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Darlington Historic Races


Katrina and I have been to several vintage races and usually have more fun than at a modern day NASCAR event. I just found this clip on YouTube of the Darlington Historic Races and thought it gives you a good idea of what you are missing if you have never been to one. We have never been to the Darlington event but it is on our Bucket List! Would anyone be interested in a Talladega Family Reunion held in conjunction with an event like this?

Speak up, let us know what you are looking for.


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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  1. The now cancelled Darlington festivals were another typically mismanaged NASCAR deal. I at first thought that they would become something good. But the suits in NASCAR perceived them as just another opportunity to fleece the rubs. And so they died. NASCAR needed to put some effort into getting real old stock cars and the drivers who campaigned them in one place at the same time A(a la Goodwood). But that would have required the Darlington guys to do more than just stand at the gate punching tickets. And so, there were never any really great numbers of authentic vintage cars that showed up. Mostly just home built stuff like the very poor (but loads of fun) “Petty Talladega” show as the tease for this post. Funny thing, more authentic vintage Indy cars showed up at the few festivals that were run than actual Grand National stock cars. It was fun to see the guys from the Great White North (Wisconsin?) who brought there Saturday night replicas down to run one year. It seems that somewhere there is a series for *sort of* look-a-like, cut down ’60s cars that have been mounted on early 70s Torino frames. They all run with small block power and from less than 50 feet the cars are rough as cobs. But they are probably a hoot to run.

    1. John, I was very disappointed to hear the festival had been canceled. I was looking for an event like that for Katrina and I to attend this year and I just can’t find one. We have been to the Historic Races at Laguna Seca but that is a big trip from TN. Do you know of any you can recommend?

      Two years ago at the event that was held with the Aero cars at the Indy track during the Brickyard there were a bunch of “replica” vintage NASCARs there. Those guys built some reasonable replicas and race them regularly at local tracks around Chicago. I see one of them is for sale in Hemmings right now.

      1. Richard, The drum brake stock car guys are running at Sonoma in May. Sears Point is a stretch from Texas, but I try to go every other year. I hope to have my ’64 out there next year. There aren’t any venues for old stock cars as a class (I’m talking drum brake cars) back on this side of the country. That’s too bad. I was really hoping that the Darlington deal would work. But the NASCAR suits treated it as just another profit center…from the get go. They thought that if they paid a handful of drivers to sign autographs and charged a big fee for entry that folks would come…even if there weren’t many real deal stock cars in attendance. Trouble was, the marketed the deal as a vintage festival for RACE CARS…and not an autograph session. When folks got there, there was mostly raced up sportsman junk in the garage area, a handful of those replicas you mentioned (great fun…but vintage by NO stretch of the imagination) and maybe a half dozen pre 1972 cars (with some of those being homages). I went a couple of times…and never went back. Typical NASCAR run deal…designed to fill NASCAR’s pockets rather than promote the sport’s history. If NASCAR had wanted that festival to take off they would have needed to do something to get real deal old cars to turn out. That meansd pay some travel expenses at a minimum. Instead, their toery was that folks would spend their own $$$ to transport their restored stock cars to Darlington…so NASCAR could charge them big $$$$ to run no passing parade laps…so that NASCAR could make money off of them. That proved to be a defective theory. But that’s just the way NASCAR is and always has been. I offered to bring my Holman Moody Galaxie/Fred Lorenzen Daytona 500 winner from Texas to the 50th running of the 500…and all I wanted was gas money and a guaranteed 15 minute meeting with Mr. Lorenzen and the car. NASCAR’s response…thanks but no thanks. So, I stayed home.

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