• Jan 19th 2010 at 2:00PM
  • 28
2011 Ford Mustang GT Daytona 500 Pace Car - Click above for high-res image gallery

Yesterday, word came in that the 2011 Ford Mustang GT would be the official pace car for the 2010 Daytona 500. It's the first time that Ford's pony car will perform the field pacing duties for " The Great American Race" and the first time in 40 years for a Blue Oval product.

While we initially reported that just one Mustang pace car would be built, Ford announced today that they will produce a limited run of just 50 cars to be sold to the public. Each will feature a Daytona 500 paint scheme, specially painted wheels, a unique interior, and several parts from the Ford Racing catalog including the suspension, strut tower brace and mufflers. For those interested in the real thing, Ford will be auctioning off the actual pace car at Barrett-Jackson later this week. As has become custom, all proceeds of the sale above the car's MSRP will be donated to charity. In this case, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will benefit from the generous bidders. Hit the jump for the press release or check out the new high-res photos in the gallery below.

  • "The Official Pace Car of the Daytona 500 -- the 2011 Ford Mustang GT -- will be auctioned for charity at Barrett-Jackson prior to the February race." (01/19/2010)
  • "The Official Pace Car of the Daytona 500 -- the 2011 Ford Mustang GT -- will be auctioned for charity at Barrett-Jackson prior to the February race." (01/19/2010)

[Source: Ford]


DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 19, 2010 – For the first time ever, American's favorite muscle car will pace 'The Great American Race.'

For the first time in 40 years, a Ford Motor Company car will be pacing the field for the NASCAR season-opening Daytona 500 when the 2011 Mustang GT, powered by the all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine, officially starts the race on Feb. 14 at Daytona International Speedway.

"Having the opportunity to pace America's biggest auto race with a Ford icon like the 2011 Mustang GT is truly an honor," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. "And to have the new 5.0-liter engine powering the car will be a great way to demonstrate its power and class-leading fuel economy."

This latest version of Ford's legendary muscle car will be a Race Red glass roof coupe with an all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine capable of producing 412 horsepower, while delivering a class-leading 25 mpg on the highway.

The one-of-a-kind model will feature a special Daytona 500 paint scheme, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace and mufflers, unique painted wheels, and special interior treatment, including specially branded lit sill plates.

The 2011 Mustang GT Daytona 500 Pace Car model is one of only 50 special editions that will be built and sold to the public.

"Everybody loves Mustang," Allison continued. "That was evident last year from the fan reaction when we announced it was going to be our new model in the NASCAR Nationwide Series starting later this year. This is just another way to showcase a true American icon in its most natural environment."

The last time a Ford served as pace car for the Daytona 500 was 1970 when a Ford Torino GT convertible led the field to the green flag.

And while Mustang may be a rookie when it comes to pacing the Daytona 500, its 45-year history is firmly entrenched in racing and winning championships. Mustang captured championships last year in the Grand-Am KONI and SCCA SPEED World Challenge, in addition to leading Robert Hight to his first NHRA Funny Car championship.

Another element that makes this year's pace car even more unique is that it will be auctioned off for charity before the actual race. Later this week (Jan. 23), the Mustang GT Daytona 500 Pace Car will be offered at the annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction, which is taking place in Scottsdale, Ariz. Seven-time Daytona 500 champion Richard Petty, the newest member of the Ford Racing family, will be on site to help hand over the car to the winning bidder.

All proceeds over the manufacturer's suggested retail price from the pace car auction will go to help cure childhood diabetes through a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      will take that over a camaro anyday
      • 5 Years Ago
      Id take this over the horrid new Shelby 'Stang ANY DAY! Even WITH the decals!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't normally like Mustangs, well this generation anyway, but this is nice.
      With or without decals is just as good.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i'm really digging that front end, but you can keep all those decals and stickers and wheels
        • 5 Years Ago
        The first time in 40 years for Ford and the first time EVER for a Mustang and they are only making 50?!!! That celebration equals epic fail.

        VERY cool looking Mustang Pace car! I'd like one of those.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Photoshop composite yes, CGI or CAD no. Those are all very different things. It's so strange that they used a super low res background, even as blurred as it is, looks awful.

