I appreciate all the car support from readers!
I’ve been doing my own research project too, see the youtube review below. But in the video I screwed up – I was blabbing about the ’69 Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car model and by mistake called it a California Special, a real insult. I apologize to Camaro lovers everywhere.
A white ’67 Camaro convertible paced that year’s Indy 500 and some 100 examples were built for speedway use, but it wasn’t a special edition.
When the Camaro again was invited to pace the ’69 race, Chevy determinedly exploited every aspect of the expensive opportunity. Thus was born regular production option Z11, a $37 striping package that recast a Camaro convertible into a Pace Car.
That $37 price is deceiving, because the RS trim package (which included hidden headlamps) and the SS trim package (with the Z/28-style Cowl Induction hood and decklid spoiler) also were required. Furthermore, the Pace Cars had their own special interior with orange and white hound’s-tooth upholstery complementing the orange stripes and white paint. Buyers could choose either the 350-cubic-inch/300 horsepower small-block V-8 or one of the four 396-cubic-inch big-block V-8s with outputs ranging from 325 to 375 horsepower (the latter with aluminum cylinder heads and an 11.0:1 compression ratio). The car 1960 Indy 500 winner Jim Rathmann drove at the head of the 1969 Indy field was powered by the 375-horse 396, but the vast majority of the 3675 replicas were 350-powered.