As some of you Thunderbolt fans know, I am a techman for NHRA. When ever I see pictures of the Gas Ronda Thunderbolt, I remember the '70s and 80's when the car raced in the midwest. Harold Stout raced the car a few times at tracks in Kentucky where I worked. At the time I did not know the car was the former Gas Ronda Thunderbolt. I learned that fact after I made my first trip to tech at Pomona. Although I had already traveled with NHRA for several years, my first trip to the west coast did not come until 1985. After the Pomona event, I spent several days at the NHRA Tech Department in Glendora. While searching through the NHRA tech files, I found good information on the '64 Thunderbolts. Information that I would find useful as a techman. The next time I saw the Thunderbolt was at the first Dallas National event in 1986 at the Texas Motorplex. By then the car was owned by Willie and Lyle Smith. Since we had a full crew of techmen and plenty time, we were instructed to inspect each car thoroughly. When I saw the Thunderbolt come through my tech line I was excited to put to use my new found information. The first thing I did was look at the serial number. You can just imagine my shock when I discovered that this was the Gas Ronda Thunderbolt. As I proceded to inspect the car I soon discovered that it had led a rough life as a racecar. Even though I had seen the car before, I never had time to closely inspect it's every aspect. Close scrutiny of the rollcage in the A-post area revealed some questionable welding. Through negotiations between the owner and my superiors the car was allowed to run the event. Since it was late in the 1986 racing season, the understanding was that the car would not be allowed to compete at another NHRA event until the rollcage was redone. My understanding is that this was the last time the car was seriously raced. Maybe I had apart in preserving a piece of Thunderbolt racing history.