produced 10,478 pace car replicas for the 1979 model year that were based
on the Mustang that paced the Indianapolis 500 for that year. They were
based on the standard hatchback model and all used the same styling cues
that were on the actual pace cars. Pewter and black paint with orange and
red stripes made the car standout in a crowd.
Roush was commissioned to modify the real pace car engines with such items
as high-performance cylinder heads and a Boss 302 camshaft and crankshaft.
The exterior was slightly different and had a T-roof--an option not
available on production cars until 1981.
Among the differences between
the pace car replica and the standard Mustang were a raised non-functional
cowl induction style hood, a front fascia with three horizontal grill bars
and a lower front air dam, front Marchal fog lamps, rear spoiler, TRX
handling package with metric wheels and tires, black Recaro front seats with
black and white checkered inserts on both front and rear seats, and "black chrome" dash inserts with a dash plaque.
The buyer had the option of having
the decals installed on the car or just left in a box. The available engine
choices were the 5.0L V-8 with 139 horsepower (with either a 4spd or
automatic) or the 2.3L turbo with 140 horsepower (4spd only). All of the
pace car styling cues were later used on the 1980 Cobra, even the Recaro
seats were made an option. All of the pace car replicas were to originally
come with a pace car jacket, although most never made it to the customers.
1979 Pace Car was infamous for a post card promotion Ford had, where "OFFICAL
PACE CAR" was written on the side of the car. For more information on
Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars, visit