Used Car Face Off: Can Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas Be Tasteful?S

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."

Used Car Face Off: Can Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas Be Tasteful?S

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.

Used Car Face Off: Can Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas Be Tasteful?S

Used Car Face Off: Can Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas Be Tasteful?S

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!

Used Car Face Off: Can Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas Be Tasteful?S

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.

Used Car Face Off: Can Indy 500 Pace Car Replicas Be Tasteful?S

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?