OLDSMOBILE HAS A PROUD HERITAGE AT INDY, HAVING PACED THE FAMED 500 MILE RACE 11 TIMES
1. 1949 Oldsmobile 88
2. 1960 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight
The decade of the 60's was all about horsepower and performance. Roadsters were being replaced by the lighter and faster rear-engined models at the Indianapolis Brickyard, and the family sedan began to give way to muscle cars in American garages.
The Oldsmobile marque was not a familiar name in terms of pace car selection. It first paced the 500 in 1949. More than a decade passed before Oldsmobile again led the cars around the brickyard in 1960. However, it made up time quickly after that. By 2001, Olds had paced eleven 5OO races.
At over 2 tons (4,400 lbs.) and with a wheelbase of 126.3 inches, the 1960 Ninety-Eight was a large car to say the least. It was sort of a relic, left over from the latter half of the fabulous fifties, overly styled and somewhat gaudy. The engine was a 394-CID OHV V-8. It produced 315 horsepower at a conservative 4600 rpm. It featured a 10.0:1 compression ratio and a multi-jet Rochester four-barrel carburetor. Bolted on the rear of the engine was GM's "Jetaway" HydraMatic three-speed automatic transmission. Fat for the day, 9.00 x 14 tubeless tires and super-wide drum brakes were featured at all four corners.
All Ninety-Eights had a padded dashboard and courtesy lights as standard equipment. The interior of the 1960 Indy Pace Car was white leather.
In 1960 Oldsmobile built only 7,284 five-passenger Ninety-Eight convertibles. At $4,362.00 they were second in price only to Starfire 88 rag tops.
1960 also may have been the last year a dealer supplied the speedway with the pace car (Stuart Oldsmobile, a local Oldsmobile dealer, drove the actual 1960 pace car to the track). Over the next decade, as emissions standards and government regulations kicked in it became more and more difficult for vehicles which rolled off the assembly line to have enough umph to stay in front of the 33 racers following!
3. 1970 Oldsmobile 442
4. 1972 Hurst/Olds
5. 1974 Hurst/Olds
6. 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88
7. 1985 Oldsmobile Calais 500
8. 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
9. 1997 Oldsmobile Aurora
This was the first time that the same automobile manufacturer both paced and won the Indy 500. Oldsmobile not only won the 500 Mile race in 1997, it went on to win in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.
10. 2000 Oldsmobile Aurora
11. 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada
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Updated on 5 Feb 2008 - 14:09:37 Hrs.
© 2008, G. David Yaros. All rights reserved.