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Indy 500 Pace Cars

Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
638 hp 6.2L Supercharged V-8
Guy Fieri - Celebrity Chef
2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
426hp 6.2L V-8
500 copies made
A.J. Foyt Jr. - 4-time Indy 500 Winner
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
426 hp 6.2L V-8
Robin Roberts - Morning show co-host
2009 Chevrolet Camaro
426hp 6.2L V-8

2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z-06
Green-yellow-red prism paint will run on E85 Ethanol fuel


The black car is a 30th anniversary edition - 500 copies to be made.
Emerson Fittipaldi - 2-time Indy 500 winner, 2-time F1 Champion
2007 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
400hp 363 c.i. V-8
Patrick Dempsey - Actor
2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z-06
505hp 7L V-8
Lance Armstrong - 7-time Winner of Tour de France
2005 Chevrolet Corvette
400hp 6L V-8
General Colin Powell - U.S. Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5
345hp 5.7L V-8
Morgan Freeman - Academy Award-winning actor
2003 Chevy SSR
290hp 5.3L V-8 Convertible pickup
Herb Fishel - Exec. Director of GM Racing
2002 Chevrolet Corvette
345hp 5.7L V-8
Jim Caviezel - Film actor
2001 Oldsmobile Bravada
270hp inline V-6 SUV
Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp - Supermodel
2000 Oldsmobile Aurora
250hp 4L V-8
Anthony Edwards - Film and TV actor
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
215hp 3.4L V-6
FWD
Jay Leno - Talk Show Host, Comedian, Car Collector
1998 Chevrolet Corvette
345hp 5.7L V-8
Parnelli Jones - 1963 Indy 500 Winner
1997 Oldsmobile Aurora
250hp 4L V-8
Johnny Rutherford - 3-time Indy 500 Winner
1996 Dodge Viper
450hp 8L V-10
Robert A. Lutz - Chairman of GM
1995 Chevrolet Corvette
300hp 5.7L V-8
Jim Perkins - GM of Chevrolet
1994 Ford Mustang Cobra
235hp 5L V-8
1000 "Rio Red" Cobra SVT w/manual tranny made for sale.
107 "Rio Red" Mustang GT Festival Cars with automatics made.
Parnelli Jones
1993 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28
275hp 5.7L V-8
4th generation Camaro
Jim Perkins
1992 Cadillac Allanté
295hp 4.6L Northstar V-8
Bobby Unser - 3-time Indy 500 Winner
1991 Dodge Viper
400hp 8L V-10
Carroll Shelby

The Dodge Stealth was to be the pace car, but the UAW didn't like the joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, forcing Dodge to use the as-yet unreleased Viper.

1990 Chevrolet Beretta
180hp 2.3L Quad 4
FWD
Jim Perkins
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1989 Pontiac Trans Am GTA
250hp 231c.i. Turbo V-6
1500 replicas produced
Bobby Unser - 3-time Indy 500 Winner
1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
250hp 138c.i. Turbo 4-cyl
Front-wheel-drive
Gen. Chuck Yeager - Test Pilot, 1st to fly at Mach 1
1987 Chrysler LeBaron
230hp 135c.i. Turbo 4-cyl
Carroll Shelby - Racing and Automobile Design Legend
1986 Chevrolet Corvette
230hp 350c.i. V-8
1st Vette ragtop in 15 years
Gen. Chuck Yeager
1985 Oldsmobile Calais
215hp 2.7L 4-cyl
Front-wheel-drive
4-passenger Calais converted to an open roof
James Garner - Film and TV actor
1984 Pontiac Fiero
232hp 165c.i. 4-cyl
1st 4-cyl pace car since 1912
the smallest pace car
2000 replicas produced
John Callies - Mgr of Pontiac Motorsports Div.
1983 Buick Riviera Convertible
450hp 252c.i. twin-turbo V-6
which led to the turbocharged Buick V-6 Indy car engines the following year.
Duke Nalon - Drove Novi's in the Indy 500
1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
350c.i. V-8 modded to 250hp
6000 commemorative editions built
Jim Rathmann - 1960 Indy 500 Winner
1981 Buick Regal
252c.i. V-6 modded to 281hp
Chopped roof
Duke Nalon
1980 Pontiac Turbo-Trans Am
210hp 301c.i. V-8 Turbo
Johnnie Parsons, Sr. - 1950 Indy 500 Winner
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1979 Ford Mustang II
302c.i. V-8 modded to 280hp
11,000 replicas!
Jackie Stewart - 3-time F1 World Champion
Until 2008, he was the only foreign Indy 500 pace car driver.
1978 Chevrolet Corvette
220hp 350c.i. V-8
Originally 2500 replicas planned, orders swelled production to 6000
Jim Rathmann

Note: Chevy provided a large number of Camaro Z-28s and Monte Carlos as parade and courtesy vehicles.

