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Far From Its Former Glory, There Is a 1969 Festival Camaro That Hopes To Live Again
Out of the 133 vehicles delivered by Chevrolet for the 1969 Indianapolis 500 race, a few were used for pacing duty, while 43 were Festival Committee Cars and had to ride Festival Queens and other dignitaries in front of the crowd around the track. This is one of those 43.

Far From Its Former Glory, There Is a 1969 Festival Camaro That Hopes To Live Again

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In 1948 Chevrolet received the honor of providing the pace car for the 42nd Indianapolis 500 race. It was a Fleetmaster convertible. Seven years later, the bow-tie brand sent a Bel Air convertible to do the same job. Fast forward another twelve years, and Chevy showed up again with the 1967 Camaro.

It returned two years later with the '69 model of the same pony car. The carmaker sent 133 cars this time, of which just two were used for pacing the race. One Pace Car featured a power top and air conditioning and was given to the race winner, who happened to be Mario Andretti. Other seven Pace car replicas were used for various duties on the track.

Apart from the vehicles used for the race, 43 were used for Festival Queens, other 80 were Pace Car replicas used for USAC officials, VIPs and the press. In the same year, Chevrolet tried to sell 6,200 official replicas after the Festival Cars, one for each dealership. Still, it ended up producing just 3,675 units. Nevertheless, according to Hemmings, these are also valuable, and their prices go above $150,000.

Chevrolet built the Festival Camaro based on the 1969 Camaro SS/RS and fitted it with the Z11 package, which was introduced in February of that year. In addition, they were equipped with headlights covers, coil induction hood, and Rally Wheels. All of them were Dover White with white tops and sported Hugger Orange stripes.

Inside, the Festival Camaro featured an Orange Houndstooth interior and, on the center console, the SS's typical four-gauge cluster. Under the hood, Chevrolet installed a 350 (5.7-liter) V8 engine paired to an automatic transmission. A 3.07:1 Positraction differential handled the 300 horses produced by the engine.

Considering this, you might ask yourself how much a real one would cost. Well, it's hard to tell since we couldn't find any genuine, all-original one with proof of authenticity, apart from this one, which popped up in Wylie, Texas. This example doesn't look good at all. And yet, it is an original Festival Car. There is a letter that confirms that, and the VIN may be found on the list of the USCC Exclusive report as the Festival Camaro no. 26.

The seller, who goes by the name classiccarsandjeepparts, knows what this car is since they show all the documentation that proves the vehicle's historical meaning. Yet, some might say that this is just a rust bucket. True, the floors and the bodywork look rusty in all the places. The hood shows different layers of paint and a crisp red bare metal underneath. Still, we know that Detroit metal doesn't go down that easily, and this vehicle can still be rescued.

At first glance, the car seems to be complete. Even though it shows just a mere 31,684 miles (50,990 kilometers) on the odometer, the total mileage is unknown. But it doesn't really matter since the car needs a complete restoration. The carpets, seats, body panels, and floormats are in poor condition, and the same goes for the folding roof. Moreover, the floors are rusted, and the side sills display big holes. Nevertheless, the vehicle is complete.

Even if the seller doesn't say if the engine is locked up or not, it's a safe assumption to say that it doesn't run. Moreover, they would help load the car with a forklift. Maybe someone with deeper pockets will consider spending over 100k restoring this piece of history and returning it to its shiny glory. But, at the time of writing, the buy now price is set at just a mere $15,800. For a rust bucket, that's a lot. But, for a piece of history, it's a bargain.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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