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2006 General Motors Chevrolet SSR
Super Sport Roadster Final Farewell

A Tribute to the Chevrolet SSR !

Why are we talking about SSR's on a Corvette website you ask? Well, we thought that since Corvette and SSR have shared the stage at IMS over the past 3 years (and now again in 2006!), it seemed fitting to bid the SSR a fond goodbye!

Yes, General Motors has decided to pull the plug on the SSR, which in the past eighteen months has seen sales come to almost a standstill. Below are the production counts for each year of production.

Year of Production
Canadian Export

(Source: General Motors Production Statistic sheet.)

If you own an SSR, check out this great SSR based Forum : The SSR Fanatic.

Here are the many faces of the Chevrolet SSR, "Super Sport Roadster" as it was named.
We hope you enjoy our Tribute!

How it all began ! Concept sketch.

Clay mock up under development...

IMS Special Plant Tour. - The journey begins !!

Further down the assembly line prior to paint...

These were the last 2003 models to be built.
The next week they were to start the 2004 year production.

Nearing the end of the assembly line- On all 4 tires!

For 2006, a special "Spring Edition" was planned, but due to slow sales and the fact that there was over a four hundred day supply (and the unknown future at GM with their recent financial problems) this model was discontinued and production stopped on March 17th 2006.

With this, Chevrolet wanted to do something to commemorate this Final Chapter in the SSR's lifespan. So a "Final Production Edition" was chosen and those vehicles being built during February carried a special "Final Production Run 2006" waterfall emblem.

It is a small chapter in GM's history, but now the SSR joins certain vehicles such as Camaro, Bonneville, and the entire Oldsmobile model line, as well as many others who are now extinct.

In these photos you will see the role that the SSR has played at Indy from "cradle to grave".
I was able to capture these images over the past three years (along with also sharing some special shots!). It has served many uses at the Speedway for both the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, being the "Official Pace Vehicle" for both races.

The SSR's first year's involvement included a fleet of twenty-five vehicles, and then last year, it served as the 2005 "Official" Pace Vehicle for the Brickyard 400. It was also used as the "Official Pace Vehicle" for the Indy Racing League and the IRL Green Light tour as well as many others.

Chevrolet SSR - The Insider Information (2003-2006):

- Ultra Violet, Violet was the color chosen for the 2003 Indianapolis 500 Official Pace Vehicle.
Only 25 were built and only the "Signature Series" was available - a very limited edition of 25 which were numbered by Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) # 0001 - 00025. These 25 unique "Signature Series" saleable units were built before regular retail production and shipment to Chevrolet dealers. The "Signature Series" vehicles were used to create one-of-a-kind "pedigrees" for each vehicle before they were offered for sale through public or GM dealer auctions during 2003.

There were five units built to be used as "Official" Pace Vehicles which were done in Ultra Violet Violet with Silver Ghost flames paint which starts from the front of the vehicle and flows back to the tonneau cover. The color choice was limited to three colors for 2003 (Redline Red, Slingshot Yellow, and Smokin Asphalt).

The creation of the 2003 Pace Vehicle - paint work begins....

and graphics setup design work was underway
at Graphik Concepts.

The final product - the 2003 SSR Indy 500 Pace Vehicle....

In Pit Lane...

There are actually 26 vehicles that exist including one which was done for Roger Penske who collects a Pace Car and keeps the winning race car when one of his teams win the 500. Chevrolet does own the actual SSR VIN # 0004 that was used to pace the race on race day due to a mechanical problem to car number 2.

All of these were offered on the Auction block with the proceeds going to charity and the four Pace Vehicles were all auctioned off and the same person bought all four of them.

And at speed !!

2004 - The SSR was ordered in Redline Red for use as IMS Festival Cars. These were equipped with the 5.3 V-8. The Corvette was the Official Pace Car and IMS received Corvette convertibles (white/white tops with torch red interiors) which were used for the Brickyard 400 as well. The SSR color choices widened for 2004 as Ricochet Sliver and Ultra Violet Violet were added to the line.

Also this year, the Indy Racing League (IRL) used two Chevrolet SSR Pace Vehicles at all IndyCar series races during 2004, except the Indianapolis 500. On the exterior, distinctive red, white and blue accents and the IndyCar Series logos are added to the standard production Slingshot Yellow paint. Chevrolet's new "An American Revolution" marketing slogan also is featured prominently on the vehicle.

The SSR's arrive at the speedway.....

and have their graphics applied.....

Waiting to go to work... on a COLD morning!

The 2004 SSR Festival Vehicle - TOP UP

The 2004 SSR Festival Vehicle -TOP DOWN on the track.

Waiting to run....

A night shot of 2004 SSR's, with 2004 Corvette
Indy 500 Track cars in the background.

And the reverse view !

The Indy Racing League Greenlight Tour SSR
used as the Official IRL Pace Vehicle (except INDY).

The Rear Tonneau shot.

2005 - Slingshot Yellow SSR's were used as Track/Parade Vehicles for the 500 & 400. These were equipped with the Corvette derived 6.0 V-8 which was rated at 390 horsepower.

These were dual purpose vehicles as we kept forty for Brickyard and auctioned off the rest after the Indianapolis 500. For 2005 a single color was added called Aqua Blur Metallic.

The "Official" Pace Vehicle for Brickyard was a two-tone SSR in a new Pacific Blue Metallic with Daytona Sunset Orange. This special SSR was done with a ground effects package that molded the running boards into the body and was a really stunning vehicle. It was the last time that an SSR would be used even though it was considered again, but due to its final days and GM pulling the plug it would never again be an "Official" Pace Vehicle used at the Speedway for either race.

2005 SSR's arrive at the Speedway.

The 2005 Indy 500 Festival Queen in pit lane.

The 2005 Allstate 400 Track / Festival SSR on the bricks...

... and taking a lap...

The 2005 Brickyard SSR Pace Vehicle.
In Pacific Blue Metallic with Daytona Sunset Orange.

2006 - Some of the very first 2006 model SSR's (1-45) were used for a Dealer Drive-A-Way during the 2005 Brickyard 400. These were equipped with the 6.0 V-8. These were painted in a new two-tone package in, Smokin' Asphalt over Ricochet Silver, and this was the first time a two tone SSR was introduced to the public. These were ordered and built within an eight week period and were shipped in with everything already on them to speed up everything during the PDI process as we didn't have more than a week to get them all in and ready. For 2006 the new color choices were two-tone in Smokin' Asphalt & Ricochet Silver and Pacific Blue Metallic.

During the 2006 Season, SSR was used for the Opening IRL races in Slingshot Yellow.

The SSR will once again (and for the last time!) be put into duty to support the 2006 Corvette Z06 Pace Cars during the 90th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and the 13th running of the Brickyard!

The 2005 Allstate 400 "Dealer Drive-A-Way"
Actually these were early 2006 model year SSR's ready to go....

... and in action at the track!

The back of the field.

The "Final" delivery of 2006 SSR's to IMS.

The 2006 Indianapolis 500 Track / Festival SSR

2006 Corvette Track Cars lead the SSR's

Above: SSR's final contribution to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - support vehicle for the
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard 2006 race. These SSR's were "Rebadged" after the Indianapolis 500.

Now, it's time to say farewell to a vehicle that in a few words no one wanted but everyone liked, but only a few could afford. General Motors, this is another sad day in your history.


Howard Kirchenbauer
PCR Historian

From the birth of the "Signature Series" ....

To the "Final Production Run" ....
This just about says it all!!! Goodbye SSR !!