put on a special competition between dealerships in order to distribute the
planned pace car replicas to be released for sale to the public. The
competition consisted of "Checkered Flag" and "Green Flag" contests that
were based on the sales performance of the dealerships prior to the April
17, 1964 introduction of the Mustang. The top five performers in each
district would receive a pace car replica for free, or at a significant
discount, based on their final standings in the sales contest. With 36
districts this added up to 180 replicas, however, because of dealership ties
and strong performances, approximately 10 extra replicas were made, bringing
the total to an estimated 190. Representatives from the 105 winning
dealerships were invited to Dearborn for a special celebration, where the
keys to their replicas were handed over by Mr. Lee Iacocca himself.
Each of the replicas were coupes painted in Pace Car White (paint code
"C" for '64 1/2) and had white interiors with blue appointments (code "42").
The cars were equipped with the 260 V8 engine, power steering, rear back-up
lights and automatic transmissions. Other identifying features of the pace
car replicas include pace car blue racing stripes up the center of the hood
and "Official Pace Car" decals along the sides of the car. The words "PACE
CAR" were written on the radiator support with a grease pencil of some kind,
and then later painted over. The center stripes did not get placed on the
taillight panel around the gas cap on coupes, but they did on the dignitary
convertibles. Apparently some cars did not have the decals installed at the
dealership, and due to a press photo showing a prototype with the stripes
installed to one side rather than down the middle a few cars ended up with
the stripes in this incorrect location.
interesting fact with regards to the replica cars was the lack of outside
mirrors. Standard procedure at the time was for cars to be delivered to the
dealerships with the outside mirrors placed loose inside the car. When the
car was prepped by the dealership the mirrors were then installed. However,
the pace car replicas were not delivered the same way as regular Mustangs...
the Checkered Flag cars were retrieved by the winning dealers from Dearborn,
and the Green Flag cars were retrieved from the District Sales Office by the
dealer. This meant that these cars did not end up with an outside mirror.
The VINs of the cars are sequentially numbered, but the DSOs reflect the
dealerships that they were sent too. All of the replicas were built in
April, except for the extras mentioned earlier that were built in May, and
given a DSO of 84 ("Home Office" designation). For more
information on Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars, visit
For more photos of the 1964 Pace car, visit
Mustang 40th Anniversary