Aero NASCAR models from around America converge on Alabama

The wings over Talladega; see you in 2019…

The Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, Alabama, first opened six years ago, during the 40th Anniversary Aero Warriors Reunion. In 2015, the museum again played the hosting role for the special show, held once every five years in October over the same weekend as the Talladega NASCAR Sprint Cup race. This multiday event was a year later than normal due to some unforeseen complications in 2014, which was the actual 45-year anniversary of the first race at Talladega in 1969, but was well worth the wait.

The aero warriors are the specialty vehicles built by Chrysler and Ford in the late 1960s. These cars featured restyling cues for superspeedway use, and their creation was mandated by rules that stated only production equipment could be used in racing. While adaptions for speed were seen in earlier models, the five cars that normally are considered ‘aero specials’ were the Ford Torino Talladega, Mercury Cyclone Spoiler, Plymouth Superbird, and Dodge Charger 500 and Daytona. The cars were only raced in NASCAR in 1969 and 1970, as revisions to the rules in 1971 rendered them non-competitive. The Superbird was the final example and the only model to be based on a 1970 styling.

The 2015 reunion was a showcase of these cars in both race and street trim. It was highlighted by a series of events that started on Thursday morning with laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A party at the home of Tim and Pam Wellborn, founders of the museum and long-time musclecar aficionados, was held on Friday, and the museum hosted a car show and special seminar events on Saturday, culminating in dinner and a 70s costume party. On Sunday morning, members of local and state law enforcement escorted a miles-long convoy of over 120 vehicles to the Talladega Super Speedway, where the historic cars were given the opportunity to make two pacing circuits in front of the crowd on hand for the weekend’s 500.

Atlanta on Thursday morning let attendees get some speed out of their system with pacecar-led track time.