5TH PACE CAR REUNION
September 19-21, 2008
those of us who are crazy about Corvettes, especially Pace
Cars, could take lessons from the 500 + Camaro owners who
gathered September 19 21 for the Indy 08,
Back at the Brickyard event at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway (IMS). The event was sponsored by GM around its Centennial
Celebration, and by the Central Indiana Camaro Club. It was
billed as an F-Body get together, as well as to welcome back
any GM Pace Vehicle. The total attendance was 518 registered
vehicles (18 Corvettes), and over 1,000 people. All cars were
parked in the Garage area at the Speedway.
main goal was to show off the new 5th-Gen Camaro (Corvette
has our C1-C6, Camaro has 1st-Gen thru 5th-Gens), available
in 2009 (as a 2010 Model Year) after a hiatus of 7 years.
They had one of the camoflaged "mule" cars, and
several production cars in various trim levels and colors.
Below are some photos from the unveiling, which included a
short presentation by Scott Settlemire from Chevrolet (in
yellow helping with the unveiling).
had a collection of vehicles on display, including a Cyber
was also a gathering of GM Pace Cars and track support vehicles,
mainly Camaros, of course, but with a decent participation
by Corvette Pace Car owners nearly all of the latter
were Members or registrants in our Registry. There were some
very nice and unique vehicles present, including an SSR NASCAR
Pace vehicle (driven by Jay Weidner, a former 78/95
Member), several of the earlier C1500 support trucks, and
even a 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier support vehicle.
were even some of the "Real" Pace cars from years
past setup in a special indoor display.
was plenty to do over the weekend. There were free shuttle
buses running between the Speedway, Downtown Indianapolis,
the Zoo, the Children's Museum, and the Host Hotel (The Holiday
Inn North at the Pyramids). In addition to looking at all
of the entrant cars and talking to their proud owners, you
could tour the IMS Museum and Gift Shop. The schedule highlights
looked like this :
sponsored "Ride and Drives", where you could try
out some of their new cars. Included were a Pontiac Solstice,
Cadillac CTS, Hybrid Tahoe, Canyon Pickup, Corvettes (several
of the '08 Brickyard 400 Track cars!), and several others.
(This continued on Saturday too).
were activities for both the adults and kids - tire changing
and coloring contests (Saturday too).
was a concert by The
Jolie Holiday Band.
was also space on the schedule on Friday for a presentation
about Corvette Pace Cars, and our webmaster (and 07
Year-director), Bob Kirsch, did a very professional presentation
on the 10 Years of Corvette Pace Cars. Bob has
a great command of Corvette Pace car data, showed us lots
of photos, and quizzed the audience with some interesting
trivia questions. About 40 Corvette PC fans attended the
presentation. Bob will be posting this presentation in Adobe
format on the Members only side of the website, so be sure
to log in and take a look!
to wrap up the day, there was a cruise-in to The
Suds, an old Dog-N-Suds drive-in Restaurant owned by
a local Car Club in Greenwood, In.
the GM Camaro presentation, there was lots of talk around
the renewal of the Camaro dream, and excitement
among Camaro owners about the resurgence of their lost marque.
In attendance from GM were Camaro's "Big-3" (pictured
below), Scott Settlemire (former Camaro Product Manager),
John Fitzpatrick (Camaro Marketing Manager), and Cheryl
Pilcher (current Camaro Product Manager), as well as Tom
Peters (Director, GM Design-Camaro/Corvette), Al Oppenheiser
(Vehicle Chief Engineer,Camaro), and John Santilli (Vehicle
Line Director, Camaro).
new Camaro is impressive, with lots of thought into the
design, and a sincere attempt to regain market share from
Mustang and Challenger. It was fitting to hear the Camaro
design team comment on how there is "a little bit of
Corvette engineering" in the new design.
was a silent auction held during the day with some very
unique F-Body related items, and even a few things that
would catch the Corvette owners eye.
enjoyed (NOT!) a very unexpected short Thundershower that
went thru the area (our only rain of the event), which included
a few minutes of small hail !
cap of the day, there was the Banquet and Live Auction held
at the Speedway. The benefits ($10,000) from both auctions
were donated to the
Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.
main highlight was the Lap of the Speedway, which is always
exciting, even at a top speed of only 30 mph. You really
get the sense of the size of the track and banking no matter
how fast you go, not to mention the feel of history of the
track! Of course Photo
by Chino was there to take your photo as you crossed
the yard of bricks, the 3-foot strip of bricks
remaining on the surface of the track at Start/Finish, harking
back to the original paving of the Brickyard
-- a moniker that has stuck with the famous and historical
Indy track. Drivers were also given a very nice Certificate
to commemorate the event.
the traditional lap, PCR Members gathered at the Brickyard
Crossing, the IMS hotel adjacent to the track, for a send-off
brunch. In attendance at the brunch were: Don Bryne (95),
Mike Koken and son Thomas (78), Bill & Linda Hahn
(07), Pat & Ann Murray (04 Driveaway), Jay
Potesta (08), Bob & Pat Saultz (95), Peter
& Heidi Ziehl (07), Bob Kirsch (07), and
Noel Osborn (95/02).
those Registry members attending the event that could not
make the brunch were: LaVelle Hunt and son (all PC years),
Bruce Bryan and Martha Fligor ('78/'95/'98), and Howard Kirchenbauer.
I think it is fair to say that we had another great Reunion!
At this time, we believe our next reunion will be in 2010,
so watch the website for more details as they develop.
you attended the reunion and have a great photo you would
like to share, just contact the Communications
developed by Noel Osborn and Bob Kirsch.
see these photos in a higher resolution, and a LOT more photos
of this event, stop by The
Kodak Easy Share Gallery.