        I really like the front end treatment, looks nice and mean. The removed driving lights in the grille make a bold, function-over-form sort of statement. Do they actually lead straight into the intake for the engine like we all might hope for? Probably not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And what will next week's "special" Mustank be?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Is it me or does the Daytona 500 decal on the door look photoshopped on?
        • 5 Years Ago

        The entire picture is CGI. There are tons of indicators on the main picture... Wheels, background, edge of car to background, decals, lighting etc etc etc... It's all "photoshop" or probably a CAD program! Like used in prod dev...

        • 5 Years Ago
        Looks better than the Fast and Furious GT350. Minus the decals also.
        • 5 Years Ago
        idk. I'm digging the 5.0L badge. ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice look and choice of mods. All it's missing is the quarter window "vents." I agree with most that it would look better without the decals, but of course this is a pace car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Vents, scoops, covers, etc... are so over-done.

        Thankfully this one still has the glass... although it should be tinted.

        And also kudos on it having the glass roof. I sometimes wish it was move-able like the 996 and 997 Porsche Targas... where the glass roof slides down inside of the rear glass. but even static, it is nice.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, looking at it again...

        it needs a scoop, but not where the quarter glass is.

        It needs a 1969-style Mach 1 Sportsroof fender scoop, right behind the door, between the door's character line, and the fender arch line...

        THAT would be something that could be brought back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Never understood these, often see a pace car at various car shows and cruise ins and while I can see someone involved with racing wanting it, usually it's just some guy taking it to shows with no one even remotely interested.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not bad.

      Better than 1994. Probably on par with 1979's pace car...

      Although the 1979 Fox mustang was much more of a big new design in it's day that even the '94, '05, or '10 Mustangs.

      I wish there were a new car that were as big a spash as the 79 Fox Mustang, in it's day. It was almost completely new, and it was a great new "fresh air" design after the Mustang II, which was a 70's era design.

      The red color is sharp, and the stripes are sure prominent.

      I think it strikes the right tone as a Pace Car. It will be interesting to see if the decals come on contact paper in the trunk, and not applied to the car... or if the car will come mandatorily "dressed."

      Good that it will come with the GT-CS front air dam, rather than stock GT.

      Certainly better than the Shelby GT350 effort.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Jeeze never realized ford only had 1 pace car, and they totally biased pontiac all these years, even the crappy aztec paced the race (sik)

      1959 Pontiac Bonneville convertible
      1960 Buick convertible
      1961 Pontiac Bonneville convertible
      1962 Pontiac Bonneville convertible
      1963 Buick convertible
      1964 Dodge Coronet convertible
      1965 Dodge Coronet convertible
      1966 Plymouth Belvedere convertible
      1967 Pontiac Firebird
      1968 Chevrolet Camaro convertible
      1969 Chevrolet Camaro convertible
      1970 Ford Torino GT convertible
      1971 Porsche Audi 914
      1972 Pontiac LeMans
      1973 Pontiac LeMans
      1974 Pontiac Grand Am
      1975 Pontiac LeMans
      1976 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1977 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1978 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1979 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1980 Pontiac Turbo Trans-Am
      1981 Pontiac Turbo Trans-Am
      1982 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1983 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1984 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1985 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1986 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1987 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1988 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1989 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix
      1990 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix
      1991 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1992 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1993 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1994 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1995 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1996 Pontiac Trans-Am
      1997 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1998 Pontiac Grand Prix
      1999 Pontiac Trans-Am
      2000 Pontiac Grand Prix
      2001 Pontiac Aztec
      2002 Pontiac Trans-Am
      2003 Pontiac Grand Prix
      2004 Chevrolet Corvette
      2005 Chevrolet Corvette
      2006 Chevrolet Corvette
      2007 Chevrolet Corvette
      2008 Chevrolet Corvette
      2009 Chevrolet Camaro
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's because it is a sponsorship deal. Pontiac completely got out of any race sponsorship, and GM passed it to Chevy. Now GM is cutting way back, so Ford had an opportunity to step in.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lol, Aztec?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is anyone really surprised that they are going to make OPC replicas to sell to the public? Yesterday I couldn't imagine Ford ignoring the fact that this is the first Pace Car in FORTY years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Go Go Bad Depth of Field Post Processing with Bad Render Mode!
      • 5 Years Ago
      So can i deduct the amount i pay over the MSRP from my taxes as a charitable donation...
      • 5 Years Ago
      straight up Bunkspeed
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X