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What are you working on? David Grimes

David's pair of projects.
David’s pair of projects.

In previous posts to this web site we have introduced you to a few of the 1969 Petty Blue Torinos that are included in our site’s Registry. Recently, we heard from another owner of one of these very rare cars. David Goins is the very proud owner of, what to date is the most unique, Petty Blue Torino. There were two real Talladega Petty Blue cars built but this is not one of them. It looks like a Talladega but is not, read on.


Petty Torino with Dega fenders in primer the way David purchased it.
Petty Torino with Dega fenders in primer the way David purchased it.

David sent you along some pictures just to point out some highlights of his project. He purchase the car in black primer with little clue that it was one of the original Petty Blue cars.

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One of the previous owners added some NASCAR style modifications. First there is the trunk lid with the trunk pin holes. Next is the very cool Holman & Moody spoiler. Another modification is the most intriguing, a one piece Talladega front clip! There is also no filler panel behind and around the bumper.

The one piece nose has the header panel welded to the fenders.
The one piece nose has the header panel welded to the fenders.


The front bumper has the ends left open. There is also some repaired previous damage to the right front fender( maybe a brush with a wall)?

A little nose damage.
A little nose damage.


As David has heard the story about the car, supposedly the man he bought the car from was friends with several guys who worked for Holman & Moody.  One of those friends had purchased the car from one of the H&M employees. It seems the owner at that time obtained the car from his father who had purchased it new out of Charlotte NC His father and the guys at H & M switched the trunk lid and installed a Talladega front-end that had been at H & M.

This Talladega fender is obviously not constructed the way factory fenders were.
This Talladega fender is obviously not constructed the way factory fenders were.


John McCloud (remember his Talladega and Spoiler II Rancheros?) is helping David with his project. The two of them are not sure what David has. After going over the car many times they think it’s a race car front end. Clarance Thompson (He and his son Jason restored the Banjo Mathews red prototype) has seen the car and says it has the same fender supports and caps and is welded like a prototype.

Any ideas? Is this a race fender or a prototype or something else?
Any ideas? Is this a race fender or a prototype or something else?


All David has to say is it looks like a Talladega, it’s a petty car with an interesting story and he likes it! Maybe someone out there can help fill in the blanks for them! David’s phone number is: 423-357-4397.

David has not told us all of the details about what his ultimate goal is for the car but is likely he is going to stick with the NASCAR theme.


This is interesting. The bumper corner top is not filled in. Any ideas?
This is interesting. The bumper corner top is not filled in. Any ideas?

If you would like to talk to him feel free to give him a call.

Here is where the trunk hold down pins were located.
Here is where the trunk hold down pins were located.



This is the entire front end in one piece.
This is the entire front end in one piece.


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. It would appear that the front fenders and the trunk lid may have both come from the H-M racing parts stock pile. Notice that there are no turn signal cutouts on the fenders – an almost certain telltale sign that those were race fenders. Regarding the trunk lid – it sure looks like what H-M was installing on their race cars in 1969 to me. I’m guessing that someone decided that the Petty Blue Torino would look much better in a Talladega suit of clothes. (I happen to agree.) Other parts that would not have been obvious to most folks (e.g., the filler panel behind the front bumper), appear to have been omitted as “not necessary” for this good looking pretender.

  2. I have seen a hand full of Torino’s with Talladega front ends on them. If this is a Holman/Moody front end the fender rails will have the H M stamping also the sheet metal should have plant stamping different than the time frame of the general body sheet metal bucking…and it is not my bet a race front end. Taking what Carl states( Notice that there are no turn signal cutouts on the fenders – an almost certain telltale sign that those were race fenders.) thing is when the street or race front fenders were made the parking /turn light light area was cut off and the end cap was welded on than the street fender received the side marker light cut out right in front of the front wheel this is clear the cut out is on the drivers side fender this is why turn signals were than added behind the grill (truck units) on the street cars. As to the trunk lid Holman / moody did not use any Special trunk lids for the race cars they were plain Jane factory units so this could be the Torino’s factory unit with a Spoiler added. Again stamping dates will tell this .. One other thing is the use of Bondo where the header panel is welded to the fenders H/M would have used lead ….look at the fenders of an original Talladega and the area the caps were welded on it will be bubbled up this is from the acid in the lead…Also the bumper would have been filled at the top if from Kar Kraft or H/M…. what does the door tag say as to vin and paint code ? What does a Marti report say as to the bucking time frame of this Torino ?? Than share that with the sheet metal stamping dates of the Talladega fenders….Petty cars had NO paint code on the door tag or build sheets …..I have build sheets for Petty cars.

