GM Press Release: November 6, 1997: Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas to be Offered
General Motors Media Press Release
FOR RELEASE: November 6, 1997
CONTACT: Chevrolet Communications
Phone: 1-800-CHEVY-MI 0r 810-492-8841
Fax: (810) 492-8853
Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas to be Offered
LAS VEGAS — The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette convertible has been selected as the Official Pace Car for next year’s Indianapolis 500. To commemorate the event, Chevy has announced plans to produce a limited number of pace car replicas for sale to the public.
Chevrolet cars have been selected a total of eleven times for Indy 500 Pace Car duties -- more than any other manufacturer -- and 1998 will mark the seventh time that the company has offered replica cars for sale. Previous Chevrolet pace car replicas have been hot sellers, and today all are highly prized by collectors. The ’98 Corvette Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car replica should cause a similar stir. In a place as big as the Brickyard, a pace car has to stand out on the track -- first and foremost for safety reasons, but manufacturers want to get the crowd’s attention too. "The ’98 Corvette Indy Pace Car should certainly fill the bill," said Chevy general manager, John Middlebrook. "We told the designers we wanted something that would grab people immediately, and they didn’t disappoint us."
From its Radar Blue exterior color to its in-your-face bright yellow wheels and equally attention-getting yellow & black leather interior, the ’98 Corvette Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car should turn heads wherever it goes. In addition to the vivid color combination mentioned above, a stunning yellow graphics package, with a checkered flag motif towards the rear, stretches from the Corvette’s functional front gill panel all along the sides of the car and up over its tail.
The replica Corvette convertible pace cars will be exactly the same as the real thing -- with the exception of the specially-fitted strobe lights on the actual pace car which were mandated by the Speedway for safety reasons. And since the 345-hp Corvette needs no powertrain modifications to handle the pacing chores, the replicas will be mechanically identical to the original.
In addition to the special paint and graphics described above, the Indy Pace Car Option Package (Z4Z) offered on the ’98 Corvette convertible will contain other highly-desirable options. Heading the list is a Delco electronically-tuned AM/FM radio with seek & scan, automatic tone control, CD player, digital clock, Theft Lock, speed-compensated volume control and a Bose speaker system. Also included is an electronic dual-zone heating & air conditioning system, and leather adjustable sport bucket seats.
Customers may select a 4-speed automatic transmission with a performance axle ratio at no extra charge, or choose the optional 6-speed manual transmission at an additional cost of $815. And that’s not all. Beginning with pace car production this year, Chevy will introduce an impressive new Active Handling chassis control system (JL4) for the Corvette. The Active Handling system utilizes a yaw sensor, steering angle sensor, lateral accelerometer and other space-age technologies to enhance Corvette’s already nimble handling with added accident avoidance capabilities. A "competitive driving" mode, something no other chassis control system has, is available for gymkhana or autocross events. The system will be available on all other Corvettes after the first of the year at an option price of $500, but it’s included as part of the Z4Z Pace Car Package.
The Z4Z Pace Car Package (with the automatic) adds $2800 to the Corvette convertible’s very competitive base MSRP of $44,990 (which includes destination charges).
Chevrolet plans to build only 1,158 of the ’98 Corvette Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car replicas. The bulk of these will be sold by selected Chevy dealers in the United States, and a limited number will be exported to Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Collectors would be well-advised to get into line very quickly.