Every once in awhile I get some really strange questions. A few times I even know the answer but I often have to reach out to others for help. That is what I am doing today. I recently received an email from Karen Looney in Florida. She had come into possession of original vellum drawings from 1969 Ford Motor Company Advanced Production Development that appear to have been drawn while Larry Shinoda was at Ford in 1969. The drawings are 2D and isometrics studies, masters, proposals and casting patterns for roof louvers, stanchions and spoiler mountings. In the “Louver Hold-down Proposal”, the draftsman notes on the drawing: “No. per vehicle: one (as per Shinoda)”. She has sent images to Ford Archives and they have confirmed that they appeared to be authentic but could provide no other information. See response below.
I have looked the drawings over and believe they might be part of the design for the 1970 King Cobra and Spoiler II prototypes. However, I have never even heard a rumor about what I am about to show you. I have used my limited detective skills to reach this conclusion but what do you think? What is it?
First off here is a photo of Steve Honnel’s King Cobra and a detail of a 1970 Torino. Note the shape of the rear side window silhouette.
This is the King Cobra.
Note the similarity of the side window treatment in this drawing. NOW, look at the rear of the window shade. What is it? It’s a SPOILER built into the shade! Have you ever seen or heard of this concept before?
This is a close up of the spoiler part. The date on this image is dated 2-20-69. This seems to be about right for design of the 70 King Cobra/Spoiler II. Below are some more details found on the drawings.
So far there has been no indication as to what model these images may have been for other than the one side sketch. However, on the drawing above there is clear reference to “Montego”! The other detail clearly states “Advanced Product Development”!
Want more? How about this writing on the envelop the drawings were found in?
Could this suggest that the “King Cobra” name was for design purposes and the 1970 NASCAR bodied was intended to carry over the Talladega name?
We all know that the King Cobra/Spoiler II project development was killed when Ford pulled out of racing. Most of us have also read that the King Cobra test cars turned out to be light in the rear end at speed. The aerodynamic nose design provided plenty of down force for the front end but nearing 200 mph the rear wanted to lift. The Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbirds obviously solved this problem with huge rear wings. As well as the wings worked they were a bit of over kill for the street. They are desired today but in 1969 & 1970 those tall wings were a bit cartoonish and open to a lot of ridicule.
Could Ford and Mercury have been planning a rear spoiler built into the rear window shade? Would this Shade have run down to the end of the trunk? This design would have been really trick and sophisticated. As anyone ever heard or seen reference to something like this before? If so please let me know at email@example.com.
What do you think? What is it?