    I took pictures of a Pres Blue Talladega that was about 45 miles from here …It was an original paint car …. from Arz. the owner took it and had the header welded to the front fenders. The sail panel hash marks …the side marker lights …removed and the rear quarter end caps molded to the rear quarter and than repainted….I have the removed parts ….He wanted the car a true T to have a true Talladega race car look…. thing is the T race header panel was not welded for that matter nor were most of the other race Talladega’s !

  3. Good catch Rick. When I was looking at the close up photo of the driver’s front fender, it does not show a cutout. However, when I went back and looked at the photos that showed more of the car, the cutout does show.

    Regarding the use of fiberglass vs lead, I couldn’t tell which from the photos, but, if the car has been restored/repaired in the past, it is very likely that bondo would have been used instead of lead, as leading is almost a lost art. Even back then, most “back yard body men” – the kind that would have built this car (as I interpreted the story) would have used bondo instead of lead. The car has a lot of bond filler in the pock marked areas, which would not have been original, but, would certainly be likely from a former race car that was “De-Talladegaized” in 1971 to avoid having to use a 305, or smaller engine, due to Bill France’s efforts to eliminate Factory homologation specials that had a huge aero advantage over the non aero cars. I’m guessing that a lot of drivers simply switched front clips to keep running big block race engines (primarily 427 Side Oilers and 429 Boss engines).

    As far as the front bumper goes, it would have been a fairly simple matter to make a “front Talladega bumper” from a factory rear, as long as they didn’t have to create the end caps. (Even that fabrication would not have been terribly difficult.) They would simply have needed to make the required cuts and re-weld the bumper to the correct shape, and send the results to a local chrome shop.

    I’m just amazed that anyone would have gone to the effort to create a Talladega clone back when it would have been so easy to pick up a real one at dirt cheap prices. (Not to mention the fact that most people didn’t even recognize one when they saw it.)

    1. Carl hope you had a nice week-end,

      The question asked “is this a race fender or prototype ?” My answer was given to help find an answer.

      You state “I can’t which from the photo’s ” as to lead or fiberglass… Note Fiberglass is not same as bondo ..than you state “car has a lot of bond filler in the pock marked area’s ” Point is where header panel is welded to fender to make it a one piece front end it was filled with bondo, Now Ford, Holman/Moody and Kar Kraft used lead to fill welds where finished body work was to be done. Just some area’s Ford ..in 1969 look at area as roof meets the rear quarter these were leaded …H/M and K.K. area where end cap is welded to front fender…..so it is clear the making of this one piece front end was done at a later date…so proto type or one piece front end is out ! again sheet metal stamping dates will prove this because Petty cars were built after the T production started.

      As to the words filler panel 1st. the Talladega’s never used what was called a filler panel by Ford or Body Shops the stock Torino/Fairlanes did. My point as story points out the bumper ends were not filled in on the top something H/M or K.K. and even Dearborn steel tubing would have done.

      Now Carl you state ” It would have been fairly simple to make a “front Talladega bumper” . would you please post how to make one. From the Holman/Moody yard sale years ago I have a few rear bumper blanks and have been getting ready to make one . Thanks in advance.

      Now as to your statement “back yard body men ” this term I find mis-leading . I have seen some very fine cars come out of a garage next to or behind some-ones home. the builder may have been a fireman , lawyer or even a insurance sales men… Shoot Carl my shop is in my back yard… Point is some-one built a Torino with a T front end … Petty car posting the vin. number and door tag will show if it is a true Petty car or not ! The pictures show a pieced together front end that has had a lot of Bondo added to it at one time…but to call it a race front end from H/M..or a proto type I need more proof and have not seen it.

