CHICAGO - Corvette enthusiasts in search of a unique ride have much toconsider this year with the introduction of two special-edition models:the Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06 and the Indianapolis 500Pace Car Replica Corvette Convertible.
The special-edition Corvettes are distinguished by unique interior andexterior appointments and will be offered in limited, pre-determinedquantities. In other words, when they're gone, they're gone.
"Chevrolet and Corvette have a long, storied history at Indianapolis,and the new pace car special-edition commemorates that heritage withwhat will surely be an instant collectible," said Ed Peper, Chevroletgeneral manager. "Ron Fellows is also a part of Chevrolet's racingheritage, and he has been instrumental in the remarkable success of theCorvette Racing team in the American Le Mans Series. The specialsignature-series Z06 model that bears his name will forever link him toone of the greatest eras in factory racing, which has produced sixconsecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturers championships, and counting."
Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica Corvette Convertible
A 2007 Chevrolet Corvette convertible will pace the 91st running of theIndianapolis 500 on May 27, 2007. As it was selected as the OfficialPace Car, Chevrolet will supply several identically prepared anduniquely trimmed Corvette convertibles - in new Atomic Orange paint withdistinctive gold ribbon graphics - that will serve in the official paceduties of the race, as well as supporting activities.
Five hundred production replicas of those official cars will be offeredto the public - all of them convertibles. They'll be available beginningthis spring.
The distinguishing features of the pace car replica convertiblesinclude:
* Atomic Orange exterior color, including door handles
* Indianapolis 500 exterior graphics - including gold ribbon graphicsthat flow outward from the front fender vents and " Indianapolis 500"door logos
* Special Indianapolis 500 fender badges
* Z06 rear spoiler
* New aluminum "split-spoke" wheels in Sterling Silver
* Ebony seats with embroidered Indianapolis 500 logos
* Interior trim plate and pods painted Atomic Orange
* Atomic Orange engine covers
All of the pace car replicas are equipped with the Corvette's standardLS2 small-block V-8 and Z51 performance package. A six-speed manualtransmission is standard, with the six-speed paddle-shift automaticoptional. The navigation system with Bose audio, as well as OnStar, isstandard.
Pricing for the pace car replica convertible is $66,995 MSRP, includingdestination. The paddle-shift six-speed automatic is the only option,which brings the price to $68,245.
The performance-bred Corvette handles its official pace duties in nearlyfactory-stock trim, with little more than race track-required safetyequipment and strobe lights added - as well as, of course, theeye-catching graphics. In years past, many Indy pace cars requiredextensive modification to perform their on-track tasks. The 2007Corvette's powertrain and suspension, including the 400-horsepower (298kW) LS2 small-block V-8 engine, are more than adequate to maintain thespeed, acceleration and handling required to lead the pack around thefamed "Brickyard" race track.
This year marks the ninth time Corvette has served as the Official PaceCar of the Indianapolis 500. The previous years were 1978, 1986, 1995,1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. It also is a record fourth consecutiveturn for the Corvette, as well as a record 18th time for a Chevrolet, tobe selected as the pace car.
Production replicas were not offered every time the Corvette wasselected as the pace car. In fact, 2007 marks the first time Chevrolethas offered a regular-production replica since 1998. But along with theregular-production models, several dozen copies of all the pace carshave been used for official activities in support of their respectiveIndianapolis 500 races, such as parades. These cars - known as"festival" cars - have become prized collectibles, along with thelimited-edition regular-production replicas.