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Talladega Hood Pins from the Factory?

Urban Legend?

It seems that every time two or more Talladega owners get together there is one topic that will eventually come up; “Did any Talladegas ever come from the factory with hood pins?” This is usually preceded by one of the owners saying a friend of his has a Talladega with hood pins and a Marti Report confirming it!

To be clear, this article response to the question only applies to the regular Production Talladega cars not the Prototype or Pilot cars. So, did any Production Talladegas come from the factory with hood pins?

We are going to try and answer that question once and for all right now!

This is a difficult question because numerous Talladega Marti Reports have been seen that state “Hood Pins” under the options list and some that state “Hood Pins (Delete Mustang) “. This would seem to be perfectly clean and proof that some production Talladegas came with hood pins. I have personally seen numerous Ford 999 Reports stating that particular Talladegas came with hood pins. I have also received three 999 Reports stating my three Talladegas were Mustangs! Obviously, they were not and I am equally sure that none of the three ever had hood pins.

Note: the letter above is from Ford. It was sent to me regarding my Talladega (see Talladega Registry for VIN) and clearly shows that they tell me the car is a MUSTANG! They did this with for the VIN of 3 other Talladegas I owned at the same time.)

What’s correct?

1. The car’s Build Sheet; this is the sheet that goes with a car as it goes down the assembly line while it is being built at the Ford plant. The Build Sheet tells assembly line workers what items to put on a car and what components not to put on a car as it is being built.

2. The Factory Invoice; this is the Invoice the Ford Plant Office sent to the selling dealership. This is the record that stated what options the car had on it; what the dealer was going to pay Ford for the car and what the dealership’s retail price for the car would be when it got to the dealership; plus a few other good bits of information.

3. The retail buyer’s Sales Agreement; this is the paper work the original buyer received when the retail sale was completed. It is the sales agreement to purchase the car for a specified price new. It usually included the allocated price for any trade in and additional charges for dealer installed options or accessories. (An original owner may swear that his Talladega came new from the dealer with hood pins and he could be correct. However, it must be documented. It is possible for a Talladega to have left the dealership with hood pins as a dealer installed option. This must be documented with the original sales invoice from the dealer.)

4. Marti Report; For Ford owners of specific years and models, the “Marti Report” is the accepted “Bible” of how the car was originally assembled.

For the Talladega you may find a Build Sheet under the back seat, in the back of the front seat, under the front seat or under the carpet but it can be almost anywhere.

First, look at your Build Sheet for your Talladega (see Example 1). Go to line “E” on the Build Sheet; now go over to line or box “38”. You will see in this example the code E-38; this is for “Hood Lock Pins”. You will see the box has no mark or “X” in it.

You can click on the images below to enlarge them several time.

Second, look at a copy of the factory Talladega invoice. You will not see anything about hood pins.

Next, review the Marti Report for your Talladega and it will seldom list “Hood Pins” but some have been known to have “Hood Pins” listed as an option.

What is the Best Documentation?

Take a good hard look at any Talladega and you will find holes in the radiator core support for hood pins; See Picture 1 below. There are even some Talladegas with hood pins. There are plenty of publicity photos from back in the day that show pre-production Talladegas with hood scoops and hood pins. This is still not evidence that some production Talladegas had ram air or hood pins?

Here are the Facts?:

  1. Early photos of Talladegas were all based on Prototypes some of which had hood pins and ram air. This is not uncommon. Look at most dealer brochures or early magazine articles from that time period and you will find numerous detail discrepancies from the cars that were actually available in the show rooms (this is true of all cars and not just Talladegas).
  2. All Production Talladegas were built on Body Code 46, better known as the Torino Cobra platform. Standard equipment on a 1969 Torino Cobra included locking hood pins; see Example 2 of the Build Sheets. (Note this is a copy of a build sheet for a 1969 Torino Cobra and not a Talladega.) Look at line E box 38 and you will see an X in the Box for Hood pins. Why? Hood pins were standard equipment on the Torino Cobra but NOT the Talladega.
  3. Now, if the Talladegas were built on the Torino Cobra platform why is the Build Sheet not marked on the Talladegas for hood pins? This is where the gray area comes in. Before Ford started the production run of the Ford Torino Talladega they put together a manual called the 2500. This manual listed the standard parts that were to be installed to modify a Torino Cobra Body Code 46 into what we know today as the Talladega. The 2500 Manual also listed things to remove from the Torino Cobra when a unit or car was being built into a Talladega. One of the items to be removed from the Torino Cobra as it was becoming a Talladega at the Atlanta plant was the “Hood Pins”. Yes, the factory was told not to put hood pins on units that were being converted into Talladega’s . Could the assembly line worker made a mistake and install hood pins on a Talladega? No, see the next paragraph.

