Nostalgia has its way of corrupting memories. Because the ’90s are so in right now with the zoomers, sometimes I’ll see a piece of new media that targets the aesthetic but sort of misses the mark. Like when Audi made that fake RS2 Avant TV ad a few years back, or when I play a game like Horizon Chase Turbo or Hotshot Racing that aims to callback to that era, but feels too slick, too hokey.
But then I see a car like the 1993 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car Edition and I’m reminded, no, wait — the ’90s were exactly as cheesy as we remember. Six of these Camaros have wound up on Mecum’s website for its upcoming Orlando auction at the end of July, Autoblog has found. Three of them are T-tops, all have less than 80 miles on the odometer and all will hit the block with no reserve.
They all also share this wonderfully appropriate-for-the-time livery — a two-tone black-and-white scheme divided by a bunch of multicolored lines unwinding and flowing, like ribbons, that run down the hood as well. Retro Indy 500 logo decals on the front fenders complete the look.
General Motors only sold 645 of these replicas of the 1993 Indy 500 pace car. They were the cream of the Camaro crop, equipped with every option including power locks and windows, air conditioning and a CD player. Under the hood was a 5.4-liter LT1 V8 producing 275 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, mated to the four-speed automatic out of the Corvette. It’s not the transmission you’d probably want today, but this pony car was about more than tearing around the Brickyard; it was also a carefree cruiser.
Case in point: the seats. If you were impressed with this Camaro’s exterior, you’ll be blown away by its upholstery. The same mix of turquoise, magenta, black and white adorns the fabric, with a noisy gradient that looks like it was applied by a Game Boy Printer. That gradient repeats on the door cards, as well as the rear seats. The only way it could be more Radwood-certified is if the color scheme was Wild Berry Pop-Tart instead.
These cars are essentially new. They’ve never been owned, they’re all in the two-digit mile range and they bear all their original equipment, like those lovely glossy white wheels with the silver center caps. It’s hard to guess what they’ll sell for, though we can look to history for clues. One of these Indy Edition cars with 23,000 miles failed to meet its reserve on Bring a Trailer last June, with the highest bid coming in at $9,400, while another with 6,500 miles sold via RM Sotheby’s for $15,950 in 2019. These no-miles examples will certainly go for thousands more, but they still figure to be relatively attainable.
There’s no sensation quite like seeing an untouched, undriven car from decades ago — it’s like stumbling upon a time capsule or a portal to the past. In this case, back to an era where rainbows on cars were highly encouraged and pace cars were more fun than they are now.