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Ford “Thunderbolts”


- '64 Ford Lightweight Factory-427 Hi Riser
- 4-speed fully restored to original condition
- 1 of 25 4-speeds built used by factory to promote drag racing, then thought to be raced by Bud Schlenburg and Won US World Nationals in '64
- Frame-off restoration
- Fully restored by well-known Ford restorer Donald Allen to original condition


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-- Edited by TANGO on Monday 19th of April 2010 05:36:42 AM

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RE: 1964 Ford “Thunderbolts”


Ford’s “Total Performance” program under Lee Iacocca was well underway when the order was sent to Dearborn Steel Tubing Company to build a batch of special lightweight Ford Fairlanes. Stripped to their essence, painted Wimbledon White and stuffed with 427 cubic inches of Galaxie V-8, the cars were dubbed “Thunderbolts”, and they struck factory experimental drag racing like lightning.

The insertion of the huge 427 into the Fairlane’s compact engine compartment required relocating some front suspension mounting points and grafting the famous teardrop-shaped bubble onto the fiberglass hood, a Thunderbolt trademark. Fiberglass was also used in the doors and front fenders; aluminum was mandated by the NHRA for replacing the steel bumpers, while side and rear windows were formed in plexiglas.

The heavy-breathing 427 was given away by the screens that replaced the inner headlights. Air flowed past these openings through large-diameter flexible hoses that fed twin Holley 4-barrel carburetors atop the 12.7:1 425hp-rated engine. This was no street machine: this was a purpose-built factory race car sold to professional racing customers with proven winning records. Gas Ronda demonstrated the formula’s effectiveness at the 1964 NHRA Winternationals by winning his class with an 11.6 second blast at 124.38 mph. With that kind of performance, there was not much that could touch a Thunderbolt even in box-stock trim.

This Wimbledon White 1964 Ford Thunderbolt was sold to Jerry Alderman Ford of Indianapolis on July 8, 1964 for the princely sum of one dollar. Bob Martin campaigned the car across the Midwest under the name “Little Emmett” from 1964 to 1966. It went off the radar for the next twenty-three years until it was sold by Autohaus of Los Gatos, CA to Bob Panella of Stockton, who had the car restored by Specialty Automotive. After its sale to Joe Fazo of Stockton, it joined the Hot Rod Power Tour in 1999. Since then it has appeared regularly at races and shows, the perfect ambassador for the Thunderbolt legacy.

Highlights:

- VIN#4F41K167201

- Delivery Date: Early December 1963

- Sold to Jerry Alderman Ford, Indianapolis, Indiana on July 8, 1964, price: $1.00

- 1964-1966: Raced Midwest tracks under the name "Little Emmett" driven by Bob Martin

- 1967-1990: Unknown

- 1990: Purchased by Bob Panella of Stockton, CA from Brian Bernette of Autohaus of Los Gatos, CA

- 1990-1992: Restored by Specialty Automotive (Rick Hawn) Campbell, Ca

- 1998: Sold to Joe Fazo of Stockton, CA

- 1999: Driven on Hot Rod Power Tour

- 2000: Purchased by Rick Hamilton, Tulare, CA

- 2000-Present: Numerous car shows and drag races attended

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i read in one of the thunderbolt articles that they could be taged and driver on the street.if so, wouldnt that make them the fastest of the muscle cars.they did have a bad azz et.

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geezer wrote:

i read in one of the thunderbolt articles that they could be taged and driver on the street.if so, wouldnt that make them the fastest of the muscle cars.they did have a bad azz et.



geezer I am Kind-a with you on that First Muscle Car thing . Folks Say the GTO is the First because of it's Smaller Size with Larger Engine . But I still say the 1961 Chevy Impala SS Bubble Top 409 4-Speed Car is the Real First Muscle . They were not that Big Either .

Here is a Read on them Thunderbolt's 

http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/hrdp_0911_ford_thunderbolt_reunion/index.html

 



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Ford Tech

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RE: Ford “Thunderbolts”


I love them old FE Fords!!! Thanks for the pics and writeups.

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This one Might Not be a “Thunderbolts”  But them Racing Flag on the Bottom of the Front Fenders are Not there for Look's . My guess is that this one has a 390 4bbl and Check out inside 4 on the Floor Yes nod.gif

1964 Ford Galaxie 500 XL 2-Door Hardtop


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