Spectators had no idea what was in store for them when they gathered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 30, 1957 for the 41st running of the Indianapolis 500. With bated breath, the crowd watched as 42-year-old Sam Hanks raced his revolutionary “lay-down Offy” roadster to victory. It was Hanks’ thirteenth attempt at the race – the most tries of any Indy winner – and afterward in Victory Circle the legendary racer tearfully announced his retirement from racing. Before spectators witnessed Hanks’ historical win; however, they were introduced to another piece of automotive history: the 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Indy Pace Car Convertible.
Mercury introduced the Turnpike Convertible Cruiser late in 1957 and designed it specifically to be the official pace car of the 1957 Indianapolis 500. At the time, the 4125-pound ragtop was the rarest ’57 Mercury – with just 1,265 built – and the most expensive at $4,103. Today it is believed that less than 200 are left.
This week Flemings Ultimate Garage in Rockville, Maryland has listed one of these very rare and desirable 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Indy Pace Car Convertibles for sale. The dealership tells us the Sun Glitter Yellow cruiser is powered by its original (rebuilt) 368ci Turnpike Cruiser V8 engine and original push-button Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission. We’re told the Lincoln-based motor is rated at 290 horsepower and features a four-barrel carburetor, dual exhausts, and 9.75:1 compression ratio.
Being a pace car, options on the Mercury Pace Car Convertible are plentiful. The dealership says the vehicle comes loaded with every available option from the brochure, including the Continental tire kit “Dream-Car Spare Tire Carrier,” matching restored yellow and black factory interior, and correct black power convertible top.
These 1957 Mercury Pace Car Convertibles remain an incredibly rare find in the collector car market today. Click the link above to learn more about this exceptionally rare piece of automotive history, or stop by Flemings Ultimate Garage in Rockville, Maryland to see this one in person today!