1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88
modified 403c.i. V-8
Modified with a removable top.
James Garner
1976 Buick Century
306hp turbo 261c.i. V-6
The 1st V-6 pace car
1290 replicas produced
Marty Robbins - Country singer who also raced NASCAR
1975 Buick Century Custom
325hp 350c.i. V-8
40 replicas produced
James Garner
1974 Hurst/Olds Cutlass
230hp 455c.i. V-8
The top was chopped because no convertible models.
380 replicas produced
Jim Rathmann
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
Front-wheel-drive
235hp 500c.i. V-8 modified to 500hp!
Jim Rathmann

Note: Winner Gordon Johncock didn't recieve the 500hp model.

1972 Hurst-Olds Cutlass
300hp 455c.i. V-8
130 replicas
Jim Rathmann
1971 Dodge Challenger
300hp 383c.i. V-8
51 replicas and only 2165 were produced
Eldon Palmer - Indianapolis car dealer
Palmer lost control on pit lane with astronaut John Glenn, Tony Hulman and a sportscaster aboard, crashing into a photographer stand and injuring 20 people. The only Indy 500 pace car accident ever.
1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2
365hp 455c.i. V-8
Rodger Ward - 2-time Indy 500 Winner
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1969 Chevrolet Camaro
modified 375hp 396c.i. V-8
3675 produced.
60 were used at the speedway.
Jim Rathmann - 1960 Indy 500 winner, Chevy dealer
1968 Ford Torino/Fairlane
390hp 427c.i. V-8
William Clay Ford Sr. - Grandson of Henry Ford, Owner of Detroit Lions
1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS
modified 375hp 396c.i. V-8
81 Promotional models made.
Dealers made replicas too.
Mauri Rose - 2-time Indy 500 Winner
1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone GT
335hp 390c.i. V-8
only 2,158 were produced
Benson Ford - Grandson of Henry Ford
1965 Plymouth Sports Fury
270hp 383c.i. V-8
Blue convertible top
P.M. Buckminster - GM of Chrysler-Plymouth

Note: Jim Clark became the first foreigner to win the pace car.

1964 Ford Mustang
271hp 289c.i. V-8
190 hardtops made.
35 Convertibles made.
Benson Ford
1963 Chrysler "300"
360hp 413c.i. V-8
1861 replicas were made.
Sam Hanks - 1957 Indy 500 Winner
1962 Studebaker Lark Daytona
210hp 289c.i. V-8
The Studebaker Avanti was supposed to be pacecar, but didn't see production in time.
Sam Hanks
1961 Ford Thunderbird
300hp 390c.i. V-8
Sam Hanks

Note: A.J. Foyt saw his mom admiring this gold car and he said he'd win it for her. He did.

1960 Oldsmobile 98
315hp 394c.i. V-8
Sam Hanks
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1959 Buick Electra 225
325hp 401c.i. V-8
Sam Hanks
1958 Pontiac Bonneville
310hp 370c.i. V-8
200 of these engines were produced so they could use them in NASCAR
Sam Hanks

Note: For the 2nd, but last year, the racers were started from the pit area.

1957 Mercury
290hp 368c.i. V-8
F.C. "Jack" Reith - GM of Mercury, VP of Ford
1956 DeSoto Fireflite
painted gold like an Adventurer
L.I. Woolson - President of DeSoto
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
180hp 265c.i. V-8
Thomas H. Keating - Chevrolet Sales Mgr
1954 Dodge Royal 500
170hp 241c.i. hemi V-8
William C. Newburg

Note: Wilbur Shaw had ridden along in previous years and this was his last race due to his death in a October plane crash.

