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I am researching the various years Indy 500 Pace Cars. Since the 500 festival Association was formed in 1958 a number of cars were delivered to Indy for the 500 festival Directors and track officials to use during the month of May. Sometimes they were replicas of the actual Pace Cars, while other years a different model was used. A sheet was generated with the VINs, car color, model type, and who was assigned the car. I have a number of these sheets, the oldest being 1970 but I am sure there were older ones. Does anyone have a copy of these sheets?  I am finding there is so much misinformation about the Pace Cars that some significant cars are overlooked or passed off as "not real".  Here are some facebook groups I have started for the various years I have completed. It really helps to have input from the hobbyists to set the records straight. thanks for any help.

 

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A 1965 Plymouth Sports Fury was my first car. I had it bought by the time I turned 16. It had been a high school graduation present from the owner of the local Plymouth dealer to his daughter. It was a pace car replica and the stickers were deleted. These were white with blue interior and a blue convertible top. Mine had the 383 2bbl, but a small number were made with a 426 wedge engine; and no doubt the actual pace car had the big engine. Nice cars, prone to rust in the rear wheel arches. 

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Am sure that a dig in my den would unearth a coffee table book on the Indy 500 from about 1968 that had photos of every car and pace car....Somewhere (books are two and three stacks deep). When It cools off I need to see about a dumpster. Right.

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19 hours ago, TAKerry said:

1927 Eddie Rickenbacker bought the indy speedway.

 

Yup, Capt Eddie left the ailing Rickenbacker Motors shortly before the company went under.

After he had divested himself from all obligations related to Rickenbacker Motors he got a bunch of investors together and purchased the famous race track to save it from being torn down.

 

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On 9/9/2020 at 10:27 AM, TerryB said:

What about the 1954 Dodge pace car?

I remember reading that the President of the Dodge Division had a company mechanic add solder to every ignition wiring connection under the hood.  He wasn't taking any chances!

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1978 Corvette, Indy pace car

 

This one was a surprise entry.

 

1978 marked the 25th year for the Chevrolet Corvette.  So General Motors, a year in advance; announced that a Special Corvette would be made to commemorate the 25th year. Twenty fifth anniversary, is noted by Silver.  So GM announced, sometime in 1977 that a Silver Anniversary edition would be avaliable in limited quantities. These were Silver and Charcoal ( a darker silver). I think the dealers were allotted maybe one each; or something like that.  Don't kill me if that number isn't correct.

 

So production started on Anniversary models; but alas, production was stopped on these Anniversary Cars and Indy Pace Car editions were started to be produced.   These would be Black and Silver.  All Indy Pace cars were built, again in limited quantities. And now time is running out in the model year; and those of us that had early orders in for an Anniversary would probably get one, only after a lot of bitching and begging to General Motors. They weren't prepared for the two (2) special models. I finally got my Silver Anniversary car, almost when the 1979 models were due to hit the sales floor.  It came with all my ordered options, L-82, Gymkhana suspension, and a Mahogany colored interior, plus other stuff.  

  

Edited by intimeold (see edit history)
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And the 1978 Pace car festival lists is one I really would like to have. The festival cars awarded to the 500 Festival Associate Directors and track personnel were Monte Carlos. I believe only 4 of the special Vettes were at the track.

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17 hours ago, intimeold said:

I finally got mine, almost when the 1979 models were due to hit the sales floor.  It came with all my ordered options, L-82, Gymkhana suspension, and a Mahogany colored interior, plus other stuff.  

 

I would love to see some pictures of your Silver Anniversary.

I had one back in the late 80's, early 90's and I still miss that car.

Mine was the two-tone silver with black leather. Gymkhana suspension, L82 / 4-speed. It had 32k original miles and still had the factory spare under it when I bought it.

Sold it in late '92 and I have missed that car ever since.

 

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The 1990 Corvette Festival Cars have a strange story.  The actual pace car that year was the Chevrolet Beretta, but they wanted a convertible, which did not exist.  GM tried to make a few Beretta convertibles in quick order that were quickly deemed unsafe at speed, so these Corvette Indy Festival cars were made in this color, and yellow.

 

1B58687D-93C6-4C7F-AFEE-72412975EA21.jpeg

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A number of Beretta converts were made and 50 were earmarked for Indy. tests showed they were very unsafe, but the press releases were already out. Three berettas were retained as pace Cars with substantial mods, the rest were either donated to technical schools or scrapped. Beretta coupes were still used as part of the track program, in both teal or yellow, along with the mentioned yellow or teal Corvettes. Little known is the fact there were also white 1991 Camaro converts also used at the track, with the same pink graphics.

INDY 500 Z25.jpg

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A specially equipped Marmon 34 Speedster, driven by Barney Oldfield, was the pace car for 1920, leading the field at 80 mph.  Oldfield liked the car so much, that he bought it.  Oldfield would go on to own several more Marmon automobiles.  A public offering of the pace car version of the Marmon followed later that year (1920), after the race. 

 

Joe Dawson paced the 1928 Indy in a Marmon 78. 

