Author Topic: 1967 Camaro RS/SS Convertible Pace Car for USAC Champ Cars at Milwaukee in 1967  (Read 515 times)

SMKZ28

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Less than a week after the rain delayed 1967 Indianapolis 500, a white 1967 Camaro RS/SS 350 convertible with light blue interior was used as the pace car for the Rex Mays Classic United States Auto Club (USAC) Championship Car event held at State Fair Park Speedway (currently known as the Milwaukee Mile) in West Allis, Wisconsin.  This was the follow up race to the Indianapolis 500 on the USAC Championship Trail (Indycars) and it took place on Sunday, June 4, 1967.  Gordon Johncock started on the pole and won the 150 mile race in his Gerhardt Ford.

The color picture demonstrates that the car had the same blue interior, blue nose stripe and door decal as the Indianapolis 500 pace car.  Differences include the Mag style wheel covers, bumper guards, the words "East Side" written in cursive on the rear fenders and "EAST SIDE CHEVROLET" written in block letters across the hood.  Although the resolution isn't very sharp, it seems to me that the words on the door sticker/decal are the same as at the Indianapolis 500.  I'm not sure if East Side Chevrolet acquired one of the Festival Cars used during the month of May in Indianapolis or if this car was held in reserve to only be the pace car in Milwaukee.  Either way there were not many 1967 Indy Pace Car Camaros equipped with the Mag style wheel covers.  The shape of the badge on the front fender seems to indicate that this car had the 350 as opposed to the 396 featured in the actual Indianapolis 500 pace cars and a few Festival Cars.

1st picture: I found this color picture 5 or 6 years ago at a web site called Wisconsin Racing Photos Online.  Sadly, it no longer exists.

2nd picture: Close up of the Camaro RS/SS convertible pace car from the previously mentioned web site.

3rd picture: This black and white picture captured the Camaro RS/SS convertible pace car heading the opposite direction on the race track from the way the race is run.  I found it at www.pinterest.com
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 04:38:01 AM by SMKZ28 »

SMKZ28

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The Friday, May 19, 1967 edition of The Milwaukee Journal featured an advertisement for East Side Chevrolet that announced "EAST SIDE CHEVROLET SUPPLIES OFFICIAL PACE CAR FOR REX MAYS JUNE 4 Classic."  The car in the ad is obviously not the same car that would pace the event.  They seem to have used the stock picture that can be seen in other "Camaro Pacesetter" ads at the time. 

The copy states that "if you can't wait til the dust settles, come in to East Side and see this factory-equipped Pace Car..."  Since this ad was published on Friday, May 19, 1967 it just might prove that the actual pace car used at The Milwaukee Mile was never in Indianapolis during the month of May.  I found it on Google Newspapers. 


SMKZ28

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The program for the event also featured a similar East Side Chevrolet advertisement on page four.

SMKZ28

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Page seven of the event program also mentions "Pace Car -- Chevrolet Camaro -- Courtesy of East Side Chevrolet 2239 North Prospect Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin"

SMKZ28

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Here are a couple of cool ads I found in Milwaukee newspapers leading up to the race on June 4, 1967 at the Milwaukee Mile.  Both came from here: https://news.google.com/newspapers/

The first ad is for a Milwaukee dealership named Jim King Chevrolet.  It proclaims, "you saw the Camaro pacing this year's Indianapolis 500 mile race.  Not everyone can drive a pace car, but you can drive a Camaro!  NOW...DURING SPEED WEEK  Jim King Chevrolet is reducing optional equipment on all Camaros."  Speed Week must have referred to the week between the running of the Indianapolis 500 and the local Rex Mays Classic at the Milwaukee Mile.  It appeared on page 6 of the Friday, June 2, 1967 edition of The Milwaukee Journal.

The second is an ad for the race that appeared in part 2, page 2 of the Thursday, June 1, 1967 and in part 2, page 3 of the Friday, June 2, 1967 editions of The Milwaukee Sentinel
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 11:09:55 PM by SMKZ28 »

william

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51 years later, neither dealership survives. Other businesses now occupy the premises.

Worse, there is talk about tearing down the Milwaukee Mile. Has not hosted a race in several years, nothing on the schedule. Just sits there, unused.

SMKZ28

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Worse, there is talk about tearing down the Milwaukee Mile. Has not hosted a race in several years, nothing on the schedule. Just sits there, unused.

I know it's sad. So much history there.  It's the second-oldest operating motor speedway in the world.  The Milwaukee Mile’s hosted at least one auto race every year from 1903 to 2015 (except during U.S. involvement in World War II).  I'm from Chicagoland and I would drive up there every year to see the CART, Champ Car, IRL, Indycar (whatever the sanctioning body was called at that particular moment) events from the early 90's till their last one a few years ago.  I love that the Indycars are back at Road America but I wish they could still find a way to go back to Milwaukee as well.  Nothing like it on the schedule.

77thor

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I ordered my 1977 Camaro Sport coupe new from Jim King Chevrolet.
I grew up living right down the street from them.
1969 Camaro SS, 350(NOM), M21, 12 Bolt Posi, 01B LOS Build
1977 Camaro, 350(LM1), M20, 10 Bolt Posi, Purchased New, (SOLD)

70L34

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Yep...Jim King was less than a mile away from my grandparentsí House. Any idea when it closed? Seems like Pro Comp auto Body has been occupying that space forever.

77thor

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Jim King was bought out by Braeger Chevrolet... in the mid-80's, I think.
1969 Camaro SS, 350(NOM), M21, 12 Bolt Posi, 01B LOS Build
1977 Camaro, 350(LM1), M20, 10 Bolt Posi, Purchased New, (SOLD)