‘This is the car that gets me most excited about this year’s LM24. Running under the Garage 56 banner, which is typically reserved for hydrogen-powered oddities and the old DeltaWing, NASCAR legends Hendrick Motorsports have adapted a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 stock car to rub shoulders with some of the most advanced prototypes and GT racers on the planet’.
Those aren’t my words, but the words of our intrepid, roving reporter, Cameron, who’s currently en route to Le Mans. You can read the rest of his excellent precis on what else to expect at this year’s LM24, by clicking here. Cam’s insight also means that I don’t have to run through why ‘56 enthusiasts will get to own a car inspired by this incredibly special race car’.
Again, those weren’t my words, but the words of Chevrolet. And its boss, Mr. General Motors President, Mark Reuss, added that, ‘Even though Chevrolet has been racing since its inception in 1911, we’ve never done anything quite like Garage 56’.
What he is referring to is bringing together Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, which equates to the winningest team, car and tyre manufacturer in NASCAR’s 75-year history, to run a NASCAR Cup Camaro ZL1 at Le Mans. This, obviously, needed celebrating, perhaps with some sort of limited-run road car. But what to call it, and how many should be built?
It turns out that they simply needed to look towards their pit garage to see the answer staring them straight in the face. The road car is called the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Garage 56 Edition, and there will be 54 of them. Nope, just messing with ya - there will, of course, be 56 of them built for some very lucky people.
With the car’s name sorted and the number to be built decided upon, how do you go about designing a car to look like the racing car on which it is based? This is a question that’s far too complicated for me to explain, so I’ll hand you over to Mr. Marc Mainville, senior manager at GM Motorsport Design Studio. He said, “When adapting a race car appearance into a production car, you want to showcase themes, proportions and colors without making the car look out of place on the street”.
It was good to get Marc’s take on the car’s styling, because to me, at least, it just looks like the racing car, which is great. It’s in a similar shade of blue to the car that will be out on track, which is called Raptide Blue and is a new colour for 2024, and it has some similar gold stripes on the bonnet and boot. There are various NASCAR 75th Anniversary logos, too, which match with those on the race car, along with Garage 56 badges on the front wings and Hendrick Motorsports logos that appear on the C pillars.
Each of the 56 road-car customers can also pick three more graphics to go on their car: a NASCAR windshield header decal, white Goodyear front wheel arch decals and door decals displaying 24, which is the Chevy’s race number.
It has some extra aero detailing, such as the dive planes ahead of the front wheels that are like the racing car’s (although there's no mention that they do much on the road car), and it has a ‘NASCAR Cup car-style wicker bill spoiler on the decklid’. Most importantly, though, the road car has a small-block V8 motor from the same family of engines as the motorsport model: a 650hp 6.2-litre LT4 to be precise. It’s unlikely to sound as stupendous as the racing car does, what with all them lousy nose regulations, but I bet ya all it’ll pretty sound darn good for a road car.
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