Ford’s Holy Grail: 1969 Ford Torino Talladega

If any of you are Ford fans or NASCAR fans, or just fans of incredibly rare cars, this 1969 Ford Torino Talladega is hard to beat. It’s a true Holy Grail for any serious collector or fan. It can be found here on eBay in ridiculously beautiful Vancouver, Washington. The seller has a $30,000 buy it now price or you can make an offer.

Bickety-bam, this car is amazing, even in this condition. Actually, for what a lot of cars look like these days and for what this car is, it looks amazing to me. This is NASCAR to me, a stock car. As in, stock car racing, as in a car that a person could actually buy and drive on the street being used as a race car. Ahhh.. the good ol’ days.

B b b b b bbbut, it’s yellow?! They never made a Talladega in yellow, you goofball! And, your mustache is creepy, too! Hey, keep my mustache out of it, but you’re right, there was never a factory Talladega in yellow. This one was painted by the dealer who couldn’t seem to sell it when it was its original Royal Maroon color, one of three official factory colors. As soon as they painted it yellow it almost lept off of the showroom floor by itself and into someone’s garage. There were only 750, give or take, of them built and fewer than that known to exist today. They’re pretty rare but surprisingly not as expensive as I would have thought. Our friends at Hagerty put a #1 Concours-best-in-the-world value of $80,300 on this car. I would have assumed much higher than that given what Superbirds and Daytonas go for, a couple of their main competitors.

It’s a long story but pretty interesting: “Originally Royal Maroon with blacked out hood and tail filler panel, the story is that the dealer could not sell the car. They decided to make a dealer drag race car out of it (very powerful engine) and in doing so painted the car yellow (where it was formerly maroon, when new at the dealer), dealer-installed exhaust headers, replacement Holley carb, and changed the original 3.25 open rear center section to a 4.11 Limited Slip unit.  A potential buyer walked in and saw the car in yellow, and it sold, never having been used as the dealer intended as a quarter-mile killer. Rear axle is still the original SCJ Drag Pack staggered shock unit (still has 4.11 Limited Slip), transmission is still the original HD C6 with the iron tailpiece, and the engine is the original 428 Cobra Jet with original Talladega underhood accessories like the big oil cooler, etc.”

Sadly, it would be almost another two decades before Ford would win a championship again and that winning car looked like a Dr. Frankenstien creation of the Thunderbird that was somewhere under the heavily-modified skin. This Talladega has Ford’s 428 Cobra Jet V8 which had a rating of, wink-wink-nudge-nudge, 335 hp. It was likely much, much more than that. The seller says that it’s a “solid runner and driver with new rear brakes, new fuel tank and sending unit. Needs new mufflers/exhaust to be a daily driver, if you want to drive a NASCAR survivor aero car on the road!” These cars don’t come up for sale too often. Could you restore this car and keep it under Hagerty’s $62,600 #2 excellent condition value given it’s $30,000 price tag?


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  1. NotSure

    Buy this car and scoop up the earlier listed ‘69 Ranchero for parts chasing and wouldn’t I be in tall cotton!

    Like 6
  2. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    David Pearson won the Nascar championship in ’68 and ’69 with race-prepped Talladega Torinos. These cars had a fantastic race history and with only about 750 produced, the standard production models are very rare, indeed! I recall seeing a white one for sale at the Ford Nationals in Carlisle in the early 2000s for $25k. It was in excellent, original condition. That was a car I wish I could have afforded then.

    This car should get a full restoration and returned to it’s original color. $30k seems like a fair price for this car that when restored properly, will only increase in value. I would dearly love to own this car but again, it’s out of my financial reach.

    Like 15
  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    A Talladega or contemporary Charger 500 would be my preference over a Daytona or Superbird if I were looking for a NASCAR homologation special.

    I’ve only ever seen one street version Talladega and that would be some 45 years ago in South Central L.A.

    Hope this one gets restored to its original glory…

    Like 9
  4. Howard A Member

    I’m not sure about the “Holy Grail” moniker, it was sold to the public, and 747 of these were made. It’s not clear why Ford continued to make the extra 247 after the original 500, per NASCAR requirement, were sold. Some say they lost money on every Talladega they made. Most owners knew what they had, and I believe most of the cars are still accounted for. IDK, if having a car like this warrants you spending a ton of cash just to have one, by all means, here’s your money pit. I think it’s silly.

    Like 5
    • Mike Williamson

      I don’t think you know cars very well Howie.

  5. Wayne Giles

    And here’s what it probably looked like before it was painted yellow. This one’s for sale down here in Oz.

    Like 12
  6. Gunner

    Sold new right here in beautiful Boise, Idaho!

