tbenvie

91 Reattas in Trade Schools

Recommended Posts

A little bit off topic but maybe you all can help me out.

 

I am researching all the Indy 500 Pace Cars through the years and have finished much of 2000-2018 and have started on the earlier ones. I am currently working on 1990, which is a strange year for Pace Cars.

 

The Chevrolet Beretta was chosen to pace the race, and Chevy planned on sending beretta Convertibles in either yellow or Teal to the track. However, just like the Reatta, they were deemed unfit for use and all were either scrapped or sent to trade schools. A total of 96 convertibles were made, to include 50 that were earmarked for the track. I've seen a list of trade schools that received a 91 Reatta convertible. Where did this list come from? Looking for the same thing for the Beretta.  Anybody know anything about these conversions and who did them (Cars and Concepts I think). Three yellow cars were sent to the track and became actual Pace Cars for the race. Highly modified and restructured cars. One is in the Speedway Museum,  one was in the GM Heritage Collection but auctioned off in 2009 and is now in the Chevy Hall of Fame in Illinois. The third car is missing. Did PPG get it? The winner of the race did not get it-he got a yellow 'Vette festival car. because the Berettas were not going to the track 80 Corvettes in Teal or Yellow were sent to be Parade or Festival Cars, as well as 43 white Camaros. (why white?)  Chevy did make 4500 yellow or teal coupes to be sold through the dealers. Thanks for any help you may have!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the 1990 Corvette Pace car.  I have seen one of these at the Bloomington Gold Corvette show.

 

90 pace vette.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I've seen a list of trade schools that received a 91 Reatta convertible. Where did this list come from?

The only list for the donated Reattas, known to me, was generated by a GM/Buick lady in Flint (Karen).   We had heard that Buick donated several convertibles but the only lead was someone thought they went to GM tech centers around the country.

I obtained a list of those training centers and sent them all a email (this was around the end of 1997) the only response was from a tech center in Knoxville TN saying they did donate cars but not to tech centers but to tech schools.

The contact in Knoxville put me in touch with the Karen in Flint.   Her job was to take care of all the donations (I believe she only did Buick)  Because of the time frame, remember these were donated around 1991-92,  everything was done via

mail,  and the records were not on a computer.   Karen hand generated a list of all Reattas she could find in the file.

 

The information Karen sent listed the cars by year, vin number, donation number and school name (no state)  There were ...(1) 1988,  (2) 1989,  (3) 1990 coupes and (9) convertibles,  (1) 1991 coupe and (45) convertibles.

I then proceeded to try and locate the schools, some were easy, others I never found,  via phone and email I attempted to contact the automotive tech person at the school and gather further info on the cars.

Some were very helpful and even sent pictures.   Others knew nothing about the Reattas because they had not been at the school that long.

 

My long range goal was to put together a scrapbook.....something about each car, in some cases I have photos.  I visited some of the schools in my travels and have some photos I shot.   Needless to say the project has stalled.

I don't remember the date when Buick moved from Flint to Detroit but Karen either retired or got another job and I lost my contact.......today the donations are handled by a sub-contracting firm and they will not tell you anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Pace cars; I own two real deal Indy 500 Festival cars. 1 1970 and a 1974 Hurst/Olds. The race was indeed paced in 1990 by a Chevy Beretta and driven by Jim Perkins. Not sure if front wheel drive cars make for the best pace cars but I will save that argument for later!  LOL

 

Nice tribute car AZVet, looks good. As a side note, Corvette's paced the race in 1986 (great car) and again in 1995.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is pretty good reference material...........June 1997 special edition

Sometimes Indy Pace Car information is clouded by what actually happens......Lets say in 1972 a Hurst/Olds was the pace car, there were also parade cars that may have been coupes or convertibles, even station wagons.

If you were at the track there were probably even GMC trucks with decals on the doors.   I grew up 40 miles north of the Indy track, went to a lot of races and while at tech school in Indy, skipped a lot of school in May.

The Collectible Automobile issue does not have a list by year that I could scan but for example (since the book was printed in 1997) Corvette was a pace car in 1995, 1986, 1978.

For Brenda and her Olds connection....they paced several races.....1997 Aurora, 1988 Cutlass Supreme, 1985 Olds Calais, 1977 Delta 88, 1974 Hurst/Olds, 1972 Hurst/Olds, 1970 442, 1960 Olds 98, 1949 Olds 88,

 

PC.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to go overboard with this subject but I found another Pace Car book by the editors of Consumer Guide from the same period.   it has some photos of the "pace cars" "parade cars"

Note the 1974 Olds has a 4 door Cutlass out front with all the decals,  other years the trucks with decals,  etc.

1985.jpg

camaro.jpg

CG.jpg

1974.jpg

buick.jpg

1986.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input. The yellow was "Competition yellow" and was a photosensitive paint. Only 107 converts and 171 coupes (Corvettes) were painted this color, one of the rarest Corvette colors.  This yellow was not the same yellow used on the Berettas.  The teal however was the same for both cars. 

 
The convertibles were all crushed or sent at trade schools except for the three that went to Indy.  There are a few still at some trade schools, and one seemed to have escaped and was titled in Texas as recently as 2014. I am especially interested in what happened to the third Pace Car. PPG was the race sponsor and got a number of Pace Cars from at least 1984 (Fiero) to 1994 (Mustang SVT). They also made other cars into Pace Cars such as the AMC AMX  or Reatta Pace Cars. It is strange this actual Pace Car just disappeared, and I am still thinking PPG had it, just can't find any data on it anywhere. Any ideas?

8a80f30e_47d8_4e52_a16e_0529a2869009_6726826ad316a35fcc165197db90ee5187fb574a.jpg

1200x--9.jpg

27332189_2417950214897863_859774080773980896_n.jpg

27629108_2417817408244477_336384327223862203_o.jpg

ch5069.jpg

Edited by tbenvie (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There always seem to be stories around Indy pace cars.  I have a consumer 75 Buick pace car so when you get to 75 contact me I can tell u what I have picked up over the years. Once racing is involved everything gets more interesting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now