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Back In The Day Photos

Here is Mike back in the day in a really great Talladega. I love this color!
Here is Mike back in the day in a really great Talladega. I love this color!

I am old enough to remember when our Aero Cars were new and when they were just used cars. In those days modifying your car was not only easy it was required if you were going to be cool. There were the group of guys (and gals)  who were happy with the way the cars performed but wanted them to look better. Then there the ones who didn’t care what they looked like but wanted to be the fastest car in town. The third group were the “sleepers”. They would put 302 badges on there 428 CJ cars, take the trim rings off and just leave the hup caps and maybe even turn the tires around to hide the white letters or white walls and then go hunting for unsuspecting victims on the street. 

Recently, Bret Atkins the son of Mike Atkins from here in TN stopped by our house to talk cars. As the time flew by and he was about to leave he pulled out some old photos of Mike and just a couple of his cars from Back In The Day. He had three duplicates so he left them with me.

For those who don’t know Mike Atkins you are missing a treat. Mike has been buying (and rarely ever selling) the Aero Cars (Ford and Mopar) since they were new. None of his cars are trailer queens they are/were always driven and some are not original. It is not unusual for Mike to hop into a Talladega and drive it a couple of hundred miles to an event. Bret said he used to drive a Spoiler II out into the field to check on cattle!

This is a load of Aero Cars that Mike was taking home from back in the day.
This is a photo from Back in the Day of a load of Aero Cars that Mike had just purchased and was taking home.

I have included the photo Bret left for me and I hope the rest of you will look back in your drawers and digital files to see what old Aero Car photos you might have. I know I have some more I will pull out from time to time. Original, wrecked, modified or whatever is fine as long as they are over 20 years old! Let’s see your photos.

Send them to rfleener@comcast.net with a description and a date if you have one.

Here is a Cale Spoiler and Dan Spoiler II that belong to Mike on the back roads near his TN home.
Here is a Cale Spoiler and Dan Spoiler II that belong to Mike on the back roads near his TN home.

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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4 Comments

  1. Ah I remember that car well. Built by Steve Stafferi of Philadelphia and street raced in the area.
    Steve called the car Emerald City. Steve took me out for a ride before he sold his collection to Mike. Wicked fast car.
    Marty

    1. I have several trim pieces on my blue Talladega that came from Steve. Also, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to purchase one of Mike’s Talladega’s – my white one. If anyone ever gets the chance (and the invitation), you really need to visit with Mike Atkins and check out his collection of cars and memorabilia from the aero wars. Mike has several examples of each of the 5 aerocars in various states of condition. He has original untouched cars (although most of those are somewhat rough) and he has fully restored cars, as well as customized ones such as his Emerald Green car, which I have been fortunate enough to see on several occasions. (Yes, it is a very cool car, and it looks just as good in person as it does in the above photo.) Mike’s son told me that this car is Mike’s favorite; although, I think that whichever car Mike happens to be driving at the moment is probably his favorite…) Mike is also a wealth of knowledge about the cars and the teams from back in the day. I’m thrilled to see this article and its photos. Great job!

  2. I really like the way the green car looks! I know most people that have these cars prefer them original. But if I ran across that car today I would be in no hurry to put it back stock.

  3. Oh ya Steve Stafferi, Back in the mid 80’s we were in Philadelphia to pick up a Talladega and we met at Stafferi’s….This was before Mr.Atkins bought Stafferi’s collection. We saw the green Talladega and his other Talladega’s along with his Spoiler II….He had a add in Hemming’s and Stafferi was asking 50 K for the whole collection and they were all complete driving Talladega’s…..He had Cobra Jet motors under a bench…Muscle Parts Clocks it was a Talladega/Spoiler II lovers dream home and garage…..I still have the add and it was for 4 Talladega’s and one Dan G Spoiler II Plus a ton or more of parts……Mr.Atkins made a great buy….just think 50K is just one nice driver T ….today !!!!

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