Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Infamous 1971 Dodge Challenger to Take Part in Largest-Ever Display of Indy 500 Pace Cars

Posted October 23, 2014 10:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Challenger dodge Indy 500 pace car

John Glenn had survived being shot into space, dozens of combat missions during World War II and the Korean War, and a career as a test pilot. But one Saturday in May of 1971 he nearly lost his life to a car dealer driving an out-of-control Dodge Challenger, a car that will go on display next month as part of what promises to be the world's largest gathering of Indianapolis 500 pace cars ever.

To be clear, Eldon Palmer didn't intend to put his own life - along with those of Glenn, Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman, and ABC correspondent Chris Schenkel - in harm's way. One of four Indianapolis-area dealers who supplied a fleet of Hemi Orange 1971 Dodge Challenger convertibles to be used as pace cars after each of the Big Three declined (or wasn't able) to make a pace car available for that year's race, Palmer had reportedly planned out his approach to the infield at the start of the race beforehand, going so far as to place a marker at the point where he needed to start braking from the triple-digit speeds required to lead the pack of cars.

See what almost became John Glenn's last ride on Hemmings.

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