Photos & text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
Built at the Lorraine, Ohio, assembly plant and shipped directly to Indianapolis, this 1968 Ford Torino was one of 159 purpose-built for Pace Car duties at the 1968 Indianapolis 500. It is one of 12 equipped with the 390 CI V8 engine, one of only five with a Blue interior and the only one of the group equipped with a factory-installed 6,000 RPM tachometer.
Subjected to a rotisserie restoration without regard for expense, the car was refinished in the original Wimbledon White, and then meticulously reassembled using as many NOS parts as possible, including a rare set of Pace Car-specific headrests. Carefully chosen modifications were part of the car’s restoration. The 390 CI engine was rebuilt using a period-correct Tri-Power carburetion setup, and its original automatic transmission was replaced with a four-speed manual transmission using NOS parts. At the same time it also received a gear reduction starter, a new Painless Wiring electrical harness, dual-piston front brake calipers and a coilover front suspension, the latter two for improved driveability. A genuine head-turner, this unusually rare Torino Pace Car is documented with a Marti Report and a follow-up letter from Kevin Marti stating the car was purpose-built for the 500 and not one of the Replica cars built by dealers after the race. The original intake system and other parts replaced during the restoration are included.