      Lead was used by race teams back in the time frame we are talking about here….because in a crash bondo would break off and cover the track with chunks where lead if done right would stick more to the steel ….I have leaded a few repairs my-self and have all the files and paddles thing is the cost of plastic fillers is so much cheaper so a lot of T front fenders are repaired wrong…. than again on a show car it will hold up better than the lead !

  4. Rick,

    Regarding the bumper issue, it is important to have access to a real one in order to get the angles and dimensions correct. However, the original Talladega bumper does not have to be in great shape, nor does it need to be destroyed, as you will be using it to take measurements, not creating a mold. Next, you will need a sacrificial rear bumper. Cuts in the sacrificial bumper can be made with almost any cutting device; however, a plasma cutter would be my tool of choice. Once the appropriate cuts are measured, marked, and made, you should have 3 pieces of bumper that will need to be re-welded (as well as a few scrap pieces). Please note that the critical part is the angle needed for the center weld. Once that is completed, you need to re-weld the two ends (which is where you will have slightly shortened the original rear bumper by removing short sections. Lastly, will be the need to create and weld end caps. These can actually be made from another donor bumper, or possibly from your scraps, although I don’t think that any will actually be large enough. Once all welds have been completed and properly dressed, the bumper will need to be re-chromed. This process appears to duplicate the basic process of what would have been done back in the day to create the original bumpers (although, I have no way of confirming that). If you are careful with your measurements, cuts, and welds, you should wind up with a “new” Talladega bumper that is indistinguishable from a real one, once the re-chroming has been completed.



  5. I almost forgot, all measurements should be taken from the bumper mounting points, as these should remain on the finished product to go back onto a car.

    Also, I really appreciate the pros and cons of leading vs fiberglass filler.

    Thanks, again.

    1. Carl, I have built 3 front T bumpers for other T owners.
      we built a jig from the blue prints for the bumpers I have from Kar Kraft…By putting the to be made bumper in the jig and clamping the 3 sections together they do not move as they are welded…. heat can make metal do funny things…. A bumper blank from Holman /Moody is a 68/69 Torino/Fairlane rear bumper in the factory primer that has never been cut or chromed …..They are very nice to weld as you do not have to grind a lot like on a used one for clean welds….we cut them on a ban saw as you only lose a little metal during the cutting…… I was just interested in how some one else would make a T front bumper….as to leading once you learn to paddle the lead , vixen file it and trim it smooth . Wash it with Baking soda as cleaning a auto battery with baking soda it will clean the acid from the leading….Eastwood has some stuff but I still take a wire brush and clean the leaded area with the Baking Soda….for someone making a bumper the paper templates Carl talks about are a good thing…In our shop we use a lot of poster board making templates…..

  6. The front bumper has the same angle as the grille.The header panel has the same angle also. I made a front bumper by copying an original .I cut 2 1/8″ out on both sides.

    1. We should put this in Talladega bits …..If you lay a stock rear bumper out and tape from the upper/outer bumper bolt hole you will get 68 inches….now using the same holes on a Talladega bumper you will get 63 inches .
      If you use the same top bolt to the first cut on the sides you will have 13 3/4 inches to your side cut lines. On the bolt hole right below this top one you will have 10 1/4 inches to cut line. Now from your angle point you will have the center cut line each side from center cut will be 17 1/2 inches now you will have 4 sections ….you will need to remove metal from the section to make sure each center section is 17 1/2 inches long. Remove from the metal from the ends not cut out for front lic plate. now the best way to get the V effect…is start at the top of your center section and go down the very top about 1/2 inch.. now on each side cut a v a very fine 1/4 inch on a v down to the 1/2 line …in short you will cut 1/4 in at edge and bring it down to your 1/2 inch line…using what Alan states make a template from the header and you will see the cut to get the V effect… weld the 4 sections together and you will have a T or Spoiler II front bumper. The bumper bolt holes we use are the factory bolt holes that the large round bumper bracket use …

      1. It is my plan that all comments from articles and the Forum will eventually “migrate” over to a Restoration page. Currently we are working on a new web site design more friendly to mobile devices so no major changes will take place until that is complete.


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