1969 Ford Torino Talladega
The ever-popular NASCAR racetrack, Talladega Superspeedway, opened the doors of opportunity for Ford to enter another car in this hot racing market. Unsurprisingly, not many models of this Torino vehicle were made available to the public; the Ford Torino Talladega is unique to the year 1969, which is what makes it so prized among car lovers across America. About 750 were produced, and sold as part of the accreditation process by NASCAR to make it an official vehicle in the race. Production models, as well as prototypes, were built at Ford’s Atlanta car factory in the beginning of 1969.
This two-door hardtop was an aerodynamic model based on the Fairlane 500, and it featured a “Sportsroof” look. The 1969 Ford Torino Talladega featured a more rounded front as opposed to less efficient grilles and headlights that lowered the productivity of the original Fairlane. The Talladega also had a smaller gap between the bottom of the vehicle and the road, to allow it to race (as per NASCAR regulations).
One thing you don’t see in today’s everyday racing cars that was interesting about the 1969 Ford Torino Talladega is its 6” wide F70 x 14 oval wheels. The interior lacked essential features that come standard on passenger cars, but that are not necessary in a race car, such as the radio, clock, or fancy interior pieces. The front and back included little snake decals, which then became emblem pieces. Some of the 1969 Ford Torino Talladega’s specs included: a V8 engine, heavy duty suspension, front disc brakes, four-shift manual transmission, and 6.0 sec 0-60mph time. For an extra price, optional equipment such as a hood scoop, bucket seats, different axle ratios, cruise-o-matic, power front-disc brakes or even limited-slip differential could be installed.
Because NASCAR has prohibited the use of Ford 427 Cammer engines, Ford got tricky with the Torino Talladega and equipped it with a Ford Boss 429. This monstrous 7.0L engine proved to be competitive on the racetrack as it stood up to Dodge’s renown Charger models; it won nearly 30 Grand National titles, and even the 1969 championship. Perhaps NASCAR wasn’t too happy about Dodge faring worse off than Ford, or perhaps there were other reasons for the lack of 1969 Ford Torino Talladega’s reappearance in 1970, but the aero cars were banned after that season.
The ~750 models that were made for the public were fitted with a Ford 428 Cobra Jet engine, powered by 335 horse powers @ 5200 RPM. These 1969 Ford Torino Talladegas that were made available to the public could be purchased in one of three colors: white, blue, and maroon. Despite today’s high price warranted by this model’s rarity and class, it’s not too comfortable to drive due to its lack of options, and the fact that’s it simply doesn’t fare well on streets unless they’re straight drag strips. However, the 1969 Ford Torino Talladega holds a permanent spot in NASCAR history, and is a name worth knowing by heart in the american muscle cars industry.