Chevrolet has had the honor of pacing the Indianapolis 500 more than any other auto manufacturer, with the Camaro serving as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing’s pace car a total of nine times. This Sunday, a 2017 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Edition will lead the field to green for the 100th running of the Indy 500.
The Camaro first paced the Indy 500 in 1967 – the year model was launched. The first Camaro pace car was a 1967 Camaro RS/SS, which carried a white and blue paint scheme and packed Chevy’s 396-cubic-inch Big Block V8 under the hood. Two years later in 1969, another Camaro RS/SS paced the Great American Race, this time with a white and orange paint scheme.
13 years later in 1982, Chevy again had the opportunity to pace the Indy 500. The 1982 pace car, a 1982 Camaro Z28, featured a specially prepared all-aluminum small block V8. The Z28 nameplate again paced the 500 in 1993, with that car featuring a black-and-white paint scheme with a multicolored ribbon design.
The 2009 Indy 500 saw the race paced by the 2010 Camaro SS – the first model year for the fifth-generation Camaro. Unlike every Camaro pace car before it, Chevy produced no replica cars, however it did build 25 similarly styled festival cars for use throughout the race weekend. A year later the 2010 Camaro returned to the Brickyard to pace Indy, this time with a unique orange and white paint scheme.
A white and orange Camaro SS paced the Indy 500 in 2011 as well, this time driven by racing legend AJ Foyt. The next time the Camaro had the honor was in 2014, when Dario Franchitti drove a 2014 Camaro Z/28 to lead the field to green. Similarly, Jeff Gordon paced Indy in 2015, however he was behind the wheel of the C7 Corvette Z06 rather than a Camaro.
This year, four identically prepared Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Editions will pace the 500, each carrying 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.
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will go green this Sunday at 12:19 p.m. ET.