Posting vignettes based on great postcards found in my mail box and elsewhere.

Friday, May 25, 2012

1953 Indinapolis 500 Pace Car

This postcard came today from my friend Rick in Michigan. He knows I like classic cars and the Indianapolis 500 race and history.

The postcard image is the 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner. The car was selected as the pace car for that year's Indianapolis 500 mile race. The car was designed to commerate the 50th anniversity of the Ford Motor Company and sported a powerful 110 horsepower flathead V8 engine. These cars, now classics, are highly prized with car collectors.The car pictured here is a replica of the pace car that belongs to the Dells Auto Museum, in Dells, Wisconsin.

Each year car companies vie for selection of leading the 33-car field of the famous 500 mile race. For nine of the last 20 years the Chevorlet Corvette has won the distinction of leading the Indianapolis race cars on the parade and pace laps.There is good reason for this. The pace car must pace the cars for one lap at 70 mph and then up to 120 mph before entering the final turn before the flying start.

This year the 638 horsepower Corvette C6 ZR1 will lead the field of race cars to the starting line.Many people have complained that the stock Corvette's engine produces more horsepower than the race cars. While that is true, the Corvette isn't capable of circling the track at an average speed of 225-plus mph. 

You can get a feeling for the excitement of the flying start by watching some homemade videos posted on my blog here.

The race will be run this year on Sunday, May 27, at 12 p.m. Television coverage will begin at 11 a.m. on American Broadcasting Company, ABC, stations.

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