One sure way to identify a 1969 Ford Talladega is by the Data Plate DSO located on the driver’s door.
Ford states that the “DSO” is short for “Domestic Special Order”. If the car is a regular production vehicle, only the two digit District Code will appear. Most regular cars you see will only have the two digit DSO. There are over 40 two digit DSO codes for Ford and over 20 for Mercury in 1969.
If you look at a Torino that was ordered from the Atlanta area, the DSO would be 21. If the car was ordered out of Chicago, the DSO would be 41. If you look at a Talladega that was ordered or shipped to the Atlanta area it would be 212500 and if it was a Talladega destined for Chicago, the DSO would be 412500.
So, what does the 2500 mean? First off, it tells us the car is a Talladega. But it also tells much more. The purpose of the 2500, is to inform the production line what items need to be deleted and what items need to be added to make the car a Talladega. This is also true of the Mercury Spoiler II but on those cars the four digit code number is “7024” NOT “2500”.
It should be noted that Ford had its own DSO codes, and they were often different from Lincoln-Mercury. Ford of Canada also had its own DSO’s.
Most early Talladega’s had 89 as the first two digits of the DSO because they were special build units. 89 was the DSO used for Transportation Services. The early cars were driven off the assembly line and stored in the holding plant yard. They were later shipped to special dealerships by rail or truck. Talladega’s were in production even before the dealerships were informed the cars existed! Later production Talladega’s were, in most cases, an order from a district office or dealership so those units received a district code.
What Does the 2500 Tell Us?
Thanks to Marty Burke, we have the actual historical documents that explain what makes a Torino a Talladega. Marty has also been more than happy to share historical documents with the rest of us, but these three sheets are monumental. THANK YOU MARTY!
These three sheets tell us what items must me deleted and what items must be added. Also included in the list is the appropriate part number for each item listed.