Car ShowCar StoriesFeaturedTalladega Family Reunion

Collector Car Friends and Activities

Over the past few years I have noticed a trend, at least locally. It seems more and more car enthusiasts are looking for alternatives to the typical car shows. We have had numerous discussions with others about this topic. It seems at first competing to win a trophy is very exciting. However, let’s be honest. Many of the cars that win trophies don’t deserve them and some that don’t win should. It is also true that many classic car owners like to drive and use their cars. Keeping a car in show condition and driving it regularly can be a real challenge.

Two of the fastest growing car activities are the Cars and Coffee events and the similar Cruise-ins. These are display type of activities that do not involve judging, entry fees or trophies. Another growing popular event are tours. Think Hot Rod Power Tour but for only one day and not a week. Not only are these events much shorter they involve interesting destinations and usually make a big loop ending back where, or at least close to where the day started.

I believe these changes are very healthy for the collector car community. Being judged against your friends’ cars can be a bit irritating to everyone but the winner. We all think our car is the best. Our cars need to be driven. The more they sit the more they deteriorate. I believe that most younger folks have no idea what it is like to drive an old car. They can see them at shows but once they have seen a bunch of 69 Camaros, 32 Fords, Hemi Chargers or what ever, it can be boring. However, let them drive one of these cars and they will remember it for a life time. Maybe, just maybe they will get hooked on the hobby and want a collector car of their own.

My wife and I belong to several clubs that participate in these kinds of activities. One such group is the Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion that we host every year. It is a collection of enthusiasts who own or want to own one of the 1969 Ford or Mercury Nascar Aero Cars. These are the street versions of the wild cars raced at the super speedways back in the day. These include the 1969 Ford Talladega and 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler and Spoiler II models in both Cale Yarborough and Dan Gurney versions.

The following is just a brief recap of our most recent event. You will be able to see more at over the next few weeks.

Here are our 2017 Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion attendees. A very happy and knowledgeable group.The 2017 Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion is over. If you missed it you missed a great weekend. We had a fantastic turn out of Talladega Spoiler Family Members and some great cars. We had more new attendees this year than ever. I will be going over more details of the event in the next few days and weeks but trust me, as soon as I announce the 2018 event you need to get your reservations in. This year our long distance recognition goes to Chris, Rebecca and Lachian McQuade from Sydney Australia. They are wonderful people and we hope to see them back in 2019 for the very special Talladega Super Speedway event held in conjunction with the Mopar Aero Car Clubs.

This drone photo was taken by Lachlan McQuade of Australia.


The ladies took a break to visit the miniature while the husbands swap parts and talk cars.
Our 10 day old miniature donkey baby was almost as big of attraction as the cars.
Mom and baby miniature donkey graze as many watched.

The event officially started at 9 am on Friday but we had a yard full of trailers and guys swapping parts at 1 pm on Thursday. They couldn’t wait to get things going!

Katrina and I feel very humbled and honored at the response from this year’s attendees. From first thing Friday morning over coffee and donuts until well into the evening there were Ford/Mercury Aero Car guys and gals hanging out talking about anything related to the cars. There were some great new friendships created and many old strong ones reinforced.

There were more than cars to look at and compare. How about Dave and Shirley Moots’ trailer? It is gorgeous.

I was especially taken by how well and how fast the veterans of these events welcomed the first timers. Several of the newbies  said they were a little afraid their cars were not good enough to bring and others were afraid to ask “dumb” questions. Within minutes they found out every car is not only welcome but appreciated for what it is. We all started with rough cars and some of us still have them. There are no dumb questions, no one pretends to know everything in our group and everyone is anxious to hear more stories and learn more trivia.

Darrell Livingston let us all inspect and admire his new trailer out on its virgin tour.

Here are some photos to wet your appetite for the stories that are coming.


There was no shortage of F150, F250 and F350 pickups to admire. They were all as attractive and the cars inside their trailers.
Alan brought is project Spoiler II to the Reunion mounted on a frame jig!
Alan (Fireball) Miller found a Spoiler II fender he couldn’t live without and had to see if it fit.
Hard is it to find a Talladega fender, they were here!
If you didn’t need a Talladega fender how about one for a Spoiler II? Our informal swap meet had a lot of parts exchange hands. It seemed a lot of money changed hands but that people went home with a lot of needed parts and some with full billfolds.
Conversations were happening in all locations for two days straight.
Our large and wooded property proved to be a pleasant, relaxing and inviting location for everyone.



What is dinner in TN without a little old school country music by a live band? The Little Cash Band was a big hit.

It seemed like the favorite activity was talking and looking.

Our second day of the Reunion was a 169 mile road tour with several very interesting stops.

Driving our cars is a big part of owning them and on Saturday we all headed out on a 160 mile adventure.
We turned a lot of heads heading down Tennessee back roads.
Ever gone picking for cool stuff? We did. The TV Show American Pickers were here first but there was plenty left and several Team Members took home their pickens.
Now that is a bobble head!


James at Chalfan Motors is a master coach builder and impressed and entertained our group with his skills.
This is a nearly finished hand built Bugatti body waiting to be reunited to its chassis.
Wayne Perkins showed up in a Boss 429 powered street legal Talladega painted in Donnie Allison colors.

If you want to know more about this event follow it at Much more to come on the Reunion in upcoming articles on that site.

If this event sounds like fun to you think about how your club and your friends can think “outside the box” and plan some new kinds of events other than shows. We need to freshen up the way we enjoy our collector cars to continue to bring new participants into the hobby.


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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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