    Like 7
  7. Gaspumpchas

    I remember one of these for sale on a lot at Rizzo Ford, Highland , NY. Friend of mine passed on 2 of these in a junkyard in NC and they were dirt cheap. Good ol American horsepower!!!


    Like 5
  8. geezerglide85

    Back in the mid 70’s I worked in a local gas station, an elderly lady (prob about 60, my age now) had one of these. Originally it was a gold color but she had it painted yellow like this one. Every once in a while she would tromp on it and lay a little rubber down. I wonder if its still in garage somewhere?

    Like 10
  9. Joe Machado

    The problem these and the Spoiler II had was options and a unique identy.
    They looked so close to a regular Torino.
    Standard was bench seat, column shift, black interior, 428 engine.
    The Spoiler II only had a 351.
    The 69 Charger 500 had 2 engines.
    The Hemi was to be the only engine. Then the 440 4 barrel was a choice later.
    Of all 5 aero cars involved, the 500 could be had with air. The 500 could be optioned out like an RT Charger. I had 2 of those.
    Memory says only sunroof and luggage rack were not available.
    I added the 500 and FoMoCo cars after a few years because they were the forerunners to the end result, Daytona and Bird to Winged Warriors organization.
    The Merc and Ford did not have the engines used in racing for street cars.
    There is a lot more, but I will not write a book here.

    Like 10
  10. Chevrolet Baby

    This particular car? Didn’t see any reference to Boise in the article. That would have been Bob Rice Ford, right across the five lane road out of downtown from Larry Barnes Chevrolet. I still remember the remodel on the old “Cabana Motel” across from the downtown Buttries grocery , just down the street. And the Red Steer drive in.👍

    Like 3
  11. Ted

    Not getting a 30K vibe here, regardless of what Hemmings says it’s overpriced, and these wags at barrett ripoff and the influential magazines seem to forget one thing, you need to put 70K worth of restoration into these cars to make them worth 50K. This is an extremely cool car bodywork and crap interior aside, and if I’d found this for 16K it’d be on a trailer coming to White Rock 5 mins ago.

    Like 7
  12. Troy s

    Nice old Ford powered by the strong 428 CJ. Gosh, they should have kept it the original color and put on a decent set mags, like torque thrusts or something, that might have moved it off the lot. That interior works for me, but it sure has that taxi cab flavor about it.
    As much as I like the looks of the Boss 429 Mustang I think Ford should have installed that Boss in some of these, if even just a hundred or so…after all that’s what was happening in NASCAR at the time. I hope whoever buys it repaints the beast Royal Maroon.

    Like 6
  13. Woody

    By the looks of this rare beast it’s ready to paint original color,still has drivetrain it was born with! Asking prices for early iron is out of hand but you just don’t find original pieces like this much.

    Like 5
  14. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Cool that it survived as a driver – just look at that driver’s side seat ! Price not really that bad….like was said this and a 500 were the beasts to beat and lookers before the wing warriors came out. Just think it’s kinda odd NASCAR only had Ford build less than 800 and had Chrysler build the wing cars for every dealer.

    • Troy s

      To add to that Dodge only had to build 500 of the special Chargers, but I believe less than that we’re actually built, I’ve heard in the high 300’s. The Superbird in 1970 had new rules imposed where they had to build more than any of the previous NASCAR warriors. Again, another strange thing Ford did was build more Boss 429 Mustangs than required despite losing money big time on every sale. I don’t believe the winged mopars we’re actually outlawed the following year, just ruled out of being competitive with a 305 cubic inch or 366 limit. I remember reading that in a very old stock car magazine.

  15. Wrong Way

    When I looked at the picture, I said to myself, no talladega car was painted yellow. I am glad I read further. Very awesome car, I am not sure what I might pay for one of these. Lots of potential tho.

    Like 1
  16. David Ulrey

    The Too Mellow Yellow sure was popular back then. I had a 66 Mustang Coupe that color, a 68 F100 that color, a 67 Impala 2 door a really similar shade. I do like yellow just fine but to this day I still cant see what the big draw was. I was born in 1960 so yes I was around when these pale yellow cars were everywhere.

    Like 1
  17. Todd

    At 30,000 you are restoring her because you want to, there is no money to be made on this car. That being said I would love to own her, but it needs to be completely bloown apart and blasted to bare metal. Then find the missing parts, at least 40,000 to make her shine again.

    Like 1
    • Mike W

      Todd, your figures aren’t far from true. I own a Talladega, which has been in my family since new.
      The money part can get crazy.

      The mechanical parts are typical Ford. The uniqueness of these cars is the fenders, front bumper, the staggered rear shocks, and the fact that the car is about 2 inches lower than a standard Torino.

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