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Tracking down a 1969 Ford Talladega Drag Car Part-3

Keats Ford Talladega driven and raced by Skip Mac Farland.
Keats Ford Talladega driven and raced by Skip Mac Farland.

When we left off last time we told you the history as we have it regarding the Skip Mac Farland Drag Race Talladega sponsored by Keats Ford. There is still a lot we don’t know and would welcome any additional information or photos readers can give us regarding this car.

In late 2012 I almost had the car bought and have included some of the photos of where it was stored at that time. The story I was told is the car had been taken to a shop for some kind of work a number of years ago and either the bill was never paid or the car abandoned and parked under some trees behind the building. I am unsure how long it was there but it appears that it might have been quite some time. The elements were not good to it. The seller of the car was not aware of what he had other than it was a Talladega with a Torino nose.

Talladega front clip replaced with a standard Torino nose to satisfy strip inspectors.
Talladega front clip replaced with a standard Torino nose to satisfy strip inspectors.

When my deal feel through it was purchased and moved to NY. It appears that new owner knew little more and most likely and possibly even less about what he had than the previous owner. It was immediately put up for sale for a small but quick profit. Several months later the car was still for sale and was purchased by a fellow in Middle TN. I subsequently provided him with any and all information from my research and photos that I had obtained.

Restoration is underway.
Restoration is underway.

I recently visited the car and documented its existing condition and to further verify that it is the Skip Mac Farland/Keats Ford Talladega. Although without a title search showing the chain of title there is no proof that this is the Keats Ford Talladega but any reasonable person presented with the information collected will have little question that this is the car. Let’s summarize what we know:

  1. This car is a real Talladega, original Maroon in color and was built on February 10, 1969 but not sold new out of Keats Ford until May 21, 1970. That is 15 months later. Was that the time that Mac Farland raced the car and then he or someone else purchased it?
  2. From personal inspection the front brakes have been converted to drum brakes, the power brake booster was removed, the power steering was removed, slapper traction bars remain on the rear springs and appear to be the same as in old photos, an electric fuel pump was still in place, original vintage style headers were present, a locker rear end was installed, there are tow hooks on the front end, a trailer light hook up was under the hood for flat towing behind a car or truck, the Torino nose was there but the hood still had the black paint under the newer maroon paint, the Talladega hood latch was still present, the rear staggered shocks are air shocks. All of these items are consistent with a 60s/70s drag car.
  3. Neither the engine or transmission are original and there is evidence of a 4-speed once being installed.
Front power disc brakes removed and replaced with manual drum brakes.
Front power disc brakes removed and replaced with manual drum brakes.

The car is restorable but it will take considerable effort. The new owner has purchased a solid Torino doner car to help with the worst rust areas. Will the car be restored as a stock Talladega or as it was raced? Or, will it retain its Torino nose and unique place in Talladega legend?

Tow hooks remain.
Tow hooks remain.
Slapper bars from back in the day.
Slapper bars from back in the day.
Talladega rocker panels confirm it pedigree.
Talladega rocker panels confirm it pedigree.

The question has not been fully answered at this point but I can tell you that the new owner already has some steel reproduction Talladega fenders on order and is starting to rebuild the under side and drive train.

Talladega hood latch remains.
Talladega hood latch remains.
This trailer light connection is wired into the front of the Talladega for flat tows back in the day.
This trailer light connection is wired into the front of the Talladega for flat tows back in the day.

I would love to see this car returned to the look that it had in the photo below. I think the Day Two vintage drag race theme should be maintained to as close to how it was back it the day as possible. However, I can also see the return to power disk brakes and power steering as well as a more drivable rear gear ratio. The addition of under dash or vintage air might even make sense for TN summers. What would you recommend? Leave your questions or comments at the bottom of this page in the comments box below.

Skip and the Keats Ford Talladega in full dress.
Skip and the Keats Ford Talladega in full dress.

 

Data Plate
Data Plate

What would you like to see done to this car? Have you had a similar experience in chasing down a lost car? Tell us about your story. Leave your comments and questions in the Comments Box below.

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Richard

I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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