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1968 Darlington 500

David Pearson #17

Did you ever hear of a Ford 396 engine? Sounds more like a Chevelle SS doesn’t it? How about a Darlington winning NASCAR 396 Ford engine? Watch and listen closely to this video of David Pearson’s blue and gold winning Ford!

In the 1968 NASCAR season David went on to win the Championship for himself and Ford.

Many thanks go out to Tim Lopata for allowing us to edit down his video for use on this site.



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. The 396 is NOT a bored out 390. Its a destroked 427 side-oiler. And with its shorter stroke it could rev higher then the 427 and produced 55hp more then the 427 Mk II NASCAR engine. The stroke was reduced from 3.784 to 3.514 with the use of a forge steel crank. This in theory allowed the engine to rev 450rpm more then the 427, but dyno engineers quoted it to be closer to 600rpms more. The same 427 rods were used and new pistons were designed with a pin to crown height increase of .137 over the standard 427 piston. There were other changes but I want get into that.

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