A single of the rarest muscle autos ever made was the 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt. It was an experimental auto developed for the sole objective of winning expert drag races and a NHRA Championship.

Ford only constructed one hundred Thunderbolts, of which about 60 are nonetheless identified to exist.

The Thunderbolt was a kind of choice for the 1964 Ford Fairlane. What Ford did was to eliminate every thing non-important to the auto to lower excess weight, which includes the heater, radio, rear seats, and any sound deadening materials. Then it paired the auto with a 427cid engine outfitted with a large-rise aluminum manifold with a pair of Holley four-barrel carbs.

The Thunderbolt essential main adjustments to the front suspension for the 427 to match. It also obtained heavier-duty suspension mounts. The doors, hood, front fenders and front bumper had been crafted from fiberglass (the bumper was altered to aluminum in later on autos) and the earliest autos also obtained Plexiglass side and rear windows.

Normal factory overall performance gear integrated tubular headers, an electrical fuel pump, a modified rear suspension with traction bars and asymmetrical leaf springs, a trunk-mounted battery, locking differential auxiliary gauges, unique tires and an aluminum scatter shield.

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

Dealers had been not delivered Thunderbolts but had to go to Dearborn, Michigan, if they had been fortunate ample to be allotted 1. To dissuade folks from pondering the Thunderbolt was a street auto, it featured a disclaimer label below the hood specifying that the Thunderbolt was created for racing use only. That plate reads:

“This motor vehicle has been constructed specially as a light-weight aggressive auto and consists of specified fiberglass and aluminum elements. Due to the fact of the specialized objective for which this auto has been constructed and in purchase to attain optimum excess weight reduction, typical high quality requirements of the Ford Motor Business in terms of exterior panel match and surface look are not met on this motor vehicle.

“This info is integrated on this motor vehicle to assure that all clients who buy this auto are conscious of the deviation from the standard large look high quality requirements of the Ford Motor Business.”

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

By the finish of 1964, the Fairlane Thunderbolt completed Ford’s purpose by winning the 1964 NHRA Leading Stock award.

AutoHunter has 1 of these fascinating autos up for auction, so we reached out to the proprietor, Jim Chun, to get to know a bit a lot more about the auto and his story with it.

Chun is a longtime Ford muscle auto collector who, in addition to this ‘64 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, has owned a pair of Mustang Boss 429s along with other different Ford muscle autos. He purchased the Fairlane due to the fact, “I had just offered my 2nd Boss 429 and wished to fill the gap.”

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

What is unique about this Thunderbolt?

“You have to hear it run!” he responded. “It’s a factory light-weight drag auto. If you like drag racing, there is nothing at all like it. When you hear the engine and smell the 115-octane fuel burning, it is just so amazing.

“Besides that, the Thunderbolt is not anything you are going to see each day at auto demonstrates. With only one hundred constructed and someplace about 60 left, they are not a auto you are going to see really frequently unless of course you go to a Thunderbolt reunion. This auto is like possessing the Ford edition of a Hemi Superbird.”

Chun also advised us a bit of what he is aware of about the story of his auto.

“Emhrae Ford sent worker Frank Beamon to select the auto up from Dearborn Steel Tubing. He was the man who raced the auto for the dealership. Dealership raced, for a 12 months, then offered to a man who owned a mill in Virginia Seaside. Then offered once more to a collector in California.

“The following proprietor lived in Linden Washington, and then it produced its way to British Columbia to an proprietor who was into vintage drag racing. I purchased it from them and had it restored to as-delivered new problem.

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

“This Thunderbolt, as opposed to most, has never ever been wrecked and rebodied and nonetheless has all of its authentic physique panels, which is yet another point that attracted me to this particular auto.”

The Thunderbolt is a portion of the historical past and mythology of Ford’s racing and overall performance era throughout the 1960s. We hope this particular instance will locate the new house that is as unique as this auto deserves.

For a lot more info and pictures, pay a visit to this Thunderbolt’s reside listing on AutoHunter.

This post, written by Andy Reid, was initially published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial spouse of Motor Authority.