Author Topic: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am  (Read 262 times)

SMKZ28

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The only 1968 Camaro Z28 convertible ever made was used as the pace car for the SCCA Can-Am event held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Sunday, September 1, 1968.  This was the first round of the six round Canadian-American Challenge Cup and it was won by Denny Hulme in his McLaren M8A Chevrolet.  It was driven on the pace laps by Stirling Moss, the famous British race car driver.  He drove the pace cars for most of the Can Am events at the time, including the previous year in the Camaro Cherokee.

Much has been written on this particular one of one car built for Chevrolet General Manager Elliott "Pete" Estes in the summer of 1968.  The car still exists and has recently had the graphics that appear in the photos reapplied to the doors.

Photos:
1) Stirling Moss sitting in drivers seat parked in front of the old Pagoda near the exit to pit lane.  It was probably taken prior to the start of the pace laps.  Picture originally credited to New York Times. (www.ulib.iupuidigital.org)
2) Close up of Stirling Moss in the car.  This picture originally appeared in the program for the 1969 June Sprints held at Road America the following year.  (ebay)
3) Full picture of placement of photo 2 in program. (ebay)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 05:58:07 PM by SMKZ28 »

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 03:13:51 AM »
Several years ago someone was selling a slide on ebay of a color picture taken of the car as it went around the track with Denny Hulme in the backseat on the victory lap.

1) worthpoint.com
2) Jon Mello
3) worthpoint.com

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 03:19:30 AM »
Jon Mello brought these two pictures to my attention several years back.  He believes they were taken at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan back in 1968 when the car was new.  I believe the car had the ZL2 hood, 4 wheel disc brakes and cross ram added there.  Correct me if I'm wrong.

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 03:24:16 AM »
These two photos show the car at the end of the pace laps just before the Can Am cars got the green flag to start the race.  Unfortunately they currently can not be found anywhere on the web.  I downloaded them several years ago from the Dave Friedman Collection at The Henry Ford.  They have never been added to their Flickr page.  I know they are blurry and small but I only put them here to prove the car was actually on track leading the pace laps.

When you were able to go to the pictures and zoom in on it you would see that the Camaro was just turning into pit lane in the 1st picture and you could see the back half of the car as it drove up pit lane in the 2nd picture.
 
The third picture is the program cover for the event.  It came from worthpoint.com
« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 03:10:28 PM by SMKZ28 »

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2019, 03:37:44 AM »
I have seen the car in person at several different venues over the years.

Here it is at the Muscle Cars and Corvette Nationals (MACACN) November 2013, Rosemont, Illinois

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2019, 03:41:50 AM »
I next saw the car on display at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin Concours held in conjunction with the WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman presented by HAWK vintage event at Road America on Saturday, July 22, 2017.  Notice that by this time the door graphics had been reapplied.

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 03:47:42 AM »
I then saw it on display at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals held in Rosemont, Illinois on Saturday, November 18, 2017.  Unfortunately, the placard displayed with the car misidentifies the race event that the car paced.  It incorrectly says that it "served duty as the pace car for the 1968 Road America June Sprints."  It should say, Can Am race, not June Sprints.  The car was not even built yet when the June Sprints took place.

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 04:01:29 AM »
The car was featured many years ago in an article in the October 1994 issue of Car Collector magazine.

I'm not sure why my pictures are sideways but hopefully if you click on the attachment you will be able to see it correctly.

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2019, 04:02:54 AM »
more

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 04:16:30 AM »
Back in 2012 I contacted Road America to see if they had any information or photos of the car pacing the event.  I sent them a copy of the first picture in this thread and got a response from Tim Kemmis, Road America photographer who had been working with them in their archives.  Nobody at the track had ever seen the photo and they couldn't find anything else.  I did get the following response,

"In looking through all the 1968 photos, there are no pictures or references of the Camaro pace car.  I think you have the best photo....."

The funny thing is several years later I was looking through the March/April 2017 issue of Vintage Motorsports magazine and I found an advertisement for Road America's schedule of vintage racing events and it prominently featured the picture I had sent them 5 years earlier.

SMKZ28

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2019, 04:27:15 AM »
Here is another version of the picture with the caption visible on the bottom.  This is the one I found years ago and unfortunately can't find the information on where it came from on the internet.

BULLITT65

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2019, 05:33:53 AM »
I saw the car in Auburn IN. The year they misplaced the keys to it...DOH!

I thought Dana Mecum owned it now, but who knows.
1969 garnet red Z/28 46k mile unrestored X77
-Looking for 3192477 (front) spiral shocks 3192851 (rear)
-Looking for an original LOF soft ray windshield
-Looking for original Delco side post negative battery cable part # 6297651AV

67conv6cyl

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2019, 12:16:45 PM »
Dose anybody else besides me  feel that this 68 Z28 is the most valuable Camaro of all time?

69Z28-RS

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 01:27:44 PM »
Since it's '1 of 1', it's definitely among the most RARE 1st gen Camaros...  but $Value$ depends upon WHO/How many would want a car...
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan

67conv6cyl

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Re: Road America: 1 of 1 1968 Z28 Convertible Pace Car for 1968 Can Am
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2019, 01:46:39 PM »
I know it would be my dream car!
Very very rare, very well known, very cool history.
Power widows, four speed, convertible Z28, special order, nice color combinations....the only negative would be that I would be afraid to drive it around!
I would love to see it in person!
Maybe if the muscle car market does go down drastically in the future I could afford it!!