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Buyer Beware

We recently provided everyone with an update on the sale of a number of cars at auctions and other outlets over the past few weeks. One of those cars is already back on the market. The Cale Yarborough Spoiler which sold at Mecum Palm Beach for $26,000 plus commission is now for sale on eBay. The new owner has even provided a copy of the Marti Report. Unfortunately, he did not consult this site before bidding.

Although he got what appears to be a very good car and recent restoration with a desirable 428 CJ Ram Air, the buyer did not purchase a Spoiler. He has a very desirable and equally rare Pre-Spoiler dressed up to look like the real deal but missing some critical details.

The VIN is 9H15Q538746 with a build date of 12-27-68. Spoilers were not built until after Jan. 1, 1969 and Pre-Spoilers or Color Code cars were built prior to that time but stopped on 12-31-68. The Data Plate shows a blank in the Color location, a real Spoiler will have the proper MX (Gurney) or MT (Cale).

It is possible that neither the seller or the buyer knew the difference and it was likely a lack of information that allowed this mistake to take place. The lesson learned here is to do your homework and question anything that does not look right.

There were a number of clues that suggest this was not a real Spoiler. If you want to know more check out our Forum Post on this car that was up prior to the Auction.


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. Wow there is a lot wrong with this car! I wonder what happened to the console? Its on the Marti report. This car is a fine example of a “restoration” without having any idea what is correct. Air cleaner assembly is off a 1970 car. Hood ornament from a 1968 car. Lots of issues & yes some are major things that need to be changed.
    That being said it could be a nice car if purchased for the right price.

  2. I wonder how pissed the buyer (assuming the car sells) will be when they find out that they have been duped and bought a clone instead of a real Cale Yarborough Spoiler?

    I would also like to point out that by the seller using a Marti report as “apparent support and documentation” for his rather dubious claims, the buyer is quite likely to be further misled as well. It would be nice if those reports more accurately reflected the numbers of the real Talladegas, Spoilers, and Spoiler II cars. I suspect that this report is virtually identical to one for a color code car as well as for a Spoiler car. (I haven’t seen one; but, I suspect that one for a Spoiler II would at least have reflected that option; but, still not have indicated how many cars with the Spoiler II option. (He tends to lump all of the aero Fords/Mercurys in with the non-aero models when providing his statistics numbers. A practice which I consider to be lazy on his part. Talladegas and Spoiler IIs are certainly different models from their more common cousins, and they deserve their own research. They are at least as different as the notch back cars are from the fast back ones. Therefore they should be treated as a unique body style. The Spoilers are more of a paint and sticker option, since they do share their sheet metal with the regular Spoilers, however, the represent a specific marketing package and should be identified as such on a Marti report, as well.)

    1. Carl, if you have made on good observation on the different Marti Reports. Real Spoiler Marti Reports do show the Spoiler Option where the Pre-Spoiler/Color Code cars only show a special two tone paint job.

      To help clear this up I will post a Marti Report for each type of car on Monday. Let me know what you think once you have reviewed them.

      I will post a Talladega, Spoiler, Spoiler II, Color Code and GT 500. VIN numbers will be blurred.

  3. Is it possible that these pre-Spoilers are really early Spoilers, where production was ramped up before Ford’s recordkeeping was in order with the proper codes? I know in the Mopar world, they introduced Panther Pink mid-year but the early cars have the special order color code “999” while later cars have the proper “FM3” – could this be a similar case?

    1. Diego, no that is not the case. The Spoiler was an option package and contained specific items. The buyer could then add additional items to the options list. The Pre-Spoiler is nothing more than a special order paint code in the Cale Yarborough colors and did not have the other required options to make it a Spoiler.

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