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Skip Mac Farland Drag Race Talladega Found Part 2

Keats Ford Talladega driven and raced by Skip Mac Farland.
Keats Ford Talladega driven and raced by Skip Mac Farland.

When we left off last time we told you the history as we have it regarding the Skip Mac Farland Drag Race Talladega sponsored by Keats Ford. There is still a lot we don’t know and would welcome any additional information or photos readers can give us regarding this car.

In late 2012 I almost had the car bought and have included some of the photos of where it was stored at that time. The story I was told is the car had been taken to a shop for some kind of work a number of years ago and either the bill was never paid or the car abandoned and parked under some trees behind the building. I am unsure how long it was there but it appears that it might have been quite some time. The elements were not good to it. The seller of the car was not aware of what he had other than it was a Talladega with a Torino nose.

Talladega front clip replaced with a standard Torino nose to satisfy strip inspectors.
Talladega front clip replaced with a standard Torino nose to satisfy strip inspectors.

When my deal feel through it was purchased and moved to NY. It appears that new owner knew little more and most likely less about what he had than the previous owner. It was immediately put up for sale for a small but quick profit. Several months later the car was still for sale and purchased by a fellow in Middle TN. I subsequently provided him with any and all information from my research and photos that I had obtained.

Restoration is underway.
Restoration is underway.

I recently visited the car and documented its existing condition and to further verify that it is the Skip Mac Farland/Keats Ford Talladega. Although without a title search showing the chain of title there is no proof that this is the Keats Ford Talladega but any reasonable person presented with the information collected will have little question that this is the car. Let’s summarize what we know:

  1. This car is a real Talladega, original Maroon in color and was built on February 10, 1969 but not sold new out of Keats Ford until May 21, 1970. That is 15 months later. Was that the time that Mac Farland raced the car and then he or someone else purchased it? Keats Ford only sold one Maroon Talladega.
  2. From personal inspection the front brakes have been converted to drum brakes, the power brake booster was removed, the power steering was removed, slapper traction bars remain on the rear springs and appear to be the same as in old photos, an electric fuel pump was still in place, original vintage style headers were present, a locker rear end was installed, there are tow hooks on the front end, a trailer light hook up was under the hood for flat towing behind a car or truck, the Torino nose was there but the hood still had the black paint under the newer maroon paint, the Talladega hood latch was still present, the rear staggered shocks are air shocks. All of these items are consistent with a 60s/70s drag car.
  3. Neither the engine or transmission are original and there is evidence of a 4-speed once being installed.
Front power disc brakes removed and replaced with manual drum brakes.
Front power disc brakes removed and replaced with manual drum brakes.

The car is restorable but it will take considerable effort. The new owner has purchased a solid Torino doner car to help with the worst rust areas. Will the car be restored as a stock Talladega or as it was raced? Or, will it retain its Torino nose and unique place in Talladega legend?

Tow hooks remain.
Tow hooks remain.
Slapper bars from back in the day.
Slapper bars from back in the day.
Talladega rocker panels confirm it pedigree.
Talladega rocker panels confirm it pedigree.

The question has not been fully answered at this point but I can tell you that the new owner already has some steel reproduction Talladega fenders on order and is starting to rebuild the under side and drive train.

Talladega hood latch remains.
Talladega hood latch remains.
This trailer light connection is wired into the front of the Talladega for flat tows back in the day.
This trailer light connection is wired into the front of the Talladega for flat tows back in the day.

I would love to see this car returned to the look that it had in the photo below. I think the Day Two vintage drag race theme should be maintained to as close to how it was back it the day is possible. However, I can also see the return to power disk brakes and power steering as well as a more drivable rear gear ratio. The addition of under dash or vintage air might even make sense for TN summers. What would you recommend? Leave your questions or comments at the bottom of this page in the comments box below. The new owner is somewhat concerned about not destroying the car’s value but at the same time he wants the car to be fun and something he can drive and be proud of.

Skip and the Keats Ford Talladega in full dress.
Skip and the Keats Ford Talladega in full dress.

 

Data Plate
Data Plate

 What do you think he should do? Please leave your comments and questions in the Comments Box below.

