Uptown Automotive Hobby Shop
The Biggest Little New and Used Car Showroom in Central New York

Real? Or Immitation?

Indy pace cars are often duplicated in limited numbers to be sold to interested members of the public, through the respective manufacturer's dealerships. Sometimes the pace car replicas closely resemble the actual pace car, while other times, if the actual pace car is modified to lead the pack on race day, the replicas sold by dealers may be somewhat different, either the engine, the body, or sometimes both.

For example, the '67 and '69 Camaro pace car replicas looked identical to the cars that actually paced the race in their respective years. The '76 Buick Pace car had a domed hood, while the "replicas", did not, and in '75 and '76 (Buick paced the race both years) the engines of the replicas were (understandably) not as potent as the actual pace car. In various years, Oldsmobile pace cars had their roofs opened up, or removed all together, while the replicas retained their closed steel "sedan" roofs. The 1990 Chevy Beretta Pace car shared the same fate.

Ford Motor Company supplied the 1979 Indy Pace Car, the then new Mustang. The actual pace car had T-Tops, while the replicas at Ford dealerships carried pace car graphics, they all had sunroofs.

Interestingly, other than the roof, the visual body mods worn by the actual pace cars were also shared by the replicas one could purchase from a Ford dealer.

The 1979 Mustang Indy Pace Car was represented in model form by both MPC in 1/25 scale (kit #0785), and Monogram in 1/24 scale (kit #2250). The MPC kit depicted the actual t-top pace car, while the Monogram depicted the sun roof equipped pace car replica.

Monogram also offered kit # 2260, which was the '79 Mustang Cobra with sunroof, and MPC offered the '79 Mustang which could be built as simply a hatchback, or as a Cobra, either one with the solid "steel' roof. The Monogram Cobra kit had "cast aluminum wheels"; the three other kits all had the optional TRX wheels.


-Jim Amado, July 2022

page updated 12/22/2023