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In the Garage: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Indianapolis Pace Car replica
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Indianapolis Pace Car replica owned by Edward Metropolis
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
With their “Dover White” bodies, “Hugger Orange” stripes and orange cloth and vinyl interiors, more than 130 Camaro Pace Cars made for quite a spectacle during the events surrounding the 1969 Indianapolis 500 race. They also made a big impression in showrooms that year when General Motors doled out almost 3,700 replicas, or roughly one such vehicle for every two U.S. Chevy dealers. Metropolis’ original convertible boasts the standard 350-cubic-inch V-8 with 300 horsepower, ram-air intake, hideaway headlights and a three-speed automatic transmission. “It still has lots of power,” he says. “When the secondary (carburetor) jets open, it roars and sounds ‘badass.’”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
“It has been in the family since new in 1969,” Metropolis says.
WHERE HE FOUND IT
It was purchased from a New Jersey dealership.
“It is an unmolested ‘survivor’ with 71,000 gentle miles,” he says. “It has never been raced. It has been garage-kept since 1969. It has never been in rain, snow or a car wash. The motor and transmission are all original – numbers-matching, of course – and have never been removed from the car. The valve cover gaskets, points, plugs and ignition wires were changed as needed. I actually have the original owner’s manual and a real rare item that the dealership gave us at purchase: two matchbooks with a picture of the car on them. The original factory firewall chalk marks (inspection marks added by workers during assembly) are still visible under the hood.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
Metropolis advises owners to drive their classic cars. “This is not a ‘trailer queen,’” he says of his convertible. “I actually use it locally on great weekends when I find the time. Driving around locally gets the car a lot of attention.” Collectors today look for special identifying marks to separate the more coveted original Pace Car replicas from modern-day imitations.
“I have seen similar restored ones selling for as much as $80,000,” he says. “My car is original. A car is original only once. How many are left and how many are unmolested? I know mine is.” The NADA Guides puts a “high retail” value of $72,000 on a 1969 Pace Car convertible before options.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“The rush I get now is the same as the rush I got when the car was new,” Metropolis says. “I have been able to relive my teenage years for over 40 years. You can’t put a price on that feeling.”