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I have been in search of Talladega and Spoiler II prototype photos since starting this Registry approximately 10 years ago. There have been one or two Talladega pre-production photos like the one on the Ford brochure but that is all I have ever seen until now. Our friend and long time Talladega expert, John Craft, just sent me four new images I have never seen before. John blieves these were taken inside Ford during development of the Talladega.

There appears to be two different cars in these photos even though they are both white. There are a number of differences from the production car. The two cars in the photos also have different details between them. These may show an evolution of early design vs later design. However, neither concept is the same as the production car.

Let’s take a close look at each photo and see what the differences are. I will point out some of the things I see but what have I missed? Leave a comment if you spot more differences. I am going to leave at least one thing off on purpose, can you spot it? I will tell the ones I didn’t mention at the bottom.

The first thing I spoted on this version is the GT hub caps. Next up is the three hools in the quarter panel right above the body line. Note there is a space for the “T” emblem on the door but no emblem. The white letter tires were replaced with whitewalls on the production version. Note that this version does NOT have a hood scoop.

I only spot one major difference in this image, the “GT” emblem on the rear. However, why do you think it has North Carolina license plates from 1960? This is likely being modified in the Holman Moodys shop in NC. There is one more thing, what is different from production?

This second version is getting very close to production but there are still differences. The car now has a hood scoop and production version hub caps, white wall tires and the emblem on the door. The “T” is on the rear of the car but there are still three things in this photo that are not correct. What are they? I will tell you at the end of the article.

This version has Michigan license plates. I have seen other early pre-production photos showing hood pins but this version does not have them. There are two more items on this version that are not production, what are they?

If you need help, here are the differences not mentioned above.

  • Hood scoop was not production.
  • The trim on the rockerpanels was not production.
  • The production Talladega has chrome exhaust tips.
  • The Talladega has two door mirrors and both are body color, not chrome.


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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One Comment

  1. Hi Richard, concerning the prototype story above, the fender bottom edge between the bumper and the tire looks to be tapered down from front to rear to blend better with the fender bottom line between the tire and the rocker panel. This looks better than the production Talladega fender which has a straight back edge line.
    Thanks, Elmer Thornton

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