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Old 05-26-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default Used Car Face Off: Can Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas Be Tasteful?

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Welcome to Used Car Face Off, where we find two similar or similarly priced used cars and ask you which one you would buy. Choose wisely!

Did you really expect me to write about odd European cars on the same weekend as the Indy 500? I’m so sorry to disappoint.

But this is a perfect weekend to dig up relics from the past and past collectables in the form of pace car replicas because it's one of the really big takeaways from the big race. Really, though, after the memories fade, these still take up space in the garages of collectors until they say “enough” and they end up on eBay. Which kind of brings us to look at these "collectibles."

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There are plenty of purple Corvettes out there, so why not search for a different pace car offered up by the General? That brings us to the four-cylinder 1984 Pontiac Fiero Indy Pace Car. Since it’s been almost 30 years since the Fiero was used as a pace car, I think we can look back on it with some fondness instead of just laughing, right? As special editions go, I think it looks pretty good with the borderline tasteful graphics and white wheels. The red carpet inside also looks, um, nice.

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This particular example may have some signs of being used daily, but it only has a claimed 60,000 miles and it looks fairly tidy. It is an early Fiero, though, which means it's just the four-cylinder with an autobox and it's not going to be much of a driver. But that's OK because it's all about the details, from the headrest speakers to the original Delco radio and every single reminder this was America's first mid-engined Indy pace car!

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But if all of this is too radical for you, there's the much more restrained 1994 pace car, the 1994 Ford Mustang. You might think that the first redesigned Mustang in 15 years having been named the Indy pace car would've caused Ford to go all crazy with a pace car replica, but it really looks like they stuck some decals onto a regular Mustang convertible. But hey, you wouldn't be embarrassed to actually drive this thing around and it does meet the "tasteful" requirement. It looks like this one was used every day, with 167,000 miles. No word if the fuzzy dice come with the car, either.

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I guess my biggest problem with this car is that it really isn't special enough. I'd actually prefer it if it was white and had a crazy stripe on the side. And this one looks like it's missing the Cobra wheels that went on the pace car. If you're buying a pace car replica, shouldn't it look more wild than this?

That's why I'd go with the Fiero. I really like it, actually, and I never thought of myself as a Fiero fan. Yes, it's slow and it has outrageous carpet, but I bet it looks good going 38 mph and isn't that kind of the point?
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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I'd have to go with the Mustang for sure, nothing against the Fiero, but the overall shape of that car really throws me off. Plus, the Mustang just has a much cleaner, and more serious look than the Fiero. Besides, at 38mph, I'd just drop the top down on the Mustang and show off that nice and clean looking interior. That's just my opinion though.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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Gosh, I was a kid when the all new Fiero was released for sale and my moms friend bought a brand new red Fiero in 1984 and i thought it was the coolest car, especially the speakers in the seats, she would let me and my brother sit/play in the car and listen to the radio in the driveway while she was in the house with my parents. The new Fiero caused a big stir in the new car market back then, the only car that comes close to that type of hype/popular excitement in these modern times would be, when the PT Cruiser was released for sale and a lot of people made a big deal about it. when i got older and new something about cars, I wouldn't even consider owning a Fiero.
When the all new 1994 Mustang GT was released, all us FOX body guys were pissed off, we thought it was a load/POS. It was super slow, looked like sh*t. It was one of the biggest disappointments since the Mustang II!! There was not much hype about that Mustang back then, especially since Chevy released the 1993 Camaro Z28 with the, then new LT1 motor and that car literally kicked the sh*t out of the 1994+ Mustangs, A stock Z28 vs a moderately MODIFIED Mustang would still beat the hell out of the Mustang by about 5 to 10 car lengths!! So, us old timer racers from back then never took a liking to those years Mustangs but, they sort of grew on me....after 20 years! I would still choose a Camaro over the Mustang for the 1994 to 2002 years! lol
So, in the end, I would NOT buy either of these cars under any circumstance!! Neither one of those cars gives a "it feels special" feeling and they are not worth driving! IMO

Eh, I think the Pace Car Fiero looks better!
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:05 AM   #4
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I think the Fiero Indy Pace Car is the most prominent among them. So I would select it. With always increasing price of new cars, it is indeed advisable to buy a used car but the lack of knowledge about automobiles may make you choose the perfectly wrong car. So, please decide and steadfastly follow a well proved, tried and tested and methodical buying plan. Research, know and then decide before inviting home a daily nag in the form of your 'new' car.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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Seeing as how the actual mustang pace cars were cobras and the "for sale" cars were just GTs with stickers Id go with the Fiero.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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I would have to go with the mustang. The fiero was just a crappy car. They had major coolant issues, lots of electrical problems, and were even prone to catching fire.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:49 PM
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