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.
Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06
Marking his championship tenure with Corvette Racing's GT1-classdomination in the ALMS, Corvette racing living legend Ron Fellows iscelebrated with a specially prepared 2007 Corvette Z06 production model.All are distinguished by Arctic White paint (including the door handles)that is accented with a racing-style fender stripe and Ron Fellows'autograph.
The front fender graphics are reminiscent of the identifying graphics ofthe Corvette GT1 race car. They feature double Monterey Red Metallicstripes with Machine Silver borders and Fellows' autograph in acontrasting Victory Red shade, along with the callouts of thechampionship years when he was at the wheel. There is also a maple leaflogo motif incorporated with the graphics, a nod to Fellows' Canadianheritage. Indeed, the red-over-white color scheme of the car's paint andgraphics represents Canada's colors.
This special Corvette Z06 is the first signed special edition inCorvette's 54-year history, and is the first Arctic White Z06 everoffered. Only 399 are planned for production: approximately 300 for theUnited States, 33 for Canada and 66 for other export markets.
Exterior cues include a full-width racing spoiler and a uniquewindshield banner. Additional standard equipment includes thewell-equipped 2LZ package and chrome wheels. Special interiorappointments include:
* Red seats, center console, door panels and instrument panel
* Red, leather-covered armrest with a Corvette-signature "cross flags"logo that is hand-signed and numbered by Ron Fellows
* Tech pattern interior trim
An accomplished road racer, Ron Fellows is inextricably woven into theCorvette Racing team's success. He helped test and develop the firstCorvette C5.R race car and recorded the team's first win in 2000.Fellows also grabbed the ALMS GTS class championship in 2002 and sharedthat position in 2003 and'04. Fellows has been a part of all sixconsecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturers championships for Chevrolet, and wasvoted the most popular ALMS driver in 2004 and'05. Additionally, he hasslipped behind the wheel of NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevy Monte Carlo SS racecars when the series hits road courses. He's also scored a pair ofNASCAR Craftsman Truck series wins, three NASCAR Busch Series wins, 19SCCA Trans Am wins and was the GM Player's Challenge champion in 1989.
The Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06 will be available thisspring. It carries an MSRP of $77,500, including destination. OnStar andthe navigation system are the only options; and when equipped with them,the price is $79,945.