36k Mile 1985 Oldsmobile Calais Indy 500 Pace Car

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Finding a one-owner low-mile car from the 1980s doesn’t turn on a lot of people who were raised in the 1960s and 1970s, or earlier, but this 1985 Oldsmobile Calais Indy 500 Pace Car is a rare car no matter what decade it’s from. It can be found here on eBay in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota with a current bid price of $1,515.15 and there is no reserve.

1985 was a pivotal year for me as my dad died that year and I also started what would become a pretty successful business, after several tries, in my attempt to get out of going to college after graduating from high school five years earlier. I’m not sure if a 1985 Olds Calais pace car would have made my milestone-list in 1985, but it probably did for some owners and fans.

The Calais came after the Oldsmobile version of GM’s X-body cars, the Omega. Could you imagine the Oldsmobile Omega being an Indy 500 Pace Car tribute? If you thought that the back-of-neck hairs were raised at some of the cars that were sold to commemorate the Indy 500, it could have been worse than an Olds Calais. For the record, I like the Olds Omega.

This example appears to be almost like new inside and out. It’s impossible to argue with those seats, and the underside looks crisp and clean, too. The seller says that this is a one-owner car with just over 36,000 miles on it, that’s incredible after so many decades. They’re a favorite car to hammer on by folks who think that everything should go from 0-60 in 5 seconds, but this was about it in the 1980s and the Olds Calais wasn’t a bad car to drive, given what else was available at the time.

The engine is the preferred “big” one, the 3.0L Buick-sourced V6 which would have had 125 hp. This car has been in the same family since new and was originally bought in California and has never been driven in the winter. This looks like the one to have for any of you who have to have a 1985 Oldsmobile Calais Indy 500 Pace Car tribute that was actually on the field at Indy in 1985.

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  1. Keith

    Naaaaaaaaaaaah I’ll pass on that retro Johnny Rocket Space Ship Interior Wow!

    Like 5
  2. Anthony in RI

    I had two cars with that 3.0 V6 A 85 Pontiac Grand Am I bought new and a 86 Olds Delta 88 i bought used both developed a rod knock at about 120,000 miles, died with a broken rod at 125K

    Like 3
  3. Tom benvie

    I am researching the various Indy Pace Cars, Festival Cars, and Replicas. Each year the track produced a spreadsheet of the cars being used and to whom they would be assigned. I am missing all but 84 and 89 from the 80s and need 90-94 for the 90s. Anyone have a copy? I can be reached at tbenvie at Comcast dot net. Thanks for any help. All research will be shared

    Like 2
  4. Eric

    I don’t know why… maybe because I’m a child of the 80s, but I love those flippin’ seats!

    Like 0
  5. James Martin

    Being a true olds guy, all I can say is ugh! Gm brought the crap out here. No quad valve, no style, no way. They didn’t phase olds out they strangled it to death. Go auto workers!

    Like 0
  6. Superdessucke

    There were cars way, way faster than this even in the mid-1980s. It definitely deserved the flak it got. I’m surprised this has bid up to $2,700 honestly. I don’t think the styling has aged very well and even if you’re Jonesin’ for one of these (it takes all kinds I guess), the Calais model got much better when the Quad 4 came out a few years later. Pontiac also started offering the 2.0 Turbo in the Grand Am SE in 1987. Those were quick cars for the times. This one was not.

    Like 0
  7. Erik in RI

    So THAT’s where all the left-over silvery vinyl material from anniversary Corvettes & Trans Ams went!

    Like 3
  8. Howard

    I had a 1986 Calais, it was the best car that I have owned. It was totaled at only 115 k mi due to glare ice. I may have driven it to 200 k mi. Only issue was with vacuum lines. I needed to replace them a few times over the years.

    Like 0

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