I was looking to possibly buy a 2010 Pace Car. I kind of forgot about it until the week before the race. The Wednesday before the Race I sent a text message to a friend that was out at Indy for the race. I told him I was looking to buy a Pace Car Replica, and asked if he could maybe talk to one of his connections at GM for me. I did not get an answer immediately, and after a week or so went by after the race, I assumed nothing was going to happen.
I started my own search for a Pace Car. I found multiple cars on Cars.com at dealerships and a few on ebay. None of these were numbered Festival or Parade Cars. I tried to buy one from a dealer in Texas, but after getting the double talk about what my trade was worth, I decided to abort that deal. I talked to Becky at Rodgers, and told me she had a line on another one for me. She went above and beyond trying to help, but again, nobody (their Used car manager or wholesaler) ever wants to put proper money into a trade, so that deal was off as well.
It was around this time I learned of the Numbered Festival/Parade Cars. I located a few and while I was very close to closing a deal on car #17, I received a phone call from Craig at GM. He is an Engineering Group Manager for GM Performance Division and their group is responsible for the Pace Car Program. He proceeds to tell me my friend called him during the race weekend and personally asked for them to set me up with a car, and they have one set aside for me. I was given the name of the Regional Sales manager of Chevrolet for the Indianapolis area, and he directed me to the person that is in charge of distributing the Festival/Parade Cars. At this time, I still do not know where the car is or if it is a Dealer Car or a Festival Car.
I was directed to get in touch with Bill Estes Chevrolet in Indianapolis. Upon calling them, I got hooked up with Damon Smith who is their ebay/Internet Sales Manager. He made a few phone calls and called me back. He proceeds to tell me the car is still at the Speedway and is in fact a Festival Car #45 with 1831 miles on it. I cannot believe this is happening!
Shortly thereafter, he sent me an email stating this car has my name on it, and I can have it delivered through any Chevrolet Dealership I choose and that I am to be treated as a VIP. If they did not make the deal I wanted, I could go to a different dealership. I told him I had a trade, and that I wanted to pay invoice for the Camaro and the amount I wanted for the trade. 1/2 Hour later I get a call back saying everything is fine, when do I want to pick it up?
He then went to the Speedway and made a video of the car for me.
I made arrangements to trailer my '94 Corvette Trade 625 miles to Indianapolis and bring #45 home. We drove out Sunday 6/20. Left Allentown PA at 10 AM and arrived at the dealership at 9 PM. Unloaded the Vette and crashed at a Red Roof Inn across the street. Got up Monday morning, went to the dealership and picked up #45. Stopped at the Speedway on the way home and took some pics in front of the Museum.
My Trade ready for the trip....
Some pics of the car........
Oh, I almost forgot, a HUGE THANKS to my friend that set this up for me. The worlds Greatest Race Car Driver Ever, and one of the nicest people I have had the honor to meet..........And the '69 Indy 500 Champion!!!! The one and Only...Mario Andretti!