Photos: 100 Years of Indy 500 Pace Cars

© Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayIndy 500 Pace Cars
One of the most famous motor races in the world, the Indianapolis 500 is traditionally held each year on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend; however, the 2020 race has been rescheduled to Sunday August 23, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic — the first time the race will be run other than during the month of May. Since the first Indianapolis 500-mile race in 1911, a specially appointed pace car has been used to lead the field in formation to the green flag for the start of the race. It is an honor — for both driver and car — to be chosen to pace the start of this historic race, and many special-edition vehicles have been created over the years to commemorate the event.

© General Motors2020 Indy 500 Pace Car
It came as no surprise when IMS recently announced that the all-new eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will lead the 2020 Indianapolis 500 field to the green flag on Sunday. A specially prepared Torch Red 2020 Corvette Stingray coupe driven by GM President Mark Reuss will pace a field of 33 IndyCars to a rolling start for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. A Corvette has paced the Indy 500 field 16 times in the past, and this year the honor goes to the first production Corvette with a mid-engine design. The full list of Indy 500 pace cars and their drivers is a fascinating retrospective of auto legends and celebrities, so enjoy this look back at Indy 500 pace cars through the years. Note: The Indianapolis 500 was not run from 1917–18 and 1942–45 because of World Wars I and II, respectively.

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1911: Stoddard-Dayton Model 11-A
Driver: Carl G. Fisher

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1912: Stutz
Driver: Carl G. Fisher

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1913: Stoddard-Dayton
Driver: Carl G. Fisher

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1914: Stoddard-Dayton
Driver: Carl G. Fisher

© IMS Photo1915: Packard Model 548
Driver: Carl G. Fisher

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1916: Premier Model 656
Driver: Frank E. Smith

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1919: Packard 335
Driver: Col. J. G. Vincent

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1920: Marmon Model 34
Driver: Barney Oldfield

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1921: H.C.S. Series 6
Driver: Harry C. Stutz

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1922: National Sextet
Driver: Barney Oldfield

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1923: Duesenberg Model A
Driver: Fred S. Duesenberg

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1924: Cole V-8 Series 890
Driver: Lew Pettijohn

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1925: Rickenbacker Eight
Driver: Eddie Rickenbacker

© IMS Photo1926: Chrysler Imperial E-80
Driver: Louis Chevrolet

© GM Media Archives1927: LaSalle V-8 Series 303
Driver: ‘Big Boy’ Rader

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1928: Marmon ‘8’ (Model 78)
Driver: Joe Dawson

© IMS Photo1929: Studebaker Series F-10 President
Driver: George Hunt

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1930: Cord L-29
Driver: Wade Morton

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1931: Cadillac 370 Twelve
Driver: ‘Big Boy’ Rader

© IMS Photo1932: Lincoln Model KB
Driver: Edsel Ford

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1933: Chrysler Imperial (Phaeton)
Driver: Byron Foy

© GM Media Archives1934: LaSalle Model 350
Driver: ‘Big Boy’ Rader

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1935: Ford Model 48
Driver: Harry Mack

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1936: Packard One-Twenty
Driver: Tommy Milton

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1937: LaSalle Series 50
Driver: Ralph DePalma

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1938: Hudson ‘112’
Driver: Stuart Baits

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1939: Buick Roadmaster Series 80
Driver: Charles Chayne

© IMS Photo1940: Studebaker Champion
Driver: Harry Hartz

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1941: Chrysler-Newport (Phaeton)
Driver: A.B. Couture

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1946: Lincoln Continental
Driver: Henry Ford II

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1947: Nash Ambassador
Driver: George W. Mason

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1948: Chevrolet Stylemaster Six-Series
Driver: Wilbur Shaw

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1949: Oldsmobile 88 ‘Rocket’
Driver: Wilbur Shaw

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1950: Mercury
Driver: Benson Ford

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1951: Chrysler New Yorker V-8
Driver: Dave Wallace

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1952: Studebaker Commander
Driver: P.O. Peterson

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1953: Ford Crestline Sunliner
Driver: William C. Ford

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1954: Dodge Royal 500
Driver: William C. Newburg

© General Motors1955: Chevrolet Bel Air
Driver: T.H. Keating

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1956: DeSoto Fireflite Pacesetter
Driver: L.I. Woolson

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1957: Mercury Turnpike Cruiser
Driver: F.C. Reith

