Friday, May 27, 2011

Chevy and Indy 500 Celebrate 100 Years of Shared History

• Louis, Arthur, and Gaston Chevrolet all competed in early Indy 500 races
• 2011 Camaro SS Convertible will be 22nd Chevrolet to start iconic race
• New 2.2L turbocharged Chevrolet V-6 to compete in 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series

On May 30, 1911, Arthur Chevrolet competed in the inaugural Indianapolis 500. One hundred years later, a Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible will lead the 2011 Indianapolis 500, as the car maker and iconic race celebrate their Centennial anniversaries – and start the countdown for Chevrolet’s return to IndyCar racing in 2012.

“Before Chevrolet was a brand, Louis Chevrolet and his brothers made a name for themselves behind the wheel of a race car,” said Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “After Chevrolet became a car company, Louis and his brothers continued to race at Indy, forging one of the most storied relationships in automotive racing.

“That history includes some of the most memorable cars that have paced the Indianapolis 500, well as many checkered flags won under Chevrolet power,” Campbell said. “With a new Chevrolet race engine competing in next year’s race, the relationship between Indy and Chevrolet is heating back up.”

1911 - 1920: Louis, Arthur, and Gaston Chevrolet compete at Indy.

Although 2011 marks the 100th anniversaries for Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500, the connection can be traced back to as early as 1905.

That year, Louis Chevrolet and Carl G. Fisher competed while touring the Midwest as daredevil drivers in racing exhibitions, and the excitement of automobile racing shaped the fortunes of both men.

In 1909, Fisher began building his brick-paved auto-racing track near Indianapolis as Louis Chevrolet became a nationally known celebrity driving for Billy Durant’s Buick racing team.

In early 1911, Durant invited Chevrolet to partner on automotive projects, including a new car to be called a “Chevrolet.” Louis soon took a break from engineering to help his brother, Arthur, prepare a Buick for the inaugural 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

On May 30, 1911, Arthur Chevrolet drove 30 laps in the first Indianapolis 500 before mechanical problems sidelined his car. On November 3, 1911, Louis Chevrolet and Billy Durant incorporated the Chevrolet Motor Car Co. in Detroit.

Three years later, Louis Chevrolet sold his interests in the Chevrolet car company to Durant and moved to Indianapolis to pursue racing with his brothers. Louis competed in the 1915 Indianapolis race, lapping the track at more than 80 mph before dropping out with engine trouble. He returned for the 1919 Indianapolis 500 with brother Gaston, campaigning in cars from their own company, Frontenac Motors Corp. Louis and Gaston finished seventh and tenth, respectively. In 1920, Gaston won the Indy 500 in a Monroe-Frontenac, becoming the first winning driver to finish the race on one set of tires.

1945 to Today: 22 Chevrolet Vehicles Pace the Indy 500

Carl Fisher paced the first Indianapolis 500 – in his personal car – because he felt a rolling start would be safer than the traditional drivers’ sprint. Since then, the pace laps that start the race have become a popular tradition of the Indy 500. This year, a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible will pace the 500-mile race – the 22nd Chevrolet to do so.

“Chevrolet has paced the Indianapolis 500 more times than any other brand,” said Campbell. “The 2011 Camaro SS Convertible Pace Car brings a modern interpretation of one of the most iconic cars ever to pace Indy – the 1969 Camaro SS Pace Car. We think this is a fitting way to celebrate Chevrolet’s history with the Indy 500, while gearing up for our next 100 years at Indy.”

The first Chevrolet to pace Indy, a 1948 convertible, was driven by Indianapolis Speedway President Wilbur Shaw.

Ten Corvettes have paced the Indianapolis 500. The first appearance was in Corvette's 25th anniversary year, 1978. That year, the Wall Street Journal triggered a buying frenzy for the official 1978 Corvette Limited Edition Pace Car replicas when it published a front-page story about their collectability

The 2011 Camaro SS will be the seventh Camaro to pace the 500. The first was in 1967, the year of Camaro’s introduction. Camaro was invited back to pace the 1969 race. The white 1969 SS Convertible pace car, with its domed hood, "Hugger Orange" stripes and specially trimmed interior, became a singularly iconic Indy pace car. Today, Camaro collectors treasure the remaining examples of the 3,675 official replicas built in 1969.

The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indianapolis 500 Pace Car’s Summit White exterior, with orange stripes, is a direct lift from the 1969 pacesetter, while the orange leather-trimmed interior is a modern counterpoint to the historic exterior. To bring the pace car look to the street, Chevrolet will offer 500 of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars for sale. They are slated for delivery this spring.

2012: The Return of Chevy Power to IndyCar

In addition to pacing the Indy 500, Louis Chevrolet’s namesake has also powered many of the cars that competed at the Brickyard.

Most recently, Chevrolet competed in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, winning 104 races, powering six driver champions, and scoring seven Indianapolis 500 victories.

Next year, Chevrolet will return to the IZOD IndyCar Series with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel. Developed by General Motors and Ilmor Engineering, the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 will have a displacement of 2.2 liters, aluminum block and cylinder heads, and will be a fully stressed chassis member supporting the gearbox and rear suspension.