 

(from "The Marmon Heritage" by Hanley & Hanley, 1985)

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5 hours ago, tbenvie said:

Would you know if this is the actual pace car Packard? thanks

 

Don't know if it is the actual pace car, but suspect it might be. Back then I doubt the factory churned out pace cars.

 

You might try calling the Museum itself - National Packard Museum  Phone: (330) 394-1899 They should be able to advise you one way or the other. I'd call them myself, but being in Australia think I'll leave that to you to do.

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Interesting contrast. Turbo 301 was not known for anything but the turbo 3.8 was the same as the Grand Nationals and the fastest Firebird to that day.

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1924 Cole Motor Car Indy Pace Car.   Cole Motor Cars were manufactured in Indianapolis from 1909-1925.  Cole built a special touring car to use as the pace car and brought it to the track on race day.  Henry Ford, the race referee, rejected it saying he wanted to use a Cole roadster instead.  They found a Cole Motor Car Company employee who had driven his roadster to the race, so 'borrowed' it to use s the pace car.  Hence, a 'Plain Jane' pace car, with no pace car markings.  And Henry Ford got to ride around the track in the Cole Motor Car roadster to do his pre-race track inspection.

1924 Cole Touring Pace Car.jpg

1924 Cole Touring Pace Car Original.jpg

1924 Cole Roadster Indy Pace Car.jpg

Narrative of Henry Ford Using Cole.jpg

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On 9/11/2020 at 7:57 PM, intimeold said:

1978 Corvette, Indy pace car

 

This one was a surprise entry.

 

1978 marked the 25th year for the Chevrolet Corvette.  So General Motors, a year in advance; announced that a Special Corvette would be made to commemorate the 25th year. Twenty fifth anniversary, is noted by Silver.  So GM announced, sometime in 1977 that a Silver Anniversary edition would be avaliable in limited quantities. These were Silver and Charcoal ( a darker silver). I think the dealers were allotted maybe one each; or something like that.  Don't kill me if that number isn't correct.

 

So production started on Anniversary models; but alas, production was stopped on these Anniversary Cars and Indy Pace Car editions were started to be produced.   These would be Black and Silver.  All Indy Pace cars were built, again in limited quantities. And now time is running out in the model year; and those of us that had early orders in for an Anniversary would probably get one, only after a lot of bitching and begging to General Motors. They wren't prepared for the two (2) special models. I finally got mine, almost when the 1979 models were due to hit the sales floor.  It came with all my ordered options, L-82, Gymkhana suspension, and a Mahogany colored interior, plus other stuff.  

  

Never seen a 78 Pace Car with mahogany interior. They were all spec'd for the silver leather. Do you have any photo's?

 Mine is a L82 auto. Parked for 20 years.

78vetstuf 034.jpg

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Oldsmobile:

1949- 88 convertible

1960- Ninety Eight convertible

1970- 442/Cutlass convertible 

1972- Hurst/Olds convertible 

1974- Hurst/Olds modified colonnade coupe

1977- Delta 88 modified coupe

1985- Cutlass Calais modified convertible

1988- W-body Cutlass Supreme convertible w turbocharged Quad4

1997 and 2000- Aurora

2001- Bravada

 

11 times is a pretty good showing.

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4 hours ago, Ed Luddy said:

Never seen a 78 Pace Car with mahogany interior. They were all spec'd for the silver leather. Do you have any photo's?

 Mine is a L82 auto. Parked for 20 years.

78vetstuf 034.jpg

OH No, I cleaned up my typing a bit in my original post. if you just read over it quickly, possibly you construed that I ordered a Pace car.  NO, NO 

 

I ordered an Anniversary Car.  And my post was about GM stopping production of the Anniversary cars; to complete the Pace car run.  I didn't want a Pace Car I wanted an Anniversary Car.

 

I actually liked the color combination better on the Anniversary cars. Park a Pace car beside an Anniversary and many will agree with me.

 

We Anniversary buyers, were put to the side; that is the content of the post.  I haven't gotten over it and never ordered another new Corvette. In fact I went to Toyota Trucks after that attempted brush-off; instead of any GM. truck. I had trucks too, not only Corvettes.

 

 

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18 hours ago, intimeold said:

OH No, I cleaned up my typing a bit in my original post. if you just read over it quickly, possibly you construed that I ordered a Pace car.  NO, NO 

 

I ordered an Anniversary Car.  And my post was about GM stopping production of the Anniversary cars; to complete the Pace car run.  I didn't want a Pace Car I wanted an Anniversary Car.

 

I actually liked the color combination better on the Anniversary cars. Park a Pace car beside an Anniversary and many will agree with me.

 

We Anniversary buyers, were put to the side; that is the content of the post.  I haven't gotten over it and never ordered another new Corvette. In fact I went to Toyota Trucks after that attempted brush-off; instead of any GM. truck. I had trucks too, not only Corvettes.

 

 

Ok. I had an Anniversary Special also. 2 tone silver/gray exterior with the spec'd Oyster interior. Liked it a lot, but the Pace car seats are so much more comfortable. I changed out my orig. 78 Anniversary seats for a pair of 1980 seats. The bonus was how much lighter weight they are as well as better support. The mahogany colour interior is a nice looking choice.

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