Actually I spoke to Chrysler Aust a few weeks back and they did not say they were doing any mods to the 300C so I am a bit surprised to see they have different wheels. During the V8Supercars Telecast there was an interview with one of the Drivers on the grid and in the background I could hear the 300C take off (rapidly). It obviously has a modded exhaust, if not straight through. It sounded great.
Also, the car is Silver and the black is all tape apparently.
Gary Quay wrote this list of Indianapolis 500 pace cars, with drivers: (forwarded to us by Gene Rivers)
1926 Chrysler Imperial - Louis Chevrolet (yes, that's the man who designed the original Chevrolet, a car so successful it let GM's founder regain control of the company!)
1933 Chrysler Imperial - Byron Foy
1941 Chrysler Newport (Phaeton) - A.B. Couture (Chrysler engineer - read his history of Chrysler - see photo below); this was the only non-production Indy pace car!
1951 Chrysler New Yorker - Dave Wallace
1954 Dodge Royal 500 - William C. Newburg (?)
“Moparnut” wrote: “I am positive that Eldon Palmer - top dog at Palmer Dodge - and not Bill Newburg was the driver for the pace car. Worse, that ended the era of untrained/unprofessional drivers since he overshot the pits and crashed at the end of the pace lap. I was living in Indianapolis in 1954 when Dodge was the pace car for the 500. [The local papers - Indianapolis Star, News, and Times - all agree on Eldon Palmer.]”
1956 DeSoto Adventurer - L.I. Woolson
[Chuck B. added: 1957 - Dodge D-500 Custom Royal Lancer Convertible]
1963 Chrysler "300" - Sam Hanks
1965 Plymouth Sports Fury - P.M. Buckminster
1971 Dodge Challenger - Eldon Palmer
1987 Chrysler LeBaron - Carroll Shelby
1991 Dodge Viper - Carroll Shelby*
(Duncan Malloch noted that the official car was the Dodge Stealth - otherwise known as the Mitsubishi 3000GT.)
1996 Dodge Viper - Robert A. Lutz
In 1996 Dodge Ram Indy 500 Special Pickup Used as Wreckers and Demos
Mike Kube also noted the 1987 Dakota Indy 500 trucks, and Duncan Malloch noted that the Dodge Dakota was the official pace truck in 1991 as well.
* Jake wrote that the 1991 Viper pace car was not just a modified version of the 1989 concept car; it was a running, fully operational vehicle identical to the 1992 production version but hand assembled somewhere rather than made on the "assembly line" (and I use that term loosely) at the Mack Avenue plant because the plant was not ready yet. In short, a handbuilt production-spec prototype. The 1991 Stealth was supposed to be the pace car for the Indy 500 that year but outcries over a vehicle made in Japan pacing "America's Race" prevented that from happening, and the aforementioned Viper was hastily assembled to pace in its place.
In-fact, I saw that pace car going around at Bathurst last year (biggest V8 Supercar race here in Oz) and it was THE reason I logged onto the Chrysler site for more info. I ordered mine a few short weeks later and have been delighted ever since. Maybe Chrysler would be interested in running a team in the Aussie V8 Supercar series and showing the Ford and Holden boys a thing or two! Now that would be outstanding....
I agree it was a pity they didn't get to use the 300C at the F1 GP this weekend but they did have it at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide - and according to my little brother - it was a standout there too.:hitit: