1964 Ford Fairlane 500 Thunderbolt Two-Door HardtopSOLD

RM Auctions - Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction - August 16-18

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Estimate: $225,000-$275,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $165,000

425bhp, 427 cu. in V8 engine, four-speed manual transmission, heavy-duty rear suspension, front disc rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5"

In Ford history, 1964 was a banner year. Most enthusiasts will immediately recall it as the year the first Mustang was unveiled at the World ’ s Fair in April. Yet another tremendously important vehicle to make its first appearance in 1964 was the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt Two-Door Hardtop.

The Fairlane Thunderbolt was the final nudge that pushed Ford, and for that matter the entire industry, into the muscle car era. At the same time it also helped bring the fledgling sport of drag racing into its own.

The 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt Two-Door Hardtop was a bare bones, basic performance drag car. In fact, when it debuted, Car Life magazine stated, “ Obviously it ’ s a race car… and one calculated to put Ford right back in the front row on the drag strips this summer. ”

Ford had teamed-up with Andy Hotten of the Dearborn Steel Tubing Company to create fifty-seven 427 cubic inch V8 engine powered Ford Fairlanes. In 1963 the NHRA had established minimum weight rules for stock-class drag cars and the Thunderbolt came in at 3,203 pounds to be competitive at the drag strip.

As a result, the 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt Two-Door Hardtop was more than just a hotted-up version of the standard production car. The interior featured lightweight police package bucket seats and an 8,000 rpm Rotunda tachometer. Externally, it was outfitted with fiberglass fenders and Plexiglas windows. A tall, teardrop-shaped hood blister was required to clear the competition 427 ’ s high-rise manifold and air cleaner. The Thunderbolt was given a cold-air induction system with air intakes where the inner headlamps once sat and a highly modified front suspension to compensate for the big and powerful, 427 cubic inch V8. There was a lot deleted as well including the sun visors, mirror, all insulation and sound-deadening materials, armrests, the jack and the lug wrench.

The horsepower was stated as 425, but in actuality was probably closer to 500. The transmission was either a heavy-duty Lincoln automatic with 4.58:1 gearing or a Borg-Warner T-10 transmission with a Hurst shifter featuring 4.44:1 gearing. To help keep all that power on the ground, Ford fit oversized traction bars, asymmetrical rear springs, and a trunk-mounted 95-pound battery.

The Thunderbolt name was soon applied based on the popularity of a 1963 A/FX Fairlane drag race car. Later, these Fairlane Thunderbolts became affectionately know as “ T-bolts. ” Demand was so strong that a second order for an additional fifty-four white cars was submitted.

Designed for serious drag strip competition, a mere one hundred and eleven Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt Two-Door Hardtops were built in 1964. Out of that total, eighty-nine were fitted with the four-speed transmission and after the first eleven were painted maroon, the rest were sprayed white. At the drag strip, driver Gas Ronda walked- away with the NHRA ’ s 1964 World Championship when his T-Bolt raced down the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 124mph.

This very accurate, fully restored 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt is an outstanding example with all the original equipment and fittings. It is painted in white and has a white and gray interior, both of which are beautifully detailed throughout. Documented and accredited by the Thunderbolt Registry, it is a very special car for a very special person who enjoys not only concours exhibitions, but also the occasional drag race – just for fun!

Reference Number 10096

as of 6/1/2007

Car 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 Thunderbolt Two-Door Hardtop
VIN 4F41K167198 
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