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Username Post: 1955 Indy 500 Pace Car
Posts 1
04-30-21 05:03 PM - Post#2819059    

I am researching the various Indy 500 Pace Cars for an upcoming book and I have just completed the 1955 Chevrolet Pace Car. Once I have completed the research I try to create a Facebook Group in an attempt to find any corrections, comments, or additional information. Like so many other Pace Cars there is a lot of misinformation out there. So many people studying history often put todays traditions and cultures back into another time period, often causing the confusion. For instance, this Chevy was all stock, as was every other Pace Car at the time. The first Pace Car with any non stock modifications was the 1964 Mustang. The Mustang was only a month old, so any faults would be major news and certainly hurt Mustang sales. Ford wisely checked out the entire car before the race, to include adding performance items to the engine.

The first dealer Replica was the 1929 Studebaker, when thirty exact duplicates were made to sell through the dealer network. The next time the Replicas were offered was the 53 Ford, with special paint and features. Then again with the 54 Dodge, also special paint and features. For 1955 Chevrolet did not offer any Replicas, nor did they have a program where dealers could sell them. There was no decal package offered for sale, and certainly no "Decals in the trunk". The Replicas came once again with the 56 Desoto, then for the 1957 Mercury, both with special paint and features. In 1958 the AMA declared there would no longer be any participation in auto races by any company, so for 1958 the Speedway purchased the Pace Car and there were no other cars at the track. For 59-60 and 62 local dealers in Indianpolis supplied the Pace Car and some Support Cars. Ford "back-doored" the Golden Anniversary 1961 Thunderbird through local dealers. In 1963 Chrysler finally made the special edition Pacemaker painted "Pace Car Blue" and Replicas were once again offered through dealers, but not for every year.

The race winner was awarded the Pace Car or a Replica beginning in 1936. Often they did not get the actual Pace Car such as 53 and 54, but in 1955 the actual Pace Car was awarded to the race winner. It is unknown where it is today.

A list of cars was generated for all the cars at the track, along with the names of those to whom the car was assigned. Unfortunately, the earliest known assignment list is a partial 1969 Camaro list and then a complete 1970 Olds list. You never know if one will someday turn up. There were at least 25 cars at the track, mostly two tone Bel Air convertibles, but also some single color cars-plus two doors, four doors, and at least two wagons. After the race the cars were stripped of the decals and sold at cost to the local dealer network as demos. There was specifically one blue car assigned to the Track Chief Steward, who was in charge of the whole program. The blue car made him easy to find.

Other items are also addressed in this group. 1
Tom Benvie
E Bridgewater, MA

"14th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts 1367
05-01-21 04:59 PM - Post#2819103    

how would you tell if you found one?
vin tag says Pace Car?
matter of a fact since owning this '56 since 1980 I just realized it is a "Pace Car" also
VC56S 2 door Sedan, 40 Years

[image] v-3564-1354211547.jpg[/image]

Member #252
Posts 9872
05-02-21 03:54 AM - Post#2819134    

Very interesting stories. You have done a great deal of research.
I would also like to know the whereabouts of the original-and-only 1955 Chevy Pace Car.

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