In 1970, officials at the Oldsmobile division of General Motors were thrilled to receive an invitation for one of their vehicles to serve as the official Pace Car for that year’s Indianapolis 500. It had been a decade since an Oldsmobile had paced the Indy 500, one of the premier auto racing events in the world, and the company pulled out all the stops in creating an event-worthy vehicle.
Since the Oldsmobile vehicle line-up weighed heavily in favor of heavyweight luxury sedans, the choice was fairly easy to make. The pace car would be built around the Olds 4-4-2, the sportiest car the offered. The 4-4-2 had been around for several years and was initially an option on the Cutlass platform in much the same manner as Pontiac’s GTO began as an option on the Tempest platform. By 1970 the 4-4-2 was designated as a separate model while still sharing many parts and pieces with the Cutlass and other models.
Power for the vehicle came from the 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 displacing a rated 320 horsepower. All of the pace car editions came standard with the GM Turbo 400 three-speed automatic transmission. There were a variety of rear end gear ratios available but the 3.42:1 gearset was standard. The Indy Pace Car option was RPO Y74 on the order sheet. That package included bucket seats and a console-mounted Hurst shifter. A special graphics package of stripes and badging in decal form set the vehicle apart from a regular production 4-4-2. All the Indy Pace cars were painted Porcelain White with a white convertible top and black vinyl interior and featured a special fiberglass hood with dual air scoops. Olds also decided to produce a limited number of hardtop editions to commemorate the event.
Production records indicate that a total of 626 Indy Pace Car convertibles were manufactured, with 268 of those being built on the 4-4-2 model and 358 on the Cutlass Supreme platform. Records indicate that while all the 4-4-2 pace cars were equipped with the 455 cubic inch powerplant, a relatively low number of the Cutlass Supreme versions had the smaller 350 cubic inch Olds motor under the special dual-scoop hood.
Former Indy champion Roger Ward was selected to drive the pace car for the 1970 running, which was one of the least competitive races in Brickyard history. Al Unser, driving a car for Parnelli Jones, led 190 of the race’s 200 laps and finished a lap ahead of the second-place car. Still, Oldsmobile was happy with the results from their pace car, as they were much better known for cars that appealed to an older segment of the car-driving public than for performance vehicles.
This car is one of the 268 cars built on the 4-4-2 model, established both by the vehicle identification number and the cowl-mounted data plate. It was built during the fourth week of March 1970, a date consistent with pace car production schedules at the Lansing, MI assembly plant. All of the pace car specific items appear properly. The vehicle is equipped with power steering and power brakes and has the rare factory option bench seat replacing the standard bucket seats and console. It has been a part of the present owner's portfolio since December 2010. While we believe the 18,700-plus miles showing on the odometer to be correct, in accordance with Missouri statutes regulating licensed auto dealers this car will be sold “mileage exempt” due to age.
As one would expect from a car that is 50 years old, there are some signs of aging. There appears to be a few places where paintwork has been done in the area between the convertible top and trunk lid and a few places where the chrome has slightly dulled, but overall the car appears to be mostly original and would be very presentable for local and area shows, cruises and tours. This vehicle also has the rare factory-option bench seat and it should be noted that the car is not optioned with air conditioning.
Evergreen Digital Showroom offers this 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Indianapolis 500 pace car edition for $79,900 USD. Transportation for this vehicle car be arranged at buyer’s expense. Financing may be available to individuals with approved credit and information can be found under the “Financing” tab on our website, www.evergreendigitalshowroom.com. For additional information or to make an offer on this car, contact sales manager Steve Russell at 417-532-8000.
Because of the number of vehicles we represent we cannot drive every vehicle for long distances. These vehicles have been part of static displays for long periods of time, in some cases for decades, and are subject to the flaws and imperfections consistent with that. While we do our best to disclose all issues we known about a vehicle in our advertising, these are old cars and something that has always worked in the past might not function properly today. Please check the requirements of your state regarding the licensing and registration of classic vehicles and make sure the vehicle you are looking at meets those if applicable. Unless otherwise noted, all vehicles represented by Evergreen Digital Showroom possess a clean (non-branded) title which will be provided the new buyer when purchase funds clear our financial institution. Virtually all our vehicles are sold as mileage exempt due to their age. We do not warranty any vehicle, nor any part of the vehicle including air conditioning systems, brake systems, electrical systems and gauges, fuel systems, accessories or powertrain components.
These are old vehicles and it is very common for them to require certain maintenance and upkeep for them to be operational. In many cases issues with leaks may develop when being driven after a long period of not being used. This is common, as classic cars at some point will leak fluids. For this reason, we do not encourage buyers to attempt driving their purchase home as we cannot guarantee functional reliability of these vehicles. We strongly encourage prospective buyers to be sure they are comfortable with these issues before purchasing a classic car.
Descriptions of vehicles represented by Evergreen Digital Showroom are intended to be informational in nature and do not in any way constitute any sort of warranty, expressed or implied. Again, these vehicles are presented “as-is, where-is” without guarantee or warranty. Vehicles manufactured prior to 1981 will likely not be included in the databases of companies such as CarFax and AutoCheck that provide vehicle history information to consumers. If you have specific questions regarding a vehicle we urge you to contact us at 417-532-8000.