Pace Car Gallery
Car of the Month

 

 

Info and FAQ

In this section you will find general pace car information, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and maybe an occasional press release.  Please keep in mind that I am not a news agency, nor do I have unlimited time to update this page, so please do not expect this page to contain late-breaking news.  For the latest news about the Indy 500, please visit www.indy500.com.  I am also not a pace car expert, and I am constantly learning new things, so please bear with me.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My friend has a car with Indy 500 decals.  Does that make it a "pace car"?
  2. How much is my pace car replica worth?
  3. Where can I find a list of Indy 500 pace cars and drivers?

Q: My friend has a car with Indy 500 decals.  Does that make it a "pace car"?

A: Yes and no.  As I recently learned, there are several different categories or types of cars affiliated with the Indy 500, any of which may be referred to as a "pace car".  There is, of course, the actual car that was used to lead the Indy 500 race.  Normally only two or three "real" pace cars are produced by the manufacturer.  These include all the required safety features such as four-point racing harnesses and flags or strobe lights, as well as other non-factory modifications.  Most true pace cars also have the air conditioning removed to save weight.  Since the introduction of strobe lights in 1982 it has become easier to distinguish an actual pace car from festival and replica cars since these strobes are often integrated into the body of the car, but older pace cars can often only be identified by the VIN.  An actual pace car is an extremely rare automobile, and many are owned by the Speedway or by the auto manufacturer.

More likely than not, if you see a car with Indy 500 decals, it is one of two things: an Indy 500 festival car or a dealer replica.  Although festival cars and replicas were used as early as the 40's, they did not become a widespread tradition until the 1960's.  Mechanically, the festival cars and pace car replicas are often identical, with the only difference being the fact that festival cars were actually used at or near the Indy 500.  Keep in mind that this does not guarantee that a festival car was ever driven on the famed Brickyard track, just that it was delivered to the speedway for official use.  In recent years, as many as 200 or more festival cars have been provided for use by television studios, local dignitaries, and Indy Speedway staff.  It is also worthwhile to note that the festival cars provided to the speedway are sometimes not even the same model car as the official pace car.  This is often the case when the official pace car was a hard-top (since convertibles were preferred for the parade lap), or when the pace car was a one-of-a-kind model or was simply too expensive to provide more than a few to the speedway.  Such an example was in 1990, when the Beretta convertible, a car that never made it to production, was used as the pace car.  In lieu of Beretta hard-tops, Chevrolet provided Corvette and Camaro convertibles as festival cars.

Q:  How much is my pace car replica worth?

NADAguides.com now includes pricing for specialty cars such as pace cars under "Classic Cars".  Of course something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay.  To see what similar cars are selling for, I recommend the following websites:

Q: Where can I find a list of Indy 500 pace cars and drivers?

Indy 500 Pace Cars and Drivers

Year Car Driver
1911 Stoddard-Dayton Carl G. Fisher
1912 Stutz Carl G. Fisher
1913 Stoddard-Dayton Carl G. Fisher
1914 Stoddard-Dayton Carl G. Fisher
1915 Packard Model 5-48 Carl G. Fisher
1916 Premier Model 6-56 Frank E. Smith
1919 Packard Twin Six Col. J. G. Vincent
1920 Marmon Model 34 Barney Oldfield
1921 H.C.S. "6" Harry C. Stutz
1922 National Sextet Barney Oldfield
1923 Duesenberg Fred S. Duesenberg
1924 Cole V-8 Louis Pettijohn
1925 Rickenbacker Eight Eddie Rickenbacker
1926 Chrysler Imperial E-80 Louis Chevrolet
1927 LaSalle V-8 Series 303 "Big Boy" Rader
1928 Marmon "8" (Model 78) Joe Dawson
1929 Studebaker Series FE President George Hunt
1930 Cord L-29 E.L. Cord
1931 Cadillac 370 Twelve "Big Boy" Rader
1932 Lincoln Model KB Edsel Ford
1933 Chrysler Imperial (Phaeton) Byron Foy
1934 LaSalle Model 350 Willard "Big Boy" Rader
1935 Ford Model 48 Harry Mack
1936 Packard One-Twenty Tommy Milton
1937 LaSalle Series 50 Ralph DePalma
1938 Hudson "112" Stuart Baits
1939 Buick Roadmaster Series 80 Charles Chayne
1940 Studebaker Champion Ab Jenkins
(Indy500.com lists Harry Hartz as the driver?)
1941 Chrysler-Newport (Phaeton) A.B. Couture
1946 Lincoln Continental V-12 Henry Ford II
1947 Nash Ambassador George W. Mason
1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Six Wilbur Shaw
1949 Oldsmobile 88 Wilbur Shaw
1950 Mercury Benson Ford
1951 Chrysler New Yorker V-8 Dave Wallace
1952 Studebaker Commander P.O. Peterson
1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner William C. Ford
1954 Dodge Royal 500 William C. Newburg
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Thomas H. Keating
1956 DeSoto Fireflite L.Irving Woolson
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Francis C. "Jack" Reith
1958 Pontiac Bonneville Sam Hanks
1959 Buick Electra 225 Sam Hanks
1960 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Sam Hanks
1961 Ford Thunderbird Sam Hanks
1962 Studebaker Lark Sam Hanks
1963 Chrysler "300" Sam Hanks
1964 Ford Mustang Benson Ford
1965 Plymouth Sport Fury P.M. Buckminster
1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone GT Benson Ford
1967 Chevrolet Camaro Mauri Rose
1968 Ford Torino GT William C. Ford
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Jim Rathmann
1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Rodger Ward
1971 Dodge Challenger Eldon Palmer
1972 Hurst/Olds Cutlass Jim Rathmann
1973 Cadillac Eldorado Jim Rathmann
1974 Hurst/Olds Cutlass Jim Rathmann
1975 Buick Century Custom V-8 James Garner
1976 Buick Turbo V-6 Marty Robbins
1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88 James Garner
1978 Chevrolet Corvette Jim Rathmann
1979 Ford Mustang Jackie Stewart
1980 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am Johnnie Parsons
1981 Buick Regal V-6 Duke Nalon
1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Jim Rathmann
1983 Buick Riviera Convertible Duke Nalon
1984 Pontiac Fiero John Callies
1985 Oldsmobile Calais James Garner
1986 Chevrolet Corvette Gen. Chuck Yeager
1987 Chrysler LeBaron Carroll Shelby
1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Gen. Chuck Yeager
1989 Pontiac Trans Am Bobby Unser
1990 Chevrolet Beretta Jim Perkins
1991 Dodge Viper V-10 Carroll Shelby
1992 Cadillac Allante Bobby Unser
1993 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 Jim Perkins
1994 Ford Mustang Cobra Parnelli Jones
1995 Chevrolet Corvette Jim Perkins
1996 Dodge Viper Robert A. Lutz
1997 Oldsmobile Aurora Johnny Rutherford
1998 Chevrolet Corvette Parnelli Jones
1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Jay Leno
2000 Oldsmobile Aurora Anthony Edwards
2001 Oldsmobile Bravada Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp
2002 Chevy Corvette (2003) Jim Caviezel
2003 Chevrolet SSR Herb Fishel
2004 Chevrolet Corvette Morgan Freeman
2005 Chevrolet Corvette Gen. Colin Powell
2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Lance Armstrong

 

Please support this website by visiting our sponsors!

All content 1999- Indypacecars.com and may not be reprinted without permission.

INDY, INDYCAR, INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, and the INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
WINGED-WHEEL logo are registered trademarks of Brickyard Trademarks, Inc.  Indypacecars.com is not
affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC or Brickyard Trademarks, Inc.