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1990 Festival Car info needed

 
Old 07-17-2018, 01:35 AM
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tbenvie
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Default 1990 Festival Car info needed

I've been researching the various years Pace Cars and have now started 1990. This is some preliminary info so far:

Three yellow Berettas were sent to the track for Pace Car duty. One is at the Indy Museum, one was at GM Heritage and auctioned in 2009 and now in Chevy Hall of Fame, the third one is missing.

Ninety six Beretta convertibles were made by Chevy, to include fifty in yellow or turquoise to be sent to the track as Festival Cars. There were major issues, so every one of them was deemed unsuitable by GM and donated to various trade schools for school use, or scrapped. (This same thing happened with the 1991 Buick Reatta convertible. Due to excessive cowl shake the majority of the cars were sent to trade schools, with only a few sold before the program ended). Of the 50 potential Pace Cars, there were 21 yellow and 29 Turquoise. Had RPO "B5A - PACKAGE "INDY CONVERTIBLE" INDY CONVERTIBLE PKG (B5A)"

GM Substituted 1990 Corvettes to be used as Festival Cars: 30 yellow and 50 turquoise.

They can be identified with RPO codes (both)

"YE8 - ENGINEERING TEST VEHICLE ENGINEERING TEST VEH"

and

"ACM - IDENTIFICATION LEAD UNITS".

The 30 yellow cars had RPO code

"53U - EXTERIOR COLOR, PRIMARY, COMPETITION YELLOW"

The 50 turquoise cars had RPO code

"42U - EXTERIOR COLOR, PRIMARY, TURQUOISE MET"

There were also 43 1991 Camaro Z28 convertibles as Festival Cars, all white with black interiors. They all had the pink "Indy 500" decal kits installed at the track.

Chevrolet also made Replica Pace Cars to be sold through the dealer network. These were also either yellow or turquoise Beretta coupes with black interiors that had yellow or turquoise accents and special wheels among other items. They also had the pink decal set. They can be identified by RPO code

"B5I - PACKAGE "INDY GT" INDY GT PKG"

There were 1500 yellow cars, 2 had interior RPO code

"82G - TRIM COMBINATION, CLOTH, DARK MEDIUM GRAY"

while 1498 had RPO code

"35G - TRIM COMB MED DK GRAY (CLOTH) (WITH YELLOW ACCENTS)"

There were 3115 turquoise cars made, RPO code

"42U - EXTERIOR COLOR, PRIMARY, TURQUOISE MET"

They all had interior trim RPO code

"42G - TRIM COMB MED DK GRAY (CLOTH) (WITH TURQUOISE ACCENTS)"

Total of 4615 Replica Pace Cars produced.

So here are some questions as I continue.

1-Does anyone have the track VIN and assignment inventory list for the 1990 race? These list the car, VIN, and the person the car would be assigned. Would be extremely helpful.

2-Why were the Camaros used? I heard the Vette didn't have the needed rear seat, but neither did the 84 Fiero, and if that was a problem why would the Allante be picked in 92, plus Vettes int he future?

3-Why the yellow-turquoise ratio built in the original convertibles, the Corvettes, and the Replica Pace Cars? Why two colors instead of one, and why not equal numbers between yellow/turquoise? Why was the Camaro white?

4-Could the Replicas Berettas be special ordered at the dealer, or did they come to the dealer on a floor plan-already ordered awaiting a future buyer?

5-What happened to the third actual Pace Car? The race winner was Arie Luyendyk and he did not get it, he got a yellow Vette1G1YY338XL5110455). Did PPG get it?

6-Is there truth (proof, not rumors) the yellow Corvettes were assigned to the track officials, but the turquoise cars were not assigned? If so, why?

One thing people have to learn is that there are three types of Pace Cars. First is the actual cars that paced the race. Originally two were provided, but in the last 30 or so years 3 were provided. They are usually highly modified for track duty. One stays with the Indy Speedway Museum (though not always), one goes back to the manufacturer for display in that museum (again not always) and for awhile one went to the race sponsor, PPG. If not, it went back to the manufacturer. the winner of the race did NOT receive an actual Pace Car, but one of the Replicas. Sometimes they asked for something else all together.

The second Pace Car is the Festival Car, originally called a Parade Car. These are given to local dignitaries and track officials usually a month before the race to drive around town and promote the race. They are also used in the 500 Festival Parade for the drivers to ride in. There is anywhere from 50-150 cars in this category.

The third Pace Car is the Replica. These are made for the dealers to sell. Sometimes they are all the same and the dealer is assigned one (or not). Sometimes they can be ordered by a customer, even with engine choices. Lately there has not been any replicas made for the dealers. An example would be the Mustang Replicas with 1000 in 1994 to over 7,000 in 1979 for example.

The cars at the Speedway are on a sheet with VINs and assigned drivers, assigned numbers, etc. These sheets are out there, but only a select few get one and are rarely shared. (The Speedway Museum of the Indianapolis track do not have any). I have been able to find a copy of a number of these, but alas, not nearly as many as I would like. I do not have 1990, but somebody does.

