These are the Official Definitions for this web site. If you have any comments or questions please post them at the bottom of this page or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These definitions are provided as a means of classifying all of the cars referred to as “Talladega” cars on this site. Since only a portion of the total number of cars we refer to as Talladegas were actually produced on the Ford Factory Assembly Line as production cars destined for customer purchase; the following definitions have been selected to assist the reader in understanding the individual cars within the total group of cars referred to as “Talladega”.
As of 4/26/2017
It is the belief of this web site that the terms bantered about regarding our cars may have caused some confusion over the years. I am as guilty of this as anyone. I believe it is important that we all agree on what these words mean before we can begin to apply them to our cars. Regardless of how a car is defined it remains a Talladega. These definitions are used on this site when discussing our cars. Doing so will allow all us to be “on the same page” when talking about a particular car. If you have suggestions or recommendations on how to improve these definitions, by all means please suggest them. If we find it necessary to amend the definitions in the future we will certainly do so.
For the purpose of these definitions and to be consistent with other data outside this Registry we will begin with the premise that approximately Talladegas were produced, as stated by Marti Reports. (We are not saying this number is correct or incorrect but it is the number the Marti Report uses) We will also start with the idea that only a Talladega documented as such by a Marti Report can be included in that 750 total. (Before everyone blows up at me, let me add that part of this exercise is to identify those rare cars that were built as Talladegas but may not have a Marti Report to verify them. These may be cars that are included in some of the definitions below. I believe that unless we make this conclusion there is no way to ultimately determine the total number of Talladegas. We may or may not conclude at the end of this process that 750 cars is an accurate number. The 750 may be dead on, too high or too low depending on what we count as being included as a Talladega. This is not intended to “de-Talladega” anyone’s’ car, just an attempt to accurately classify and count them. Remember, this is a starting point and process, not a conclusion!) Very shortly, we will be assigning every know VIN and Car to one of the Definition Categories below.
These definitions apply to Registration Forms and listings in the For Sale and Sold Prices page.
Number 1 Condition (Excellent):
These are what are affectionately referred to as “trailer queens.” They’re not driven, and are transported via trailer from show to show to accumulate trophies. These can also be museum pieces. They are either a “body off” restoration, or an untouched, factory original that is very close to perfect. All components are either original or appear as new and are fully operational. This car is a top show winner and is not driven, but transported to shows by trailer. The vehicle is completely detailed, including the engine compartment, interior trim, wiring, suspension, paint and frame. Ideally, this vehicle has been judged with other vehicles in its class and achieved the highest point ratings. We won’t post any photographs for this class of vehicle. Simply put, they have to be perfect. If there’s one spec of rust, one dent or ding, one leaky hose, then you’re not looking at a number 1 condition car.
Number 2 Condition (Very Good):
This car is well restored with an eye for detail, or is a well preserved original, possibly with such low mileage that it remains in showroom condition. The interior and exterior show well, and it runs and rides smoothly. This class is a slight grade below Class One. A Class Two has not been detailed to the extent that a Class One has been. It is considered “cherry” or “mint”. This vehicle might appear as a Class One until judged against one. It would not qualify as a 95 or better “point” vehicle. Although a Class Two might be driven sparingly it should show no signs of being driven. (Clean underneath, absolutely no rust anywhere.)
Number 3 Condition (Good):
This is a functional, drivable vehicle in good overall condition needing no, or only minor, work. Most vehicles at car shows reflect this condition. This car is what is termed a “10 footer”. From 10 feet, it may look very good. Close inspection, however, would reveal some imperfections in the paint (faded paint, tiny nicks, swirls from buffing, but not much of this), worn interior trim, dirty undercarriage or dirty engine compartment. You may even see some early evidence that surface rust is beginning in the body panels or on the underside of the car (but not much.) This car is completely operational and could be termed an “older restoration”. It is driven fairly often, runs great, and is enjoyed by its owner. The undercarriage may display limited amounts of surface rust, and may be in need of detailing. Chrome and trim may be less than show quality.
Class Four (Fair):
This type of car is a fun “driver” with a solid frame and is structurally sound. This car is in need of considerable work. It needs work in and out. Cosmetics, body, and mechanical components may need work. It is not a serious collector candidate, though a restoration could result in a higher condition class. Soft floors, isolated areas where rust has eaten through (but not structural), excessive use of Bondo, lots of pitted chrome, glass repairs are symptoms of this condition. Badly soiled headliners, badly soiled and ripped upholstery, rusted out trunks are also signs.
Number 5 Condition (Poor):
This type of car is in need of complete restoration and may not even be able to be driven. The exterior body panels have significant areas of rust-through. The floor and structural components may not be intact. Many may decide to make a car like this their first attempt at a restoration.
Number 6 Condition (Parts Car):
This type of car is good for parts only. These are the rusted hulks that populate the nearest junkyard, their weathered steel bones often being the only thing left to remind us what they once were.
This may or may not have begun life as an actual production car. Its VIN and Data plate may or may not support its final configuration. A Concept Car starts as a sketch of “what might be” and then evolves into physical Concept Cars or parts. It is in this stage of development that different design approaches are tested and evaluated. A Concept Car may be built on a previous year of manufacture platform or may built out of clay. It may not even be a functioning, drivable vehicle. This is a styling exercise. Remember the aero cars were not put into production until mid-year. Today we would call these 1969 1/2 models. That being said, with the Talladega and Spoiler II some of the Concepts, Mules and Prototypes could have been built on 1969 platforms.
After a design Concept has been agreed upon by designers and management it is important to test how this new “Concept” might function in the real world. For the 1969 Ford Talladega this would likely have included wind tunnel tests and possibly road tests for cooling purposes. For the Talladega/Spoiler II run some of the Concept Cars and Prototypes may have also functioned as Mules.
At this point in development of the ultimate vehicle the design and engineering team build a Prototype of what might become an actual production car. Prototypes may also be Mules where final designs are again tested. These cars might be used for early press release photos, crash testing, car shows or other similar activities.
A Pilot car is one that is assembled on the production line for the purpose of refining and correcting any production issues or procedures on the assembly line. These cars will normally not be available to the public for retail purchase. They are often kept in-house for corporate use and testing. However, some of the Talladega Pilot cars were sold to retail buyers.
This is the most simple definition. These cars are the regular Production cars that were built on the assembly line for retail sale to customers. Some of these cars may have been diverted to regional sales offices for promotional use or used by corporate executives for short periods of time.
Show Car or One Off Production Car:
These cars are a little more difficult to explain because they may overlap with any of the other definitions. These are cars built for a special purpose to promote the brand or model. They may also be built to special specifications for a VIP within Ford or celebrity outside of Ford. For the purpose of making these definitions more specific to the Ford and Mercury Aero Cars we will define a Show Car or One Off Car as one built after the Prototypes. That means the Show Cars or One Off Cars were built by Ford or one of its sub-contractors for promotional purposes.
This definition will limit itself to the professional level of racing. We all know there were Talladega/Spoiler II race cars in 1969-1971. At this time we do not believe any professional level of race cars were built from factory produced Talladegas or Spoiler IIs. All such cars were built on professional race team chassis using factory or factory style sheet metal. This definition excludes drag racing cars; we have no knowledge of professional teams using a factory car but would sure like to see any evidence proving otherwise. It is also understood that certainly some armature racers on both circle tracks and drag strips may have used production Talladega/Spoiler II bodies for racing.