Ford Fairlaine Thunderbolt

Car producer : 



Fairlaine Thunderbolt





The Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt is a limited production, factory experimental, drag racing version of the Ford Fairlane produced during the 1964 model year only. A total of 100 units were produced; forty-nine 4-speeds and fifty-one automatics, enough to secure the 1964 NHRA Super Stock championship for Ford.

As the muscle car market took shape, Ford introduced a Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt for drag racing for 1964, heavily modified to incorporate Ford's 427 CID (7.0 L) V8 race engine with two four-barrel carburetors on a high-riser manifold, ram-air through the openings left by deleting the inboard headlights, equal-length headers, trunk-mounted battery, fiberglass hood, doors, fenders, and front bumper, acrylic glass windows, and other lightweight options, including deleted rear-door window winders, carpeting, radio, sealant, sun visors, armrests, jack, lug wrench, heater, soundproofing, and passenger-side windshield wiper. The cars wore Fairlane 500 trim, and were only offered with the two-door sedan body. This special model, of which 111 to 127 total were made (sources disagree), delivered 657hp (490 kW) at 7,500 rpm and was known as the Thunderbolt.

Racing in NHRA Super Stock class on 7-inch (180 mm)-wide tires, the Thunderbolt was based on the midlevel Fairlane 500 two-door pillared sedan, and in 1964 set elapsed time and top speed records at 11.6 seconds and 124 mph (200 km/h), . took the Super Stock title, and won the Manufacturer's Cup; it is probably the quickest and fastest production drag racer ever produced. The car as delivered was, in fact, slightly too light to meet NHRA's 3200-lb (1451-kg) minimum weight unless it was raced with a full tank of gasoline, which would bring it to 3203 lb (1453 kg). NHRA rules at the time required a metal front bumper, so the cars began to be supplied with an aluminum bumper and previous purchasers were supplied with one.

Thunderbolt production was ended due to NHRA rule changes for Super Stock competition, requiring that 500 vehicles be built to be entered in that class. Ford had been losing $1500 to $2000 on each Thunderbolt sold at the sticker price of $3900. The first 11 Thunderbolts were painted maroon (known as Vintage Burgundy in Ford literature), the rest white; 99 had manual transmissions. Many are still raced. About 50 similar Mercury Cyclones were also produced by Ford in 1964, destined to be modified to represent Ford in A/FX competition, which they dominated, as well. These vehicles varied greatly in wheel track due to customer options for varying suspension and wheel/tire combinations. Front tracks from 54 to 56 in and rear tracks from 53.5 to 55.5 in were common.

Sold for: 247500 USD
Go to restoration
See other models

You may also like these cars

to top