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BobPalma
01-18-2014, 02:05 PM
Most Indianapolis 500 Pace Lap photos are taken from high above the track, outside Turn One.

Today at The Hoosier Auto Show indoor Literature Swap Meet, I bought this unusual, full-size glossy B&W photo of the 1962 Indianapolis 500 Pace Lap, taken from inside Turn One; a but unusual:

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss155/BobPalma/1962500pacelap_zpsb58bfa1a.jpg (http://s571.photobucket.com/user/BobPalma/media/1962500pacelap_zpsb58bfa1a.jpg.html)

Gee, those were great days for Studebaker! :D

Who could know what an abbreviated leash they were on: Only 19 short months later, the South Bend assembly line that built the above Pace Car would be forever shuttered. :( BP

SN-60
01-18-2014, 02:21 PM
Really a shame Studebaker's new 'Avanti' wasn't ready in time for this. It would have definitely helped Studebaker sell a few more cars.

BobPalma
01-18-2014, 02:46 PM
Really a shame Studebaker's new 'Avanti' wasn't ready in time for this. It would have definitely helped Studebaker sell a few more cars.

Oh, there was an Avanti right there on the premises, Ed, when that photo was taken...probably more than one of them, truth be known.

At age 16, I had attended "Pole Day" for the 1962 Indianapolis 500 -with cousin George Krem in tow, of course- a couple weeks earlier. There was one Avanti on prominent display at the time, the first time either of us saw one in the flesh, so there were likely more down there two weeks later, on race day. (BTW; George and I had driven my parent's Coppertone and Arctic White 1957 President 2-door to the track that day.)

One of the most persistent errors in Studebakerdom is that the new Avanti was "supposed" to be the 1962 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Pace Car, but "it wasn't ready in time." That is simply not true.

Dick Quinn has well-documented exactly when the Pace Car was chosen late in calendar year 1961, and the Avanti had nothing to do with it: It was to be the new 1962 Daytona convertible all along.

Remember, the 1962 Lark line was greatly improved styling-wise from the frumpier 1961s, and the bucket-seat Daytona at the top of the Lark line was as fresh as a daisy and thoroughly "with it" as to the contemporary compact-car market...but creeping into the new mid-size market established by the 1962 Ford Fairlane and Mercury Meteor.

With all the press the new Avanti was getting by race day, of course, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the ideal venue in which to showcase the Avanti...and giving one to Winner Ward was marketing genius; it would do far more in his hands as to celebrity promotion than would a Daytona convertible. :!: BP

SN-60
01-18-2014, 03:05 PM
Yes Bob, I understand what You mean here. Actually, late May of '62 is a little early to be displaying a car that an auto company intends to call a 1963 model. Desperate times at Studebaker I guess.
By the way ....were You ever in attendance at the Speedway to see/hear the NOVI'S run?

Warren Webb
01-18-2014, 03:06 PM
I believe too back in that time period only convertibles were used as pace cars. If my memory is correct it wasn't until convertible production ceased in the mid 70's when a closed car was used. (the only convertibles were Corvettes)

BobPalma
01-18-2014, 03:32 PM
Yes Bob, I understand what You mean here. Actually, late May of '62 is a little early to be displaying a car that an auto company intends to call a 1963 model. Desperate times at Studebaker I guess.
By the way ....were You ever in attendance at the Speedway to see/hear the NOVI'S run?

Yes, and they were mean-sounding. Unique as all get-out. :cool: BP

BobPalma
01-18-2014, 03:35 PM
I believe too back in that time period only convertibles were used as pace cars. If my memory is correct it wasn't until convertible production ceased in the mid 70's when a closed car was used. (the only convertibles were Corvettes)

Actually, Warren; the first closed car to pace the Indianapolis 500 Memorial Day Classic was the 1940 Studebaker Champion 2-door! :woot: :!: BP