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Thank you for posting the photos of the two Indy pace SSRs from the 2011 Woodward. I had not seen those.
That’s me in the blue Hawaiian shirt.

I own SigSeries#4, one of the two on-track pace vehicles for the 2003 Indianapolis 500.
I purchased it at Bob McDorman’s 2010 auction. (Bob had purchased it at the Autumn Kruze auction in Auburn, Indiana, along with VINs 2, 3, and 5.)
The strobes had been removed from VIN 4, though the strobe tailgate was still installed. I was able to find the strobes, and had them reinstalled with the date-appropriate Whelen control unit. The original safety belts and fire extinguisher were also reinstalled.
SigSeries #4 is again configured as it was at Indianapolis in 2003.

To iron out a few wrinkles: Thank you guys for posting Bob Walczyk’s letter.
VINs 1-5 (all SigSeries) were all hand-built. #4 was designated the second pace vehicle after 6959.
There are, indeed, three 2003 pace SSRs, though not equal. 6959EX and #4 performed the on-track responsibilities through May. VIN #26 (not SigSeries) spent most of the month in the pace car garage under the Pagoda.
Chevy marks the pace, track, and 500 Festival VIP cars with little white numbers at the bottom corner of the driver’s side windshield.
#4 was designated with a “1”, #26 and 6959 designated “2” and “3” respectively.
#4 was designated as the primary pace car, but did not pace the race. 6959EX did, though #4 was in the four-SSR formation at the head of the field on the parade and pace laps.
#4 carried race winner Gil deFerran on the victory lap after the race.
(DeFerran received an SSR after the race. Not sure which VIN, but he told me he’s considering selling it.)
From what I’ve seen, 6959 & #4 were identically prepared - extra oil cooler, beefier suspension, etc. I don’t know that #26 was fully prepared for pace duty.

At Woodward in 2011, I heard that 6959 was up at the Chevy exhibit. Some of the guys at the bank lot and I caravanned up there and talked the Chevy folks into letting us drive #4 up to 6959 for a photo op. As was said - the first time the two vehicles had been together in eight years.

I still own #4. Just over 7500 miles. Bob McDorman put most of those on. I’ve done a lot of homework on these trucks, and it’s been a fun experience. #4 has participated in several Indianapolis 500 Festival Parades, and two Indianapolis 500 pace car reunions at the Speedway.

I’m thinking my stewardship of #4 is coming to an end, though.

Tom B.
Indianapolis
 

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A footnote: Traditionally, the IMS Museum gets the vehicle that paces the Indy 500.
In 2003, I was told by a key player, that the Museum expected to get 6959EX. They were told it needed the top adjusted, but it would be shipped back down when repaired.
What they received was VIN #26.
“We don’t hand out experimental VIN vehicles,” the IMSM was told.
“Oh?” they replied. “We have a basement full of your other experimental VINs,” referring to other GM pace cars from previous 500s.

To no avail. GM kept 6959 in the Heritage Collection, the IMSM still has #26, and I still have the McDorman #4.

I should add that I was a writer hired by GM to cover the 2000 NAIAS in Detroit when the SSR concept was unveiled, having no idea I’d eventually own one.

Tom B.
Indianapolis
 

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If you and #4 are planning to part company soon, I am sure the members here hope that You will at least give them a chance at it or notice of where it will be advertised. I wish I could consider it but I could not afford or properly care for it.:)
 

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T
These pictures from Woodward Ave dream cruise are the 2 Pace Trucks at Indy. These SSR's were only 2 official trucks to pace Indy. One is from GM Heritage collection. The other is a private owner. This is first time they were together since race. Not sure if the detail can be seen of Pace only options.
View attachment 576048 View attachment 576049 View attachment 576050
Those photos were taken in 2011 after cruising up Woodward in Signature #4 and winding our way into the GM display area. We had to do a bit of smooth talking to the gate-keepers. Lucky for us that they were car guys and were sympathetic to our unscheduled request for access....... Yes, that's me in the second photo in an orange shirt.......

Here's the photo that I took of the two trucks, nose to nose. What a great day.


576117


Good to see you on here again, Tom.

.
 

