FeaturedFord Talladega

March Feature Car-Part 2

Now, for the rest of the story, Continued from previous Post.

The white Talladega continued to be driven and used by Mike Williamson’s brother but it soon went into inactive status and was left to sit. To keep it in the family, on September 17, 1984 the Talladega was given to Mike. The Talladega with its “nose job” has been in the family since new!

Mike did not know the story about his car’s front end and the protest at the Atco race track until recently. He was talking to a friend of his who just happened to be the official that disqualified the Talladega years earlier. He knew Mike had the Keats Ford front clip on his car and told him how Keats came to have it!

Needless to say, Mike was speechless. He did not believe him at first but with more details Mike was eventually convinced. He then went on to thanked the official for being a nitpicking S.O.B. for without him Mike’s car would have gone to the crusher!

When Mike took official ownership of the “nose job” Talladega it was in very rough shape, as you can see from the photos on this page. When Mike Williamson acquired it he began a complete restoration on the car. Lucky for him his brother and father had saved a lot of original paperwork with it. Included are:

-build sheet

-dealer and owner warranty plates; one is signed by his father for his brother and the other is signed by the then owner of the dealership. This was March 1970.

-this car is included in the Talladega Spoiler Registry being car #706, sold new at Mc Cafferty Ford in Langhorne, PA

During the restoration process the body shop had to add a new sheet metal sail panel from a donor car on the right side as well as the rear fender. The new right fender extends to the tail light panel and on up to the roof line. The donor car also supplied a trunk lid, left fender, left sail panel both doors and the gas tank. Mike stated that his tank had a hole in the top which easily would have accommodated a grapefruit!

The results are outstanding. When I first looked at the photos Mike supplied I thought he had pulled them off our web site. The car has a remarkable likeness to the way our Talladega looked until we decided to take it back to all original.

Mike explains that the gloss black paint on the hood and tail panel were not what he originally intended. As he explains it, the hood and tail light panel were originally both painted flat black by the body shop. However the body shop employee, Ricky took Mike aside one day and told me that he did not like the looks of it. It seems good heated Ricky had waited until the shop owner wasn’t around and then buffed on that flat black paint until it shined as never before! Mike says Ricky was very proud because he didn’t put his time “on the clock”, so there would be no charge.

Mike said he looked at Ricky’s smiling face and he simply did not have the heart to say anything negative to him. He thanked him and went home.

It may have been a mistake but I like it! Ford should have made the same mistake, especially by putting the Magnums on the car!

One More Question:

What happened to the maroon Talladega with the Torino nose? We have gone over the VIN list and selling dealers and there is no record of a Talladega being sold out of Keats Ford in NJ (the sponsor of the drag racer and home to the front clip). It is possible the Talladega was sold out of another dealer and transferred to Keats or?

Let’s see if we can locate this Talladega. First of all we know the original car was maroon and it either still does or at onetime had a Torino nose. Assuming the nose was never converted back to a Talladega that means there could be an owner of a Talladega out there that thinks he has a Torino!

If you own a maroon Torino why not check out the DSO on the Data Plate and see if the last four digits are “2500” if so, you win! Regular Torinos will have a 2 digit DSO while the Talladega will have a 6 digit DSO.

Next check the paint code and look for a “B” which means MAROON! If all this checks out, call me we have a story to tell!

Have you ever seen a Dealer Owner Card? Look closely, one is a Dealer Card and the other is an Owner Card. I don’t recall ever seeing a blue Owner Card before.

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Richard

Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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5 Comments

  1. nice job on your article richard!

    nothing makes the owner of an antique or classic car more proud than to hear a compliment, see the story of his car published or sometime stand back and listen to positive comments about his or her car at a show or cruise.

    i agree, that to locate the ira keats talladega would be a major coup for talladega owners and fans alike. i also searched my (mark moses) registry for a talladega from keats ford.

    i hope your word gets out.

    two more things for torino owners to look for: the lower stance of the car and the rerolled rocker panels.

    mike williamson

  2. Mike,

    Actually, the simplest things to look for to identify a “Torinoized” Talladega would be:

    1: VIN – It would be in the Talladega Registry
    2: Staggered Rear Shocks (these would stick out in an automatic)
    3: Hood Release Lever under the dash
    4: front fenders that don’t quite line up with the doors
    5: Plain Jane interior – Cloth/Vinyl Bench with AM Radio as the only option
    6: Q Code 428 CJ (Which may, or may not still have the engine oil cooler, PS oil cooler, etc.)

    I suspect that the “lowered stance” – if it exists, will not be obvious. Most production cars were never actually lowered. Likwise, unless you know what you are looking for, the re-rolled rockers will go completely unnoticed.

    More obvious clues would have includee the T emblem on the exterior of the doors, the Talladega labels on the inside of the doors, and the Special Performance Vehicle tag on the driver’s door. However, these are likely to be long gone.

    1. Carl, excellent list. However, I have one exception on your list. True, the Talladega had the under dash hood release but if some one installed a Torino front clip it would come with the regular hood open latch and there would be no need for the interior latch. These tend to break and be a pain anyway. Just a thought.

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