The Chevy Camaro will take front and center stage this weekend at the 100th running of the Indy 500. And not just any Camaro will do. A 50th anniversary Camaro will lead the pack, and in doing so carry on a long-standing tradition between Chevrolet and the race.
Motorsports legend Roger Penske will be driving a unique version of the 2017 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary edition. (Chevy built four identical cars for the race.) They come with exclusive Abalone White exteriors featuring “100th Running of the Indianapolis 500” graphics on the doors and the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway wing-and-wheel logo on the quarter panels.
It’s the 27th time Chevrolet’s paced the 100-year old race, and the ninth time for the Camaro.
1967 Camaro RS/SS
The first Camaro to pace the Indy was a 1967 RS/SS, the inaugural model year for the Camaro. It cruised with a 396-cubic-inch Big Block V8. It was white with blue racing stripes and a blue interior.
1969 Camaro RS/SS
Two years later the 1969 RS/SS did the duty. It featured an orange-over-white paint design in sharp contrast to the ‘67 model. The striking color combo makes it one the most recognizable pace cars in Brickyard history. Chevrolet produced 3,675 replicas which are now considered prized collector vehicles.
1982 Camaro Z28
The Camaro took a 13 year break then returned to the Indy with the 1982 Z28. It came with an all-aluminum Small Block V-8 made just for the occasion. The model was a big hit and Chevy built 6,000 replicas.
1993 Camaro Z28
Nine years later the Z28 hit the bricks in ‘93. Chevy did it up in black-and-white with multicolored ribbons. Its power came from a LT1 engine packing 275-horses. Race car driver Jim Rathmann took the wheel.
2010 Camaro SS (2009 Indianapolis 500)
The all-new fifth-generation 2010 SS Camaro paced the 2009 race. It also marked the Camaro’s fifth time to pace the race. “Transformers” star Josh Duhamel drove the 6.2-liter LS3 model good for 426-horsepower.
2010 Camaro SS (2010 Indianapolis 500)
A year later the SS hit the track again. This time in Inferno Orange with White Diamond stripes. Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America” did the driving honors. She also can claim the title as the second woman to drive an Indy pace car.
2011 Camaro SS
In 2011 the SS made its only back-to-back appearance. Chevy did it up in white-and-orange again to honor the ‘69 model. Racing legend A.J. Foyt took the wheel that year. Chevy built 500 replicas of the retro-styled 2011 model.
2014 Camaro Z/28
Three-time Indy winner Dario Franchitti was at the helm of the 2014 Camaro Z/28 pace car. It carried a production type 7.0-liter LS7 V-8 under the hood good for 505-horses. It featured high-performance equipment such as carbon-ceramic brake rotors behind large, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels.