If there’s ever been a dream job for a Corvette fanatic, Dr. Jamie Meyer just punched the clock.
He had the honor of driving the actual Corvette ZR1 pace car that was used in this year’s Indy 500 on a 1500-mile segment of the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour, a seven-day, seven-city traveling car show that went from GM’s Milford Proving Grounds to Arlington, Texas.
As he put it, the Corvette was a “parade float that was capable of going over 200 mph.” Indeed, he was in the “Real McCoy” Pace Car – the Simpson lap belts were still in the car, the light bar worked, and the stickers were authentic.
What Dr. Meyer came away with, in his fifth Power Tour as an employee of Chevrolet Performance, was an increased appreciation for just what kind of wonderful machine General Motors has created in the ZR1.
“Leaving the venue, I immediately realized the one quality of this car that is completely under emphasized in any description I’ve ever read about the ZR1: It is an amazingly docile street car when used for routine transportation,” he wrote. “The seats are comfortable, the visibility is surprisingly good, the clutch is light, the steering is perfect – and, well, you get the idea.”
That’s not to say the trip wasn’t without its problems, though not really the fault of the car. For instance, there was the time an Impala threw up a chunk of “road gator” right towards the ZR1, but fortunately no damage was done to the 638-hp supercar. And because the Corvette is so low to the ground, he had a little trouble reaching the slot at an Oklahoma City toll booth and still owes 15 cents. Then there was the time he missed a turn in Joplin, Mo., and wound up in a dark alley where something ominous appeared to be going on with eight young people.
But his time behind the wheel of GM’s most impressive car ever left him wanting for more.
“Surprisingly, the ZR1 makes for an amazingly comfortable driver – even for long trips,” Dr. Meyer wrote. “I’m 6’3″ with a 36 inseam, and I was concerned about my knee banging into the center stack. But, it never bothered me. In fact, the car was so becoming that I’m looking to put a Corvette in my garage on a permanent basis.”
Indeed, he called it a “well-trusted friend who never bored me and did all that I asked” and said he will never forget his week with the Pace Car ZR1.
“If you ever have a chance to drive a ZR1 or own the very best that Chevrolet Performance has to offer, I suggest you go for it,” he concluded. “It’s the ultimate ride from the world’s leader in performance. The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Pace Car – you will always have a special place in my heart.”
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