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I little more history about the 03-04 5.3L SSR engines. Back in April of 2004 (a month before I got my SSR) I went to a Suggestion Plan meeting in Romulus Michigan. I met a great guy name Dave. C. who was their UAW Suggestion Plan Administrator. After the meeting I asked Dave if he wouldn't mind taking me down on the Production floor to show me around. These photos are from my visit that day at the Romulus Engine Plant. Romulus made I believe three versions of the 5.3L engines. One of them was the 2003-2004 5.3L Aluminum Engine made for our SSRs.

Below photo is myself with John S.

View attachment 576096

On the left is Dave C . & myself The Yellow SSR was the image that Romulus used for their SSR Engine pins that I shared with members while I was at the WDC events. Who still has that Pin?
View attachment 576088 View attachment 576089 View attachment 576095
Engine Displays: the below 5.3L cut-away engine is not the SSR motor
View attachment 576090 View attachment 576092

Assembly Line running but not SSR engines at the time I was there.
View attachment 576093 View attachment 576094
Marc, you are on your other left
To save confusion, Marc is the tall guy! HaHa!
 

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Relative to the photos and discussion of Signature #4 and GM 6959EX Indy 500 Pace Trucks:

Note an interesting feature from the photos that the GM 6959EX Pace Truck differs from other SSR Pace Trucks relative to exterior strobe lighting. This truck does not have strobes on the sides of the roof nor in the rear panel of the roof. I have not seen Signature #4 in person in post-race configuration but believe from other photos I have seen that it is similar.

See this photo of VIN #304, the NASCAR/IRL/ALMS Pace Truck, which is typical of the other SSR Pace Trucks as well- the multicolored Flame and Blue/Orange Brickyard SSRs- showing the roof strobes.

Aug%2019%20Woodward%20018-XL.jpg

I also found a photo of the waterfall badge of Tom's Signature #4.

06.jpg
 

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Relative to the photos and discussion of Signature #4 and GM 6959EX Indy 500 Pace Trucks:

Note an interesting feature from the photos that the GM 6959EX Pace Truck differs from other SSR Pace Trucks relative to exterior strobe lighting. This truck does not have strobes on the sides of the roof nor in the rear panel of the roof. I have not seen Signature #4 in person in post-race configuration but believe from other photos I have seen that it is similar.

See this photo of VIN #304, the NASCAR/IRL/ALMS Pace Truck, which is typical of the other SSR Pace Trucks as well- the multicolored Flame and Blue/Orange Brickyard SSRs- showing the roof strobes.

View attachment 576165

I also found a photo of the waterfall badge of Tom's Signature #4.

View attachment 576164
The strobes on SigSeries #4 and the IMS Museum’s VIN 26 are the same as in 6959EX: headlamps, tailgate, license plate bracket. Whelen control unit (don’t recall the model # offhand) mounted to the floor of the bed, up against the cab. Rocker light switch mounted in ashtray.
 

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The strobes on SigSeries #4 and the IMS Museum’s VIN 26 are the same as in 6959EX: headlamps, tailgate, license plate bracket. Whelen control unit (don’t recall the model # offhand) mounted to the floor of the bed, up against the cab. Rocker light switch mounted in ashtray.
The Whelen controller used on at least some Pace Trucks is a Whelen CSP 12180. There are different strobe setups on the trucks and different numbers of strobes as well. Based on Tom’s comment, these three 2003 Indy 500 Pace Trucks have ten. Other SSR Pace Trucks have as many as twenty-four.
 

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One of the SoCal Nuts
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Relative to the photos and discussion of Signature #4 and GM 6959EX Indy 500 Pace Trucks:

Note an interesting feature from the photos that the GM 6959EX Pace Truck differs from other SSR Pace Trucks relative to exterior strobe lighting. This truck does not have strobes on the sides of the roof nor in the rear panel of the roof. I have not seen Signature #4 in person in post-race configuration but believe from other photos I have seen that it is similar.

See this photo of VIN #304, the NASCAR/IRL/ALMS Pace Truck, which is typical of the other SSR Pace Trucks as well- the multicolored Flame and Blue/Orange Brickyard SSRs- showing the roof strobes.

View attachment 576165

I also found a photo of the waterfall badge of Tom's Signature #4.

View attachment 576164
Just guessing here but the Indy has the lights in the tailgate which is easier to do than the top and since this was the first go at PACE Trucks it may have been noted they were not high enough for other race vehicles.
 
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