Updated: Sep 15
Unique paint, wheels, and graphics set apart these celebratory drop-tops.
Continuing a storied tradition, Chevrolet is providing fifty-one identical 2023 Camaro SS convertibles to be used as Festival Event cars for this year's 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
The cars were presented and staged for the first time on the track's main straightaway on April 3th. In attendance for the special occasion were J. Douglas Boles, IMS president; Pat Merna, 500 Festival vice president strategic partnerships; Sarah Fisher, 500 Festival board chair and Mike Quinn, Chevrolet Indianapolis district sales manager. In the weeks leading up to the race, the run will be driven by current Indy 500 Festival Event members and personalities.
All of the cars are powered by a 6.2-liter small-block V-8 (producing 455hp/455 lb.-ft) with fifty being paired to an automatic transmission. A single example (car number #11) is equipped with a six-speed manual at the request of 11th IMS Track President, Doug Boles. Preferring to shift his own gears, Doug will use the vehicle throughout its April and May duties.
Z4C Package Components
The run features a unique RPO code of Z4C, identifying them as Festival Cars and bringing exclusive package contents. On the outside, they come painted 'Sharksin' Metallic silver (a new paint color for 2023) and feature 'Edge Red', white, and black graphics. As done in prior years, the stripe design includes a call-out to this year's race in the passenger side stripe on the hood cowl, embedded in the unique 'Edge Red' accent graphic.
A change from prior years: the large door graphics omit the date of this year's race. At the rear, a black center graphic is affixed between the taillamps and features the winged IMS logo on the driver's side.
Other equipment includes second-generation ground effects (in Carbon Flash Metallic), 20-inch forged aluminum wheels (which are the same design that last appeared on the 2018 Hot Wheels Edition Camaro) with black lug nuts, and larger ZL1-sized copper-free glossy black brake calipers with curved CAMARO logo.
Inside, the cabins are equipped with an Ash Gray leather interior and receive an exclusive numbered graphic fixed inside the driver's door jam. The cars are also numbered with graphics fixed to the base of the windshield on the driver's side and receive numbered temporary rear license plates. The accessories CAMARO embroidered center console lid is standard.
No details have been announced about which Chevrolet model will serve as this race's pace car. Indicators point to it being a 2024 Corvette E-Ray. The 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is scheduled to be held on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Year, Make, Model
2023 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
51 (50 auto: #1-10, #12-51, 1 manual: #11)
Convertible Top Color
'Edge Red', Black & White
20-inch aluminum five-spoke
Second-Generation Ground Effects (Carbon Flash Metallic)
Ash Gray Leather, Accessory embroidered console lid
Base of windshield, Inside driver's door jam, Rear license plate
Following Suit: 106th Indy 500 Festival Event 2022 Camaro SS Convertibles
This year's 2023 500 Event Festival Camaros follow a similar motif from the previous two years of 500 Event Festival Camaros, borrowing numerous styling cues from both. For the 2022 106th Indianapolis 500 race (held May 29th), the run of fifty-one 2022 Camaro SS convertibles was again designated by the Z4C Option Code. The cars were all equipped with the automatic transmission, except car #11, again slated for use by current IMS President, Doug Boles.
All were painted Wild Cherry Tintcoat with Ceramic White interiors with added second-generation ground effects (in Carbon Flash Metallic). Other touches included exclusive exterior graphics, dominated by a trio of center stripes.
Following Suit: 105th Indy 500 Festival Event 2021 Camaro SS Convertibles
Likewise, those cars followed a similar look to the previous year's run of 2021 500 Event Festival Camaros used at the 105th Indy 500 (held May 30th). Based on 2021 Shock and Steel Edition SS convertible models, the fifty cars were painted either Summit White (cars 1-15) or Shadow Gray Metallic (cars 16-50). All were equipped with items like second-generation ground effects (in Carbon Flash Metallic) and again the trio of center stripe graphics.
Again, all were equipped with an automatic transmission, except car #11, again slated for use by current IMS President, Doug Boles.
In 2019, the pace car was a 2019 Corvette Grand Sport coupe painted 'Long Beach Red' while the fleet of 500 Event vehicles was matching 2019 Corvette convertibles. In 2018, the pace car was a 2018 Corvette ZR1 with the 500 Event vehicles being orange 2018 Hot Wheels Edition Camaro convertibles.
You can learn more about the entire fifty-plus years of Camaro's appearance at the famed Indy 500 in my latest book, Camaro Special Editions.
Lead image courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Graphic resources courtesy of Vecteezy