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What Are You Working ON? Frank Durso

If you follow this site regularly you have heard of Frank Durso before. He must have a four leaf clover embedded in his hip. He has a real knack for finding and acquiring some very desirable and rare stuff. It all started when he located a rough Talladega and went wild from there. He came across a pair of Boss 429 engines, and a vintage NASCAR front clip just to mention a few items. His goal is to assemble a vintage style Talladega race car. Here is what Frank is working on now and what new find he has made.

Here are a two shots of his NASCAR chassis from the 67 Fairlane John Rosaiti Drove. He is going to use it to make the Talladega Boss 429 project.

Yes it’s still moving forward!!
To date, he has the front hubs and brakes as well as a NOS brass Radiator, 4 H&M rims, a strong 4-speed, but still need a floater rear ! ( anybody got one lying around? If you know of one get in touch with Frank!

The seat belt detractor is out of a helicopter. He is not sure which one but he is sure someone does!

In his message Frank also added a compliment on the web site which we always appreciate. In addition, he stated that he hopes to see everyone this year at the 50th anniversary of the speedway! (He just has to get the car done!)


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. Interesting project. For clarification, the car being restored was, apparently, a sportsman chassis as it rolls on a 1958-1964 style Galaxie “Cow Belly” frame (so called because the mid section of the frame swells out…when observed from above) like a cow’s belly). That was a common set up for sportsman cars in the 60s as the big Galaxie frame was very rigid and a lot easier to work with for the non-pro teams that made up that under-card series. And it was legal for modified cars in the day as were other mixing and matching frame/body/engine combinations. But that set up would not have been legal for Grand National competition. During factory backed, GN (premier series) days, real Talladegas were built from stock Torino Unit Bodies that had been fitted (legally under NASCAR rules beginning in late 1966) a highly modified and narrowed 1965-1966 Galaxie frame snout from the firewall forward. That snout was tied into the rest of the unit construction chassis via tubular steel bars running inside the rocker panels and the roll cage which also tied the snout to the rest of the car and connected with the stock stamped rear Torino unit body frame rails.

  2. Thanks John,
    You are (as usual) correct, this chassis was from a Nascar “North” car and the chassis is definitely different from the GN style, (I should have clarified this better)… I am using some of the dimensions from the roll cage of the Rosaiti chassis to build the one in the Talladega.
    I am NOT cutting up or using any part of the Rosaiti chassis so everyone relax!!!
    It is only for informational purposes that I bought the car…that and its cool as it can be.
    (the next project)

    For the Talladega I will be utilizing the front clip I have …(taken from a Cyclone of unknown origin) then stuff that big old Boss 9 under the hood (after I do some pushing and pulling on the firewall)…motor is a tad …Big.

    When I first said I was going to do this I said I needed my head examined…I’d like to reaffirm that condition is ever present from the constant banging of my head on the concrete.
    Finding parts is darn near impossible,drawings are vague at best with no dimensions and or directions except from pictures and yet I find it still in my shop slowly getting done…yep must be a little crazy or thank god for good beer.(some of both)

    Thankfully guys like yourself and Rich Turner are around to guide me as I build this little monster, Richard has been a constant source of help (and patience) I wish I know half of what he has forgotten to be 1/10 as proficient.
    John your articles and Pictures are a HUGE help as is the help from so many others.

    Keep your Fingers crossed I get this done in time for Talladega!
    any info on building or tips are always appreciated…and parts goodness know I still need a lot of stuff!!

    Warm regards,

  3. Looks like it will be way cool when done. Are you going to take it out on the track? Let me know if you need any info/dimensions etc. FYI, the Boss 429s were set *way back* in the chassis. So much that the front axle center line ran through the middle of #5. They were so far back that you can actually use a Mustang/Torino length Top Loader (instead of the long tail shaft Galaxie T&Cs used in other half chassis cars) and still have the shifter correctly register with the tranny tunnel hole. My tribute SII was just about 50/50 weight distribution with only 80 or so pounds of weight behind the driver.

  4. John,
    I can always use help!!
    and heck yes I want to take it out on the track!!
    The goal is to get it as close to real as possible by the time of the reunion and continue to build even afterwards to perfection.
    dimensions …OMG yes I need all I can get for reference! I’ve been taking old pictures and scaling them as much as I can …
    your article on the GN cars was a HUGE help!!

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