While three of the world’s most accomplished drivers are set to pilot the Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, 56 enthusiasts will get to own a vehicle inspired by the race car. The production 2024 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Garage 56 Edition, available later this year, celebrates the effort to run a NASCAR Cup Camaro ZL1 at Le Mans.
The Garage 56 project is a collaboration between NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet, Goodyear and IMSA, bringing together the winningest team, vehicle manufacturer and tyre in NASCAR’s 75-year history.
“Even though Chevrolet has been racing since its inception in 1911, we’ve never done anything quite like Garage 56,” said General Motors President, Mark Reuss.
CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
The race car vision began when NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Jim France, recognised an opportunity to showcase the capability of the NASCAR Next Gen car before a global audience. Garage 56, introduced at Le Mans in 2012 as a single-entry class reserved for innovative and extraordinary vehicles, provided the right venue for a NASCAR Cup Series car, built to withstand 24 hours of maximum-effort driving, to compete.
Longtime Chevrolet partner, Hendrick Motorsports, all-time leader in NASCAR Cup Series championships and race wins, was selected to field the team and construct the Garage 56 Camaro ZL1 race car. Renowned drivers, Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion; Jenson Button, 2009 Formula 1 World Driving Champion; and multi-time Le Mans winner, Mike Rockenfeller, will drive the Garage 56 Camaro ZL1 at Le Mans.
Goodyear, the official tyre of NASCAR and the tyre manufacturer for all sixth generation Camaro variants, provides Goodyear Eagle tyres for the Garage 56 race car.
Chevrolet’s Motorsports Competition Engineering team brought more than two decades of Le Mans knowledge, experience and success with Corvette Racing to help optimise the car.
Chevrolet engineers are also heavily involved in what may be the most memorable aspect of the Camaro: the throaty, all-American roar produced by the R07 small block V-8. The R07 serves Chevrolet teams in the NASCAR Cup Series, and the variant used in Le Mans was developed and tested to maximise performance and durability for the 24-hour race.
Converting the Cup Camaro ZL1 to the Garage 56 race car required specific functional lighting, new aero treatments and a standout livery. The GM Motorsport Design Studio executed this vision with help from Hendrick Motorsports to bring Camaro’s signature proportions to the racetrack.
2024 CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 GARAGE 56 EDITION
Renderings of the 2024 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Garage 56 Edition were shown publicly for the first time in France during a Meet the Team event at Le Mans, held to highlight the race program and car.
During talks between leadership from Chevrolet and collaborators at NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Goodyear and IMSA, it quickly became clear that such a special race car needed to be accompanied by a production car representing another significant accomplishment in Camaro’s storied motorsports heritage. Chevrolet’s Performance Design Studio was again tapped to distil the essence of the race car into a limited-edition road car.
“When adapting a race car appearance into a production car, you want to showcase themes, proportions and colours without making the car look out of place on the street,” said Senior Manager, GM Motorsport Design Studio, Marc Mainville. “The Garage 56 Edition captures the feeling of the race car while allowing the car’s athletic lines to be in the forefront.”
The design starts with the new-for-2024 Riptide Blue exterior colour and adds a graphics package that pulls in colours and themes from the race car, including thin gold stripes that accent a larger white stripe running from hood to rear decklid. On the hood, just beyond the nose of the Camaro, is the NASCAR 75th Anniversary logo, matching the logo’s prominent placement on the race car. The gold and white stripes become an accent to the monochromatic stars and stripes visuals that start on the engine cowl on the hood and extend to the roof.
A special Garage 56 badge is located on the front fenders, replacing Camaro badging, and a Hendrick Motorsports logo is added to the sail panels in a similar position to the ones on the race car. Satin mirrors and a black fuel door with carbon fibre inserts are additional exterior highlights, while the interior receives Garage 56 emblems on the floormats and a Garage 56 steering wheel badge.
Each car will come with three additional graphics that buyers can choose to equip their Garage 56 Editions with that represent the collaborators and are drawn from their decal positions on the race car: a NASCAR windshield header decal, white Goodyear front wheel arch decals and door decals displaying 24, the number run on the race car.
The Garage 56 Edition also features unique aero, with the front fascia of the Camaro ZL1 1LE featuring dive-planes like the race car, and a NASCAR Cup car-style wicker bill spoiler on the decklid.
Like the race car, the production car’s power comes from the Small Block engine family. The Camaro ZL1’s 650hp LT4 V-8 is under the hood, and the Camaro rides on Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar rubber.
In the spirit of Garage 56, the Camaro ZL1 Garage 56 Edition will be in a class of its own with only 56 cars to be produced for the US market.
HITTING THE TRACK AND THE SHOWROOM
After months of testing, the Garage 56 Camaro ZL1 will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, beginning at 10 am ET, June 10.
The Camaro ZL1 Garage 56 Edition will enter production later this year at GM’s Lansing Grand River Assembly facility in Michigan.