Rare Rides: This Racy Oldsmobile Bravada Kept Pace at Indy 500

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides this racy oldsmobile bravada kept pace at indy 500

Last time on Rare Rides, we carried the racing [driver] and special edition themes to new heights, and featured a shockingly bad Jeff Gordon Monte Carlo special edition of which there were 24 copies made. Our ride today is still made by General Motors, and it’s still about racing, but it’s larger and even more rare. It’s also better, because it has an Oldsmobile logo on the front (albeit not the superior rocket one).

Oh yeah, and it’ll go 140 miles per hour.

This glorious beast of a GMT360 is a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada, modified by GM and used as a pace car in the Indianapolis 500 back in 2001. Up for sale on eBay, this is number two of two examples specially altered for track day use.

There are some seriously beefy tires and deep dish wheels, which look to have been made just for this vehicle. And since (according to the ad copy) the other pace car Bravada is in a museum, you’ll have the superior feeling you get behind the wheel of a bespoke luxury sports SUV.

Astronauts will be sure of the vehicle you’re driving, because you know you don’t care for subtlety anyway.

Inside, there are some sweet racing harnesses paired to the stock seats. And a fire extinguisher [s]in case you need to bash a passenger’s teeth in[/s] for when things get toasty at the upper end of the speedometer. Reliability shouldn’t be a concern at this point as it has just 1,900 miles on the clock. Better change some hoses, fluids, and gaskets though.

As with any GM special edition, there is embroidery of superior quality on the headrests. Note the clothes hanger bar in the back, for your racing suit.

But that’s not what it is! It’s the hazard light bar from the race. You can use this on any public road to attract immediate and stern police attention. Won’t that make for fun drives?

The owner has thoughtfully kept all the race-day-related literature, which is surely irreplaceable by this point in time.

The listing also includes a second Bravada, since one is just never enough. It’s a white support vehicle, which is one of 64 made for those duties in 2001. It’s not as interesting and has a dent in it (rear door), so I’m only going to post one photo of it here.

There’s a catch, though, as is so often the case when you find a truly special collectible. The owner indicates the title is red and has been branded as “scrap,” presumably because it was modified. The ad is silent on any modifications, and I don’t notice anything different under the engine bay. So maybe the extra top speed comes from software. As a bonus, the owner is still listed as General Motors. Maybe some of the B&B know of ways to get creative with titles and get this baby on the road where it belongs.

Summing up: The red scrap pile and the dented white refrigerator above are on offer for bids, starting at a reasonable $30,000. But where else are you going to find a nearly new and historically significant Oldsmobile in 2017?

[Images via eBay]

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2 of 28 comments
  • Ajla Ajla on Apr 18, 2017

    I'd rather have a Final 500. Or a Rainier, because other than the Toronado, Buick > Oldsmobile.

  • OldManPants OldManPants on Apr 18, 2017

    What a sweet ride sans the trash flash. Nice burgundy or whatever; strip the white crud & repaint. Oh, and stock wheels/tires.

  • StormEagle 400 miles range
  • Inside Looking Out Enforcing laws? It is so yesterday! Welcome to California!
  • Lou_BC You'd think cops would have an understanding of the laws they are supposed to enforce.
  • Merlyn I’m on my second Spark and love it! I can pass any car I’ve never had a problem going up a hill it does just fine. As for cargo I can fit three suitcases, two book bags and still have the front seat for a passenger. Not sure what point this guy is trying to make. I have hand free phone service and Sirius radio plug in my phone and have navigation. I would buy another spark in a heartbeat.
  • Buickman I won't own one and I'll be happy!