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Race Cars and Pace Cars

Here’s Dinah!

Here’s Dinah!

My friend Ralph Kramer, who was Chevrolet’s Director of Public Relations for many, many years, grew up as an Indiana farm boy. In 1955, when he was about 12 years old, he and his friends decided to spend the Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

They traveled to the “Brickyard” — the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — and found a spot around the track where they could stand and watch the race. (I guess the track was a little less built up back then).

Prior to the start of the race, the Official Pace Cars circled the track. The pace car for 1955 was a red and white Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. The man driving the actual pace car was wearing a white blazer and red tie. Sitting on the rear deck was entertainer Dinah Shore dressed in a white skirt and red top. She was holding a bouquet of flowers and waving to the crowd. ”There we were,” said Ralph. “A pack of impressionable young kids standing there in our jeans and T-shirts and we just knew that Dinah Shore was waving right at us!”

Bring your vintage racing car to Iola!

Bring your vintage racing car to Iola!

My reason for telling this story is to announce that the theme for next year’s 2015 Iola Old Car Show will be “Race Cars & Pace Cars.” The car show committee is getting together this week to lock in this exciting concept and to start looking for vintage Race Cars and Pace Cars to put in the spotlight at Iola. If you know of someone who has such a car and would like to exhibit it at the Midwest’s largest old car show, please tell them to get in touch with the Iola Car Show office.

Here’s the info:
Four Days of Exciting Family Fun – IOLA ’15
Featuring Pace and Race Cars!

Email your “PACE” cars to
Email your “RACE” cars to

Include your car info and contact information for consideration for IOLA ’15.

From July 9-12, Iola becomes home to the Midwest’s Greatest Old Car Show and Swap Meet!

Call now: 715.445.4000 or email:

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