1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner
110hp 239c.i. flathead V-8
2000 replicas created
William Clay Ford, Sr.
He was the 4th member of the Ford family to be a pace car driver.
1952 Studebaker Commander
120hp 232c.i. V-8
P.O. Peterson - Exec. VP of Studebaker
1951 Chrysler New Yorker
180hp 331c.i. hemi V-8
Dave Wallace - President of Chrysler
1950 Mercury
110hp 255c.i. V-8
Benson Ford - Head of Lincoln-Mercury
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1949 Oldsmobile 88
This car was red.
135hp 303c.i. V-8
Wilbur Shaw Note: Upon the front row jumping the start, Shaw would henceforth face backward from passenger seat to wave field into line, letting others drive.
1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster Six-Series
90hp 216c.i. inline 6
Wilbur Shaw - 3-time Indy 500 Winner / President of Indy Speedway
1947 Nash Ambassador
112hp 234c.i. inline 6
This car was yellow.
(One of the very few non-convertible pace cars)
George W. Mason - CEO of American Motors
1946 Lincoln Continental
130hp 305c.i. V-12
Henry Ford II - President of Ford

Note: 500 Winner George Robson did not receive a pace car, he was killed racing at Atlanta Speedway Sept. 2, 1946.


No races during WWII

1941 Chrysler-Newport (Phaeton)
Only six of these cars were produced
The only non-production pace car
143hp 323c.i. straight 8
A.B. Couture

Note: Indy 500 co-winners Mauri Rose / Floyd Davis did not receive this car.

1940 Studebaker Champion
78hp 164c.i. L-head 6-cyl
1st enclosed pace car
Ab Jenkins - Land Speed Record Holder
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1939 Buick Roadmaster 80 Series
141hp 320c.i. straight 8
Actual pace car was white
Charles Chayne - Buick Chief Engineer
1938 Hudson "112"
112-inch wheelbase
83hp 175c.i. inline flathead 6
0-60 in 35 seconds
24 mpg
Stuart Baits - Designer of the Hudson 112
1937 LaSalle
125hp 322c.i. V-8
Ralph DePalma - 1915 Indy 500 Winner
1936 Packard "120"
120hp 282c.i. straight 8
Tommy Milton - 2-time Indy 500 Winner

Milton proposed that the pace car be given to the 500 winner, a tradition that continues to this day.

1935 Ford V-8 Harry Mack - Ford Dearborn Branch Exec.
1934 LaSalle Willard "Big Boy" Rader
1933 Chrysler Imperial (Phaeton) Byron Foy
1932 Lincoln Edsel Ford - Responsible for this pace car
1931 Cadillac Willard "Big Boy" Rader
1930 Cord L-29 Wade Morton, a former driver (he shared Phil Shafer’s third-placed Duesenberg in the 1925 “500″) who had an association with Cord.
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1929 Studebaker President George Hunt
1928 Marmon "8" (Model 78) Joe Dawson - 1912 Indy 500 Winner, Test driver for Marmon
1927 LaSalle V-8 Willard "Big Boy" Rader - famous Long Distance Test Driver
1926 Chrysler Imperial "80" Louis Chevrolet - Founder of Chevrolet, Race car driver
1925 Rickenbacker "8" Eddie Rickenbacker - Race car driver, WWI Flying Ace, Owner of Indy Speedway, CEO of Eastern Airlines
1924 Cole V-8 Lew Pettijohn - Cole test driver
1923 Duesenberg Fred S. Duesenberg - He and his brother founded Duesenberg
1922 National Sextet Barney Oldfield - Popular race car driver
1st man to drive 60 mph on flat land
1921 H.C.S. "6" Harry C. Stutz - Founder of Stutz
1920 Marmon "6" (Model 34) Barney Oldfield
Photo YEAR CAR DRIVER
1919 Packard V-12
called Twin Six
Col. Jesse G. Vincent - Designer of the twin six engine

No races during WWI

1916 Premier "6" Frank E. Smith
1915 Packard "6" Carl G. Fisher - Founded the first car company in the US, Created the Indy Speedway, Created the Lincoln Hiway, Created Miami Beach.
1914 Stoddard Dayton Carl G. Fisher
1913 Stoddard Dayton Carl G. Fisher
1912 Stutz Carl G. Fisher
1911 Stoddard Dayton Carl G. Fisher

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Article showing all the 1998 Corvette Pace Car's serial numbers and who the drivers were.

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