Richard Petty NASCAR Torino 1969

There was only one year that the King Richard Petty drove a Blue Oval. That was in the 1969 season. Chrysler refused to give The King a Plymouth with a wing and neither would they let him drive a Dodge Daytona with the nose and wing. He knew that without an aerodynamic body even a Hemi was not going to beat the new slick Fords.

He did the unthinkable, he went to Ford. This example is a short nose regular body Torino Cobra. This is the body that was still fast on the short tracks and road courses. For most tracks and especially the Super Speedways like Daytona and Talladega the King would drive the new Ford Talladega. It is basically the Cobra but with a much more aerodynamic body.

Although this car is powered by the powerful Ford 427 later in the year the Boss 429 based engine would take over.

This Holman and Moody Ford Torino raced at Riverside and won on February 1, 1969. Soon after this, at Daytona the Ford Talladega would replace the standard bodied Torino Cobra. Petty won 10 races in 1969, one less than Pearson’s 11.

Aerodynamics was beginning to become more and more important. Note how the rear bumper has the additional body work to prevent air drag at the end of the bumper.

I don’t know if it was more for safety or aerodynamics but the door handles were removed.


  1. Hey Richard,

    This is Phil with the Petty ‘bird clone. How are you doing? After looking over these photos of the King’s Talladega I noticed that the images say “small” in the image name. Would the full resolution photos be available?
    I just bought a David Pearson 1968 Torino tribute car that needs some work and I need detail pictures.


  2. I have a 1968 Mercury Cyclone Fastback, 428 CJ, auto of coarse. With all vin# intact with a date code of .. 0/1/D and I read it the first day = 1st. D = A-B-C-D the forth month = April. The code is April 1st 1968. My question is what day did they put the 428CJ motor in ANY Ford ever. Is it not April Fools Day 1968? Is it the first day production 428CJ car?

  3. According to, “On December 26, 1967, Jacques Passino, Ford’s Special Vehicles Activity manager sent a telegram to all Ford regional and district sales managers announcing the 428 Cobra Jet Mustangs. The notice stated that effective December 26, 1967, orders would be accepted for a limited number of Mustang 2+2 hardtops (fastbacks) that would be pre-built to set specifications. The price for each car would be $2,907.67 wholesale with an MSRP of $3,612.69 including a 12 and 12 warranty. The telegram went on to state that when ordering, the buyer should indicate whether or not sealers and sound deadeners should be deleted. On the following day, December 27th, the 50 “135” series Mustangs were built at the Dearborn assembly plant.

    On January 16, 1968, Chuck Foulger sent out a request for certificate of origin for the 50 cars that included the VIN’s and destination for each car. Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works has confirmed that 135008 through 135037 were standard while 135038 through 135056 were “lightweight” cars. Foulger also sent a telegram to John Cowley with the VIN numbers of four “135” cars that would be sent to H-M-S to be modified for dragstrip use at the NHRA Winternationals.”

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