Steve Finds The Most Important Dodge Ever! – Junkyard Gold Preview Ep. 5

Steve Finds The Most Important Dodge Ever! – Junkyard Gold Preview Ep. 5

(electric guitar music) – Whoa, if this is what it
looks like, this could well be the most important Dodge
we’ve found on this show yet. We got to dig in. Yeah, this looks to be Dodge’s very first muscle car,
the 1954 Indy pace car. Now, there’s only 701 of these built. They were all pace car yellow,
with jewel black two-tone. All were convertibles, and I’m seeing a correct 500 graphics here, and the cross flags emblems on the front. This is a rare car, and keep in mind this is Dodge’s first muscle car, preceding the Super Bee, the
Charger, all those legends. It all started right here. While this one sits on
just junkyard rollers, these all came equipped with
Kelsey Hayes wire wheels. They’re beautiful wheels,
and more often than not, they’re taken from these
cars long after they’re new. Speaking of wheels, there’s
another detail specific to these Indy cars out back. Standard equipment on all 701
pace car replicas was this, an external spare tire carrier, also known as a Continental Kit. Now, the stock rear bumper was retained, but it was spaced out away from the body, and these panels here, and this,
these are all factory items that are part of the
Indianapolis pace car kit. So it’s looking very real to me. Kind of a kick, here, this is also one of the original emblems. And the 500, with the cross flags, that logo with the cross flags
was borrowed a year later by Ford, and used on a
Thunderbird, in 1955. Now, the emblem you see here,
Powerflite, tells us this car was originally built with
a two-speed automatic, the Powerflite, which was Dodge’s first fully-automatic
transmission, new for 1954. But the real proof is under the hood. This is where we have to
see the Dodge Hemi engine, no six cylinder engines at all. And let’s take a peek, man, you got to love Oregon rain squalls, they just happen when they happen. Alright, please be a Hemi,
please be a four-barrel. Yes, there it is, man, this
is the 241 Hemi, the Red Ram, which was in its second year for 1954. But yeah, yeah, this is
cool, this is very special. Keep in mind, the Red Ram could be having a two-barrel or a
four-barrel from ’53 on up. But for the pace cars, Dodge utilized an Offenhauser aluminum intake manifold, so a very rare instance
of a Detroit car maker sourcing California speed equipment for a factory installation, but it’s true. I mean, that manifold
is probably worth $1,000 to a guy restoring one of these cars. 701 of these cars were
built, and they all got the Offenhauser intake manifold. It’s still here, what an amazing thing. Keep in mind, after market
manifolds, 1969 and a half, Dodge used them on the six-pack Super Bee. But here we are, almost
20 years before that, with an Offenhauser intake
on the Indy pace car, and it verifies this car
as being the real thing. How cool, I give this
car my seal of approval. This is one rare, rare car,
701 of these were built. I would say perhaps a fifth
of those are still around. I would have to restore this car. Got to say, this would probably, at a shop, cost $120,000 to restore. It might be worth that when it’s done, but again, this is
Dodge’s first muscle car. This is where it all started. So a cool, cool piece, man, it’s amazing to see this in a junkyard. Speaking of which, we have
more stuff to check out. Let’s go.


  1. With a little imagination and a ton of money this could be a real find. Drop in a 426 or 440 with twin turbos equals king of the road

  2. I think my great uncle had one of those. He owned the local Dodge-Plymouth dealer and used to drive the pace car at Floyd Motor Speedway.

  3. Reality TV sucks and has nothing to do with reality . Love these self proclaimed Mopar experts . Such an expert that he talks about sending the car out to be restored . I guess the expert can't do the work himself because he really knows nothing about it .

  4. Pretty sure thats at Wildcat Auto Wrecking yard off Hwy 26 near Welches Oregon. Bought a lot of molar parts there over the years.

  5. It's not "THE" `54 Indy Pace car; it's simply one of the 701 replicas Dodge built as showroom magnets. Get your wordage right or it means nothing.

  6. australian mopar made their own models coz they wouldn't export to australia.mostly the difference on their cars,plymouth,chrysler,dodge is the guards.the main bodys were almost the same.the didn't think exporting to australia was worth it.same cars went to new zealand

  7. Always have enjoyed junk yard romps , like your show and those like it . Watched several times , do you always fail to mention what yard your visiting ? Would really like to know where in Oregon? you shot this 54 Chrysler 500 Convertable Pace Car ? Thank Dan

  8. I had a 54 Plymouth Savoy with the Powerflite transmission, I didn't know 54 was it's 1st year.
    Unfortunately, while the 54 Dodge is/was a decent looking car, I have always felt it's Plymouth "sister" was THE ugliest car Chrysler Corporation ever built.
    Can't imagine even being able to afford the restoration of this car, but I am a sucker for a yellow car.

  9. Oh-ree-gone? Sigh! To a native Oregonian, that's like hearing fingernails scraped down a blackboard. ("O-ri-gun") But, an interesting historical video.

  10. A high school chum drove his family’s cherry early ‘50s woody wagon to school. It had – he said – a 318 hemi. IDK but it had the same aluminum intake manifold and a two barrel. I’m glad to see that I was not disremembering what I saw 55 years ago. He said Chrysler wanted to buy it back.

  11. That's beautiful. I've got a 1950 Dodge Coronet. 4 door. Engine and transmission complete. Needs a lot of work. Beautiful cars….

  12. I had the ‘53 convertible with the same eng/trans. My first car, given to me by a neighbor who just wanted it out of his barn. Sweet little hemi!


  14. It would cost less to build a time travel device and travel to 1955 than it would be to restore that automobile.

  15. What happened to this car? Is it still there? Was it saved or what? The Motor Trend Channel should update this video to let us know what happened to this car.

  16. We had a 55 with that hemi. It had dual points as well. It was one tough engine. It survived me and my brothers teenage years in an area with no cops.

  17. They did a fantastic job on this video showing what it looks like restored. Would have loved to see it from the rear. Oh well. Off to Google images.

  18. Saw a fully restored one 2 days after I saw this post! Unreal and its for sale 40K…..Lake Havasu City Az.

  19. i'm a huge chrysler man but i'm sorry….it would cost approx. $120,000 to restore this car and at best it's a $90,000 at a premium auction. the old dodge guys prefer to dump that kind of money into the exner style 57-59 dodges.

  20. I got laid off when they closed that asbestos factory, and wouldn't you know it, the army cuts my disability pension because they said that the plate in my head wasn't big enough

  21. I knew I should have used my inheritance on something else instead of paying off the mortgage and sending my daughter to college.

  22. it just pains me to see such classic cars left to rust………I own a 75 Monte Carlo, garage kept since I bought it new, wouldn't THINK of letting it rust away

  23. She's gonna need: Plugs, points, bearing's, valves, rings, starter switch, ignition wires, water pump, fuel pump, oil pump, clutch, clutch bearing's, clutch plate, brake lining', brake shoes, brake drums, radiator hose and radiator hose couplings'…And I'd give 'er a good wash, too.

  24. i found a 1956 version back in 1976 but could never find who owned it ,the floorpan was rotted out but is was a true hemi ==i did own a desoto firedome ,,,,i wish i kept

  25. i know where one of these pace cars sits,identical in about the same condition along the ontario/quebec border,its under a lean to and raccoons ate the back seat..very complete tho..ive got too many on the go as it is otherwise id save it

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