Corvette paces the 2012 Indy 500 for the 11th time!
Every so often, a real bombshell goes off. Earlier this week, less than three weeks before the 2012 Indy 500 race, Chevrolet announced that a 2013 60th Anniversary ZR1 Corvette would pace the 96th Indy 500 race. This will the the 11th time a Corvette paces the Greatest Spectacle in Motorsports and the 23rd time a Chevrolet automobile has paced the Indy 500. No other manufacturer has paced Indy more times. And, if that’s not enough, 2012 marks the return of Chevrolet as an engine supplier for IZOD IndyCar Series.
C6 Corvettes have paced the Indy 500 in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, but this is the first time the 638-horsepower ZR1 will do the job. The ZR1 is also the most powerful car to ever pace the Indy 500. And just like most of the previous Corvette Indy pace cars, the Corvete needed no performance enhancements – just the addition of various safety requirements.
Arguably, the only bummer part of the story is for Corvette collectors. There was no announcement of an optional Pace Car Special. The livery on the ZR1 Pace Car consists of the production 60th Anniversary decoration, with the addition of the 2012 Indy 500 logo, “Official Pace Car”, Indy 500 logo, “CORVETTE” across the top of the windshield, and the safety strobe light bar on top of the B-pillar. The ZR1’s astonishing hardware aside, this is the tamest-looking Corvette Indy 500 pace car we’ve seen since 1986. But, we’re NOT complaining.
As with all Indy 500 pace cars that do not have a replica version for sale, there will be a very small supply of fully functional ZR1 pace cars on hand – the designated pace car, a backup or two, plus a few complimentary cars for PR use. Of course, the actual car that paces the race will be given to the winner of the race, one or two go off to museums, and the rest are sold by selected dealers. Aside for the museum cars and perhaps one held onto by Chevrolet, eventually, all of the pace cars will end up in private hands. All will be instant collectibles.
Just for grins, here’s the complete list of Indy 500 Pace Car Chevys…
1. 1948 Stylemaster Six-Series
2. 1955 Bel Air
3. 1967 Camaro
4. 1969 Camaro
5. 1978 Corvette
6. 1982 Z-28 Camaro
7. 1986 Corvette
8. 1990 Beretta
9. 1993 Camaro
10. 1995 Corvette
12.1999 Monte Carlo
13. 2002 Corvette
14. 2003 SSR
15. 2004 Corvette
16. 2005 Corvette
17. 2006 Corvette
18. 2007 Corvette
19. 2008 Corvette
20. 2009 Camaro
21. 2010 Camaro
22. 2011 Camaro
23. 2013 Corvette
Chevrolet certainly is making the most of the closing year of the C6 Corvette. In recent months we’ve been treated to the 427 Convertible, the 60th Anniversary Edition, the 100th birthday of Chevrolet, the 100 millionth small-block Chevy engine, which GM managed to make sure was a ZR1/LS9 Corvette engine, and now another Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car. What’a year, huh!
Seeing how Chevrolet likes surprises, I’m holding out for a 50th Anniversary Sting Ray Edition, which is TOTAL speculation on my part. But what the hey, we weren’t expecting another C6 Indy 500 Pace Car, now were we? So, we won’t know, until we know! – Scott
A complete list of Indy 500 Pace Cars and drivers, HERE.
The Very Rare, Non-Replica Corvette Indy 500 Pace Cars, HERE.
TIME TO VOTE! What’s Your Favorite Special Edition and Pace Car Corvette? VOTE HERE.
PS – Check out our NEW 1×3 Corvette Pace Car prints, HERE. Lots of sizes available, mattes and frames too!
Here’s the BEST way to keep up with K. Scott Teeters’ Corvette blog!