Arizona | Lot 245

1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

$44,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

20 January 2012

Chassis No.

110 hp, 239 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, semi-elliptic rear springs with live axle, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115"

• One of 2,001 Sunliner Indianapolis Pace Cars and 25 known to the Pace Car Society Register

• Frame-up museum restoration of 64,800 original-mile car

• Correct paint, top, gold dash, crossed flags and Pace Car lettering

• Fitted with factory “Coronado” Continental kit

Pace cars have been a tradition at the Indy 500 since the first 500-mile race in 1911, and fittingly, Ford got to provide the pace car for 1953. It was driven by William Clay Ford, accompanied by multiple Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw. At the post-race banquet, winner Bill Vukovich was awarded a Pace Car replica; the original went to the Henry Ford Museum. In all, there were 2,001 Pace Cars built, supposedly one for each dealer.

Just as this car, they had special trim and can be identified by their data plates, which list “SS” for both color and trim. All were built between February 18 and May 5, 1953.

Built in Long Beach, California on April 25, 1953, the car on offer is an entirely correct and well-known Pace Car from a private museum. It is painted White Sungate Ivory, with a gold and white leatherette interior and a white Orlon convertible top. It has the anniversary gold dash and top bows, the crossed checkered flag emblems on the front fenders, black lettering and the “Coronado” Continental trunk kit. Other accessories include chrome wire-spoke hubcaps, dual mirrors, a radio, clock, heater, power steering, fender skirts and back-up lights.

This car is a low 64,762-mile original that was treated to a professional restoration. Despite the production numbers, only about 25 are known to the Pace Car Register, and as such, the opportunity to acquire a 1953 Ford Pace Car does not occur often.

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