1972 Oldsmobile Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
The 1972 Oldsmobile that graced the Indianapolis 500 race as the pace car that year was a stunning anomaly. It was the first time a car was provided by someone other than an automotive manufacturer. The auto giants were reluctant to provide one because of the previous year’s accident so Hurst stepped in to fill the void. Miss Hurst (Linda Vaughn) helped kick off the race too.
This review covers the 1972 Oldsmobile Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 1:25 Scale Revell Model Kit #85-4197. This is a re-release as it has seen other boxings in the past, but it is an exceptionally clean kit for its age. The box art also conceals the fact that this is a 2-n-1 kit, as you can also build a stock 442 model from the kit’s optional parts. This model has 143 parts molded in white, clear, and transparent red, and chrome with vinyl tires. The decals do justice to the unique paint scheme and the instructions are well presented. It has a nicely detailed engine, chassis and interior. This kit is listed as a skill level 5 which would make it the most difficult kit to build according to the old system but it’s not. It’s more like the old level 3 for an accomplished modeler. The finished dimensions are: Length: 8-3/16", Width: 3", Height: 2-1/8".
Construction and Detailing
Assembly starts with the motor. At 26 pieces it’s a very detailed 455 V-8 and it looks great if you add some wires. Almost all the engine components you’d wish for are separate. It assembles easily and looks nice in Oldsmobile light blue.
The interior follows, and is pretty complete and detailed. It was rendered in satin black vinyl, which was pretty common for the time, but with the kit supplied decals and some chrome highlights it jumps to life when finished. The dash itself is colorful with the wood grain trim that adds to the highlights. I recommend removing the gauge detail to get the gauge decals to lay down flat. Adding some other touches like floor flocking and floor mats will also help it pop.
There’s a copyright script in the suspension valley that you might want to remove before starting the chassis. Just like the old style kits there’s even a separate steering linkage under there. You can really add some detail here by picking out the frame with a semi-gloss black and painting the gas tank, exhaust and mufflers with metallic shades. Once that’s dry, glue the interior tub to the floor pan.
The suspension components go together fairly well but you might want to use some superglue on those parts for strength. Painting the shocks and dry brushing the outer coils will help break up the black color of the other parts. The wheels look great with a little gold tint on the inner portion but the tires themselves seem a little small for this car. They’re also unbranded generics and they use steel pins to attach to the suspension. It’s always tricky getting the glue in place to keep the wheel on but not so much to allow them to rotate when dry.
The body is a pleasant surprise. Its proportions are good and there is almost zero flash and mold lines. After a wet sand and coat of primer you’re ready to paint. The pace car was Cameo White but the 442 came in a variety of colors. Next up are the decals which were perfectly sized for the pace car version and do a faithful job rendering the gold stripes. The decals went on well but you’ll need a lot of surface water and I highly recommend some decal setting solution because they are so large. Paint the convertible boot white or the up-top black and set that aside for now. NOTE - The Indiana state seal was only found on the festival cars like the ones Ms. Hurst rode so it’s up to you on what livery you want to duplicate.
The windshield glass goes in without any surprises. I installed the glass with some white glue because it dries clear. Finish up the engine bay with the radiator hoses then shoehorn the body into place on the chassis. I used a little black wash to make the grill look a bit more realistic and after that’s in place the headlights, license plates and taillights can be placed to finish the front and back ends. Place the external chrome pieces on the body and add the air cleaner to the engine bay and you’re ready to perch Miss Hurst on her chariot for the ride of her life!
This could be a challenging kit for the beginner due to the large decals and high parts content but there’s nothing that a builder with a few cars under their belt can’t handle. The parts fit together well and there’s literally no flash to deal with. If you love the classic era of Dr. Olds muscle cars or Indy 500 Pace Car replicas you will love this kit. It was a pleasure to build and I have to thank Revell for getting this kit out there and IPMS for letting me review it.