1969 Cyclone Spoiler II Rocker Panels

Here is a graphic representation of the modifications to the Talladega and Spoiler II rocker panels.

One of the most overlooked factory modifications to the 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II and Ford Talladega is the rocker panels. You have to be a real 1969 Ford Company Areo Car fanatic to know about these. Even then it takes a sharp eye to see the difference between the rocker panels of a none aero car and a Talladega or Spoiler II.

The Mopar Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbird had some very radical modifications and add ons but even those cars did not have the modified rocker panels.

Because the Mopar cars focused so heavily on aerodynamics they overlooked the advantage of the lowered rocker panel. A lower profile not only provides less wind resistance but also, just as importantly, it allowed for race teams to lower the Ford products by one inch thus reducing the overall center of gravity. This provided the added advantage of better handling.

 

This Dan Gurney is a Spoiler II rocker panel.

Here is a close up of the Spoiler II rocker.

Chris Vic proves us with a detailed description of how this was accomplished. These were made on the assembly line with parts previously modified and put on the factory shelf. As a Spoiler II or Talladega was being built these unique parts were substituted for the more “mundane” and standard Ford Cobra parts.

This Cale Yarborough is a Spoiler.

Here is a close up of the Spoiler rocker.

Here is the story on the longnose Ford Talladega and Mercury Spoiler II cars’ rockers by Chris Vic:

 

 

Longnose Rockers

This story and photos apply to both the II’s and T’s. What was done to the rockers and why? We should all know that Nascar said the car had to be a certain height off the ground and that it was measured at the rockers; lower the car, raise the rockers. How?

With some help from Dr. Cyclone, Tom Wilson, we kind of figured out what and how things were done. First, how was the rocker “raised”? Starting with a preformed factory piece, the 90 degree flange was bent back even with the bottom of the rocker. It was then sent through an english wheel with a 1 inch rounded wheel to form the new extended flange (pinch weld). But wait, what about the front section, how does it go through? First, let me show you the middle section of the rocker (with no paint). Notice the string? Notice the red pen marks? Notice they don’t line up? When my Spoiler II was on the rotisserie I noticed something odd and “string lined” the rocker, after forming it was not straight anymore.

In this photo you can see the line from the first bend in the middle of the flange.

The next photos show how well the forming was at the ends of the rocker at the rear wheel well, each side is different.

This view shows that the english wheel stopped short of going all the way through the rocker panel. This is the rear passenger’s side rocker. 

 

This is the rear driver’s side rocker.

See how this is all the way through?

Below is another shot of the passenger’s side.

The primer shows how different each side is.

Seeing how we are on the back, lets talk about the outer wheelhouse. Yes, they had mods to. Both Talladegas and Spoiler IIs had the same mod to their corresponding part. The outer wheelhouse connects with the rocker so some relieving had to be made.

 

This picture is a before and after; on the right side piece is the modified part.

 

This photo with the blue tape shows what had to be cut off and were it had to have a cut. Then it was bent over and welded up. This was pretty simple to do, one of the easiest steps I had on this project.

This shot shows the other side. On the right is the original and on the left is the one I did.

Now that we tackled the back and middle, how about the front? Lots of cutting and welding are required here.

This photo is a shot of the front section of the rocker, driver’s side.

I wish I knew more about computers so I could highlight the weld seams but I think you will get it. I said earlier that the rocker panel was run through an english wheel, well the front had to get cut off so it could be sent through. If you look carefully at the photo above you can just make out the vertical seam on the right side just in front of the visible part of the rocker. Also, the bottom had to be moved up because of the mounting of the front fender. In our previous story about the fenders we told you about the modifications made to the bottom of the fender. Take a close look and you can see the rectangular hole where the body clip goes in to hold the fender.

The pieces that make up the lower portion of the front of the rocker are all special parts. Below the fender mounting hole is a rectangular shape with a recess in it, that fills the hole left from raising the rocker. In front of that are some pieces with 90 degree bends and some angle bends, they are there to fill the remainder of the hole where it attaches to the front torque box. So the front lower portion cut off, moved up, extra pieces added and then welded back up. I don’t think they were to picky when they did this work because each side needs a different amount of washers to make things line up. Another job well done by Ford.

Chris Vick

You might also be interested in this previous article on the subject, less detail but other graphics; Click Here.

Filed Under: FeaturedFord TalladegaMercury Spoiler II

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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. Alan Miller says:

    Thanks again for more great information . I enjoy learning more about these cars .

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