AJ's Car of the Day: Friday, June 20th (1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt)

Car: Ford Fairlane "Thunderbolt"


Year: 1964

 

What makes it special: Ford's Thunderbolt Fairlane was a limited production, factory experimental drag race only car built in 1964. It was based and named for a factory experimental Fairlane of 1963. A total of 100 units were produced.

 

What made it famous: The Thunderbolt combined the light weight of Ford's intermediate-sized body with a "High Rise" 427 cu in V8 engine with dual Holley 4-barrel carburetors intended for use in the much larger Ford Galaxie model. In Thunderbolt trim, the Fairlane was three inches shorter than the Galaxie and weighed 700 pounds less. Fiberglass doors, hood, front fenders and front bumpers, along with Plexiglas side and rear windows reduced weight, the raised "teardrop" hood with ram air scoop was designed to draw hot air from the engine compartment and was pinned in position, eliminating the need for a hood latch and making access to the engine quick and easy during the course of a race. Later cars had aluminum front bumpers in place of the fiberglass unit due to racing regulations.

 

Why I would want one: It's Ford's "ultimate drag racing badass," and with only 100 examples built, getting an original Thunderbolt would be a welcome, must-have addition to ANY car collection. 

 

Fun fact: Other weight-saving measures included the elimination of such street items as the sun visors, radio, heater, wheel covers, passenger side windshield wiper, arm rests, rear window cranks, mirrors, sound deadening material, carpeting, trunk mat, lug wrench, jack and spare tire.

 

(1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt photo from detailingbay.com)