Ford Talladegas were here and gone in the blink of an eye

By: Bruce Kunz

November 26th, 2017

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Old Car Column


Here’s another one you’re not likely to see at the neighborhood cruise or car show.

It comes from the Ford catalog of 1969 — the Torino Talladega Special.

All Torinos for 1969 were part of the intermediate size Fairlane family, which, like Mopar’s intermediates, Belvedere and Satellite models, included 4-doors and station wagons, for cryin’ out loud!

The Talladega bared little resemblance to the Fairlane grocery haulers, however. This one was designed for hauling something else at the race track and its intended purpose to improve Ford’s record at NASCAR events.

FoMoCo produced nearly 200,000 Fairlanes and Torinos for model year 1969, but a mere 754 of that total were Talladega Specials. And those 754 were all built between January and February of 1969. Only about 250 of the Talladegas competed in NASCAR races as full blown race cars. The other 500 were offered to the general public as street legal versions … something required by NASCAR rules of “homologation.” (Look it up. I had to.)

As I said earlier, you’re not likely to find a Torino Talladega at a show near you. But if there was ever a chance of seeing one in real life, your best bet would be the All Ford Show, an annual event put on by the Fords Unlimited car club. This is a great event for Ford owners and lovers, usually held in July, at James S. McDonnell Park, in St. Ann.

Giving thanks

Lou and I wish to thank those readers who generously contributed to our expenses for the trip to Las Vegas and the SEMA Show 2017 in the form of individual sponsorships for TKCS-StL.

Because of your support, we were able to enjoy a week of fun and educational opportunities we would otherwise not have been able to achieve. As promised, your names will appear on our new banners for the 2018 shows and cruises at the Take A Kid To A Car Show booth.

Have a wonderful holiday season and we hope to see you at an event as soon as the 2018 season begins.

Thanks for reading the Old Car Column and Keep on Cruisin’!

Bruce Kunz, a.k.a. “THE FIN MAN,” is a member of the Society of Automobile Historians. If you love old cars and care about kids, visit