The Chevrolet IndyCar engine will be available to all entrants in accordance with the series' regulations. Team Penske is the first IndyCar team to commit to Chevrolet power in 2012. Team Penske previously tallied 31 open-wheel victories with Chevrolet engines, including four Indianapolis 500 wins.

For Chevrolet coverage during the Indy 500 weekend, visit the Chevrolet Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter, hashtag: #ChevyIndy500.

About Chevrolet
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at

Thursday, May 26, 2011

National Corvette Museum Displays Roy Orbison's 1967 Corvette Stingray

Roy Orbison was one of the world's first car collectors, and took great pride in his collection. His red 1967 Corvette Stingray is now on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

Roy was a big Corvette fan and owned several over the years. The display car was Roy's personal car, used daily to drive to the studio during the making of "The Traveling Wilburys" and "Mystery Girl" albums. It was also the last car that Roy purchased before his death in 1988.

The car has 390HP and 427 CI. It features factory side pipes, air conditioning, OEM bolt-on alloys, chrome step plates, 4-speed manual transmission, electric windows, power steering, OEM gauges, 3 2BBL carburetors and matching numbers. The car is on loan from Roy's wife, Barbara Orbison.

Crank up your favorite Orbison tunes and take the scenic drive to Bowling Green this summer to see Roy's car, as well as many other American classics!

Monday, May 23, 2011

America's Sports Car Recognizes America's Warriors

Event Welcomes Wounded Warriors from Fort Knox and Fort Campbell to Corvette Country

Sometimes it can be hard to find a meaningful way to show your appreciation towards those who give so much to protect our freedom, but on May 26 Corvette enthusiasts have a unique opportunity to do just that.

The National Corvette Museum in collaboration with hundreds of Corvette enthusiasts and other supporters of our nation’s military are joining together to honor our American Warriors with a special caravan that will bring Wounded Warriors to Bowling Green, Kentucky for a day of immersion in America’s Sports Car, the Corvette.

Approximately 80 wounded warriors will be given a scenic ride from Fort Campbell and Fort Knox to Bowling Green by enthusiasts from all over the country in Corvettes, escorted by Kentucky State Police. The day’s activities include guided VIP tours of the GM Corvette Assembly Plant and National Corvette Museum, lunch and a complimentary gift card to the Museum’s Corvette Store.

Financial support for the event was provided by ExxonMobil, National Association for Uniformed Services, American Legion Post 23 and numerous other individuals, clubs and organizations.

"We are very proud and honored to support the American Warrior Recognition," said Rebecca Aldred, Mobil 1 global brand manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties Company. "We are extremely grateful to these brave men and women for the sacrifices they made in service to their country, and intend to demonstrate that appreciation during their visit to the National Corvette Museum and the GM Corvette Assembly Plant."

Those who cannot attend the event but would like to contribute to the cause may make a tax-deductible donation online at

A second American Warrior Recognition event is planned to be held during the Museum’s annual “Vets ‘n Vettes” event in November.

Monday, May 16, 2011

National Corvette Museum Honors Teachers with Appreciation Expo

This Sunday, May 22 from 1-3pm area teachers have the opportunity to be rewarded for their hard work and efforts at the 2nd Annual Teacher Appreciation Expo. The event began as a way for the local community to show their appreciation to educators who work so hard to educate our youth. Last year’s event welcomed educators from 13 school districts and offered an afternoon of free food, massages, door prizes, swag bags and vendor booths geared towards teachers plus free Museum tours for the teacher and their immediate family.

“Growing up with a parent who worked in the school system I saw a lot of behind the scenes work they do to prepare for their students,” said Katie Frassinelli, Marketing and Communications Manager. “An event like this gives our community the chance to thank the teachers for everything they do because often the teachers don’t get thanked enough.”

This year offers loads of door prizes including $50 worth of Mary Kay cosmetics; free color, cut and style from Spa Fabulous; jewelry by A Sterling Performance; wreath by Lolly Dots Boutique; Tastefully Simple gift bag; $50 Parent-Teacher Store gift card and much more. Teachers and their immediate family will also enjoy food and drinks provided by Puerto Vallarta, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, Mariah’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sam’s Club, Riley’s Bakery and Fazoli’s.

“We have some demonstrations that will take place on our stage throughout the event, and the first 150 teachers will take home a swag bag filled with loads of goodies,” said Jackie Utzler, Education and Community Events Coordinator at the Corvette Museum.

Teachers are encouraged to register online for the event at

For more information , visit our website:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

General Motors Announces C7 to be Built in Bowling Green, Kentucky

The General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant was packed full of community and state leaders, GM officials, media and supporters of Corvette today in hopes of good news with regards to the future of Corvette and Bowling Green. It was good news indeed as GM North American President Mark Reuss took to the podium and announced their plans to invest $131 million in the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, "This facility is particularly thrilling for me to be at because I've had Corvettes, in fact, Corvette is one of the reasons why I went to work for the company a long time ago," said Reuss.

"It's a thrill for me to be here today in Bowling Green as the bearer of good news at one of our very best facilities building" our most iconic car," Reuss said. "When I say our most iconic car, I really mean America's most iconic car."

