News - Car And Driver

This Bentley Also Happens to Be a Tank

What better way to give an old luxury car a second life than to turn it into a tank?

What Niki Lauda Still Has to Say about Formula 1 Racing

Quoted in an upcoming book, the late three-time champion driver wanted to know, "Why did we change Formula 1 around so stupid?"

Let's Put "Cheating" Back into the Indy 500

Rules have become so restrictive, there's no room for creativity.

Back Home Again in Indiana: 11 Things to See or Do en Route to the Indy 500

Some places you'll want to visit on your way to (or home from) the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

These Are Our All-Time Favorite Indy 500 Pace Cars

A rundown 30 of the best Indianapolis 500 pace cars of all time including drivers and pertinent details.

This story was originally published in May 2017.

Measured in terms of sheer idiosyncrasies per mile, few oval circuits can match the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More a rectangle with rounded corners than a true oval, the 2.5-mile circuit features two eighth-mile-long “short chutes” connecting the corners at either end, which are banked at a mild 9 degrees and 12 minutes (these are unchanged since the track’s construction in 1909; by comparison, Talladega Superspeedway leans in at 33 degrees). A yardlong surface of commemorative bricks marks the start/finish line, and a unique multi-tiered pagoda-style scoring tower houses various officials and press. Did we mention that the 500 winner swigs milk from a bottle?

But while the annual Indianapolis 500 may be a stickler for tradition, there is one crucial element that changes every year: the pace car. Ever since the first running of the 500 in 1911, manufacturers have been eager to put their products on the track, in recent decades demonstrating them in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators at the event and millions more on television. Of the 100 cars that, through 2016, have led the field on the opening lap of the 500, these are our all-time favorites (some for their comedic value).