Day Two Talladega Survives!

There are lots of reasons to attend Aero Car Reunions. There are fun activities, you get to see cars you have heard about but never seen and you get to meet new friends and renew old friendships. The car featured here is one I have seen photos of several times over the past few years but have never seen in person. It is owned by Mike Atkins and driven this weekend by his son, Brandon Atkins. If you don’t know Mike, he is a great guy with tons of history and knowledge about these cars. He has a barn full of Talladega, Spoiler II, Daytona, and Superbird Aero Cars.

Mike and his father started collecting these cars back in the ’70s when they were just old cars and not anything special. What is special, he drives them. Mike and his son, Brandon, and his sons took two cars to the 50th Talladega Anniversary Celebration at the Wellborn’s; this Talladega, which I have been wanting to see for years, and a Superbird. The Bird was being driven down to the event from Tennessee with the Dega on a trailer. The Superbird broke in heavy Atlanta rush hour traffic. They had to unload the Dega and winch the Superbird onto the trailer while sitting on the side of the Interstate in rush hour traffic!

As was common in the 60s and 70s during the muscle car era, new owners and second owners wanted to personalize their cars. This usually meant custom tires and wheels, engine speed upgrades and even custom paint were added. Such cars have become referred to as “Day Two” cars, cars that include come period-correct modifications. Mike’s car is a Day Two Car but the modifications are all original, not recent modifications.

Obviously, Ford never built a Talladega in green and it is too bad they didn’t. It looks great even if the respray is nearly as old as the car. You can also see numerous other modifications, inside and out, that were common back when these cars were first sold. The car remains in very good condition for its age and the paint has held up remarkably well. Although it is a clear coat finish there was only cracking and cob webbing on the flat surface of the front fenders.  It does not distract from the car’s overall appearance only adds appropriate patina.

This photo was taken outside our motel right after we first arrived. From left to right is Katrina, Mike, and Brandon with one of his son’s behind him.

There were many equally interesting cars at the 50th Anniversary event. I will show you some of those over the next few weeks.

Below is the first picture I saw of this Talladega

Here is Mike back in the day in a really great Talladega. I love this color!

Fixing what’s broke.

If you aren’t driving your aero car and if you aren’t attending events then you aren’t enjoying your car enough! What is so great about these events is that no one’s car is too rough and the shiny cars get less attention than the survivors and drivers! You have no excuse to leave your car at home.

Why didn’t Ford put the Talladega name on the outside of the car?

Brandon and his wife.

Filed Under: Car StoriesFeaturedFord TalladegaTalladega Family Reunion

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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. Lou says:

    I think that car used to belong to a guy named Steve Staffieri from either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.
    I related to him because we were both heavy equipment operators.

  2. Martin Burke says:

    Yes this was Steve Stafferi car from Philly. He called it Emerald City and street raced it.
    Back in the the 80’s Steve was the go to guy when it came to Talladega’s.
    When he sold his collection to Mike he totally got out of the hobby. Last time I saw Steve was about 10 years ago. Great guy!

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