The Indy 500 has been a huge factor in the world of car racing for over 100 years. Considered one of America's greatest and most exciting races, the Indy 500 has had some pretty interesting pace cars to lead the way. Here are our favorite pace cars over the last 100 years.
The first pace car ever. A high quality car manufactured by defunct Dayton Motor Car. It was not a performance pace car, but it was a beauty which started the Indy 500 off elegantly.
1935 Ford Model B V8
This was the first pace car to become a performance car. Looks like something right out of an old mobster movie.
1941 Chrysler Newport
This three speed manual transmission vehicle made its way on to the track in 1941, and became the first and only Newport vehicle without hide-away lights. It was designed by Ralph Roberts of LeBaron/Briggs Manufacturing Company. Only six were built and this one was Ralph Roberts personal car.
1968 Ford Torino GT
A stunning vehicle in design, it was one of Ford's most powerful muscle cars. It had a short production run of only 10 years but, before ending its production, William Clay Ford Senior--board member of Ford Motor Company--showboated this beauty around Indianapolis.
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
Although it is not common for a Cadillac to be considered a performance vehicle, it surprisingly turned heads in 1973. It lead the Indy 500 pack driven by the legendary pace car driver, Royal Richard Rathmann. Cadillac only produced 566 of this model.
1978 Chevrolet Corvette C3
This sports car was the pace car that properly introduced the Corvette brand to the world of Indy. From its start in 1978 until years thereafter, it continued to lead the Indy 500 before being replaced.
1984 Pontiac Fiero
Just 2000 of these aero body cars, were produced. Ultimately it was a cool trend setting vehicle, and it lead the pack at the 1984 Indy 500. It subsequently became an extremely popular car.
1987 Chrysler LeBaron
While the LeBaron didn't quite have the "great" car trifecta--performance, style, and power--the simple fact that this vehicle was unlike anything Chrysler had ever offered at the time was good enough for it to be considered. The fact that the King of speed himself, Carrol Shelby, was behind the wheel, made its performance during the 1987 Indy 500 memorable.
1991 Dodge Viper R/T 10
After the Mustang, Camaro, and Corvette , Dodge introduced a new vehicle to the performance mix: the Viper. This V-10 engine ride was long, beautiful, and yes, powerful.
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
This ideal sports car is a handsomely created ride that made a huge impact. It made waves for more than its design and performance; Dario Franchitti, was behind the wheel.