40th Reunion of Aero Cars at Talladega Speedway

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

This is NOT a staged photo; this is what happens when over 100 Aero Cars come to town. There are two Dodge Daytonas, a Charger 500, a Ford Talladega and a Plymouth Superbird all lined up at the local Sonic having a burger and fries just like it was 1969 all over again. Man, it was cool!

Once every five years there is a reunion of all the NASCAR Aero Cars (factory built production vehicles with special aerodynamically maximized bodies for high speed racing on the Super Speedways) held at the Talladega Super Speedway. In 1969 the war between Ford and the Mopars was really beginning to heat up.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Many of the cars drove in, some were shipped (one came from New Zealand), some came on open trailers and others in enclosed trailers. However, all most all of them hit the streets when they got to town.

In 1968 Ford kicked the Mopars around on the race track with their new “Sportback” styling on the Ford Torino and Mercury Cyclone. The Fords were so fast even Richard “The King” Petty gave up on the Mopars and drove a Ford in 1969. For the new season Dodge planned a full fledged attack with a tweaked 1969 Dodge Charger 500. It had a special sloping rear window and a flush mounted grill to make it more aerodynamic and faster at high speed. Dodge made one big mistake; they started talking about it before it got to the track.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

The Motels in town became instant car shows!

Ford knew the new Charger would be strong competition so the Blue Oval boys quietly went back to work and created their own “better” version of the Torino and named it after the new fastest track on the NASCAR circuit, Talladega. It had an extended and sloping front end and the entire car was lowered an inch to keep it ahead of the new Charger 500. It worked, for a while.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Dodge again went back to the drawing boards and by mid-season delivered the wild winged 1969 Dodge Daytona to the NASCAR Super Speedways. It gave the Fords and Mercurys all they could handle. In 1970, in order to get King Richard Petty back in a Mopar, Chrysler built a similarly winged Plymouth Superbird.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Unfortunately, by 1970 Ford had pulled out of racing and NASCAR was writing rules to neuter the Aero Cars to the point they were no longer competitive.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

That was a different time but every five years those Aero Monsters with the Hemi engines return to the Talladega Speedway to remind us all of the way it once was. In 2009 on November 1 we helped burn the memory of Aero Cars into the minds of all who would watch.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

These cars are driven and range in condition from rough drivers to beautiful show winning cars.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

The Daytona-Superbird Auto Club held its reunion from October 28 through November 1, what follows is a recap of all the activities. If you want to have an awesome experience and hang out with some of the best car folks you will ever meet get an Aero Car and meet us next year for the 41st Reunion at a location yet to be announced. However, we do know that in 2014 we will be back at Dega!

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Reunited Car and Owners

Note: This Link will take you to our Sister Site; LegendaryCollectorCars.com

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Tim and Pam Wellborn’s Estate

Note: This Link will take you to our Sister Site; LegendaryCollectorCars.com

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

The Wellborn Muscle Car Museum

Note: This Link will take you to our Sister Site; LegendaryCollectorCars.com

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Halloween Party at the Museum, Click Here

Note: This Link will take you to our Sister Site; LegendaryCollectorCars.com

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Daytona Superbird reunion at Talladega

Talladega Speedway Car Show and Parade Lap

Note: This Link will take you to our Sister Site; LegendaryCollectorCars.com

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Some participants brought their own sleeping quarters and comforts of home with them.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

This is the way to travel!

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Do you have the keys? I don’t have the keys!

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

There was an excellent array of race cars including this Ramo Stott number 07.

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

Unfortunately we heard of a number of mechanical issues on the way to and during the event but it did not dampen anyone’s spirits.

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If you want to see some photos of the 2008 Reunion, Click Here

Note: This Link will take you to our Sister Site; LegendaryCollectorCars.com

Comments (3)

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  1. Carl Sharp says:

    Richard,

    Speaking of mechanical issues and adrenalin pumping excitement on the way to Talladega (actually, on the way to Alexander City):

    While following Barry Miller (see the photo of the flat tire on his car trailer, above), I experienced a very exciting few moments due to a complete brake failure of my tow vehicle and trailer at a not so great moment…

    We had only been off the interstate for a few miles on the second day of our journey, and it seemed that we caught a red light at the bottom of every hill (or should that be mountain?). Since Barry had made the trip 5 years before, he was leading on day 2, with me following very closely, in order that we would not get separated in traffic, or at any of the lights. Unknowingly to me, due to a slight error in wiring my trailer brakes (the trailer brake control unit in my truck was wired through the same fuse as my trailer lights, with a 10 amp fuse, instead of through a dedicated 25 amp fuse, as it should have been), I lost my trailer brakes on our first good stop. However, with the 4 wheel disc brakes on my ’05 F150, I hadn’t really noticed.

    But, when the brake fluid in my truck boiled, the pedal went clear to the floor with no appreciable reduction in speed as we were approaching a red light from about 2 car lengths behind Barry’s trailer – which housed his Benny Parsons ARCA championship car… things got real exciting. My rig was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 18,000 lbs (truck, car, enclosed trailer, passengers, etc.) and any thoughts of doing a Fred Flintstone for brakes were abandoned immediately. Fortunately, the next lane to my left was mostly clear, so I made a very quick lane change. Then I made another move to the left to get into the turn lane, as I was approaching stopped traffic. Then, I managed to move to the left again, entering the grass median before entering the intersection, while managing to avoid the traffic in the left turn lane. Somehow I did manage to get stopped before entering the intersection with its cross traffic; but, it was very exciting for a few seconds. (My three passengers all looked like ghosts as we finally rolled to a stop.)

    After finally getting stopped, Barry calmly said, “I’ll just follow you the rest of the way.” We somehow managed to make it about a quarter of a mile on down the road to an automotive parts store, where I purchased a new fuse for my trailer lights, which managed to give us trailer brakes, again. This allowed us to continue our journey to Alexander City. However, I must point out that our journey to Alexander City was then continued without the use of any truck brakes – they didn’t actually come back until after the next day… I’m just amazed that they came back at all. They had definitely been stress tested to the point of failure. (I didn’t realize it was possible to overheat truck brakes to the point that they would actually boil brake fluid.)

    After replacing my trailer brake control unit for the return trip home, we realized that my original wiring was slightly inadequate. (Nothing like digging the instructions out of the trash…) We then managed to return home to Indiana without any other incidents.

    Oh, by the way, we had a great time in Alabama! We are looking forward to our next trip.

    Thanks,

    Carl.

    • Richard says:

      When you got back on the road if you had needed to go into the median again do you think Barry would have followed you? You were very lucky there was room to maneuver.

  2. Carl Sharp says:

    I think he was more than a little nervous about having me behind him! He actually followed me the rest of the trip, including the entire trip back home.

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