What is it?

Every once in awhile I get some really strange questions. A few times I even know the answer but I often have to reach out to others for help. That is what I am doing today. I recently received an email from Karen Looney in Florida. She had come into possession of original vellum drawings from 1969 Ford Motor Company Advanced Production Development that appear to have been drawn while Larry Shinoda was at Ford in 1969. The drawings are 2D and isometrics  studies, masters, proposals  and casting patterns for roof louvers, stanchions and spoiler mountings. In the “Louver Hold-down Proposal”, the draftsman notes on the drawing: “No. per vehicle: one (as per Shinoda)”. She has sent images to Ford Archives and they have confirmed that they appeared to be authentic but could provide no other information. See response below.

Letter

I have looked the drawings over and believe they might be part of the design for the 1970 King Cobra and Spoiler II prototypes. However, I have never even heard a rumor about what I am about to show you. I have used my limited detective skills to reach this conclusion but what do you think? What is it?

First off here is a photo of Steve Honnel’s King Cobra and a detail of a 1970 Torino. Note the shape of the rear side window silhouette.

King Cobra

This is the King Cobra.

Rear side window of a 1970 Torino with rear window shade.

Rear side window of a 1970 Torino with rear window shade.

 

ShadeSpoiler (Medium)

Note the similarity of the side window treatment in this drawing. NOW, look at the rear of the window shade. What is it? It’s a SPOILER built into the shade! Have you ever seen or heard of this concept before?

ShadeSpoiler2 (Medium)

This is a close up of the spoiler part. The date on this image is dated 2-20-69. This seems to be about right for design of the 70 King Cobra/Spoiler II. Below are some more details found on the drawings.

ShadeSpoier5 (Medium)

ShadeSpoiler3 (Medium)ShadeSpoiler6 (Medium) ShadeSpoiler7 (Medium) ShadeSpoiler8 (Medium)

So far there has been no indication as to what model these images may have been for other than the one side sketch. However, on the drawing above there is clear reference to “Montego”! The other detail clearly states “Advanced Product Development”!

ShadeSpoiler9 (Medium)

Want more? How about this writing on the envelop the drawings were found in?

Envelope

Could this suggest that the “King Cobra” name was for design purposes and the 1970 NASCAR bodied was intended to carry over the Talladega name?

We all know that the King Cobra/Spoiler II project development was killed when Ford pulled out of racing. Most of us have also read that the King Cobra test cars turned out to be light in the rear end at speed. The aerodynamic nose design provided plenty of down force for the front end but nearing 200 mph the rear wanted to lift. The Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbirds obviously solved this problem with huge rear wings. As well as the wings worked they were a bit of over kill for the street. They are desired today but in 1969 & 1970 those tall wings were a bit cartoonish and open to a lot of ridicule.

Could Ford and Mercury have been planning a rear spoiler built into the rear window shade? Would this Shade have run down to the end of the trunk? This design would have been really trick and sophisticated. As anyone ever heard or seen reference to something like this before? If so please let me know at rfleener@comcast.net.

What do you think? What is it?

 

 

Filed Under: FeaturedFord TalladegaHistorical Paperwork and MemosMercury Spoiler IIPrototypes

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About the Author: 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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  1. Rick Ochs says:

    These Drawing are plans for a built in Spoiler for the Boss 429 Mustang program that would also be used on the Talladega and the Spoiler II’s. They are a Kool Find !
    Ford was putting longer than stock front ends on the T’s ,Spoiler II’s re-rolling rocker panels and shoe horn-ing 429 Shot Gun motors in the 69 1/2 and 70 Mustangs. The problem with this and the soon to be King Cobra that in some Ford Motor Paper work was refer ed to as (70) Talladega’s (Look at the 70 color chips I sent to this site.) is that the Fed’s were making Ford go to a lot of cost in crash testing , cooling test’s ect. to make sure they passed and met Fed requirements. one of the many test’s Ford had to do on Talladega’s ,was test the rear view of the inside rear mirror from the driver’s view as to out the back window, this was also done on the 69 1/2 Boss 429 Mustang . Spoiler II’s were not crash tested as the floor pans as to re-rolled rockers were same as the Talladega’s as many other test were not made on the Spoiler II’s. Getting the Sport Slats on the car’s was a real test for Ford thus the Spoiler Built in slats never made it into production.(as to built in Spoiler)The Sport Slats were also picked up by a few after market company’s and sold by Speed Shops. If you study the pictures of the drawing dated 2-20-69 you will see by the Quarter lines , size of the deck lid that these were drawings as to a Mustang. The Feds Made Ford test these cars to the point that it became unreal a Boss Mustang set at curb height at 24.38 to the ground to head light due to Heavier front springs …this was .38 inches higher than the 24.00 minimum. Not only are the Talladega’s Spoiler II’s as well as the Boss 429 Mustangs and King Cobra’s and King Spoiler very special Car’s But Ford was put to the test in many area’s to make them and sell them to the general public !

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