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He did it again at Bonneville! Spoiler II @ 165mph

The great Bonneville Salt Lake Flats were conquered again by one of our Members Spoiler II. Before we tell you about this year’s run we need to refresh your mind and inform those who don’t know about the first run.

Approximately 35 years ago, Member and good friend Lou Whitfield built a custom cruiser Spoiler II for cruising around Southern CA. It was all black with slight modification throughout. It was not an expensive build but Lou builds good cars and is particular about quality. Fast Forward, Lou and wife Erin’s garage was filling up with Cyclones and something had to go. The Spoiler II was sold to another Californian who enjoyed it for several years but he too sold the car to its current owner, Mike Callahan who lives in Ohio.

Mike likes Ford products. He bought the Spoiler II off eBay sight unseen, but the price was right, and he knew he wanted to make some modifications anyway because he wanted to go to Bonneville. Not to watch the land speed challenging streamliners but to race on the salt.

Mike had been to the Salt Flats several times and previously made it into the 135 MPH Club driving a former Jack Roush prepared 1999 Crown Vic. As good as that car was he knew it would never do 150 without major modifications. That is what led him to Lou’s old Spoiler II. Mike knew aerodynamics would be extremely important at the 150mph target he had set for himself. An Aero Car was perfect.

With a few modifications, Mike drove the Spoiler II all the way to Bonneville, got into the 150mph Club and then drove the car back to Ohio! That was two years ago. The Bonneville itch came back and the Spoiler II was still there to scratch the itch.

He did it again! Two years ago, all he did was drive the Spoiler to Bonneville and, after only inflating my tires, ran 154mph. At that time, he also had a lot of heat/gas vapor lock issues on the drive out. Before trying this adventure again, he upgraded the cooling, fuel and exhaust systems.

He also came up with a plan to try to increase his speed. Modifications such as open exhaust and aero changes were made to the car. After overcoming new exhaust pipe and clutch linkage problems on his most recent trip, he finally arrived on the Salt.

He passed tech, got half a tank of 100 octane unleaded race gas, opened the exhaust, switched front tires and did the aero changes and he was ready to run.

With his fire suit on, helmet on and shifting gears at 5000rpm, the little 351 Cleveland sounded good and was pulling strong going thru the final timing light at 6000rpm. The result? 165mph on salt!!!! The second run backed it up at 164mph.

Obviously, the car had good aero and was very stable at speed. The drivetrain consists of a stock short block, stock iron heads, flat tappet hydraulic cam, 750 vacuum secondary carb, air gap intake, Hooker headers, wide ratio 4 speed top loader, and 2:75 Detroit Locker. Also use were a 4 core aluminum radiator with 2 electric fans, 120a one wire alternator, a high flow aluminum water pump, 1 and 1/2 inch Gilmer cog drive belt system. These upgrades and relocating the battery to trunk lightened the front up 100 lbs to better balance the car.
Fuel upgrades included: fuel return line from mechanical fuel pump, and gas filter to gas tank.     For the exhaust upgrades: headers ceramic coated, manual cut outs, plus O2 sensors and air/fuel gauge to adjust and monitor carburetor.


What could he do to improve on the already slippery Spoiler II body? Mike removed windshield wiper arms, side mirrors and added a belly pan from the core support back to the oil pan. In addition he added a 100% block off plate to the front bumper license plate hole, raised the back of hood one inch to allow air to escape, then swapped tires to M/T drag front tires with moon disc.

The car was driven 1800 miles to Bonneville and ran 165 on salt. “The little Cleveland that could.“



Who wants to try for the 200mph club in a 428cj Talladega?


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. I put that car together close to 40 years ago. Looks like that re-ringed and bearinged motor is holding up well, especially the $15.00 crank and bearing kit. You read that right,$15.00.
    That engine is basically a low buck hydraulic cammed Boss 351, the cam being just ‘half a step” hotter.

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