is an Event Car ??
The 500 Festival Committee members with their 2008 Corvettes
at Monument Circle.
the simplest term, an "Event Car" is a Corvette
that was used in some supporting role during a race. This
could be one of the large series events, such as the Indianapolis
500, Brickyard 400, Daytona 500, 24 Hours of LeMans, an American
LeMans series race, or anything down to your local speedway.
Event Car could be a Replica of the actual Pace Car used that
year (1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2007, or 2008, like the car
pictured above), or "stock" Corvettes that were
shipped to the Speedway for use during the race and had special
event graphics applied to support another model from the same
manufacturer (as in 1990, when a Chevrolet Beretta was the
Pace Car, but Corvettes were there in a supporting role).
has paced the Indianapolis 500 no less than ten times, the
Brickyard 400 five times, and has been at the track in a support
mode during several more years. We will be focusing on those
used at an Indianapolis Motor Speedway event, since that is
where our largest following is since Chevrolet has built replicas
of Corvette Pace Cars in six of the ten years that Corvette
has paced the 500, and we have in-depth knowledge of these
cars when used at these races. But we would love to hear about
your own Corvette Pace car from the Brickyard 400, or any
of the other series, so send in your information and photos
to our Communications
the years, owners have come to hear these special vehicles
referred to as "Festival cars", "Parade cars",
"Track cars", "Dealer Drive-Away cars",
or something else. That is because over these years, the role
that the Event Car's have played has changed from year to
year. Below are the most common uses for these cars that will
help you identify what role a Corvette may have played. It
is possible, based on the race year, that a Corvette played
several roles, but in other years, a very small role, however
we would like to include and recognize all cars from these
years. If you have specific questions about how a Corvette
may have been used in a specific year, please check out that
year on the appropriate year Event car page.
is our view on the three major categories.
The 2009 IPL 500 Festival Parade - this Corvette carrying
driver Scott Dixon and his wife.
Saturday prior to the running of the Indianapolis 500, on
the streets of downtown Indianapolis, there is The IPL 500
Festival Parade. More
than 300,000 spectators will kick-off race weekend while enjoying
time with family and friends by watching the pageantry and
larger-than-life floats light up the city. The tradition continues
with the 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500 serving
as honorary grand marshals the day before the race, riding
in the traditional rows of three, with the winner of the pole
position bringing up the rear.
500 Festival is to advocate and celebrate the spirit,
heritage and legacy of the Indianapolis 500. Through social,
cultural and educational events and programs, The 500 Festival
enhances the quality of life for all citizens of their communities.
community and business leaders serve on The 500 Festival Board.
To this end, the Board Members are each assigned one of the
support vehicles delivered to the Speedway each year to use
during the month of May and these vehicles are driven around
Indiana to various annual committee sponsored pre-race events.
These vehicles are referred to as "Festival Cars".
Additionally, these vehicles may be used to carry the drivers
in The 500 Festival parade, but not necessarily (one example
would be in 2010 when Chevrolet Camaro SS coupes were assigned
to the committee members, however Chevrolet Silverado pickup
trucks were used in the Parade since the Camaro coupes did
not lend themselves well to carrying the drivers).
Indy 500 or Brickyard 400 Track Car
A 2004 Corvette Track Car carries race winner Jeff Gordon
on his winner's lap.
Notice the door event graphic changed from the Indy 500 to
the Brickyard 400 !
term "Track Car" can be used for both the Indianapolis
500 and Brickyard 400 races. In some years, the same vehicles
were used as both Festival Cars and Track cars, although they
were assigned to their specific duty group. In the case of
the Brickyard 400, The 500 Festival committee is not involved
in that event, so no cars are assigned out to that group for
this race, so consequently there are fewer Track Cars than
seen at the Indy 500.
Cars are those assigned to the Speedway and are then allocated
to IMS track executives or staff, local civic leaders (Police
Chief, Mayor,etc.), and in some years to members of the TV
and Radio media, Manufacturer executives (Chevrolet, Valvoline,
etc.), or even TV or movie stars.
some of the later years, Corvettes were delivered to the Speedway
and used during the Indy 500, then had their event decal removed
from the door, and rebadged for the Brickyard 400, U.S Grand
Prix, and even the Red Bull Indianapolis GP Motorcycle race
before being released for sale to the public.
Above: The 2004
"Dealer Drive-away" pre-race lap.
category of Event Car is limited to only several years of
Corvette's involvement at the Speedway. These cars are there
for one specific use, for example Chevrolet dealer sales campaigns
or other types of marketing programs.
example is during 2004, when there were White Corvettes and
Red Chevrolet SSR's that were used for Sponsor / VIP laps,
and Lemans Blue Corvettes that were used for the "Dealer
drive-away" program that was sponsored by the North Central
Region of Chevrolet. The latter program was a pre-race lap
on track carrying members of the Armed Forces. Post race,
these cars were then distributed and sold to the public with
the history of being used on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
we hope this overview helped out in your understanding of
these unique vehicles.