There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Ford Fairlane “Thunderbolt” before; only 100 were built during its single, brief year of production, and unlike some other rare Fords, it didn’t receive the publicity boost that comes with being homologated for rally racing or NASCAR.
That’s because the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt’s motorsport of choice was drag racing, and it’s a sport the Thunderbolt did rather well. It’s the car that propelled Gas Ronda to the top at the 1964 NHRA Stock World Championship, before rule changes banned fiberglass construction from competition. The Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt’s hood, front fenders, and doors were made from the stuff.
One of these rare drag racing machines is headed for auction at next month’s Mecum event in Kissimmee, Florida. The car is number 49 of 100, and features a correct 427-cubic-inch V8 with dual 800 cfm Holley carbs, paired with a Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmission and a short 4.57:1 rear. A high-rise aluminum intake plenum necessitates a prominent, aggressive bulge in the hood, and the side windows are made of plexiglass.
Best of all, this example has been the recipient of a full restoration by California-based GT Body Styles.
Mecum anticipates that this 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt will sell for $260k to $300k. It will cross the block at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida on Saturday, January 14th. Be sure to check out the listing on the Mecum website for more details and high-resolution photographs.