My name is Charlotte, and I’m 25 Years Old

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Hello, my name is Charlotte, and I am a 1995 Indianapolis Pace Car (IPC) Replica, one of 527 produced by Chevrolet in 1995.

1995 Corvette Pace Car
Charlotte is a Pace Car Replica. The actual Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car that served at the 79th Indianapolis 500 was an LT1 Corvette Convertible. In addition to the stock features, it did also have the mandatory safety features that were required by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Official Pace Car came with strobe lights, a special roll-bar, safety harnesses for the driver and passenger, and an onboard fire suppression system. There were just three of the actual pace cars built. Two came equipped with an automatic transmission, and the third came with a six-speed manual gearbox. Jim Perkins, then Chevrolet General Manager, was designated as the official driver of the pace car.

I was assembled at the Bowling Green, KY, assembly plant on March 16, under Regular Production Option (RPO)  # Z4Z, which designated me as an authentic ’95 IPC. As such. I started life in the assembly process with a Dark Purple Metallic (Code 05) body, which was then over-sprayed with an Arctic White (Code 10) on the bottom half to fit the intended paint scheme for the ’95 IPC.

On the front of the car, a red stripe decal was installed that ran across the front of the car before transitioning into a pair of flags that extended down the sides of the car. There were special Indianapolis 500 decals that were installed along the doors.
On the front of the car, a red stripe decal was installed that ran across the front of the car before transitioning into a pair of flags that extended down the sides of the car. There were special Indianapolis 500 decals that were installed along the doors.
There were special Indianapolis 500 decals that were installed along the doors.
There were special Indianapolis 500 decals that were installed along the doors.
The 1995 Corvette Pace Car headrests on both the driver’s and passenger’s seat featured the race’s emblem embroidered into the leather.
The 1995 Corvette Pace Car headrests on both the driver’s and passenger’s seat featured the race’s emblem embroidered into the leather.
1995 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Convertible Interior
1995 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Convertible Interior

I was assigned my own particular Order No. (954ZDU) and Order Date of 02/06/95. Also, I was given my personal special Sequence Number, 216, of the 504 Domestic Build IPCs to be built in that year, along with 23 more designated for Canadian/export use.

Soon after that, I was shipped to my dealership, Tom Benson Chevrolet, the only dealer in San Antonio, Texas, to receive directly from the assembly plant one of my special breed of Corvettes.  I arrived at my home city on April 18, and the next day met my new human, Noel Osborn, who had successfully bargained for my custody.

Soon after that, I was shipped to my dealership, Tom Benson Chevrolet, the only dealer in San Antonio, Texas, to receive directly from the assembly plant one of my special breed of Corvettes.  I arrived at my home city on April 18, and the next day met my new human, Noel Osborn, who had successfully bargained for my custody.
Soon after that, I was shipped to my dealership, Tom Benson Chevrolet, the only dealer in San Antonio, Texas, to receive directly from the assembly plant one of my special breed of Corvettes. I arrived at my home city on April 18, and the next day met my new human, Noel Osborn, who had successfully bargained for my custody.

From the very start, I was treated like a celebrity, held on display behind gold ropes at the dealership until the end of April. There was even a city-wide-published Corvette car show  to commemorate my public debut, along with a presentation of my keys by the Benson Sales Manager and by Randy Parker, the Zone Manager for the San Antonio area. On April 29, I was formally driven out of the dealership by Noel and taken home for garaging.

Since that day, I confess that I have been mainly a “garage ornament,” driven only to local shows. I have also enjoyed the designation of a “Trailer Queen,” being hauled out of state for a few shows and displays. (In this context, I have never been driven in the rain, but I have to say I went through the remnants of a hurricane in North Texas on the way back from an event in Indiana where the Indy Pace Cars were celebrated.)

Then there were the shows for quality verification, Bloomington Gold in 1997 and an  NCRS Top Flight in 2010. These would set me up for the ultimate in Corvette recognition, the Vette Vues Magazine Tri-Power Award, bestowed at the Chevy/Corvette Expo in February 2016. Renowned Corvette Judge, Bill Braun, scored me at 99.2 out of 100 points, which also qualified me for the coveted President’s Award, as achieving a score of 98 or above.

On display at the Corvette Chevy Expo in Texas.
On display at the Corvette Chevy Expo in Texas.

I have to admit that for a while after my first shows, I was given the unkind soubriquet of “Charlotte the Harlot,” reflecting my privileged and sheltered life.  However, I now believe I can genuinely take the title of “Lady Charlotte,” given my hard-earned awards for quality and originality/condition. I am now coming up on 25 years of age, and I only have about 1800 miles on my clock. Noel promises me there will be no further trailering, so I plan to enjoy my majority as the pampered lady that I am….    

By owner T.Noel Osborn


1995 Corvette Pace Car Replica Specifications

  • Of the 20,742 Corvettes built in 1995, only 527 were Pace Car Replicas
  • All Pace Cars were convertibles
  • The Option #Z4Z was an additional $2,816 over the base price of $43,665 for the convertible.
  • 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • Wheelbase 96.2 inches (2.443 m)
  • Overall length 178.5 inches (4.534 m)
  • Overall width 70.7 inches (1.778 m)
  • Front Tires P255/45ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle GT
  • Rear Tires P285/40ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle GT
  • Steering: rack and pinion (power assisted)
  • Front suspension: Single fiberglass composite monoleaf transverse spring with unequal-length aluminum control arms and stabilizer bar
  • Rear suspension: Fully independent five-link system with transverse fiberglass single-leaf springs, aluminum upper/lower trailing links and strut-rod tie-rod assembly
  • Brakes: Antilock four-wheel power disc
  • Body construction: Fiberglass; separate ladder frame with cross-members
  • Fuel tank: 20 US Gal (16.7 Imp Gal) (76 liters)

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