If you purchased a Spoiler from the man in the middle, you might want to take a second look at you floorboards!
We love the reunion events with on track time. It is terrific to see all those Ford Talladegas and Mercury Cyclone Spoilers/Spoiler IIs out exercising their muscle car powers. As much fun as reunion events are can you imagine what it would have been like back in the day to actually go to the 1969 Daytona 500 right when all the excitement of these cars was unfolding? Well, I recently received an email from a fellow who was there and did just that!
Edward Nance provided the following description and photos to document his excursion into the wild world of 1969 and the aero wars up close and personal.
By Edward Nance:
I actually drove a Cyclone Spoiler (w-nose) to the Daytona 500 (February ’69). My cousin owned a Ford Mercury dealership in Claxton Georgia (McDougall Motors). The agreement with Ford/Mercury was if he bought one, they would give him two tickets to the 500. All the dealers who bought, and drove their cars to the 500 stayed in the Holiday Inns, and drove together in a procession. As I recall, there were ~50 Cyclones or so. I still have the aerial shot in my scrap book. I will try to scan it and post it to your site. There were several interesting memories on the way to the race. The day before, somewhere in north Florida we raced a new Camaro, we kick butt, I let off, she didn’t and few miles down the road, an aircraft got her on radar. Once we checked into the Holiday Inn, had dinner, drove out to the beach. We were run into the loose sand, and got stuck. Before the tow truck could get to us, the tide came in and we had 4 to 6 inches of salt water in the floor. The next morning we had to hose the car out. I’m sure that car didn’t survive. Anyway Cale didn’t win, LeeRoy” Yarbrough did. It was a fun weekend, although I felt really bad about getting the car stuck. My cousin Mac told me not to worry about it, he could sell it anyway. And he did!
Click on this picture to enlarge it and note all the Spoilers lined up in the Holiday Inn parking lot ready to head out to the Daytona 500.
Wouldn’t it be neat if we had the VIN of the Spoiler Ed and his cousin drove to Daytona and stuck in the sand? If it did survive it would have a story to tell for sure. Edward provided the photos you see on this page. Click on them and they will increase in size for better viewing. I had never before heard the story of the short nose, “W” nose, cars making an excursion to the track and taking a lap. However, I have heard rumors regarding such a program with the Spoiler IIs and have seen similar accounts regarding the later GT 500 editions.
If anyone else has similar stories or photos they would like to share I will be very appreciative. Finding any information on the Mercury Spoilers if extremely difficult.
Thank you Edward for sharing!
I am impressed that back in the day the Ford Motor Company would sponsor an on-track event like this at the Daytona 500 but I am even more surprised that they went to the cost of sending up an airplane and photographer to record it! Way to go Ford! That is how you win on Sunday and Sell on Monday; race what YOU build and not some speed shop’s plastic decal covered generic body.
About the Author: Some of my first memories and strongest memories of my childhood relate to cars. I still remember back when things happened based on what car I was drinving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on a unique and rare muscle car. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and their only purpose was to win NASCAR races using their 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 for sure. This site is devoted to them and their owners past and present.