First Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Pace Car auctioned for $225,000

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 26, 2011

At last week’s Barrett-Jackson’s Westworld Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, General Motors unveiled a new Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Indianapolis Pace Car. The first of the 50 cars to be produced was successfully auctioned off, with the proceeds to be given to the David Foster Foundation that supports families with children who need an organ transplant.

Most of the other charity cars also fetched good prices at Barrett-Jackson. Bidding topped out at $225,000 for the Camaro, but this is not a bad price at all.

The winner of the auction will get the car at the track on Memorial Day weekend and the winner will have a chance to drive it during the parade lap of the race. This convertible may not be an actual pace car but the winning bidder will definitely take pride at having been given this opportunity.

The Pace Car has a Summit White exterior accented with orange stripes and door graphics. Meanwhile, orange leather is featured on the interior trim, including the front seat headrests embroidered with the Indy 500 logo.

The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes. This color combination is reminiscent of the design featured on the 1969 Camaro Indy pace car, replicas of which are now included in the list of the most collectable cars in America.

The excitement of open air driving is incomparable and this can be experienced via the Camaro Convertible as it provides coupe-like dynamics. The enhanced structure of this model is meant to remove the usual compromises involved with open cars like the shaking of the cowl or steering wheel.

This modification aims to let the convertible drive like the coupe. The powertrain as well as the suspension elements of the Camaro Coupe remain the same in the convertible. The smooth and tailored top fits well due to the acoustic foam inside the headline, offering a quiet ride when the top is open.

There are 4 strategic reinforcements that improve the stiff body structure to get rid of the usual convertible problems of steering wheel and cowl shake.

These are the following: Tower-to-tower brace underneath the hood; Underbody tunnel brace; Transmission support reinforcement brace; Underbody “V” braces in the front and rear.

The power-folding top pulls back in 20 seconds. It operates like the Corvette convertible top since it was built in cooperation with the same manufacturer. So, it simply folds in a “Z” pattern and latches with just one convenient handle found at the center part of the windshield header.

The other convertible models in this class continue to offer convertible tops that have dual latches, making it inconvenient for drivers to reach across the car for two-hand operations.

2011 Camaro Convertible regularly-produced versions will start to arrive at Chevrolet dealers in February 2011, initiating a new phase in the 21st century rebirth of Camaro. Even before the convertible model was introduced, 2010 ended with Camaro as the US sales leader in its category.

This is the first time that this happened since 1985. The brand was founded by Louis Chevrolet, an engineer, mechanic and racer, together with William “Billy” Durant in 1911. Chevrolet raced in Indianapolis 500 during its early years.

After he retired from racing, he became the star of the event. This involved driving the official Indianapolis pace car, which was built by the founder of Indy 500, Carl Fisher. To him, a rolling start is safer than a standing start. In the first Indianapolis 500, the pace car that Fisher drove was presented.

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