertible. The car is a 6 speed stick. The skip shift is the only thing that drives me nuts. I bought a skip shift delete from Ecklers Corvette but have yet to install it. The car is an absolute blast to drive, and will go like hell!! I can actually get more cargo into the trunk of this Vette than my Mustang GT convertible! Like sc 2007 says, "It's a great machine!"
      • 8 Years Ago
      accordsforall "for 70g the body panel shouldnt expand and contract. Cars from India and Korea have panels that dont expand and contract." bla bla bla, we shouldn't expect a likely 15-17 year old kid to be rational.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I guess it just wouldn't be the 'Vette if an uber-tacky "Pace Car" edition didn't slip through the cracks every few years.

      Two upsides: this isn't nearly as hideous as the purple, white, and yellow Pace Carbortion Chevy released in 1998. And after 500 people pay $14,910 more than a standard 'Vette convertible for this edition's smattering of superficial tack-ons, Chevy will have pocketed a lot of profit to funnel into the C7.

      These stunts don't help the 'Vette's struggle for legitimacy among sports-car snobs, though; Porsche would never make such a ridiculous harlequin of their 911. The C6 is a world-class piece, and its recognition as such is overdue.
      Steve Spears
      • 8 Years Ago
      Contrary to Accord DXs' bad mouthing, only 500 of these Pace cars are being offered to the public, and will be snapped up fast! It's unlikely Accord could get one even if he/she loved the Corvette! I agree, a bit garish, but none the less, still a C-6. Remember Accord, it'll still kick the shit out of ANYTHING in its price range, this includes braking, handling, stopping, acceleration, top speed and will hold a pretty healthy resale value if taken care of. Oh! 28 m.p.g. highway! Vette owner.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Quit starting all your posts with "Hmmm"! I know it must be hard for you to come up with a relevant post post but you don't need give us the visual.


      On to more important issues. I am not a fan of any of the pace car packages because they just look terrible. GM has too many "special editions" and most of them are stupid like an SS Equinox, or new spiced up Lacrosse thats on the way. Isn't the Z06 special enough? Sure, as long as its black and snaps your neck. Now thats special!
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3 Try 1955 on the copper color.
      • 8 Years Ago
      HMMMMMMmmmmm....
      I could EASILY pick up a VETTE. But it is funny, I dont even covet a 'Vette. A 1st gen Viper GTS - R/T-10 strikes me as a bold, aggressive, eats nails for snack solid automobile. Not to mention great design and that 10g clamshell hood. Its a raw, bare bones slice of muscle.

      Side exhaust, low sill plate, few creature comforts is all ya really need with a V-10 pullin ya around.

      And I say.. Screw the Vette.. and its orange plastic PEP BOYS-grade parts.
      Steve Spears
      • 8 Years Ago
      Probably time for the "Hmmm accord" (non Vette enthusiest) to get off this site!! This individual is NOT in the spirit of the main focus of this (normally interesting) site. With all due respect,go away Accord!
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