An AL head L89 big block 69 Pace Car would be a very interesting find, but one that you should check out very carefully, at a $40K asking price. However, $40K for a very nice Pace Car is not a bad price. This summer, I helped a friend on mine, who lives in the local area (a suburb of Indy) sell a nice #7 out 10, original 350 sb, automatic, 69 Pace Car, for just over $40K, to another local car restorer that I know.
If you have not done so already, please check the CRG Research Report: "69 Pace Cars and Z10", www.camaros.org/69pacer.shtml
. This article states that the two (2) 1969 Pace Cars modified to pace the race were "blue printed" L89 Al head 396's, with automatics, power steering, sport-style steering wheels, consoles, gages and AM radios, and most importantly, the coveted service option JL8 four-wheel disk brakes, with 3:31 dif gears. After assembly (form the Norwood plant), the two cars were shipped to the GM Tech Center for special teardown, inspection, and reassembly of the engines and transmissions. The article goes on to state that the AL heads were replaced with L78 cast iron heads.
Just about anything is possible and someone could have very well special ordered (with some inside GM help) a L89 69 Pace Car. If the seller will let you, document the VIN #ís from the engine and trans. Get the build dates of these components along with the rear axle codes. AND IF AT POSSIPLE, remove the valve covers and get the date code off those AL heads! If you need help, the good people from CRG and the fraternity of CRG members can help you decipher these critical codes and dates. Or, pick up Alan Colvinís must have book, Chevrolet by the Numbers, 1965 Ė 1969, or any number of guides to help with this task. PS: if you discover this Pace Car is outfitted with all the above noted options, and if the date and VIN codes check out, hand him $40K and run with this car!!
I know who has 69 Pace Car #1, and have many documentation photos of his car. Only the carís exterior has only been cosmetically restored, otherwise itís original. The owner found and put an original set of L89 heads back on this car. He learned that there was some concern over the durability of the AL heads so they were replace with the cast iron heads by the GM Tech center prior to deliver to the Indy Speedway.
Good luck with this car! Keep us informed and if you buy it, please post pics! Here is a pic of the engine.