Several years ago while searching for a Talladega I came across one located in the UK. It was for sale and represented as being original even though it was painted Grabber Blue. The most interesting thing was that it was in the UK but little other information was available. Just recently we received a Registration Application for that very car but today it is located in Lithuania. For those of you geographically challenged Lithuania is approximately half way between Berlin and Moscow. I don’t think we will be having a Talladega Family Reunion there anytime soon! As radical and rare as a Talladega is on the streets of America can you imagine seeing one in Lithuania? Here is what new owner Linas had to say about his car.
This car was imported to the UK in 1993 and has been active in UK racing scene. It was featured in the August 2004 issue of Classic American Magazine in UK, giving some hints about it’s track history. It was sold new “by Al Ewing Ford Inc of Winter Garden, Florida, this car was brought to Britain and owned for many years by a drag racer who used it to tow his caravan to the strip, run high 12 and low 13 quarters all weekend before hitching up the ‘van and driving home!”.
It was taken to France and was auctioned at Christie’s Special Le Mans auction in France in 2004. Then it went back to the UK and spent long years in a collection of it’s new owner an eccentric millionaire. As his health was deteriorating, the cars from this collection were offered for sale. It was then purchased by a used car dealer in 2014. Finally, Linas tradded his 2007 C6 Corvette and became the owner of the Talladega.
Currently he is trying to get in touch with it’s previous owners and find additional information and history of the car. Given it’s racing history, his current plans are to keep it the way it is. However, he still has not decided if it would make sense to get back to the original Presidential Blue color. Right now, it is painted Petty Blue and this is how it has been all the time it was in the UK.
After our first series of emails with the above information, Linas supplied even more information.
Richard, just to let you know, I had a talk to Mick Colley, the first owner of Talladega in UK. He saw it advertised on Haynes classifieds in 1993 and bought it from Ft Lauderdale. He was a huge fan of NASCAR at that time. We talked for over an hour, sharing great stories! One such story was that onetime the car accidentally jumping into gear while Mick’s friend was working under the hood when someone got inside and revved it up a bit. That is how it lost its passenger door; it was ripped against garage wall. The new door was bought in a salvage yard in Minnesota and shipped to UK.
Mick also told about how his wife carried an alloy 428 CJ manifold through customs on their way from Texas (where they spent time at some local drag strips) to UK.
He had many great memories from drag racing in UK as well. The Talladega was often the only street car among purpose built drag cars and even got into the semifinals once. Mick also recalled that when he bought the car from US, it came with a nice folder with photos (unfortunately, lost now…). Some of them showed the car in Daytona on the race course, parading with other aero cars. At that time, it still was painted presidential blue. Mick repainted it light blue first thing when he got it in UK.
So all in all, this car is far from stock but this is how it has been for most of it’s life; that makes its character! By the way, the original 428 and C6 are still in it.
This is just a small fraction of the information which I got from Mick. He promissed to look for more photos as well.
I am interested in tracking any history of the car backwards from 1993. I believe, there are so many additional great stories waiting to be uncovered and told!