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Daytona 1969

Here is a photo I recently saw on Facebook which I just have to share.

It is now one of my favorites. The Fords are all up front in an unusual lineup. It must have been a Ford publicity opportunity. If you look back down the line toward the pits it is difficult to make out all the cars but you can easily spot the Ramo Stott Superbird under the 76 ball. It is now owned by friend Doug Schellinger.

 

Cale is out front. The question is what is he driving? Cale drove a Mercury, right? So, this must be a Spoiler II. Wrong! The Spoiler II and the Boss 429 were not eligible for Nascar until much latter in the year. The required 500 had not yet been built and available to the public. For the 1969 Daytona race and all early superspeedway races all the Mercury and Ford drivers were in 427 powered Ford Talladegas. Rumor have it, that when they did arrive the Spoiler IIs were actually several miles per hour quicker than the Talladega on such tracks. However, because the Talladega was still faster than the Mopars, and Ford Motor Company wanted the Ford brand to win the Championship they insisted all drivers but Cale and LeeRoy stick with the Talladega. If this is true or not I am not sure but David Pearson in his Ford Talladega did win the Championship.

 

Here is another great picture of the Wood Brothers pit crew with the Cale Yarborough car. Take a look behind the wall and compare that with what you see today at a Nascar event.

 

At the 1970 Riverside Raceway previous Wood Brothers Mercury driver Dan Gurney was now in the number 42 Plymouth Superbird which he placed on the pole. It was the first race for the new Superbirds. You can see in this photo that Richard Petty is also back in a Superbird. However, it was AJ Foyt in a Ford Talladega that won the Riverside Motor Trend 500. Obviously, this photo does not show the Fords up front but it still is one of my favorite race shots. Although I was not at this race I was fortunate enough to have season tickets to Riverside many years later. They were in this same location and I have never attended a track I enjoyed more than Riverside. The loss of that race track for just another cheap suburban mall was a real tragedy.
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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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