This week for Flashback Friday, we’re not flashing back very far at all. Last weekend was the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, and Chevy also had a milestone! Once again a Chevrolet vehicle was the official pace car for this historic race, and this year it was none other than the 2017 Camaro SS 50th Anniversary Edition. Keep reading for more about this car and the history of the Indy pace car and the Chevy Camaro.
Read More: Where Did the Camaro Get Its Name?
2017 Chevy Camaro Pace Car for the 2016 Indy 500
That 2017 Chevy Camaro was the ninth Chevy Camaro to be the pace car for the Indy 500 and the 27th Chevrolet vehicle to have that honor since 1948. We don’t know a lot about the 50th Anniversary Edition of the new Camaro (which is scheduled to be released later this year), but we know that the 2017 Chevy Camaro pace car for the 2016 Indy 500 featured an Abalone White exterior with the Indianapolis wing-and-wheel logo on the side and “100th Running of the Indianapolis 500” on the doors.
Pictured: Each of the Chevy Camaro Pace Cars.
What is a pace car at the Indianapolis 500?
Much as we love the look and the aerodynamic style of the Chevy Camaro, it doesn’t look like a traditional Indy car, and it’s not supposed to. The pace car has two roles: it leads the competing vehicles around the track for the Indy’s rolling start and, in the case of a caution period, the pace car will go out again to lead the vehicles in a slower route around the track.
This second job happens commonly if there is an accident and vehicles have to reduce speed to avoid crashing. Traditionally, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 (this year Alexander Rossi) will be given one of the year’s pace cars.
Our main blog image is the 2017 Camaro SS beside the 1967 Camaro RS/SS, which was the first Chevy pace car at the Indy 500. Below are the 1969 Camaro RS/SS (left), an illustration of the 1982 Camaro Z28 (center) and the 1993 Camaro Z28 Pace Car (right).