We recently received some interesting information and photos that we want to share with all of you. John Craft is a name many of you may remember from the early days of the Talladega printed Registry. He now focuses on the Grand National Ford Aero cars and has some terrific information and facts he wants to share with all of us. He is no longer as active in the street versions but fondly remembers the ones in his past. He recalls driving a Talladega on the street for 16 years! I can assure you he has forgotten more details about these cars than most of us will ever learn! The following information is edited from information supplied by John. This is only the first installment of several articles we will be publishing on the info provided by John. All of the photos provided in this post were provided by John Craft.
As you know finding a Grand National (NASCAR) version of the 1968/1969 Ford race cars is extremely difficult. According to John Craft, there are only three Talladegas “restored” to Grand National trim at present. The first was built by Kim Haynes and was originally decked out as a David Pearson car. The car’s present owner, Dough Schultz, Vacaville, CA, has researched the car’s history and has determined that it was certainly a Junior Johnson ’70 Torino chassis before becoming a Jame Hylton car and finally being passed down to a back marker. Because it is at present in Talladega trim (and may have actually been a Lee Roy Talladega or Spoiler II competition car…more research needed. It now carries the Lee Roy Yarbrough colors.
This is what the car looked like prior to its restoration.
The second car is in the Hall of Fame Talladega Museum at the Talladega Super Speedway. It was never a Talladega and was actually not an H&M car either. The chassis started out as a Tom Pistone built 1969 Cyclone that Junie Donlavey fielded for Bill Dennis.
Elmo Langley got the job of converting that car into a replica Talladega for the museum. He used an original Banjo Matthews front clip in the process.
This is what the car originally was.
The third car belongs to Brent Hajek in OK. That car actually was an authenticated Talladega. It was first campaigned by David Pearson and was then sold to Ron Grana and was run as the #5 ARCA Talladega in 1970.
John states that the car developed a head leak (one of the reasons John states he will NEVER build another Boss 429) and the engine was out when he last saw it, but that car is the real deal.
Some of you may have seen John’s old Cyclone (also originally a Pistone chassis built for a back marker) replica “Cale” car. It is currently in California. John believes it is currently sitting in a dealership showroom someplace. I also saw this car a couple of years ago on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Museum in Pomona.