Reuss then cut to the chase and made the announcement everyone had been hoping for, "I'm here to announce that GM will invest $131 million in Kentucky to ensure that the next generation Chevrolet Corvette will be produced by this team, in this plant, in Bowling Green - the Home of Corvette.

Reuss's announcement was met by resounding applause, cheers and a standing ovation

"Thank you to you because you are the reason and the quality and the innovation and the craftmanship that happens here is a direct reflection of our re-investment, but more importantly as much money as that is, we really are adding about 250 jobs to the area..."

Reuss said the current generation will continue for about two more years while work happens behind the scenes work will begin to update the facility and ensure the Corvette will continue to be the true American sports car built here for many years to come. The C7 model is predicted to be debuted Spring of 2013 for a 2014 model year Corvette.

"As you know Bowling Green is a special place and not just to me and to GM but to Corvette lovers around the world. This place is THE mecca for those who appreciate true affordable sports car performance and they come from the four corners of the globe to see what you do here," said Reuss. "It is amazing and it is inspiring and it is very American. "

Reuss added that they come to see the birthplace of the American car that holds it own against Porsche, Ferarri, BMW and the rest of the legendary European sports car makers, both on the street and on the track. "They come to see how on earth Americans can build such a car... a car that meets and beats the best in the world, and the world has to offer, although typically the world has to offer theirs at a MUCH higher price point."

Reuss praised the craftsmanship of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, that the plants in Italy wish they could match. He added that though GM boasts the Corvette getting 27 miles per gallon, that he had a Corvette in school and would get better than that - 29 miles per gallon from Detroit to Nashville. "Like the ad says, you are building rockets."

"Unlike any other facility in North America your doors are open to our customers who make pilgrimmages to Bowling Green to see their car being built, meet the people, and visit the National Corvette Museum." Reuss also praised the Museum pointing out that it is not funded by General Motors. "I'm one of the lovers of the Museum and the heritage of Corvette and this state means a lot to me personally."

Reuss closed his presentation saying "Tadge and the team are doing the next generation Corvette and it will thrill all of the sports car drivers of the future and it will be built right here." He added that this is just one of their ongoing investments of billions of dollars in their US facilities, keeping and creating jobs for their American workers.

Later in the presentation Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear named Reuss a Kentucky Colonel, presenting him with a framed certificate and mint julep cup.

Watch a complete video of Reuss's speech on the National Corvette Museum's You Tube channel at High res images are also available for download at:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NCM Motorsports Park Project Kicked Into High Gear

Six more acres committed for Motorsports Park Project, Phase 1 Progressing

Each April during the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash festivities an evening banquet is held to recognize and thank those who go the extra step to support the Museum with donations totaling $1,000 or more for the previous year, and those who have added the Museum to their estate planning.

The 2011 banquet brought special guests, members of the Corvette Racing team including Program Manager Doug Fehan, Car #3 Crew Chief Dan Binks, and Driver Tommy Milner. Doug inspired the group with a moving speech on how important dedicated enthusiasts are to both the Museum and the brand, saying that the Motorsports Park is the “final jewel in the crown of Corvette.” He added “nobody has a museum funded by the people who buy the car, love the car, have a passion for the car.” Nobody except Corvette of course! Doug reminded supporters that they have the power to make the Motorsports Park a reality and they have the power to influence others to join with them.

After presentations were made to the nearly 100 donors and supporters in attendance, Larry and Peggy Martin of Louisville, Kentucky made a surprise visit to the stage. Larry spoke of how Doug’s words inspired them, and how they wanted to come forward and commit to joining the “One Acre Club” with a contribution of $15,000. Larry welcomed others who felt as strongly about Doug’s speech to also come forward and share the stage… and joining Larry and Peggy were Jack and Doris DeLong of Huntingdon Valley, PA; Andy Guinn of Douglassville, TX and Wendell (and Jan) Strode of Bowling Green, KY . Also making a commitment of purchasing an acre that evening were Steve and Debbie Uhrig of Arcanum, OH. Steve and Debbie had previously committed to purchasing an acre and increased that commitment to two acres. The following day, Wayne and P.J. Ray, founding members from Roswell, GA, came on board, committing to an acre. Other members and clubs also expressed interest in supporting the project in the near future.

“We’re so thrilled with the support and enthusiasm for our project,” said Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode. “In a tough economy, it means a lot to have so many Museum and motorsports supporters step up to the plate.”

Strode also announced at the Bash that the Motorsports Park would now be completed in phases so that the project can continue to progress. The museum currently owns 70 acres of land, and will be executing the option to purchase an additional 92 acres for Phase 1. Phase 1 will include a two mile “west” road course and autocross/skid pad area.

“Rather than hold up the entire project, hoping for major sponsorships to cover the initial $35 million project, we decided to break it into smaller, more achievable phases so that motorsports enthusiasts could begin enjoying portions of the park in the near future,” added Strode.

Phase 2 will include a ¼ mile drag strip, followed by an “east” road course, karting track and separate autocross / skidpad area in future phases.

Keep up to date on the Motorsports Park project at and become a Fan on Facebook at!