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Update on Black Talladega

Ralph Moody Jr.

Over the years we have provided a few updates on the black Holman and Moody Talladega, VIN 9A46R121300. This car was actually owned by Ralph Moody and was passed down to his son, Ralph Moody, Jr. who is now restoring it. This was not a factory built production line Talladega. It is an “R” code car with the Ram Air system, PS/PB/AC.   It has the standard black interior (bench front and rear), C6 automatic, and all black exterior including the hood! The car was partially converted to a Talladega at Holman Moody. The pop rivets and cut/weld marks where the rockers were removed/replaced on this car to fabricate the Talladega rocker panels are still visible. Ralph Senior told Jr. the body sat on a surface plate at HM for some time as a template car. Eventually, it was assembled/reassembled into a street Talladega. Rumors have it being seen on local streets for years thereafter. It has always remained in the Moody family.

In a recent conversation, Ralph Jr. stated the only thing good about Covid was he was able to be home a lot. As a result, he got restarted on the restoration in 2020. He said the work included repairing a section of the passenger floor pan due to a leaking heater core. A few minor very small rust spots at the bottom of the rear wheel openings were patched. Otherwise, no rust was an issue.

Before restoration started.

The body had been at another shop years ago. Unfortunately, it went into bankruptcy, and he had to retrieve it. If you haven’t had this happen to you, you are very fortunate. It can be an expensive and scary time. Now the car is on a rolling carriage for transport and is on its way to another body shop. He plans to have it back by the first of next year. Most of the small undercarriage & various braces, as well as the rear axle housing, have been painted and on the shelf ready to go back on the car.

The aero support panels for the Talladega front end. This is a great way to understand how it all goes together. Note the turn signal mounts.

All the chrome has been redone, the engine rebuilt and running, and all suspension, steering, A/C, PS, & brake systems rebuilt, All these parts are ready to bolt on.   I expect I should be close by the end of next year, as I have most of the details on the shelf, ready to go back on the car.

Rebuilt differential and brakes.

The engine has a manual bellhousing only for starting the engine on the stand. The transmission is a C6 and is off going out for a rebuild. The engine is the original, but 0.030” over now. A few more cosmetics are planned before it goes into the car. (it’s on a rolling engine stand, the wood is just support for the radiator).

Did you know that Holman Moody manufactured the first 100 Talladega fenders and others built the rest?

The fenders in the paint shop. The front sub-assembly behind the extended nose (with headlight brackets) is complete. The rear end had a large Daytona pinion with 3:00/1 gears with Detroit locker. The gears are getting the final touches to return to the housing, which is already with new axle bearings, seals, and brakes. Leaf springs are original but refurbished, with new friction pads/spring clamps.

Most of the other parts are in about 60 plastic bins on shelves ready to go. As you know, cars take up a lot of space when disassembled.

Will this legendary car be at the 55th Aero Car Anniversary celebration in Talladega? It would be a big draw if it is!

This picture was taken several years ago when John Craft (right) visited Ralph Sr. (left). The Talladega can be seen behind John. Note the hood scoop and hood pins on the prototype Talladega.

Richard

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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