1946 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet Indy 500 Pace Car
The 1946 Indy 500 almost didn’t happen. The track was decrepit and abandoned during World War II, and management opened the Brickyard only months before Memorial Day. Lincoln couldn’t send a car—like all U.S. automakers, it was struggling to restart assembly lines tooled for war—and instead grabbed one from an area dealer. But when the green flag came down, Henry Ford II was pleased to be pacing Indy in a 12-cylinder Lincoln convertible, just as his father, Edsel, had 14 years before. While not as majestic as the 1932 Model KB—the ’46 was a carryover model from 1942—its 5.0-liter V-12 was good for 130 horsepower and paired with a three-speed manual. Just 201 Continental convertibles were sold that year, one of them the actual pace car, which fetched $104,500 at auction in 2010. Lincoln’s V-12 era came to an end in 1948.