For 1953, Ford produced 2,001 Sunliner Indianapolis Pace Cars of which 25 are known to the Pace Society Register. Pace cars had been a tradition at the Indy 500 since the first 500-mile race in 1911. William Clay Ford was invited to drive the 1953 Ford Indy 500 Pace Car, accompanied by multiple Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw. At the post-race banquet, winner Bill Vukovich was awarded a Pace Car replica. The original example is housed in the Henry Ford Museum.
The special edition 1953 Ford Pace Cars were given special trim and can be identified by their data plates, which list 'SS' for both color and trim. All were built between February 18th and May 5th of 1953.
This example was built in Long Beach, California on April 25th of 1953. It is painted White Sungate Ivory, with a gold and white leatherette interior and a white Orlon convertible top. It has the anniversary gold dash and top bows, the crossed checkered flag emblems on the front fenders, black lettering and the 'Coronado' Continental trunk kit. Other accessories include chrome wire-spoke hubcaps, dual mirrors, a radio, clock, heater, power steering, fender skirts and back-up lights.
The odometer shows 64,762 original miles and the car has been treated to a professional restoration. Power is from an L-head V8 engine displacing 239 cubic-inches and offering 110 horsepower. There is a Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the RM Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $50,000-$60,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $44,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.