What Kind of Talladega Aero Cars Are Left?

The last article I need seemed to generate some interest and the info is already out of date. Within 24 hours we had two more Talladegas Registered!

Team Member Carl Sharp had a great question. He asked if we knew what condition the surviving Talladega Aero Cars were in. That was an obvious question I had over looked in my research and I thank Carl for pointing it out to me. That also got me to thinking about how many of each color survived. Last time we told you that we had estimated, based on Registry submissions, that there are 137 Talladegas that have been accounted for. This includes some cars that the condition was not listed on the Registration or a car that was documented by sight but no condition provided. This number excludes cars that were Registered but are known to have been crushed.

I went through every Registration and summarized the condition listed by the person Registering the car. We have a total of 133 Registered cars with a condition from 1 to 6 listed. As way of review here are the descriptions for the various conditions. This is an updated description from what you may have seen earlier on this site.

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.

Talladegas documented to still exist by this Registry by Condition:

Condition #1 = 1

Condition #2 = 35

Condition #3 = 33

Condition #4 = 21

Condition #5 = 34

Condition #6 = 9

Total = 133

Note: This list includes several modified cars. The condition was not discounted due to modification of race cars etc.

Talladegas surviving by color and compared to the number originally built. (Percentages may not total to 100% due to rounding.)

Color

Wimbledon White = 46 or 32% of survivors; originally 38% of total production

Royal Maroon = 56 or 39% of survivors; originally 34% of total production

Presidential Blue =40 or 28% of survivors; originally 26% of total production



Filed Under: FeaturedFord TalladegaHistorical Paperwork and MemosRegistry

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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 (2)

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  1. Rick Ochs says:

    Richard,

    This is some neat information, Thanks for taking the time to put this together…… I am sure that as Talladega’s now being restored if not already they will be registered. Plus you have to think of the owners that have had their Talladega(s) for years and will not get on the internet ….Yes even in today’s world ?????

    Rick,

  2. ROB HUNT says:

    This is a great breakdown of car conditions. The great thing is if you have a 5 you can work on it and get it to a 4 or so on. This is valuable info for anybody entering the hobby and looking for their first car.

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