FANDOM


The Pacesetter was a car made by DeSoto between 1956 and about 400 were built for public sale.

Chrysler announced in January 1956 that it would make that years Indy 500 pace car. The division created a new model for the occasion and unveiled it at parties in New York, Los Angeles, and Indianapolis.

The new car was called the Pacesetter and was a version of the top-of-the-line Fireflite convertible that stood out even in the glitzy mid-Fifties.

Its body was white with a gold soft top and gold side sweep. The gold anodized trim included special aluminum wheel covers, and the aluminum mesh grille was gold with a silver "V" insert. Upholstery was gold vinyl with brown tweed inserts, carpeting was black with gold "Lurex" flecks, and the steering wheel was white and gold.

Production Pacesetters looked like the two actual pace cars, but there vas a big difference under the hood. The replicas used DeSoto’s 255-horsepower 330-cid single-four-barrel hemi V-8. Unknown to the public, the real pace cars were fitted with a version of this engine bored to 341 cid and fortified with dual quads, a high-lift camshaft, heavy-duty valve springs, aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods, and a forged-steel crankshaft shot peened for strength. This bigger engine in the pace cars produced 320hp.

Dealers were issued stencils to duplicate the Indy bodyside lettering.