1994 Ford Mustang Cobra PPG Pace Car Green

Ford Mustang Cobra (Green) – 1994 PPG Pace Car

Legend has it that this Mustang crashed into a barrier at Cleveland.


In 1994, Ford produced 1,000 Cobra Convertibles, all of which were red and had Indy Pace Car decals. This Cobra was provided direct from the Dearborn, MI Ford factory for PPG to produce a one-off Cart Series Pace Car.

While researching pace cars, I once read a post from a track worker at Laguna Seca that said a PPG Mustang Convertible Pace Car went off the track during a hot lap and hit a barrier. The driver and passenger were ok, but the car was damaged. This may be the Mustang Convertible.

7/2/19 Mike Sack, director of the PPG Pace Car program in the 90’s, confirmed that this car was indeed damaged at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland at the hairpin turn. The entire front end of the Mustang needed replaced, even the steering rack.

I only have 2 photos of the car in its early setup, with the stock interior, original hood & factory 17×8 Cobra wheels. In the photo parked in front of the hauler, the car is wearing the correct crystal clear Cobra headlights, which were only available on the Cobra. In the professional studio photograph (and every other photograph after the car was further modified with a Cobra R hood, Recaro seats and 17×9 Cobra R wheels) the car is wearing the plain fluted headlights from the Mustang v6/GT. This leads me to believe they were replaced.

Also note the steering wheel air bag is the GT/V6 type with the horse, instead of the one that says “COBRA,” further indicating that this car was in a crash.

One other interesting point is that the factory side skirt is missing from the studio photo. The factory side skirts had to go when the SVO side skirts were installed, as they replace them, but it’s interesting that they would be missing without the SVO Borla Side exhaust kit yet installed.

Update 12/4/23: I just found that the car was recently listed on BAT. The comments bring up some great points about the GT air bag on the steering wheel. The Marti Report on the Bring a Trailer listing, shows that the car left the factory as a Vibrant Red GT with white top and grey interior, not a Cobra. So that may explain the GT air bag. (Although if true, an entire black interior was swapped in at some point, as well as beige seats in the early photos of the car.)  The report also states it was labeled as a “Test Vehicle” with a 4 speed automatic, delivered on 10/7/93.  There’s also a PPG Pace Car team mechanic in the comments of the BAT listing stating that he worked on the vehicle from 1999-2000 and it was equipped with a 351 at that time.

This car brings back so many memories. I was the mechanic who took care of this car while I worked for the PPG Pace Car program from 1996 to 2000. Here are some answers to the questions. The engine swap was a 351 with a T5 transmission. The ECU is a PRO M conversion that is in the glove box with a fan controller on the glove box door. Tail lights were changed when the engine swap was done. If I remember correctly (it’s been almost 30 years ago) the car was originally built by Roush Racing as a prototype for the actual Indianapolis 500 pace cars. PPG got the car afterwards, which was common.

There is also a lot of speculation in the BAT comments as to if this Pace Car was ever in an accident. The alleged accident took place at the Cleveland Grand Prix, while giving guests “hot lap” rides in the Pace Cars before the race. The Mustang was said to have crashed into a barrier, damaging the front end. While there is no photo/video evidence of an accident, I would not personally be bothered by this possibility. PPG is one of the top automotive paint companies and the Pace Car Team would have spared no expense to having any paint or bodywork damage repaired by top of the line industry professionals. The Pace Cars were to showcase the quality of PPG’s paint and anything less than perfect was unacceptable. As seen in the additional underbody photos in the BAT comments, the chassis and suspension appear straight and original, so the damage was most likely cosmetic – IF the accident did indeed take place. In addition to those who remember the accident, I just don’t see why the headlights would be downgraded from the desirable crystal clear Cobra style to the fluted GT style,  unless they were replaced by someone who may have not known the difference when ordering them to repair the front end.


The car was painted in a custom hue of green, with the inset areas of the OEM 17×8 Cobra wheels to match. Safety features included 5 point harnesses, a custom roll bar, fuel cell and a fire suppression system.

At some point, the wheels were replaced by 17×9 Cobra R wheels and the car was lowered, as seen in most photos. Other modifications include water cooled brakes, fuel cell, Saleen 200 MPH gauge cluster, cowl hood, SVO Borla side exhaust and Recaro racing seats. The original horizontal tail lights were replaced with the 1996-98 vertical lights.

Current Status

The Cobra PPG Pace Car was listed for sale in 2011. At that time it had 3800 miles and had never been titled. It is currently privately owned in KY, and is available for sale.
It has also been listed for sale on GRAutogallery and Bring a Trailer

Note the GT/V6 Air Bag instead of the one that should say “COBRA”

1994 Ford Mustang Cobra PPG Pace Car Green

  • I have this mustang pace car in my garage as of this date

  • who can I contac for info on this car

  • Hi Bill, I sent you an email.

  • I have this car and it is for sale

    • Hello, I was backup bidder on this car on BaT
      It didn’t sell, what’s it gonna take?
      My email is artesiaford@pvtn.net
      575 365 6392 is my cell

  • It just popped up for sale in Michigan.

    • It is for sale and no mention that it was in an accident in the sales listing. Makes you go what are they trying to hide ??? 🤪

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