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Mustang, Does Ford know what it is?

When is a Ford Talladega a Mustang Cobra?

What would you do if Ford Motor Company told you that your prized 1969 Ford Mustang Cobra was in fact not a Mustang after all? What if they told you that your Mustang was a Torino or a Talladega? Not a pleasant thought is it?

Well, that is what happened to me, sort of!

Katrina had wanted a Talladega ever since we met. It is probably one of the reasons I married her. After all how many women do you meet that even know what a Talladega is? How many care if you try to tell them? Ok, you meet a beautiful woman who not only knows what one is but actually wants one; believe me you grab her by the arm and head for the nearest Church. It is equivalent to finding an original, unmolested, like new condition, Hemi Cuda with 5,000 miles on it in a barn and the farmer says he needs the space for hay. Just haul it away!

Now that I had the wife of my dreams, we went on a search for a Talladega. We found several but they were either too rough or sold too fast. We ended up with a builder out of Texas, but found a better complete car in Indiana. After we brought the Texas car home and as soon as we got the Indiana car home, we found the perfect car in South Carolina. Now my beautiful wife has three Talladegas.

When we got the first one we began doing research on the cars. We wanted to gather more information and documentation. As soon as we got home with the third Talladega, the one from South Carolina, the first two things we did of course was to search the internet and get a Marti Report. Next was to contact the Ford Research Department to see what information they could supply.

That’s when we found out we had three Mustang Cobras!

We had three Talladegas but Ford didn’t believe us. They insisted we had three Mustang Cobras with 428 CJ engines! We had three Talladega titles, data plates for all three and a build sheet for one of them. I should ad we are not blind and can tell the difference between a Talladega and a Mustang. So when we asked Ford for a 999 Report we were shocked when they responded by telling us that all three of our cars were Mustangs!

We immediately placed a phone call to Ford; they confirmed that our cars were Mustangs and not Talladegas. I don’t think they even knew what a Talladega was!

I finally called a respected Talladega expert, Rick Ochs, who in turn placed his own call to higher ups in Ford and got some new paper work started.

This time I got three reports that correctly confirmed what we already knew, we owned Talladegas. However, the documents continued to misrepresent what was included in the original Talladega option package. At the time Ford was getting ready to sell their total production of only 750 Talladegas their sales materials listed the option package as including hood pins.

Well, as things tend to happen with limited production vehicles, things changed. The hood pins were never installed in any production Talladegas as far as I know. I have never seen one that had them from the factory other than some prototypes. The Marti Report has it right, just not Ford.

I don’t want to be too hard on the folks at Ford, it has been 40 years since the car was built and there were only approximately 750 built out of how many millions of cars Ford has built since then? So I will give them a little slack since they did correct their mistake. However, it just goes to show you how difficult it can be to obtain accurate information on how some of these very rare cars were originally built. In this case, even the factory didn’t have it right. (Copies of some of the original Ford letters can be found on our web site. On the Museum page go to the 1969 Talladega and then click on to its page.)

Have any of you had similar experiences? If so let me know.

I can just see some poor drug smoking hippy fool out in California trying to convince some idiot at the DMV that he needs a new title to his Talladega because Ford says it’s a Mustang Cobra. Better yet, be cautious bidding on a 1969 Mustang Cobra 428 CJ on eBay if the pictures aren’t real clear!

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville 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 out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine 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. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. 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 working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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One Comment

  1. I started buying these cars Talladega,spoiler,bird & daytona’s while living in Ft. Worth Tx. in about 1972. By that time these cars had already been run hard and put up wet and no one wanted them due to fuel milage (remember the fuel shortage in the early 70’s)Also the Plymouths and Daytonas had a prepencaty to have pushed in noses and owners did not have insurance or money to fix them and the cars were considered uggly and sold cheap. A dealership in Ft. Worth removed the wings, noses etc and sold the cars as roadrunners or chargers just to get them off the lot. Another dealer had app 17 Birds on his lot when he filed bankruptcy and as I recall they went cheap. I ran across a T parked in a persons front yard with trah sacks filled with garbage filling the inside parked next to a 56 Ford sunliner in equal shape and he would not sell either one beleiving they were going to become worth something some day. Several years later the local police dept had them removed and sent to the dump for violating city laws on having unlicensed cars in there front yards. Believe me the hose he lived in should have been condemed also but rather than sell those cars he let the city come and get them.

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