Oldsmobile Aurora
81st Indy 500
May 25, 1997

The Oldsmobile Aurora was a natural choice for pace car of the 1997 Indianapolis 500, after serving as pace car for all Indy Racing League races (except  Indy) in 1996 and 1997.  The Aurora's standard 250-horsepower, 4.0L V-8 engine meant the car needed no performance modifications.  A 650-horsepower version of that same engine went on to win the 1997 Indy 500, marking the first time the same engine design had both paced and won at Indy.  

1997 also marked the first time since 1947 that a four-door sedan was chosen to lead the race, and the first front-wheel-drive four-door ever.

Only 64 Auroras were built for use as pace cars and parade cars.  Oldsmobile did not produce a replica of this car.

The 1997 pace car was driven by three-time Indy winner Johnny Rutherford.

Related links:

 More pictures (click to enlarge):
Scan courtesy of Chris Carlson
Artist's rendition of the 1997 pace car

 

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