Postwar Indy Pace Cars in Hemmings Classic Car

I really love the photos of the orphan Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars in the July 2010 issue of Hemmings Classic Car.

At Torq-O, I collect vintage motion picture film of orphan cars, and I’ve been looking for 16mm footage of the 1947 Nash Ambassador pace car for a long time. (I had an eBay opportunity to get a film about the ’47 race once, but my bid got clobbered.)

I’d also like to find some great color footage of the 1952 Studebaker Commander pace car, but I’ve never seen a thing. Maybe the Studebaker Museum in South Bend has some film.

DeSoto is a murky brand to me. No one ever writes about it with much excitement or enhusiasm. Maybe that’s why I’ve never found media associated with the 1956 DeSoto Pacesetter. Writer Jim Donnelly notes that this car represents maybe the first Big Three car to be marketed as a pace car replica in DeSoto dealerships.

Since Pontiac is a recent addition to the Torq-O Garage, I’ve never really searched for footage of the 1958 Pontiac Bonneville.

Now that there are many new marques to celebrate, I’ll have to keep an eagle eye out for the 1960 Oldsmobile 98, the 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury, the 1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone, the 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2, the 1972 Hurst Olds, the 1974 Hurst Olds, the 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88, and the 1980 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am. (Oldsmobile owned Indy in the 1970’s!)

I left out one car on purpose. Last year, I bought a 16mm film about the 1962 Indy 500 called 33 Men. In it, you several great color shots of the 1962 Studebaker Lark Daytona. One down and a dozen (or more) to go.

Torq-O Podcast #11: Stu Chapman and My Father the Car

Torq-O has a brand spankin’ new podcast for you!

About Stu Chapman
We talk with Stu Chapman, the last surviving member of Studebaker senior management, about his new book My Father the Car.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Studebaker’s last three years in the car business straight from the Director of Advertising’s mouth.

You’ll find out how Stu and his fellow workers struggled to save the company while the Board of Directors strangled it slowly. It’s a heartbreaking story that even features everyone’s favorite villain: Richard Nixon!

Book cover-small file
Download the enhanced podcast here, or get the straight audio version.

Make sure you have Quicktime for Windows or Mac for the enhanced podcast.

As always, you’ll find this and all of our other podcasts on the Torq-O Podcasts page.)


Fiat accidentally summons the ghost of Nash.

Fiat has released a brand new Nash Rambler Landau. It’s called the Fiat 500 1.2 Pop Convertible.


There’s a review of it on Autocar. (Thanks for the tip, Aaron Severson!)

This descendant of the original Fiat 500 Topolino looks less like its predecessors and more like the original Nash Rambler to me. Compare the photo above to our copy of a 1950 Nash Rambler TV commercial.

It looks like Fiat’s shamans accidentally summoned Nash’s ancestors along with their own. Motorized sliding top. Pleated folds.

This reminds me of Studebaker’s Lark Wagonaire and GMC’s 2003-04 Envoy. No idea, er, product feature ever dies. It’s just forgotten until it gets recycled. (In GM’s case, they claimed that their recycled feature was brand spankin’ new. FF to about 45 seconds into their commercial to see what I mean.)