1964 FORD FAIRLANE THUNDERBOLT
This 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt is one of the documented 100 produced. Ford delivered the Thunderbolt Fairlane 500s as K-code, high-performance 289ci, 4-speed cars. They arrived, less the engine and transmission. By ordering the K-code engine, the car was shipped with larger brakes and the Ford 9-inch differential. The chassis was reinforced and modified to accommodate a 427ci 8-cylinder high-riser FE engine with two 4-barrel carburetors. The original steel hood and front quarter-panels were replaced with fiberglass, and a teardrop hood was installed. Weight-saving measures included the elimination of many items. What remained inside the car was a single driver’s sun visor, windshield wiper, seat belt and lightweight Bostrum Thinline racing seats. The Thunderbolts were also delivered with drag racing slicks as standard equipment. This particular example was delivered to Max Larson Ford in Coldwater, MI, on December 26, 1963, and resold on April 21, 1964, to Jack Mefford Ford in Springfield, OH, where it was campaigned throughout the Ohio Valley. Originally produced with an automatic transmission, this car was quickly converted to a Ford Toploader 4-speed manual. This common Thunderbolt conversion created a very competitive car in the Super Stock (S/S) classification. The current owner, whose late uncle was Ford drag racing legend Les Ritchey, purchased the car in 2015 from a collector’s estate. It had been stored in an Arizona warehouse for an estimated 30 years, and the odometer indicates less than 400 miles. The vehicle then underwent a meticulous yearlong nut-and-bolt concours restoration to bring it back to “as campaigned” in the 1960s. After its restoration, the car was displayed at Concours d’Elegance events throughout California in 2017, and it garnered several Best in Class and First in Class awards. It was awarded the Historical Vehicle Association’s National Automotive Heritage Award at the Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours. This historically significant car comes with a Letter of Authentication from the Thunderbolt Owners Association, as well as a Ford dealer memorandum dated February 21, 1964.