Desirable to collectors, this Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replica Camaro is, like the original, an RS/SS convertible. As is usually the custom with Indy 500 pace cars, 100 examples were built for use by press and dignitaries during 500 Month at the Speedway. A further 3,674 Camaros equipped with the Pace Car were later marketed to the general public. This car is one of those 3,674.

The 1969 Camaro was the last year of the original Camaro package which had been introduced in 1967, and was succeeded by a much larger version in mid-1970. It also was one of the Camaro's most successful years (in part because it was in production for 17 months!) with a total of 243,085 built. More important, the '69 Camaro had GM's usual "we've worked out the bugs by now" quality and an options list that seemed to go on without end. This list included the legendary COPO (Central Office Production Order) Camaros for Don Yenko (iron block 427) and Fred Gibb (ZL1 aluminum block 427). It also was the last year for a Camaro convertible until 1987.

The Z11 Pace Car package consisted of orange stripes and orange/black houndstooth interior and could be ordered with the usual assortment of Camaro options. The Indianapolis cars had 375-hp, 396-cubic-inch engines. and automatic transmissions, in a hopeless attempt to allow them to withstand auto journalist and VIP abuse. The RS (Rallye Sport) package of covered headlights, headlight washers and special taillights and SS (Super Sport) package of upgraded suspension and front disc brakes are important attributes of the package and contribute to its value.

Purchased by the current owner in 1996 from the family of its original owner, the 24,000 miles on this Camaro's odometer is correct. It has both power steering and power brakes. The car has been gone through in detail by renowned Camaro expert Bob Harris of East Aurora, New York and is presented to a high standard.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS Pace Car
Years Produced:1969
Number Produced:3,674
Tune Up Cost:$75
Distributor Caps:$15

The car pictured sold at the Dana Mecum auction in Arlington, Illinois on November 7, 1998 for $25,200, including buyer’s commission. This car may be considered fully priced, but the result is not surprising considering its good original condition and desirable options. Real Pace Car convertibles in good shape are worth $18-21,000. The modest premium that the buyer paid here was for low mileage and the fact that the Pace Car’s status has been documented.

If you are shopping for one, remember that there are many fakes out there. Just because a white Camaro has Hugger Orange stripes doesn’t necessarily make it a genuine Pace Car.

With the confusing array of option combinations, a Camaro expert is required to ascertain that a particular car is a correct Pace Car. Of course, if you simply want an older Camaro for its performance and fun of driving, consider one equipped with the 396 engine or a Z/28 with 4-speed.

Considering the large numbers of Camaros built, there are still a reasonable number left in good condition. The price is modest, the driving experience rewarding, and the cars are easy to resell.

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