There are lots of rumors about Ford never building 750 +- Talladegas. However, no one has ever provided any real evidence other than “he said, they said” types of statements. The stories make for good conversation but that is about all. The only “evidence/paperwork” that is available suggests that approximately 750 Talladegas were built including production cars, pilot cars and prototypes/specials.
When the question gets to how many are left the answer is again not definitive. We can tell you how many cars are in our Registry and how many have been reported to us but not registered.
That does not give us even a small clue as to how many are out there in fields, barns and garages that have been hidden for decades? We are still getting cars registered to our web site on a regular basis and there are cars still being found and reported. We will likely never find every single car out there.
Here is what we can tell you. As of the 24th of April 2017 we have Registered 127 Talladega cars. We have had confirmation of 18 additional cars for a total of 145, but wait there is more! Of the cars Registered and confirmed several of these were reported to be in junkyards or other wise destroyed. This includes 3 Registered cars and approximately 5 of the others. This would make our best estimate of how many cars have been documented to still exist at 137. I should also mention that many of the Registered cars are also in very rough condition and in need of major restoration/repairs to ever be driven again.
One figure I have heard is that the average survival rate after 40 too 50 years of collector cars is 20% of the original production run. With approximately 750 Talladega Aero Cars built we would expect to see approximately 150 cars survive. That fits very well with what we have documented.
Just for kicks I looked at how many Talladegas have been Registered in the first half of production VINs and how many in the second half. I found that there were 70 Registered cars and 7 non Registered cars in the first half and 57 Registered cars and 13 non Registered. This is very close to a 50-50 ratio suggesting that there were approximately 750 built.
It is very important that you not only Register your Talladega but provide us with any Talladega VIN that you happen to find at a car show, for sale on eBay or you find in a junkyard.
Later I will take a look at the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler and Spoiler II cars.