Our 10 Favorite Indy 500 Pace Cars
In the same realm of NASCAR, the Indy 500 is considered one of America’s greatest races, and for good reason. The 500 has a long and tenured history as one of the most exciting races around. But we wanted to take a closer look at an unsung hero — the pace car. Since 1911, drivers have been taking to the track, with pace cars leading the way. And every year, it’s been a car of the American variety. So, considering tomorrow marks another installment of the famed race, we thought it only right to take a look back on 10 of our favorite pace cars. 1911 Stoddard-Dayton
The very first pace car, what else do we need to say? It was built by now defunct Dayton Motor Car Company out of Dayton, Ohio. It wasn’t a performance car, clearly, but it did kick off the Indy 500 in an elegant fashion.
1935 Ford Model B V8
The first Ford pace car to ever hit the Indy grid was a 1935 Model B V8. We like to think of it as the very first muscle pace car truck.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1934 Ford Model B Cabriolet
1941 Chrysler Newport
The Chrysler Newport took to the track in 1941and was the first and only Newport that did not feature hide-away headlights, how fancy. After the race, it went to the garage of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
1968 Ford Torino GT
The Ford Torino, aside from being a stunning thing to look at, was one of Ford’s most powerful muscle cars at the time. Production lasted less than 10 years, but not before William Clay Ford, Sr. was able to pilot it around Indy in 1968.
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
When you think Cadillac Eldorado, you don’t think performance. But believe it or not, in 1973, Cadillac sent out its Eldorado to lead to the pack with Jim "Royal Richard" Rathmann behind the wheel.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1978 Chevrolet Corvette C3
In 1978, Chevrolet introduced the Corvette to the world of Indy. The C3 led the pack and continued on for a number of years after the fact. And as they say, the rest is history.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car
1984 Pontiac Fiero
Where would anyone be without the wonderful Pontiac Fiero? Taking time off from being just awesome in general, the Fiero made a point to lead the Indy pack in 1984. Pontiac even introduced the limited “Indy Pace Car” edition in honor of the feat.
1987 Chrysler LeBaron
Performance, looks, power — the Chrysler LeBaron had none of that. But ironically enough, in 1987, it someone found its calling as an Indy Pace Car. And even more hysterical, the king of speed himself, Carroll Shelby, was at the wheel. We can’t help but love it.
1990 Chevrolet Beretta Convertible
Almost as wonderfully comical as the Chrysler LeBaron, was the 1990 Chevrolet Beretta Convertible pace car. It was allegedly designed alongside the Corvette and Camaro, but its front-wheel drive and four-cylinder engine sure as heck didn’t scream performance.
1991 Dodge Viper R/T 10
Welcome, the Viper. In 1991, following a slew of Mustangs, Camaros and Corvettes, Dodge threw its name into the performance mix with a new Viper. It was long, beautiful, and most important, powerful.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1992 Dodge Viper
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
And here we are, in 2014. This year, the all-new, all-handsome Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 will be taking to the grid. Driven by the equally handsome Dario Franchitti.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indy 500 Pace Car
Photo Credit: Mecum Auctions, FavCars.com