Just purchased a 1981 Indy 500 pace car

NCTyphoonKid

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Apr 18, 2007
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Just picked up pace car #148 out of the 150 they made. The car has a patina look as it was parked outside for 12 years unfortunately. My plan is to get the car mechanically sound, give it a good cleaning and preserve it for now. I will probably see about having a graphic company remake the graphics for it. The original wheels I’m putting up as I see there pretty much non existent I’ll probably find a set of 84-85 GN wheels or a set of gold gta wheels for it. The car has a newer 3.8 in it I think it came out of a 84-85 regal but that motor is junk and developed a bad knock, I also received the numbers matching 3.8 and just dropped it off at the machine shop today to get rebuilt. Does anyone know if I can get a set of the Buick shadow decals? The interior is in good shape minus a couple cracks on the dash I will have to address all in all I think it will clean up well I bought it knowing it needed a lot of tlc but didn’t want to see the car get ragged out because they seem to have been forgotten about
 

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NCTyphoonKid

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Apr 18, 2007
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Thanks guys I think it will be a fun project to bring some new life into it is definitely a head turner for sure. I also contacted graphic concepts about the shadow decals hoping to hear back on those soon
 

NCTyphoonKid

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Apr 18, 2007
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those wheels are so cool
thought that model decal kit could at least help someone make the real size ones
It may help I’ve ordered his decals before and they’ve been top notch as I build some of the older nascar models. I love the wheels on it but I don’t want to take a chance on damaging them maybe just use them for special occasions but I think a nice set of gold gta wheels will do the car nice
 

NCTyphoonKid

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Apr 18, 2007
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I also decided to start searching for the build sheet today I have heard of Buick putting them under the hood pad but mine has been removed so I knew if it was there it was long gone so decided to check under the seat before pulling door panels and sure enough as soon as I removed the top portion of the rear seat it fell out. I now have it in a frame to prevent further damage and deterioration in it
 

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NCTyphoonKid

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Some interior pictures the interior is in very good shape. I do have the shifter handle for but just have it off right now due to the shifter cable fiasco
 

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NCTyphoonKid

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Great car!

I believe the shadow letters are similar, but not exactly the same size as the '82 GN. And black vs gray.

I have set of the wheels I want to get rid, but they are stupid heavy to ship. Gold GTA wheels would looks similar to the real pace cars.

Thank you I have read up on your page several times thank you for the documentation you’ve kept posted on that site it has been very helpful. I was looking at classic industries and can get a brand new set of gta wheels for a little over 800 which I didn’t think was a bad price at all. The car caught my eye when I saw it posted i knew what it was even though I’ve never seen one in person and thought it would be a super cool car to own
 
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Mark T-TB

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Very Cool find :cool: and good luck with getting to where you want it to be.

fwiw about the wheels...
the "turbine spoke" style was a pretty common in the 80's (I had a set of American Racing ones on my fwd Pontiac back then) - maybe you could find a set of cheap/used aftermarket wheels (pretty sure a bunch of brands made them) and finish & trim them to look like the originals? That would seem to look the most like original? Also you could use gold instead of black on the alum "T" wheels (same as 84-85 GN?).
for the GTAs, I bought a set of refinished wheels from Third Gen Ranch for the TTA a few years ago, they look good and were reasonable cost.
 

NCTyphoonKid

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Went by the machine shop after work and tore the engine down. Found a broke ring and three spun bearings but looks like it’ll be ok. We are making progress. I’ve ordered new brakes, shocks,Trans filter and general maintenance stuff for it. May try and start pulling the engine this weekend not sure yet
 

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NCTyphoonKid

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Apr 18, 2007
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Trinity, NC
Very Cool find :cool: and good luck with getting to where you want it to be.

fwiw about the wheels...
the "turbine spoke" style was a pretty common in the 80's (I had a set of American Racing ones on my fwd Pontiac back then) - maybe you could find a set of cheap/used aftermarket wheels (pretty sure a bunch of brands made them) and finish & trim them to look like the originals? That would seem to look the most like original? Also you could use gold instead of black on the alum "T" wheels (same as 84-85 GN?).
for the GTAs, I bought a set of refinished wheels from Third Gen Ranch for the TTA a few years ago, they look good and were reasonable cost.
Thank you it’s a unique car for sure. I think I’m just going to find a set of gta wheels. I think they will fill the wheel wells better and give it a more aggressive appearance
 
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