You can click on the images below to enlarge them several time.

To summarize, you have an item that was standard equipment on the 1969 Torino Cobra to “not be installed” by the Ford factory when the car was being built as a Talladega. Review of EVERY Talladega built documents there is not one Production Factory Invoice that shows hood pins were installed at the Factory! Even if an assembly line worker had made a mistake the Build Sheet would reflect that mistake.

What about the Marti Report?

The Marti Reports may say: “Your car was built with the following options.” and it lists “Hood Pins”. A seller may try to convince you his car is one of those very rare “urban legends”  Talladegas with hood pins. Others will tell you the Marti Report is the “Bible” of how Fords were built. However, just like Ford’s own information, they sometimes have mistakes. At least some Talladega Marti Reports also show that Ford built 750 Talladegas. However, our master list of Talladega VINs show a total of 736. An additional 2 Talladegas have been documented with the possibility of a 3rd yet to be documented Talladega found. So what is the real number, Ford’s, Marti Report’s or the Registry’s? We will likely never know for sure.

The key word here is “options”. The Talladega had no options. (The could be had in one of three colors but this is not an option since there was no “standard color”.) To repeat, the Talladega’s were NOT built and shipped from the factory with hood pins! This is documented up by the Build Sheets and the Invoices.

Picture 1 – Factory Holes for Hood Pins

Picture 2 – Factory Style Hood Pin (Shown on Spoiler)

To the best of our knowledge the Marti Report information comes from the factory warranty information that the selling dealer sent back to Ford. Ford needed this information for its records. This data included the original buyer’s name which was needed for reimbursement to any dealer completing future warranty work on the car. Today, this data still includes the original owners’ names. However, neither Ford nor Kevin Marti can, by law, release that information regarding the first owner.

For example, on a 999 Ford Report, if the researcher saw a “Q” in the VIN they might jump to the conclusion that it is a 428 CJ Mustang (see copy of letter above.) or if they see a “46 Body Code” they might assume it is a Torino Cobra and just list the option package for a Cobra not understanding the “Talladega 2500 factor” and taking the time to go to the next step in completing more thorough research.

In conclusion, no Production Talladega ever received Hood Pin’s before leaving the Atlanta Plant.


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. Richard, I’m not sure that I can agree that this puts the question to rest. While some of the information in the Ford Production Database that Kevin Marti uses undoubtedly came back to Ford from the dealer (such as the name of the buyer and the retail sale date), much of it is consolidated information from other Ford databases. It is my understanding that part of the database is from the data used to generate the build order (including generating the build sheet and setting a scheduled build date). The main thing that the dealer would be reporting back to Ford would be the retail sale date and the name of the buyer (in order to comply with Federal law). While it is possible that the dealer might report dealer installed accessories, I find that hard to believe.

    See http://mustangmonthly.automotive.com/83365/mump-0808-1967-to-1979-mustang-resource-the-marti-report/index.html While this Mustang Monthly article does not really directly address this issue, it does includes many clues about the origin of the database.

    Any info on a 999 is suspect.

  2. Halowe,

    As the story points out if the car or unit coming down the line was to get hood pin’s it would so be marked on the build sheet so the line worker would know to put them on said unit. The build sheet has all the put ons and leave off’s printed on it. I have yet to see a Talladega build sheet (true copy ) that showed “Hood Pins ” to be installed. Now also the Ford order for the building of the Talladega’s states to “Delete Hood Pin’s”…… The point of the study was…Did they come from the factory on Talladega’s …The answer is NO ! There is no factory paper work that shows Talladega’s (production cars) came with the Hood Pins put on at the Factory ! And to back this up a bit more…. Mr. R. McCloud who work on the Talladega project back in 1969 for Ford stated in short…The Talladega project was watched by the plant and mistakes did not take place…. If I get a true copy of a T build sheet and it is marked X for hood pins than I guess I am wrong….but to date not one have I seen.

    Rick Ochs.

  3. I would think for the Talladega to have hood pins they would have to be a different part because the lanyard would need to be longer to fit the extended nose. What are your thoughts on this.
    Thanks Rob Hunt

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