Author Topic: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car  (Read 804 times)

Z51

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Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« on: February 27, 2019, 07:35:52 PM »
I am new to the site, but not new to Pontiac. My first cars when I was 16 was a 69' Firebird 400 and and a 69' Firebird with the Pontiac 350. My current Firebird is a 1980 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am Indy Pace car. It has 52,000m miles and is all original. The decals are starting to fade, crack and slightly yellow. Overall the car is in really good shape. On the sail panels, I have the "500 Festival" logo. They are also fading and cracking the same amount as the rest of the cars decals. I believe them to be original.

My issue is I can't find any info about the actual track cars. I realize its not a "true" pace car. I believe it to be one of the press cars. Does anyone have any idea on how to verify that the vehicle was at the Indy 500 race on the track during the parade lap? I have been to several other Trans Am websites with no luck. Also tried to register the car on the Trans Am Pace Car registry, but I don't think it is monitored anymore. I have decoded the vin and other tags and it is a real pace car. Could not find the build sheet though.

Any and all help would greatly appreciated.

I guess I have to figure out the picture thing on here



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firebirdparts

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 08:52:30 PM »
There is a list of those cars, so they say.
http://www.transampacecar.com/Indy%20Used%20Pace%20Cars.htm

I don't have any more info.
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roadking77

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2019, 08:02:23 AM »
Welcome to TAC, would like to see some pics of your car. They are one of my favorites. There was a member on here who as an owner of one, was pretty knowledgable about these. Maybe he will chime in.
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Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2019, 07:24:54 PM »
There is a list of those cars, so they say.
http://www.transampacecar.com/Indy%20Used%20Pace%20Cars.htm

I don't have any more info.

Thanks for the input. That is the site I tried roughly 3 years ago. Its pretty much a dead site. Any time you try to hit the register tab, it just send you in circles back to the tab.
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Aus78Formula

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 07:28:12 PM »
I guess you weren't one of the "Elite ones" they let in!

Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 07:28:12 PM »

Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 07:30:51 PM »
Welcome to TAC, would like to see some pics of your car. They are one of my favorites. There was a member on here who as an owner of one, was pretty knowledgable about these. Maybe he will chime in.

I am working on trying to get some pictures on here. Do I need to get one of those picture host sites to be able to post them? Hopefully I can get some info on the 500 Festival cars. I've searched for a while now and have come up empty handed. I'm not to sure that records were kept.
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Aus78Formula

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2019, 07:32:09 PM »
Yeah, like Flickr and similar, then post the links.

Z51

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76455sd

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2019, 08:50:26 AM »
very nice.  I don't know as I've ever seen the festival decal before.
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roadking77

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2019, 08:53:48 AM »
Nice looking car. I dont know much about those but have never seen one with the sticker on the sail panel. I did see about a third gen pace car that had a hand written note under the license plate that confirmed it was a festival car. I wonder if the second gens had anything similar.
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Z51

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Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 08:58:45 AM »
That's pretty much all the evidence I have is those and a few other pics I found online. Those cars were used for the parade, for the press to get around in the week of the race and for the laps around the track with celebrities.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 09:01:19 AM by Z51 »
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firebirdparts

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 09:10:03 AM »
Well, that is kind of frustrating.  Verification is available "somehow" but now I don't exactly get why the registry would become uninteresting.  There was a way that you could have the car documented on paper for a fee, so whoever was receiving the fee presumably is still motivated.  I have no idea though who that was. 

I wonder if maybe you should ask this question at the 301 garage forum.  Did you try that already?
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Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2019, 09:19:06 AM »
Yes. I went there first. Supposedly the guy who opened up the registry frequents the site. I tried contacting him through the 301 site and his registry site to see if I could be added to the registry and got no response. I dont want info on my car for free. I'm willing to pay him or someone for their time. The only info I got off the 301 site is that my car fell into the vin# sequence that they used for the cars on the track. From what I understand they had 100 cars that were picked in sequence that were designated as "500 Festival" cars. Trail went cold there. Never seen a list or anything I could use to verify the claims.   

I have not tried to register it yet with PHS.   
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 09:21:22 AM by Z51 »
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roadking77

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 09:43:45 AM »
PHS may be the key. It will tell whom the original dealer was which may shed some light. Very interesting. I would say it is one of the festival cars given the sail panel decal. I doubt someone would go through the trouble to 'fake' that. Somewhat related, I was in Daytona right after the 500 the year that the chevy ssr was used. There were I bet a hundred of them parked in the lot at the hotel I was staying at. I guess they were waiting for GM to pick them up.
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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 09:43:45 AM »

Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2019, 09:50:42 AM »
I didnt think it was faked either. The sail panel decals show the same age and wear as the pace car decals. Cracked, and somewhat faded. I will try the PHS route and see what info I can get. May get the window sticker made up as well.
I think the 100 parade car number is standard from what I found researching.
Thanks for the interest.
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roadking77

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2019, 12:43:34 PM »
Im not sure that PHS still dose the window stickers. Mike Noun makes them and does an outstanding job. I have both and Mikes is better.
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Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2019, 12:45:50 PM »
Is his info readily available here? Will need my PHS info first obviously.
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firebirdparts

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2019, 09:49:21 PM »
PHS never really did window stickers.  They just convinced Triple A Enterprises not to do any for any Pontiac unless the order (and thus information) came from PHS.  That is still the case according to their website.
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Aus78Formula

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2019, 01:39:44 AM »
Those with window stickers are clearly reprinted and not being used as window stickers, I don't see their purpose, especially as not cheap.

roadking77

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2019, 04:17:18 PM »
The window sticker is a frivolous expense, but then again so is my car! I like displaying it at car shows. Just one of those little things thats neat to have.
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T/A Addict

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2019, 04:45:13 AM »
Beautiful car! The speedometer strikes me as being incorrect for an 80. Am I wrong? Did the Festival cars get different ones?
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jonathonar89

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2019, 08:04:26 AM »
Beautiful car! The speedometer strikes me as being incorrect for an 80. Am I wrong? Did the Festival cars get different ones?

Agree, darn clean car!  Looks like the tach is correct but I would guess someone converted to the 160mph speedo at one point.

Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2019, 08:48:34 AM »
Beautiful car! The speedometer strikes me as being incorrect for an 80. Am I wrong? Did the Festival cars get different ones?

My first Trans Am. I didnt realize there were different spedometers available. What should it have? Which cars came with the 160 mph?
What speedometer did the turbo cars get?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 08:52:35 AM by Z51 »
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firebirdparts

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2019, 12:25:34 PM »
They used 160 mph on the first gens, then again it was 160 from 1970 to 1974.  They dropped to 100 with a secondary kph scale for 1975 to 1979. Then they used 85 mph in 1980 and 81. 

The 80 and 81 speedometers are an entirely different style as is everything on the dash.

Your car appears to have a 1970 to 1974 speedometer.  Everybody prefers that, but on a 1980 the typeface doesn't match the other gauges exactly.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:28:20 PM by firebirdparts »
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

Z51

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2019, 03:10:41 PM »
Well I will be getting a correct speedometer for it then. Must have been changed at some point in the past.
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firebirdparts

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Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2019, 11:24:50 PM »
I guess they might have been driving with people sitting on the roof.  Not so fast.
I want to be like Paul Kenny when I grow up
Joe Bays
1977 Y82 4-speed (red interior)
1978 Skybird 350
1978 Redbird 305
1979 Redbird 301 4-speed
1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC/SE (red)
1970 Datsun Pickup
1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

Re: Trying to verify if my 80' pace car is a real "500 Festival" car
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2019, 11:24:50 PM »
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