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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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5 Comments

  1. It is obviously entirely up to the owner; but, if it were mine, I would restore it back to it’s racing condition, as illustrated in the above photos with the Talladega front end. I would probably go with one of the racing drive trains with which it was most successful. Just my 2 cents worth.

  2. I’m going totally against the grain here. I would restore the car back to original. The racing history although nice has no national appeal. Was it a National Record Holder? No. Did the car win any National Meets? No.
    So we have a Talladega with a little local race history.
    Not a Talladega with a prominent race history.
    That being said, I think the car is totally cool & it IS a Talladega whick DOES have prominent National history in the collector car hobby. Restoring it back to stock & showing the entire history of the car would be the way I would do the car. But thats just me!!

  3. I typically agree with almost everything Marty has to say, he is one of the experts on Taladegas and Drag Racing. However, I have a little different perspective. I have grown a little tired of seeing little more than fully restored cars at shows. Back in the day few muscle cars were left bone stock. As long as there is a reasonable representation of the restored cars in existence I like seeing cars in the “Day Two” condition; the way we had them back in the day. The Corvette and Mustang people have gone through this already. It used to be is you modified an old Corvette or Mustang you were considered a sinner. Today, some of the highest selling cars are well done modified versions. I still love and appreciate all the restored and original cars but really like to be reminded of what was happing on the street back in the day as well. What do the rest of you think?

  4. Hey guys I’m Mike me and my friend josh bought the talladega, we know very little a bought them and have turned to Richard for help. We would like to see what every body thinks and get some advice on what to do with it .The intent when we started looking for a car was for something we could build to drive and race every once and a while. I wanted a cj car and didn’t care what Kind Of car it was. So we ended up with the talladega by pure dumb luck. After talking with Richard we found out the story with the car, pretty cool. Now it is time to start building the car and I have to figure out how to build it put it back stock or as a race car. After talking with Richard here is where I’m at. I am going to put the body back as original the interior original now the drive train gets tricky the rear end stays as raced the transmission as original the brakes and power steering original The motor c j’s aren’t known for being bullet proof so there will be some mods to the oiling system rotating assembly stock but balanced the oil pan was a altered stock pan but we will use a period correct t pan the heads stock cam will be a roller with roller rockers aluminum intake pi or 2×4 with cobra air cleaner and lamans valve covers if you look at the picks that Richard has it had them on it. My thought is that as long as I can swap the parts back to stock no harm done . I will keep all parts to put it to stock if we decide to later. As for the lettering on the car I’m still up in the air on that.the way I see it Marty and Richard are both Wright how ever Marty no the car wasn’t a national winner or was skip a famous driver but you wouldn’t have all the big names in drag racing if there weren’t guys like skip racing. The weekend guys are what made nhra what it is today so yes he is relevant and the car should be restored to some part of its heritage . The car from the day it rolled off the trailer from Atlanta was used as a race car and from what I have found was used as one since. I believe it can be both a restored talladega and a restored race car as long as it can be put back to stock. No harm no fowl. Guys let me know what you think

  5. Hi Mike,
    Welcome. I ment no offense to you about the cars race history. BTW I have been a multiple National Record Holder & won many National Class wins in Stock. I still race a CJ Mustang in Stock, so I can help you with some of the modifications you might want to do on the motor {Do NOT use the T pan!. The pan that was probably on your car was a C8AX pan {deep sump} you can contact me off site & I can elaborate. I spin my Stock CJ motors around 7200rpm without issue. No rollers allowed
    Now back to the car & my original post. I was talking about the “value” of the car in whichever state you decided to go. While it IS a COOL story on the car as a racer it does NOT add value to the car as it didn’t have a winning history. Yes weekend racers were the backbone of NHRA back then but to add value the car must have promenance {wins & records}. So my point was that the car would have more value being a restored Talladega {Talladega’s DO have promenance} with an interesting history as a drag car than trying to “market” it as a Talladega drag car.
    I agree with Richard that Day 2 cars are cool & he is also right that most original owners modified them asap!
    This forum is a great asset to all of us. I am glad you have the car & we ALL want to see the progress you make on it. Do not hesitate to contact me on anything you need as we are all only too willing to help.
    I will be away until 11/26 as I will be attending the MCACN show in Chicago.

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