Oldsmobile Omega – 1981 PPG Pace Car

This one is alive and found a new owner in 2020!


I was unable to dig up any information on this vehicle. However, a former employee of the Pace Car team had a few words to say about it. Mechanical issues weren’t uncommon among the Pace Cars. Most of them had highly modified and tuned engines. When engine issues came up, the cars were often transported from the warehouse in Strongsville, OH to GM or Roush Racing’s facility in MI for a checkup and/or repair. Aside from a few incidents where a PPG Pace Car crashed or went off course, there were no issues with body work. However, the Olds Omega would constantly “throw the bumper” at events, requiring someone from the team to re-attach the bumper. I was told that this car was a “Piece of $hit” and they were glad when it was gone.


The Omega’s 2.8L V6 was beefed up to handle the boost from a custom turbocharger setup. The one-off custom body work includes bumpers, grille, side skirts, fender flares and wing.

Current Status

After being retired from the CART IndyCar World Series, the Omega was sent back to it’s origin- Bendik Oldsmobile of Pittsburgh, where the car was stored within the third floor of the dealership’s showroom for several years before going out of business. From there, it was purchased in 1994 and stored indoors, until being discovered in 2020. Then, the car was sold and the new owner, Mike, sent me a photo of the current condition of the vehicle. It’s all there, except for the original wheels were removed at some point. It has been very well preserved and he’s looking to replace the cast ARE wheels with something like the BBS style that was originally on the car. He brought the car to its first public appearance in decades, where it won first place at Pittsburgh Cars & Coffee.

January 2020

Earlier photos:


Update 2/28/19: Color photos have been found, revealing the car to be gold! Note the 14″ Cavalier wheels have been swapped for gold BBS-looking wheels.

Thanks to Chuck Pillik

  • The top pic shows ’81 Chevy Citation X-11 14 x 6.5 rims borrowed from the GM parts bin. The sporty X-body Omega ES did not offer 14″ rims during its short run.

  • I’ve owned this car since 1994 it’s still in existence looks original wheels are different everything else is the same it’s for sale

    • Thanks for the update! Where are you located? Maybe I can help send potential buyers your way. Any photos of the car as it sits now?

    • Do you have it for sale? If so, at what price would you sell it?

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