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Ford Aero Cars Invade Bristol 2012

We just returned from the March 2012 NASCAR Race in Bristol TN. It was a wet but wonderful weekend in Bristol. We have been to the races at Bristol several times and it is a race track you have to put on your Bucket List. We have always done NASCAR races but after this weekend the track let us camp with our motor home in the drag strip facility and we now have the Drag Races added to our bucket list. Thanks to the wonderful folks at the Bristol Speedway, Tim Lopata and Jason Thompson the Ford Aero cars had a great display for the Food City folks at their Hospitality Area.

There were 14 Ford products in attendance and 7 Mopars. In addition, there were a few hot rods and a lot of race cars. We always enjoy visiting with all the other Talladega and Spoiler/Spoiler II owners but this year was really special. Eddie and Lenny Wood (Wood Brothers Racing) again stopped by and spent 3 hours visiting with all of us and providing autographs to anyone who asked. They are as down to earth as any NASCAR stars we have ever met and we enjoyed our time with them immensely.

One highlight of the evening was an autograph session with some of thy Cup drivers. Katrina grabbed our “autograph helmet” and was able to get autographs from Jeff Gordon and Joey Lagano. Unfortunately, she also got Kurt Busch’s.

Just outside of our display area the new 2013 Ford NASCAR race car was on display next to the 2012 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers number 21. It was a great opportunity to compare the current car with the new one. I am excited about seeing these new cars on the track next year. They don’t look 100% like street cars but rather more like race modified street cars. I like what I saw.

Unfortunately, we did not get photos of every Ford on site but just missed a couple and we apologize. One car we wanted to get, it was sitting right next to us and we forgot, was that of Dennis Machen. He came all the way from Texas with a beautiful Talladega that he and his pit crew just finished the night before! Thanks Dennis and crew! (You can see a small portion of the car in one of the photos below.)

After the show on Friday most of the cars headed south to Sevierville for more fun on Saturday including time at a show, cruise through the beautiful Tennessee hills and informal gathering with food at the famous Floyd Garrett Muscle Car Museum. For a few of us the draw of the Bristol track was too strong and we stayed there to attend the race on Sunday. The Speedway also invited us to display a few of the cars at the track’s Thank You Party for Season Ticket Holders before the race.  It was a terrific event with NASCAR drivers such as Jeff Burton and the eventual race winner, Brad Keselowski, attending. They spent quite of bit of time talking and answering questions from those in attendance. If you were quick you could even get an autograph. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and we had wet drizzle all morning. However, those cars and spectators who showed up had a great time and were the real diehards.

Katrina and I were sitting next to our car and the Bill France Signature car when a fellow came up and asked if the Signature car was the old white Banjo Matthews Talladega. We told him no but he could have seen it on Friday. He was very disappointed, he used to work for Banjo back in the day and worked on both the white and red Banjo cars. He related that the employees were known to take the two cars out into the parking lot and race them on occasion! Imagine that; who would do such a thing?

THANKS AGAIN TO THE SPEEDWAY, TIM LOPATA AND JASON THOMPSON FOR MAKING THIS ANOTHER GREAT WEEKEND FOR THE FORD FOLKS!

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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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One Comment

  1. Richard and Katrina,

    We had a great time at Bristol (and Sevierville) last weekend. I can’t thank you, Tim, Jason, and Clarence enough for organizing this trip. I don’t know how Tim did it, but, we were at the center of all of the activities, and we certainly got the VIP treatment! Not only did we have the premier location, we literally had VIP passes that got us in for great food and drink at the VIP tent – and did you see the VIP port o pots! Those were the Taj Mahal of outhouses!

    Then on Friday, Tim, Jason, and Clarence arranged for us to participate in a first class cruise in at “The Diner” – yep, that really was its name… Due to an unforeseen fuel leak, a couple of us missed the cruise; but, we still had a great time at The Diner. Later, we drove our Aero Cars to a local Go Kart track and had a great time until closing time.

    Thanks, again.

    Carl.

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