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1998 Pace Car (51)

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1998 Pace Car (51)

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1998 Corvette Official Pace Car!
Car Number 20 out of 49! Indy Track Plate 51!

CORVETTE PACE CAR
82nd Indy 500
May 24, 1998

1998 marked the fourth time the Chevrolet Corvette had been selected as the Indy 500 Pace Car.  Other than mandatory safety features, the Corvette needed no modifications to meet pace car specifications.

Golfing great Greg Norman was scheduled to drive the 1998 pace car, but was forced to withdraw due to recent shoulder surgery.  1963 Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones was selected to fill in for Norman.

The 1998 Corvette's color-shifting "radar blue" paint and bright yellow wheels presented some of the most extreme looks for an Indy pace car.  The car is powered by the stock 5.7 liter LS1 V-8 engine and features an Active Handling chassis control system.

Chevrolet produced 1,163 limited edition pace car replicas.  The "Z4Z" pace car option package cost $5,039.

 

109 cars out of the 1,163 produced actually were used at the Indianapolis 500.    The first 5 cars were pilot cars. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway for their staff and officials used the next 30 cars.  The next 49 cars were called Festival or Parade Cars.  These cars were used on and off the track for Dignitaries, Drivers and Celebrities.  Eddie Cheever was the winning driver in1998 and since there were 33 cars in the field Festival Car # 33 was given to winner of the 82nd Indy500. The last 25 cars were given to the Official Press and Media.

 

 Festival Car # 20 Indy plate #51 was assigned to Board of Director Chris Graffeo.  In the Festival Parade with Chris Paraded Jim Guthrie.  Jim Guthrie was IRL Rookie of the year for 1997. Guthrie was the only driver hurt in a seven-car crash on the 49th lap.  Chris also had another special guest Duane Sweeney.  No race at Indy since 1980 could start or finish without its Chief Starter.  Duane Sweeney died at the age of 81 in 2004.

 

This Festival Car has its Original Insurance Certificate and IMS Plate which also was signed by Duane Sweeney.  Duane Sweeney acquired a signed pair of racing gloves from the winning Driver Eddie Cheever.  This Pace car also has its working strobe lights, and has retained lots of its memorabilia and track photos.

 

2011 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the Cars that paced the race.  This Car was invited by IMS Hall of Fame Museum to be a part of the 100th   Year Celebration and was on display.

 

In late August of 2011 this car was part of the Geneva Concours D’Elegance

And it was proud to take home the coveted Carl Benz Award.  At this same time The Soldiers Family Radio and TV Talk Show featured this car to do a live simulcast to all our troops.

 

June of 2013 this car was selected by Bloomington Gold and the Corvette Pace Car Registry to be a part of special display of actual track cars.  This display was the First to display one of each of the twelve Corvettes that Paced the Indianapolis 500.  All twelve Corvette Pace Cars also lead the Bloomington Road Tour.  The road tour consisted of approximately 1000 Corvettes.    

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Geneva Concours d'Elegance Winner!

Indianapolis Motorspeedway
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GM Pace Car Photo









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