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Best In Show Talladega

Victory Circle

I am sure this story will resonate with many of you Talladega owners. John Wayne Stowe owns Talladega #556 in our Registry. He completed the restoration of the car only to find that when he took it out to shows. Like most of us, it got little attention because no one knows exactly what they are. I know our own white Talladega gets called a “Charger” more times than not! However, once they hear the story, they usually get very excited and ask lots of questions.

Well, John finally got payback for all those shows when no one looked twice at his rare and well restored pride and joy. Here is what the Independent Tribune E-Edition out of Hickory NC had to say:

“Concord native John Wayne Stowe and his 1969 Ford Torino Talladega took home the Walt Hollifield Best of Show title and a one-of-a-kind custom trophy from Cold Hard Art as the fall AutoFair wrapped up at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Stowe is no stranger to Charlotte Motor Speedway, having attended races at the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway since the mid-1960s. For a time, he even lived on the property with legendary NASCAR mechanic Harry Hyde. But in all those years, Stowe said he never imagined seeing himself in Victory Lane, his car crowned king of the world’s largest auto extravaganza.

While the Torino Talladega is a rare find — by Stowe’s count, only 742 were ever built, and only about 90 remain today — it always held a special place in his heart.

“I’ve been in racing most of my life,” Stowe said. “I’ve seen Richard Petty and David Pearson drive the same car. My dad had one, so I wanted one, but thought I’d never get one. A guy down in Atlanta called me and told me he had one. I went down there the next day to get it, sight unseen.

“It was in a bucket. I paid $7,500 for it. I did the whole restoration myself — the motor, the transmission, the whole works.”

Despite years of meticulous work to bring the car back to its former glory, Stowe was stunned to win the Charlotte AutoFair’s most prestigious award.

“I’ve taken it to car shows all over the place, but it’s never won anything because people don’t know what it is. The car never wins. When you get the Best of Show, it really just turns your stomach and your nerves. It felt like a NASCAR win.”

The one-of-a-kind trophy, which stands nearly 4 feet tall, was constructed on-site during the three-day AutoFair weekend using parts found throughout the show’s expansive vendor areas by fabricator, artist and gearhead Thomas Patsis from Cold Hard Art.”

Taking our cars out, having them be seen, and educating the general car guys about these terrific rare cars is what our purpose for this site is. Keep on keeping on!


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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