Winning bid of $225,000 secures drive of lifetime at 2011 Indy 500
Addison Brown, welcome to one of the best seats in the house for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.
Brown, from Scottsdale, Ariz., was the winning bidder at the Barrett-Jackson auction Saturday, Jan. 22 for the special-edition Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible that will serve as the Official Pace Car for the 2011 Indianapolis 500. She has the opportunity to drive the car during a parade lap in front of the field of 33 starters shortly before the green flag flies at "The Most Important Race In History" on Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Chevrolet donated Brown's winning bid of $225,000 to the David Foster Foundation (http://www.davidfosterfoundation.org), a charity devoted to supporting families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. David Foster, the 15-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter, founded the organization in his native Canada.
"I'm very excited," Brown said. "Thank goodness I've been to Bob Bondurant's school of racing and I am SCCA certified. So hopefully I'll do it justice.
"It's a beautiful car. I think Chevy does a great job with these Camaros. And it's got a lot of horsepower, and I'm excited. It's going to be one of the greatest experiences of my life."
The commemorative-edition Pace Car that Brown won is one of the 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee Cars.
A host of dignitaries and celebrities was on the review stand and encouraging bids when the Camaro Convertible Pace Car was auctioned at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Ariz., including two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and CEO Jeff Belskus and Foster. The auction was televised live on SPEED.
"It was just incredible that when you bring together a company as powerful as Chevrolet and a force like the Indy 500 and the 100th Anniversary and my foundation, which I love and is so close to me," Foster said. "Put those three forces together, and Arie Luyendyk, who came out to help us. I just want to say thanks to everybody, especially Chevrolet and Indy.
"That was one of the most exciting things I've ever done in my life. It's like skydiving. It was really exciting."
The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet and the seventh Camaro chosen to pace the Indianapolis 500. This year is the 100th anniversary of the race and also the centennial year of Chevrolet.
This year's Pace Car and matching Festival cars feature a Summit White exterior accented with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument panel trim. The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes.
The color combination is similar to the design used on 1969 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replicas - cars which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.
Equipped with a 400-horsepower V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the actual Pace Car for the race requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in front of the 33-car racing field. All 50 of the Festival Committees cars - including the car auctioned Jan. 22 - will be SS convertible models fitted with the 2SS equipment package and RS package.