How Many Talladega Aero Cars Are Left?

I am often asked how many Talladega Aero Cars were really built. The next question is inevitably how many are left? Both questions are difficult to answer accurately.

There are lots of rumors about Ford never building 750 +- Talladegas. However, no one has ever provided any real evidence other than “he said, they said” types of statements. The stories make for good conversation but that is about all. The only “evidence/paperwork” that is available suggests that approximately 750 Talladegas were built including production cars, pilot cars and prototypes/specials.

When the question gets to how many are left the answer is again not definitive. We can tell you how many cars are in our Registry and how many have been reported to us but not registered.
That does not give us even a small clue as to how many are out there in fields, barns and garages that have been hidden for decades? We are still getting cars registered to our web site on a regular basis and there are cars still being found and reported. We will likely never find every single car out there.

Here is what we can tell you. As of the 24th of April 2017 we have Registered 127 Talladega cars. We have had confirmation of 18 additional cars for a total of 145, but wait there is more! Of the cars Registered and confirmed several of these were reported to be in junkyards or other wise destroyed. This includes 3 Registered cars and approximately 5 of the others. This would make our best estimate of how many cars have been documented to still exist at 137. I should also mention that many of the Registered cars are also in very rough condition and in need of major restoration/repairs to ever be driven again.

One figure I have heard is that the average survival rate after 40 too 50 years of collector cars is 20% of the original production run. With approximately 750 Talladega Aero Cars built we would expect to see approximately 150 cars survive. That fits very well with what we have documented.

Just for kicks I looked at how many Talladegas have been Registered in the first half of production VINs and how many in the second half. I found that there were 70 Registered cars and 7 non Registered cars in the first half and 57 Registered cars and 13 non Registered. This is very close to a 50-50 ratio suggesting that there were approximately 750 built.

It is very important that you not only Register your Talladega but provide us with any Talladega VIN that you happen to find at a car show, for sale on eBay or you find in a junkyard.

Later I will take a look at the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler and Spoiler II cars.



Filed Under: FeaturedFord TalladegaRegistry

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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.

Comments (4)

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  1. Carl Sharp says:

    Great info. Any breakdown on the approximate condition of the known cars?

    • Richard says:

      Carl, good idea. This will take a bit of time but I will work on it. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Rick Ochs says:

        Over the years ( A little over 30 now) of talking Talladega’s with owners, people wanting to buy one or just general conversion about the cars… I have seen cars trade hands (same car)some times as many as 20 + times.
        If you look back to the “Speedway Ford Club ” day’s… time frame 1981 it was recorded an estimated 243 Talladega’s were reported in the clubs Talladega Registry. Now granted some cars were parted out for parts to finish a Mach I C.J. or the car was reported to the club by an owner who had totaled his or her Talladega. Thing is at that time it was for the most part felt only about 100 Talladega’s would be able to be back on the road from this count.
        Moving a head to the time frame of 1994 Mr. Mark Moses printed registry showed about 177 Talladega’s recorded again some were reported parted out wrecked beyond repair. again at that time in talking with Mark he felt about 100 of the recorded cars would be on the road again if they were not already. There are still cars out there that have not been recorded for one reason or another..a owner back in 1980 keeps it in the barn he passes on family just see’s it as an old car and away it goes to become a Honda or the owner does not want just anyone to know what is in his garage or barn for fear of a break-in and parts or cars stolen.
        How many T’s were built if you read the Marty Reports 750 if you read what Ford told AMT when they did the model of the Yellow T the number is 754….why 4 cars different,well the Marty reports are generated from the base production warranty records….thus a Marty report for the red Banjo car does not show it as a Talladega but a Torino GT…..so if Ford never invoice 4 cars because they were never Vin taged that car would not be in his records and 4 Talladega’s were not. I have the records of these 4 cars. So 750 or 754 or 199 the numbers game goes on.

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