Chevrolet Corvette fans are being spoilt with a raft of special edition versions of the iconic American sports car with the most spectacular among them being the 2007 Indy 500 Pace Car Replica convertible.
Chevrolet is building 500 of the replicas which Chevy general manager Ed Peper
calls “instant collectibles.”
The replica is based on the Corvette convertible which will pace the 91st Indianapolis 500 on May 27. The cars have the same atomic orange exterior colour as the official Corvette pace car and support vehicles.
They also get gold ribbon graphics that flow outward from the front fender vents.
The cars have Corvette Z06 rear spoilers, and new aluminium split-spoke wheels in sterling silver.
Seats are finished in ebony trim with embroidered Indianapolis 500 logos.
All pace car replicas run the Corvette’s standard LS2 small-block 298kW V8 and Z51 performance package. A six-speed manual transmission is standard.
Pricing for the replica is $US66,995.
The only option offered is a paddle-shift six-speed automatic which lifts the price
The official pace car itself is virtually standard, aside from racetrack-required safety equipment, strobe lights and special graphics.
Previous Corvette Indy 500 pace cars were quite substantially modified.
This year is the ninth time a Corvette has been the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500. The previous years were 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Production replicas weren’t offered every time a Corvette was the pace car, and the 2007 replica is the first since 1998. But several dozen copies of all the pace cars have been used for official activities in support of Indy 500 races. The cars, known as “festival” cars, have become prized collectibles, along with the limited-edition replicas.