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20K Mile Pace Car! 1985 Oldsmobile Calais 500

I’m a huge fan of special editions and crazy graphics packages on vehicles. Give me a limited edition with weird stripes and lettering and other things that do nothing for the performance and I’m happy. This 1985 Oldsmobile Calais 500 replica Pace Car is one of those types of vehicles. It can be found here on eBay in Ozone Park, New York. The seller has a $14,950 buy it now price listed and they aren’t taking trades or offers, that’s the price. Thanks to Peter B. for sending in this tip!

That price may seem high, really high, but this car appears to have possibly been purchased as an investment and it only has 20,000 miles on it. I can’t imagine that there’s another one with fewer miles on it out there? It’s amazing what people will buy as investments, isn’t it? Says the guy who bought numerous penny stocks in the 1980s thinking that I’d be rolling in dough today.

This is a replica Pace car, of course. The actual Indy 500 Pace Car in 1985 was a specially-made four-seater convertible. The replica Pace Cars were a nice option package and the seller, a car dealer, says that they only made 242 of them. I can’t get over how nice this car looks, whether a person laughs at the performance of it or not, I bet that it would draw more people around it than almost any 1970s muscle car.

We have seen a few of these Calais 500 Pace Cars in the past and it’s really the interior that does it for me. It’s a top-ten if not top-five interior for me. The back seat looks perfect and with only 20,000 miles on this car, it may have never been sat on. An actual, official, James-Garner-driven 1985 Indy 500 Pace Car sold back in May at a Mecum auction for $49,500.

This Calais 500 has the optional Buick-sourced 3.0L V6 which would have had 125 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. It runs great with no check engine lights, no leaks, and no smoke. They do mention that the power antenna works intermittently (I just paid $250 to have my ’84 Seville power antenna fixed, maybe it’s a mid-80s GM glitch) and the radio/trip display is also intermittent. Aside from those things, if a person were going to buy a 1985 Calais 500 Pace Car replica, this may be the one to get.


  1. Miguel

    I looked at one of these on the lot when it was new and I wanted it, but an 18 year old can’t buy many new cars.

    I didn’t know until much later how average the car really is.

    Like 7
  2. Sandy Claws

    I find this to be wonderful. Agreed, I would rush to see this before any dime a dozen overly restored muscle cars sitting behind a rope with a snooty aging yuppie sitting smugly by it. There may be hope for this hobby yet, lets hope the money boys don’t spoil these kind of cars as well.

    Like 8
  3. CanuckCarGuy

    Always liked the styling of these…if it had the Quad-4 and a 5 speed, it would be perfect.

    Like 5
    • Chrisssssssss

      I have a ’90 Calais International HO Quad4 5sp 2dr Red/Grey leather Fully loaded w Sunroof… 180KM on it. Love that little car. It’s also a Canadian model located in BC. I wonder how many are Canadian market vs US?

      Like 0
  4. Bakyrdhero

    I happen to like almost anything Olds from the 80’s and 90’s. That interior is 80’stastic! I like this one a lot and I’ll bet the V6 sounds nice at least. I’m sure it gets down the road just fine also. As with most cars I’ll say “I can’t imagine paying that price for it” maybe it’s just me.

    Like 6
    • David Ulrey

      No it isn’t just you. I like the car and admire the condition and miles but still don’t see it being worth that much. Drop it a few thousand and then okay. I’m not expecting people to give away their cars for next to nothing, especially clean and low miles but sometimes too much $ is just that, too much $.

      Like 1
  5. GTiDave

    The one to have was the ’89 with the one year only Buick 3300. We had it the same time as a Dodge Shadow CS turbo 5 spd. The Calais would leave the Shadow in the dust. Loved that car till the rust monster found it (Michigan).

    Like 3
  6. Mike

    Does one get any special privileges driving an official car?

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      Maybe, in their own mind.

      There have been pace cars that have commanded respect due to the platform they were built on, that is not the case with this car.

      Steve R

      Like 0
  7. Andrew Helgeson

    Thanks to posting all the good pictures. I started to build a collection of 1/25 & 1/24th scale Indy 500 Pace Cars in about 1991. I did find and acquire a model kit of this car, along with pace car marking decals from Fred Cady. The decals are superb, the model? Not so good. It was vacu-formed sheets, that when glued together sort of looked like a car. At least, now, it can get painted to look like the Pace Car!

    Like 4
  8. Daved

    Fantastic interior! Reminds me of the metalflake interiors of dune buggies. It’s really a shame these weren’t offered in a manual.

    A comparable example was recently on CarGurus with 44k miles and the asking was $5200…. even without said comp, the $15k on this is absurd. Hope the seller loves this car bc it’s going to be with him for awhile…

    Like 3
  9. Ralph

    The car is neat and they are rare, but $15,000 is a full on boulder of crack rock price wise, this is a neat $5000 oddity conversation starter at a cruise night, thats all, they were better pace cars if you really have to have one of those.

    My favorite GM N-car was the Somerset/Skylark with full width tail lights and the digital dash.

    Like 0
    • Daved

      Ralph, well said, Sir! I’d rather had the one with 44k miles for 1/3 of this asking on this one. Likewise, I’m with you on the Somerset/Skylark – there’s an original-owner ‘86 Skylark in my small town with only 16k miles!

      Also, I just came across a rare ‘85 Somerset with 36k for sale.

      Like 1

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