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 INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A limited-edition Ford (NYSE: F) Mustang Cobra convertible, which will be the official pace car for the 78th Indianapolis 500, May 29, 1994, was introduced today in a ceremony at the Indianapolis Auto Show, Indiana Convention Center.
 The 1994 Mustang has been totally redesigned for the first time since 1979, which was the last time a Mustang was official pace car for the Indy 500.
 "Along with introducing an entirely new Mustang this year, we wanted to create something extra special to pace the 1994 Indianapolis 500," said Ross H. Roberts, Ford vice president and Ford Division general manager. "The Mustang Cobra pace car will be a fitting model to recognize Mustang's 30-year tradition as a leader in its class, and Ford's long association with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
 This will be the third Indy 500 a Mustang has paced. The first was in 1964, just six weeks after the original Mustang was introduced, when Benson Ford, grandson of Henry Ford, drove the white convertible pace car. The 1979 pace car was a special T-roof model driven by three-time Formula 1 World Champion Jackie Stewart.
 The driver of the 1994 Mustang Cobra pace car will be named at a later date.
 Ford Mustang Cobra Convertible -- Official Pace Car of the Indy 500
 The Mustang Cobra pace car will be a limited-edition convertible model of the 1994 Mustang Cobra. A run of 1,000 replicas will be built and offered for sale through certified SVT (Special Vehicle Team) Ford Dealers.
 The car that will actually pace the Indy 500 is essentially a production car. It will be powered by the production Cobra 5.0-liter V-8 engine, which is built with GT-40 cylinder heads, special camshaft, intake manifold and stainless steel headers to provide more power through freer breathing. Ford estimates the Cobra engine will produce at least 235 horsepower.
 For service on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the five- speed manual used in production Cobras will be replaced by a specially calibrated electronic four-speed automatic overdrive transmission.
 Other modifications for the Cobra convertible's use on the speedway include a 15-gallon racing fuel cell in place of the standard tank, a halon fire extinguishing system, and a "Targa"-style roll bar that incorporates the pace car's strobe light system.
 Ford F-150 Lightning -- Official Truck of the Indianapolis 500
 In addition to the Mustang Cobra pace car, the Ford F-150 Lightning has been chosen as "Official Truck" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of Indy 500 activities.
 Introduced in 1993 and improved for '94, the Lightning has been likened to a Mustang GT with a cargo bed instead of a back seat. The performance version of America's best-selling vehicle -- car or truck -- the F-150 Lightning also is sold through SVT Ford Dealers.
 The Lightnings that will see duty at the Indy 500 will feature a white paint scheme, which is new to the lineup for 1994. Red and black are the other color choices available on the truck.
 Lightning's engine is a 5.8-liter V-8 with port fuel injection and GT-40 cylinder heads similar to those used on the Mustang Cobra. The engine produces 240 horsepower at 4200 rpm, and delivers its power to the road through a specially calibrated, electronically controlled four- speed automatic transmission, a heavy-duty aluminum driveshaft, and a limited-slip differential.
 Suspension modifications include lowered ride-height, larger- diameter anti-roll bars and performance shock absorbers.
 New safety features on the 1994 Lightning include a driver-side air bag, side door beams, a transmission shift interlock system, and a center high-mounted brake light incorporated with the cargo light on the back of the cab. Also new for 1994 is an available convertible console seat that fits between Lightning's sport bucket seats.
 According to Roberts, the superior performance and handling of Cobra and Lightning make them ideal candidates for service at the Indy 500, often called the greatest spectacle in auto racing.
 The Mustang Cobra and F-150 Lightning are the first two products from Ford's Special Vehicle Team. SVT's mission is to develop and market vehicles for driving enthusiasts who desire cars and trucks that provide refined, balanced performance without sacrificing ride and control. These models are sold through a limited, certified and specially trained dealer body.
 -0- 12/29/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Moran, 313-446-7730, or Tom Rhoades, 313-337-3864, both of Ford/

CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Indiana, Michigan IN: AUT SU:

TO-SB -- DE012 -- 7879 12/29/93 17:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 29, 1993

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