By on May 3, 2013



The 2013 Indy 500 will feature a Corvette C7 as its official pace car. Great for the Vette, and a rather obvious, if predictable choice. But what about the unsung heroes of the Brickyard?

For me, it’s a wash. Something about the after-dinner-mint color of the Chevrolet Beretta really appeals to me, but the Dodge Viper edges it out slightly. Word is that in 1991, the Dodge Stealth was slated to be the pace car, but the UAW threw a fit over a Japanese car being used. The replacement ended up being the not-quite-production-spec Viper, piloted by Ol’ Shel himself. Let us know you picks below.

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34 Comments on “QOTD: What’s Your Favorite Pace Car...”

  • avatar

    I know there have probably been better ones but back when I was in high school one of my teachers drove a 1979 Mustang Pace car and I thought it was about the coolest car on the road. There is something about the black and gold paint job on clean looking design that I can’t put my finger on, but when I googled it just now it still looks cool as hell.

    Gets my vote.

  • avatar

    Mercedes SLS Formula 1 Safety Car

    -DAT V8 SOUND-

  • avatar

    My 1981 Pontiac Trans Am Nascar edition of which only 2000 examples were made.

    • 0 avatar

      Of course you mean the 1980 model Turbo! I was impressed with the windshield graphic back then, as I recall it spawned many copycats. Fisher Ttops and the leather interior made this the ultimate hot rod in my 6th grade mind!

  • avatar

    Is the Indy 500 even relevant anymore? Tony George ruined CART twenty years ago due to his almost Bernie Ecclestone level of self-esteem, when he started the IRL. His premise, as I recall, was that Americans wanted to see more roundy roundy oval open wheel racing with red-blooded US drivers, not all those dainty foreign drivers with unpronounceable names who dominated the mainly road racing of CART. Yup, there should be 33 drivers, all with the name of Bill Smith.

    Where did that get him or us, the racing fans? Precisely nowhere. It ruined open wheel racing popularity in North America. Good one.

    Choosing a Corvette, or any car that can turn right as well as left, as pace car is just marketing hokum anyway, and only of interest to the easily impressionable, who can purchase genyooine copies, wrap ’em up in plastic bags for 25 years, then attempt to sell them at Barrett Jackson auctions, only to discover 349 other people had the same brilliant idea.

    Cynical? You bet I am.

    Meanwhile, the young continue to text, twitter and FB, oblivious to the race anyway.

    So for pace car, I pick the BMW X5M, made in Spartanburg TN for the world, with 560 twin turbo horses.

    • 0 avatar


      Could not agree with you more, cynicism notwithstanding.

      Being a BMW guy (see avatar) though, my choice might be the new Z4 sDRIVE35is. If INDY used a Mercedes before, maybe now its’ BMW’s turn. After all, how many times have they used a Corvette for this purpose?


  • avatar

    The 1977 Olds Delta 88 was a favorite of mine. You can stop laughing at me now.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it was very handsome too:

    • 0 avatar

      Rallye wheels!

      Slightly OT: Requisite link with video of 1971 Indy pace car crash:

    • 0 avatar

      I spent 94-95 bouncing around the country in rental cars. The olds 88 remains the absolute worst thing I ever drove. This was the time of “not you father’s oldsmobile”. No kidding. It was my grandfather’s. Oddly enough, granddad *did* own one. I think the combination of 1960s looks (especially the interior) and 1960s handling sold him on it. I’m wondering if it had ever been upgraded since 78.

      As far as 1978 model goes, I think a neighbor down the street had one. A diesel.

      • 0 avatar

        Obviously, your grandfather didn’t opt for the top-of-the-line Royale. Anyway, the ’77 didn’t have ’60s interiors – those were bonafide 1970’s interiors, and they somehow hold up better over the years than any other decade.

        The ’77 was the first year of the downsized full size GM models, and they were MUCH better than the overwrought dinosaurs of the earlier ’70s. Are you sure your grandpa’s car that you drove wasn’t a ’76 or older tuna boat?

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      No laughing here. Oddly enough it was equipped with the same 403 6.6 liter V8 as the Trans Am of the era.

  • avatar

    Purple C5 Corvette!

  • avatar

    I’m torn between the 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada, and the 1990 Chevy Beretta Convertible.

    Oh wait.. Favorite? Let’s go with the 1981 Buick Regal. That looks pretty darn sharp to me.

  • avatar

    Daytona 500 has had a little more variety, so either

    1971 Porsche Audi 914


    2001 Pontiac Aztek

    For Indy I’ll pass on the 1984 Fiero, and go for the 1970 Cutlass

  • avatar

    1956 DeSoto Pacesetter.

  • avatar

    definitely the 84 Fiero regardless of having the duke of iron it beat out the c4vette for the honors

  • avatar

    1941 Chrysler Newport
    Just sold for 880,000.

    • 0 avatar

      That car is pretty amazing when you put it in context with other cars of the era. What would the Jaguar XK120 have looked like if Chrysler hadn’t built the Newports in 1941?

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    For some reason I have a memory of the Renault Espace F1 being used as a pace car at some point. I don’t care that it doesn’t apply as it wasn’t at Indy, there has been no cooler pace car in the history of creation.

  • avatar
    Mr. O

    I’d have to go ’89 turbo T/A. I still have the ad that I ripped from a magazine that stated the only modification it needed was a decal. Plus it’s not a Corvette.

  • avatar

    Super easy!

    The Dodge M4s, aka PPG Turbo Interceptor, aka The Wraith car.

  • avatar

    1967 Chevrolet Camaro. It’s not as well known as the white and orange ’69 cars, a color scheme that Chevy reprised for 2011, but I like the blue over white better. I also prefer the looks of the ’67 to the ’69 Camaro but that’s a different matter.

    A bunch of Camaro and Corvette pace cars, including the ’67 and ’69 cars, were part of Chevy’s centennial parade down Woodward:

  • avatar

    1983 Buick Riviera. Proto twin turbo Stage 2 Buick V-6. Aerodynamics of the proverbial “Brickwall” and a terror to drive at high speed.

  • avatar

    Anything driven by the coolest guy ever, James Garner! And that includes the ’77 Delta 88 (also the ’75 Buick Century 455, ’85 Olds Calais (yech)

  • avatar

    I actually like that C5 Corvette pace car with the yellow wheels and purple paint.

    I remember some kind of Chevy pace truck that I liked too.

  • avatar

    1986 yellow Corvette driven by Mr. Right Stuff, Chuck Yeager.

    For pictures of all the cars, check out this webpage – drivers also listed.

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