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Pace Car in Pieces: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z11

1969 Camaro Z11

When Chevy was asked to provide the official pace cars for the 1969 Indianapolis 500, they went all out for the occasion. They didn’t just build a couple pace cars, they built an entire fleet. They crafted several ’69 Camaro Convertibles that would be capable of keeping the pace on the track, plus a range of support vehicles. Of course the Camaros got all the attention, so much so that GM decided to build 6k replicas for retail. They ended up only building 3k of them though, making them quite rare and desirable today. The pile of parts you see above was at one time one of these rare replicas. Today, it is just a rusty bucket of bolts that need to be restored and put back together. If you think you can tackle the task, you can find it here on eBay without a reserve.

Camaro Z11 Interior

The Camaros that were built for actual pace car duty were highly modified and tuned specifically for the task. These modifications included a high performance motor, aerodynamic upgrades, and suspension modifications. Since most of the upgrades were specifically for track use, they didn’t find their way onto production cars. The Z11 package was really more cosmetic than anything and made these street going cars certainly look the part. Ordering your Camaro Convertible with the package did require getting the RS/SS package, so they still offered respectable performance and you could always option your car with the 396 for some extra oomph.

Camaro Z11 VIN Tag

Besides the white and orange paint scheme, the Z11 also included a cowl induction hood, special interior, and rally wheels. Building a clone of the replica wouldn’t be all that difficult, as all cosmetic pieces are still being produced, so making sure this is the real deal boils down to the cowl tag. It has the correct Z11 designation, 50-A Dover white paint code, and 720 Houndstooth interior trim code. So it is the real deal, but the question remains if it is worth fixing this one back up.

Camaro Z11 Parts

I have a feeling that whoever buys this Camaro is simply buying it for that cowl tag and will most likely slap it onto a reproduction body, or at least a shell that is in better shape. While it would be the easier and cheaper option, there is something about restoring the original that appeals to me. I wouldn’t want to do the work, but in the end I think it would be more satisfying knowing that the car is riding on its original chassis with the body it left the factory with. That’s just my opinion though and the next owner will have to make the decision that works best for their situation and goals. So do you see this car ever being fixed or do you think that tag is going to end up on another body?


  1. Vince Habel

    More than i would take on even if it was given to me.

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  2. Mike G

    Kind of shocking considering the rarity of this vehicle. If I didn’t have the means to restore it, you can damn well believe that I would protect these parts from further degradation!

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  3. jim s

    i think the tag, title and vin is what the bidders are after. most of the parts will be sold off. the auction has about 6 1/2 days to go and it is already at $ 5100 with 18 bids! very interesting. nice find

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  4. Jim

    I always get a chuckle from listings that state “95% complete”…..less motor. As if the engine is immaterial and only amounts to 5% of the total car. Still, I’d buy it if it goes for a low enough bid as I love the ’69 body lines and have an affinity for the pace car but I’d drop a 396 or 427 in it.

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  5. Clay bryant

    No way would you put the tags on another car.If you’re going to do a 100% restoration,you’re going to have to disassemble it any way and your donor car would need the same.Had two of these years ago,both with big blocks(396/325 horse)There was only 50 big blocks and one of ours was #29 and was a back-up car at Indy.It went to the dealership in Lafayette,Indiana after the race.The other one,believe it or not did not have a center console but auto on the column.The general consensus was that this was built because it was used as a camera car at a track and they had to have room for the tripod mount.Drove half way across the country years later and bought the second one back again.(Product of a divorce)(It’s “gone” again.

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  6. Alan (Michigan)

    This will bring (what I consider to be) stupid money.

    Oh well, the factory muscle cars are really hot right now, I guess there is still noney to be made on a dismantled rust bucket.

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  7. Horse Radish

    Hey ! IT’s ALL THERE, NO ?
    With the holidays and long nights coming up, that would keep somebody busy for a while……..

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  8. Rich

    It would be sad to buy this just for the tag and title. Since number wont match It’d be easier to mod this with updated suspension and a nice crate engine.

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  9. The Chucker

    While this car was rotting away, I wonder how many times the owner thought, “I’m going to restore that someday.”

    Dash on passenger area looks caved in? Rest in pieces.

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  10. Brian

    I have to wonder, before the owner had the brilliant idea of ripping every part off this car, how many people must have knocked on his door wanting to buy it – and for good money? If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times, if you’ve never restored a car before, DO NOT begin buy tearing your car down, letting all the parts go flying everywhere and tossing nuts and bolts into coffee cans! Just like everything else in life, to be successful, you must have a plan and keep yourself organized! It’s hard enough to keep up with the parts even when everything is bagged up, labled, boxed up in order, and stored away properly – a few things always disappear! Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, a car torn apart like this will never be restored, so its nearly guaranteed that it’s fate will be as a parts car or crusher bound!

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    • Alan (Michigan)

      Thirty years ago I witnessed that very thing happen to a ’65 GTO in a neighbor’s garage. Was not the homeowner’s car, but a friend’s. The roof was in bad shape, and getting worse, so he tore the building down and left the car sitting on the slab. Eventually it was towed away. I’ve occasionally wondered what became of it.

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  11. Bruce R. Colbert

    Must be an Irish car.

    ” Pile O’parts “

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  12. tom999p

    This car was torn apart back in the early nineties when these weren’t worth much, I’m sure the owner never had an idea what it would have been worth twenty years later in mint condition with 22k miles on it. I’ll bet either a scam artist will buy it for the title and tags and put them on another car, or a rich guy will buy it and do a nut/bolt restoration with 99% new parts (resulting in a non-original car anyway). I’d be tempted to write down the vin and tag info and then do a search on them in five years….

    There was just a bare stripped shell for sale on Ebay about 4 years ago out of a junkyard that went for $15k….

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  13. ConservativesDefeated

    While I agree with you Josh that there is something about driving the car with the body on the chassis it came with,especially with a limited production vehicle like this; this rusted bucket of bolts will most likely just supply parts for another restoration. A rusted GM tub like that is toast. Darn shame.
    I don’t follow the (inflated) market on these but Ican’t see them bringing more than the middle 5 figures restored and original.
    But what do I know!

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    • The Chucker

      @ConservativesDefeated: Yep…VIN# and associated body tag will wind up on a Dynacorn body, then promoted as a “real deal” car.

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  14. keith Member

    I think everyone needs to start considering it is illegal to move a vin, everyone needs to start stressing that

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  15. Vince Habel

    It is done more than we think even thought it is illegal. 60 Ford convertibles have been made into a rare 60 Edsel. All they care about is the money to be made from a rare VIN plate.

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  16. RB

    Nice weekend project…

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  17. Jeff


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  18. W e bammerlin

    I had two, first one went to ex wife. She sold it for $250.00 to a couple teens. With two new G M fenders. Second one I bought from a junk yard where they were told to put a small block in it and turbo and trash the big block. Paid $1595. For the first one & $1100 for the second one. Had to sell the second one after restor. Cuz second wife put me into cc debt. Only got $8500. Cried

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