Ford Torino Talladega: Brawn supremacy

Ford’s Torino Talladega became a late ’60s NASCAR legend, while it’s road-going version was the Lou Ferrigno of muscle cars. Simon de Burton checks a street-legal, track-ready rarity

Ford Torino Talladega

Just 750 Torino Talladegas were made, all in 1969 – and of those, 258 were Royal Maroon (Wimbledon White was the most popular – 286)

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Mention the name Ford Torino to some of a certain age and they will immediately picture an image of the red-and-white ‘Striped Tomato’ Torino that featured in the 1970s TV series Starsky & Hutch.

Scholars of the historic NASCAR scene, however, are more likely to think of the Torino Talladega, the rare and remarkable muscle car that the mighty Blue Oval produced in just 750 examples during 1969 in order to meet NASCAR homologation requirements.

Based on the Fairlane Cobra fastback (or ‘Sportsroof ’ as Ford liked to call it), the two-door Talladega featured a more aerodynamic nose that lost the regular car’s inset grille and headlamps and added a flush-fit bumper fashioned from the standard rear unit and shaped to serve as a crude air dam.

The Talladega was also subtly lowered, with one of the more outwardly obvious telltale features being a matt black ‘hood’. Less apparent were the additional oil coolers for engine and power steering, the heavy-duty transmission and upgraded differential.

The result was a road-legal coupé with performance that few other production cars could match, especially in the case of later models that, in regular examples, substituted the old FE 427 ‘side oiler’ V8 with the all-new 428ci ‘Cobra Jet’.

Competition versions of the Talladega won a total of 29 Grand National races during the 1969 and 1970 NASCAR seasons, eclipsing the efforts of rivals Chrysler and Dodge and taking the laurels in the 1969 NASCAR Manufacturers’ Championship.

Of the 750 cars recorded to have been built, all were finished in either Wimbledon White, Presidential Blue or Royal Maroon – as seen on this Talladega that’s set to cross the block with Mecum. Having been built from a road car into a NASCAR replica, it’s not exactly ‘stock’ but runs a Boss 429 engine that’s fitted with numerous exotic parts and is said to produce a tyre-shredding 870bhp at 6500rpm.

Ford Torino Talladega signed engine bay

Indeed, so powerful is the car that it was one of just six invited from across America to take part in the 2012 Dyno Wars contest held at Shelby American’s HQ outside Las Vegas. It has also made guest appearances at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Willow Springs Raceway, Milwaukee Mile Speedway, St Louis Gateway and, of course, the Talladega Speedway after which the model was named.

Featured in numerous hot rod magazines and with a radiator surround signed by no fewer than 17 American auto luminaries, above, including Jack Roush, Junior Johnson, Bill Holbrook, Henry Ford III, David Pearson, and Cale Yarborough, it is described by Mecum as being track ready. Perhaps more excitingly, it’s street legal, too.

1969 Ford Torino Talladega

For sale with Mecum Auctions, Las Vegas, US, October 7
Estimate on request