Hi to all. My name is Tom Benvie and I am a retired history teacher and a car historian currently working on a large scale project trying to compile as much data on the Indy Pace Cars for all years. The Speedway museum at indy does not have any of this info, yet have repeatedly received requests they cannot answer. Hopefully by getting this info compiled they will have the data, and by sharing it it will be one less thing on their plate. I have completed all the data for the Camaro and Corvette Pace cars from 2000 on (and just received the 2018 data). Some of the data is just VIN and AutoCheck/CarFax reports and build info, while most of it also includes track data from Festival week to include who the car was assigned to, selling dealership, etc.
I have worked with various clubs to gather the info best I could-some were helpful, others were not. For some reason the "keeper of the records" do not want it released, or like the power of owning it, or who knows what. But as a long time restorer with multiple award winning cars (American Motors cars, mainly the 68-70 AMX) cars are pretty much impossible to fake if you know what to look for. Just about every mechanical part has a date code, there are hidden VIN stamps, history of the cars, etc. The real problem is the hobby itself, where people will ignore the obvious to authenticate an otherwise fraudulent car. You would not believe the stories I have heard about how the "factory did it this way" when in fact it never happened. (My favorite-an original owner of a 68 AMX insisting his car engine was original, despite all signs it was from a 75 model, to complete with an EGR valve on the intake, something AMC wasn't even developing in 68. Tried to make me look bad every chance he got).
I have been working on collecting Indy data for a number of years, and whenever I see info for an Indy car I save it. There seems to have been a number of efforts over the years by Fiero owners to compile a list, but some people seem to have info, had an old website, etc, but the info still does not appear to be out there. Is this still the case, or is it I just can't find it? I'm talking the complete VIN list, assigned driver at Indy, etc.
There are actually three types of Indy cars. the first is the actual Pace cars used at the track to pace the Indy race cars. There were usually three cars, often heavily modified to maintain speed and to stop. After the race one of the cars is often donated to the Indy Speedway museum, the others are kept by the manufacturer. About mid 80s to 90s PPG received one of the cars as well and further modified it, even changing color and interior. (Though PPG did a number of cars that were not actual Pace Cars as well. This is what I have found on the actual Pace Cars:
1G2AF37R6EP220280 Actual Pace Car, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
1G2AF37R4EP220284 Indy Pace Car #2 G.M. heritage Museum
1G2AF37R6EP220268 Indy Pace Car #3 Museum Science & Industry, Chicago, IL
Also found this car said to be a prototype, listed as being in Indy Museum but no confirmation it is still there: 1G2AF37R3EP236248
The second type of Pace Car is now known as the Festival Cars, but were once known as the Parade Cars. There could be as few as 50 to just over 100 of these cars, and for 1984 there were just over 100. these were assigned to various track personnel and Indianapolis officials to drive in the week or two before the race around town to promote the race. Some time prior to 1990 the cars were assigned a number, at first put behind the rear view mirror but later applied to the drivers side lower windshield. The car had Indiana special Indy 500 license plates with the corresponding number, good for only a few weeks around race day. These plates were available to the public as well, not just Parade Cars. The cars also had parking passes and other ID on the car. At the end of the race the cars were sent to dealers, usually around the Indianapolis area. The winner of the race received one of these cars, not an actual Pace Car.
The third type of car are the Dealer Replicas. Sometimes they did not make any of them, such as the last number of years and in 1992 Allante, others they made thousands, such as the 79 Mustang. 2001 Fieros were made, to include the Parade Cars. Sometimes the Actual Pace Car was not the same as the Festival and replicas, such as the Dodge Stealth used but the Viper was the Pace Car, or Camaros used when a Vette was the Pace Car.
Here are some of the published research I have done so far:
1969 Hurst Super Stock AMXs-just 53 made, trying for 40 years to research them-most comprehensive study on these cars: http://www.superstockamx.com
1999 Riviera Silver Arrow. Only 200 made, I was able to find every VIN and run a CarFax on each car. There was a number of false statements about the cars I was able to disprove. Have complete build info on each car: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1810363455669185/
1993 Allante Pace Car, used to pace the 92 race. Once again, a ton of misinformation, but was able to get complete VIN list and build data of every car. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1810267675909744/
1994 Cobra SVT Pace Car-1000 made, I have found build data on 976 thus far. Able to dispel numerous myths on these cars, and also proved the actual Pace cars and festival Cars were actual Mustang GTs. https://www.facebook.com/groups/200776700706982/
Completed the 1993 Camaro list and actually found a few errors from the data released by GM. Publishing soon-being edited by Camaro owner first.
Almost completed 1995 Vette info-found every complete VIN and all Build Info. Hoping to get the assigned Festival drivers before publishing.
i do have a number of other years complete, but looking for the paraphernalia to add to the posting, such as track decals, badges, programs, dealer info, etc.
I am beginning to fill in some of the gaps in years, which includes 1984. I am seeking any and all information, especially the actual list from Indy. Would be willing to purchase for the right price. Thanks for any help. Here is a link for my contact indo if needed, and a few pictures of some of the award winning cars I've restored. http://superstockamx.com/page112.php
Thanks for any and all help.
[This message has been edited by tbenvie (edited 06-19-2018).]