So to talk about the 1990 cars. I have access to a lot of build data and have done a cursory compilation of what I have. For some reason Chevrolet decided to showcase the Beretta Convertible for the race instead of the new ZR1 Corvette. GM had converted a number of Reattas to convertibles and had visions of a number of other convertible models down the road. Berettas were converted and roadtested and given the green light, so 50 yellow and turquoise cars joined the other 46 already made. (Total 96). The cars handling was less than fair, and there was tremendous "cowl shake", a problem Buick would have with the Reatta. Buick added some extra bolt-on reinforcements with no luck, and the entire 1991 Convertible line was sent to Florida for testing a a specific area. Cars were determined after the test to be 1-salable to the public, 2-sold only to GM employees who knew they were not perfect, or 3-not roadworthy and donated to a trade school and/or scrapped. Berettas were deemed not able to correct, so sent to trade schools. The three yellow ones kept for Pace Car duty were highly modified and strengthened.

Chevy substituted Corvettes to be the Festival Cars, 30 yellow and 50 turquoise. (I still do not know why two different colors were used, and why they were not made in equal numbers). Those not familiar with the race or the Festival Cars quickly laughed at 'Vette owners with pink decals, saying they were a "home made" pace car, and not a very good one at that. Little to no research was done on these cars, and a great many Corvette enthusiasts still don't know about them.

For whatever reason Chevy also sent 43 of the first 1991 Camaro Z28 convertibles to the track. These were white, and had the decals applied at the track. I don't know why they were sent-rumor has it because the Corvette had only two seats, but so didn't the 78 and 86 Corvette Pace Car, the 84 Fiero, and why would they select a two seat Allante for 92 if that was a problem?

I have all 3 VINs of the actual Pace Cars, i have all 80 VINs of the Corvettes, and I have 42 out of the 43 VINs for the Camaro. (I will find the missing one as well). I ran an Autocheck on the Camaro VINs and 22 of them have activity (title, registration, inspection, etc) in the last 5 years. Doing an image search I found a number that did not have decals, so the owners may not even know they are Festival Cars. The cars were made between 3/28/90 and 4/3/90. No specific RPO code for the Camaros, but the combination of the codes would give a hint of the cars legacy.

I am running an Autocheck on all 80 Corvette VINs. With 40 complete 31 have had activity on the last 5 years. Two do not show up at all with any activity. Of course, the other seven could be stored away-none of them have a salvage title thus far.

Both the Camaro and Corvette Festival Cars seem to be the forgotten Indy Cars, and many collectors don't even know about them.

Here is a link for the 94 Cobra Pace car info I researched:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/200776700706982/

And here is one on the 93 Allante used to pace the 92 race:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1810267675909744/

Have many other years complete and will publish soon. Could really use help on this one, especially if someone had the VIN lists from Indy. Thanks Here is a track photo showing a Beretta, Camaros, Corvettes.

Last edited by tbenvie; 07-20-2018 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:30 PM
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Finished the Autocheck on the second group of 40 cars. 30 have activity the last four years. No record on six of them. One has a Salvage Title and was not registered after this point in 2013. So 62 out of 80 have activity the last 5 years. Eleven have no activity at all. One Salvage Title. The other six show activity since 1990, but none the last 5+ years-could be in storage or not. Seems the survival rate is pretty high.

Still hoping to find the Indy list of cars and assigned people who would drive them. I have the three actual Pace Car VINs, the 80 Corvettes, 41 out of 43 Camaros, and I have no idea how many Beretta coupes were there. I was told they were just yellow ones, but do not know for sure. Anyone have information?
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:44 PM
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The pace car registry might have more info or a contact within GM that can look up the info.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:33 PM
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I'm sorry I don't have any answers, but this was an interesting read. Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tbenvie View Post
Finished the Autocheck on the second group of 40 cars. 30 have activity the last four years. No record on six of them. One has a Salvage Title and was not registered after this point in 2013. So 62 out of 80 have activity the last 5 years. Eleven have no activity at all. One Salvage Title. The other six show activity since 1990, but none the last 5+ years-could be in storage or not. Seems the survival rate is pretty high.

Still hoping to find the Indy list of cars and assigned people who would drive them. I have the three actual Pace Car VINs, the 80 Corvettes, 41 out of 43 Camaros, and I have no idea how many Beretta coupes were there. I was told they were just yellow ones, but do not know for sure. Anyone have information?
I have a 1990 yellow parade care with a number 3 in the windshield. It has a plaque on the dash that says Driven in the 1990 race. I am interested in finding who drove the car and any other info but I like you have found nothing for that year. Here is my vin. Hope it helps you. I have the original window sticker and the registration that shows that it was registered to USAC. Most are not registered to them I have been told. I have pictures of my car parked next to a Beretta that was purchased from a museum on the east coast. It was suppose to be an original. The photo was taken at the 500 track during the pace-car reunion https://www.motorsport.com/indycar/n...n-news/218209/. I will try to find the photo and forward it to you. Hopefully I have a picture of his license plate.

1990CHEVROLET CORVETTE-1G1YY3387L5110445

Danny Rodenburg
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:26 AM
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I found this you-tube video from that event My car and the Beretta are at the 1:15 mark on the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS0f7Uc1Xx4I have pictures at home and I will look for them.

Danny Rodenburg
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:07 PM
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I remember a large number of those cars (vettes) driven around town. Sometimes I see one even now. I am talking about the yellow wheels ones. Rarely do I see a c-3 one being driven around town, but have seen a few. Dont know if any remain in Indy at all. Wonder if the local chevy dealer has any info.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:29 AM
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Neighbor had a blue one they did exist.
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