The 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt
The 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt was a factory experimental, limited production, drag racing version of the Ford Fairlane. There were only 100 ever produced, forty nine being 4-speeds and 51 were automatics. The first 11 cars were painted Ford’s antique maroon and went to “wheels” like Mickey Thompson, the rest were painted Wimbledon white and sent to various dealerships and some private collectors. The 1964 Price of $3,500 ! According to NHRA rules a specific number had to be made available to the general public before it would be eligible to compete in the super stock competition. The Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt won Ford the 1964 NHRA Superstock Championship.
Born to race
Inside the glovebox, riveted to the inside of it’s door, is a small disclaimer tag that states ….” this vehicle has been built specially as a lightweight competitive car and includes certain fiberglass and aluminum components. Because of the specialized purpose for which this car has been built in order to achieve maximum weight reduction, normal quality standards of the Ford Motor Company in terms of exterior panel fit and surface appearance are not met on this vehicle. This information is included on this vehicle to assure all customers who purchase are aware of the deviations from the regular high appearance quality standards of the Ford Motor Company”. Despite this tag the owner of the 11th car built entered it into the Power tour west 99 and drove this drag racing factory experimental legend from San Bernardino California to Nashville Tennessee.
On Jan 11, 2019 Barrett Jackson’s Scottsdale 2012 auction lot #1018 a 1964 maroon Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt was sold for $242,000.00. There are only about 60 Thunderbolts in existence today.
A true Treasure Hunters dream
Inside a Georgia barn a 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt sat among the dust and cobwebs waiting for over 30 years to once again see the light of day. This Thunderbolt was not just any ordinary Thunderbolt it was first owned and raced successfully, for many campaigns, by Phil Bonner a professional drag racer. It came to rest inside the barn after Hal Reed heard about the car sometime in the early 80’s. He was told about a 1964 Ford Fairlane 500, near Stone Mountain, Georgia, that had been for sale for a long time. Reed found out from the seller that the car was full of old ford race engine parts. Reed went to see the car and recognized the car as a neglected legend and a part of Ford Motor Company’s racing past. The current owner mentioned that the car had at one time been owned by Phil Bonner. No doubt about it he had to own this legendary car. He made a deal to purchase the car and all the parts it contained. Reeds ultimate dream was to restore and race this car as much as he could. However he ended up in the hospital and was unable to do the work himself. He did, however, know someone who could and that man was Donald Allen.
The Restored Ford Thunderbolt
Donald Allen of North Georgia is known for performing top-notch restoration work on 427ci V-8 powered Ford Galaxies and Fairlanes. He had already restored several award winning Thunderbolts including some originally owned by Dick Brannon, Steve Honnell, Pete Mount and Milo Coleman. Reed and Allen made an agreement for Allen to give the car a frame up restoration and Allen agreed to let Reed make a lap once the car was ready. It seems that Reed will get the chance to make his dream come true by driving the Thunderbolt after all.