Original Survivor: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS Pace Car

While the Chevrolet Camaro has had the honor of serving as the Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500 on nine occasions with replicas then offered to the buying public, it has been the 1969 edition that seems to have really caught the imagination of collectors. Maybe it is the distinctive paint scheme or the bold interior trim. Or maybe it is the fact that while Chevrolet had every intention of producing around 6,400 examples of the Pace Car replica for sale to the general public, only 3,675 cars eventually saw the light of day. This one appears to be a tidy example that has belonged to its current owner since 2001. He has now decided to part with it, meaning that someone has the chance to acquire a relatively rare vehicle. The Camaro is located in San Diego, California, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding having reached a surprisingly modest $31,600, the reserve on the Camaro has been met.

Produced under RPO Code Z11, the Pace Car replica was anything but subtle. Its color combination of Dover White with Hugger Orange stripes was not designed to blend into the background. The owner says that apart from a repaint for the hood and front fenders, the rest of the paint on the car is original. The top works as it should, and it does look to be tight, clean, and free of faults. The floors and frame look to be solid, but the presence of cobwebs in various spots under the Camaro seems to suggest that it doesn’t see a lot of active use. The trim and chrome appear to be in good order, as does the glass. There is one issue that the new owner will need to address. Apparently, the vacuum lines are disintegrating, meaning that the headlight doors don’t work properly. Otherwise, everything is good, with the car presenting very nicely.

Potential owners could choose from all of the powertrain combinations available to any SS buyer back in 1969, but the original owner of this Pace Car chose to equip it with a 350ci V8, a 4-speed manual transmission, along with power steering and power brakes. RPO Z11 brought no performance upgrades over a ‘standard” Camaro SS, but with 300hp on tap from the 350, the Pace Car was still a pretty respectable performer. With a 0-60mph time of 6.4 seconds and a ¼ mile ET of 15 seconds, that was generally good enough to keep most owners happy. Of course, the owner also had the option of ordering their vehicle equipped with a 396, but plenty of buyers chose to skip that option. The engine bay of the Camaro presents to about the standard that I would expect from an original survivor, and the owner states that the car runs and drives well.

If the exterior of a Pace Car lacked subtlety, the interior trim just continued that theme. Orange door trims, combined with orange and black houndstooth upholstery on the seats, certainly made a bold statement. If the interior of the Camaro is as original as the rest of the vehicle is claimed to be, then it has also survived quite well. It looks like there might be a stain or mark on the base of the driver’s seat, but the rest of the upholstery and trim seems to be in good condition. There are a few minor marks around the interior on some of the plastic, but these are not an issue when you consider them in the context of a 1969-model survivor. The console features those cool, if slightly impractical, auxiliary gauges. Interestingly, the original owner chose to order the Camaro fitted with an AM/FM radio. Even though the overall Camaro production total for 1969 was 243,085 cars, a mere 8,271 of those buyers chose the AM/FM radio, because, at $133.80, it was not a cheap option.

If this 1969 Camaro Pace Car replica is as original as the owner indicates, then it would seem to be a nice survivor. Values on these tend to vary quite widely, with everyone seeming to have their own interpretation as to what they are really worth. Working on average, I would expect the bidding on this car to push up around the $40,000 mark, although it could go higher. I tend to think that if someone can secure it for anything under $40,000, then they’ve probably gotten themselves a pretty good buy.

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Comments

  1. Weasel

    Is that a water injector bottle under the hood, with the red cap?

    • Brian Robinson

      No it’s a recovery tank for the cooling system.

      2
      • Weasel

        Obviously not factory, right? That bracket looks horrid

      • Classic Steel

        The coolant catch is blocking air flow too. I know the top of breather is flipped but why there..,

        I would been happier with a homemade bottle beside the radiator at a lower angle more hidden with the overflow line running beside it.

        My 54 3100 has a system made by me that works great and does not stand out as godly as this one.

  2. JOHN Member

    I was in love when they introduced these, I was a junior in high school and I’m still am in love the the 69 pace car. Missed out an a few over the years, this one has a ton of potential.

    3
  3. AnalogMan

    John, I’ve been in love with these since forever too. When I was in high school in the 70’s, in a small town in upstate NY, there was one of these with a 396 and 4 speed. It was for sale at the same time I turned 16, got my license, and was looking for my first car. It was priced at $1,000, which, working part time for $2.00/hr, there was no way I could swing (I bought a rusty 1965 Mustang for $240 instead). I would go past that Camaro a few times a week, my heart skipping a few beats every time I did. A small block (or big block) Camaro with a 4 speed, sitting in an orange houndstooth interior, makes for a very sweet ride.

    For what these now sell for (and what this one will probably cost to buy and to then make right), I’m not much closer to buying one now than I was when I was 16.

    12
    • 408 interceptor

      I can remember when a 69 Camaro pace car was given away in a raffle in Canandaigua NY around 1985.

      • Pauk

        A radio station in Rochester NY also had a raffle to win one in the late 80’s

        1
  4. Chris H

    Should prob think about fumigating the storage area this was parked in. Would want a prospective buyer to get spider – bit during a test drive…

    Super nice car though!

    1
  5. AMCFAN

    What is it GM week? How is this garage queen a barn find?

    2
  6. Keith

    Love the Z 11 camaro , Love the Z 11 big block camaro more . But I want a Z 10 big block 4 speed hard top .

  7. matthew B steele

    Love this car..1 of my top 5 favorite..70 cuda, 66 gt350,66 vette,69 rs ss,70 GSX..there are plenty others..

  8. TimM

    Really good looking car and I bet it’s a blast to drive with the top down on a sunny day!!!

    1
    • Dickie F

      I don’t know about a sunny day drive. I had a 56 Speedster and 20 minutes into the ride wife to be started changing colour – some call it tanning.
      Never had another convertible after that.

      2
  9. Stangalang

    Let’s see here..an 87 iroc z for the same asking price as this…soooooo it ain’t that hard of a decision unless you just want a 87 iroc z

    3
  10. Joef

    Question…no Z11on vin tag…replica or real thing?

    • Steve R

      It’s a Van Nuys built car, only Norwood cars show Z11 on the trim tag.

      Steve R

      2
  11. bikefixr

    So, this is one of the 20,000 Pace Cars of the 3875 produced? I know of one near-perfect, document and certified matching numbers Big Block cars. The ONLY part of this car that is Pace Car is half the firewall with the trim tag and VIN. And for that he paid $12,000. The car was totaled in 1969.

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    One I should have hung onto….had two at one time why can’t I post pictures ?

  13. victor Sanchez

    I may br wrong but the stripes on the rear deck seam too close. the stripes on a 69 camaro were narrow on the hood and wider on the back just saying but a nice car. When I restored my 69 Z/28 that was a big deal to get the stripes right and up until that point I had no idea of the difference between the front and back,

  14. Johnny

    Back in 1973 my friend had one/ His had the 4 speed -396-rag top. He was telling me oneday and another friend of ours and him were cruiseing down the road doing about 100 mph .When the started hearing the flutter sound. He said he turned the radio off and asked his friend what what is. They both didn,t know. About that time the rag top blowed off. hahaha It was a good looking car.

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