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The web site about the 1973 Indianapolis (Indy) 500 Mile race!


1973 was the 5th year that Cadillac was chosen as pace car through out the years. And this was the second time ever that a front-wheel drive car was leading the pack of race cars down the start lap, the first front-wheel drive pace car was a Cord some time in the 30'ies.

Factory Publicity Shot And this was up to 1973 the most powerful pace car ever! The sheer weight of the Eldorado convertible forced the Cadillac engineers to take some measures to allow the car to reach the high speeds needed. The 8.2 liter (500 cubic inch) engine was tweaked.

The smog control equipment and A/C had been removed. A new crank was installed as was specially forged pistons and a dual exhaust system, even the bumpers were replaced with polished aluminum instead of steel.

And there were actually a second spare car supplied by the factory, just incase that something happened to the first. Both pace cars also had hood pins to secure the hood/bonnet as well as the flag pole mounts in the rear.

Interestingly enough both cars survived the ordeal and one was actually converted back to a "normal" Eldorado convertible before being sold to the public. The other of the two actual pace cars was used for numerous testing purposes at the GM/Cadillac plant, for instance for testing rims and tires for the new generation of Chevrolet Corvette that was introduced in 1984. That car is said to have been scrapped and buried somewhere at a test facilities..

Besides the two actual pace cars and the 53 track convertibles, there were a number of coupe devilles, two sedan devilles and even a Fleetwood used during the race week.

One of the 53 track cars was presented to the winner of the race, Gordon Johncock, as a prize/gift.

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