Sports & Classics of Monterey

12-14 August 2010


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Lot 143

1946 Lincoln Continental Indy 500 Pace Car

Sold for $104,500

130 hp, 292 cu. in. side-valve twelve-cylinder engine with three-speed transmission with overdrive, leaf spring and solid axle front suspension, leaf spring and live axle rear suspension and four-wheel hydraulically-actuated drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125"

- Confirmed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway to be the actual 1946 pace car

- Thoroughly restored and from a noted private collection

- Driven by Tony George at Indianapolis during vintage pace car event with Tom Carnegie in back seat

Proud and triumphant postwar America turned its patriotic eyes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over 1946's Memorial Day weekend for the first running of the Indianapolis 500 since the festival of speed took a hiatus for World War II. America's eyes were inevitably fixated on the gleaming 1946 Lincoln Continental that paced the race, a shapely convertible originally penned by noted Ford stylist Bob Gregorie at the request of Edsel Ford himself.

Yet the attractive yellow Continental almost didn't make an appearance. As the race was quickly cobbled together at the previously mothballed Speedway, Ford had to source a 1946 Continental from an Indianapolis-area dealership. Traditionally, automakers provided the track directly with a car to use for publicity, so going through a third party was quite unique.

Although several Continentals were used as event vehicles, only one '46 Continental lapped the historic 2.5-mile oval on its first postwar showing. After being driven by Ford president Henry Ford II during the race, the Continental was supposed to have been given to race winner George Robson. Unfortunately, the victor was tragically killed in a plane crash later in the year. Instead, the Continental passed through private hands, including former Indy 500 driver Roger Ward until it was eventually acquired by noted collector Jim Covert, who commissioned a thorough freshening of its older restoration in about 2007.

Although this is not the only Continental claimed to be the ’46 pace car, this is the only one recently used by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and driven by former CEO Tony George in 2005 during the race festivities. Longtime Indy 500 announcer Tom Carnegie was driven by George in this car in a gathering of pace cars prior to the running of the 2005 race. Carnegie, whose voice is synonymous with the historic race, first served as public address announcer in 1946, the same year the Continental paced the race.

In very presentable condition throughout following the restoration work it received in the last five years, the 1946 Continental is again as it appeared at its first public outing. Driven by the CEO himself with none other than Tom Carnegie in the back seat, this Continental is rightly regarded by the Speedway as being the correct, authentic pace car from 1946. In fact, it was even displayed for a period of time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and is ready for continued parade and museum use.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more