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.
Q: My friend has a car
with Indy 500 decals. Does that make it a "pace car"?
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.
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.
much is my pace car replica worth?
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:
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or Brickyard Trademarks, Inc.