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1958: Pontiac Bonneville
Driver: Sam Hanks

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1959: Buick Electra 225
Driver: Sam Hanks

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1960: Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight
Driver: Sam Hanks

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1961: Ford Thunderbird
Driver: Sam Hanks

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1962: Studebaker
Driver: Sam Hanks

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1963: Chrysler ‘300’
Driver: Sam Hanks

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1964: Ford Mustang
Driver: Benson Ford

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1965: Plymouth Sports Fury
Driver: P.M. Buckminster

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1966: Mercury Comet Cyclone GT
Driver: Benson Ford

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1967: Chevrolet Camaro
Driver: Mauri Rose

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1968: Ford Torino GT
Driver: William C. Ford

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1969: Chevrolet Camaro SS
Driver: Jim Rathmann

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1970: Oldsmobile 4-4-2
Driver: Rodger Ward

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1971: Dodge Challenger
Driver: Eldon Palmer

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1972: Hurst/Olds Cutlass
Driver: Jim Rathmann

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1973: Cadillac Eldorado
Driver: Jim Rathmann

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1974: Hurst/Olds Cutlass
Driver: Jim Rathmann

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1975: Buick Century Custom ‘Free Spirit’
Driver: James Garner

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1976: Buick Turbocharged V-6
Driver: Marty Robbins

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1977: Oldsmobile Delta 88
Driver: James Garner

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1978: Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Jim Rathmann

© Bret Kelley/IMS1979: Ford Mustang
Driver: Jackie Stewart

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1980: Pontiac Turbo-Trans Am
Driver: Johnnie Parsons

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1981: Buick Regal V-6
Driver: Duke Nalon

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1982: Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Driver: Jim Rathmann

© GM Media Archives1983: Buick Riviera Convertible
Driver: Duke Nalon

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1984: Pontiac Fiero
Driver: John Callies

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1985: Oldsmobile Calais
Driver: James Garner

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1986: Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Gen. Chuck Yeager

© Chris Owens/IMS1987: Chrysler LeBaron
Driver: Carroll Shelby

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1988: Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
Driver: Gen. Chuck Yeager

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1989: 20th Anniversary Pontiac Trans Am
Driver: Bobby Unser

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1990: Chevrolet Beretta
Driver: Jim Perkins

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1991: Dodge Viper RT/10
Driver: Carroll Shelby

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1992: Cadillac Allante
Driver: Bobby Unser

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1993: Chevrolet Camaro Z-28
Driver: Jim Perkins

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1994: Ford Mustang Cobra
Driver: Parnelli Jones

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1995: Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Jim Perkins

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1996: Dodge Viper GTS
Driver: Robert A. Lutz

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1997: Oldsmobile Aurora
Driver: Johnny Rutherford

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway1998: Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Parnelli Jones

© GM Media Archives1999: Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Driver: Jay Leno

© GM Media Archives2000: Oldsmobile Aurora
Driver: Anthony Edwards

© Indianapolis Motor Speedway2001: Oldsmobile Bravada
Driver: Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp

© General Motors2002: 2003 Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Jim Caviezel

© Steve Snoddy/IMS2003: Chevy SSR
Driver: Herb Fishel

© Ron McQueeney/IMS2004: Chevrolet Corvette C5
Driver: Morgan Freeman

© Michael Voorhees/IMS2005: Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Gen. Colin Powell

© Ron McQueeney/IMS2006: Chevrolet Corvette C6
Driver: Lance Armstrong

© Ron McQueeney/IMS2007: Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Patrick Dempsey

© Mike Harding/IMS2008: Chevrolet Corvette
Driver: Emerson Fittipaldi

© Bret Kelley/IMS2009: Chevrolet Camaro
Driver: Josh Duhamel

© General Motors2010: Chevrolet Camaro SS
Driver: Robin Roberts

© General Motors2011: Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Driver: A.J. Foyt Jr.

© General Motors2012: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Driver: Guy Fieri

© General Motors2013: Corvette Stingray
Driver: Jim Harbaugh

© Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing2014: Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Driver: Dario Franchitti

© IMS for Chevy Racing2015: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Driver: Jeff Gordon

© Bret Kelley/IMS for Chevrolet2016: 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Camaro
Driver: Roger Penske

© Chris Owens/IMS for Chevy Racing2017: Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
Driver: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

© General Motors2018: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Driver: Victor Oladipo

© General Motors2019: Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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