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Features Ford Thunderbolts Photos Wanted

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Troublemaker427, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    Don't know if this pic of Ed Martin and Butch Leal has been posted previously (i did search the thread but you never know....) but thought it worth sharing.... there was no photo credit posted or I would give it....
     

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  2. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,385

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    I joined Facebook........for about an hour:mad:. My inbox was getting pounded by all these people who wanted to "friend" me. The whole thing was just too much so I got out. Guess I didn't know what I was doing. Thought I could just hang out,see pics and go unnoticed.
     
  3. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,385

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    Here are some that were posted by member "gbritnell" on another thread. From Dragway 42 I think. This car still alive?
     

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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  4. ClearSpot
    Joined: Aug 20, 2009
    Posts: 939

    ClearSpot
    Member
    from Michigan

    FYI:Some cool info from Roy Pool for the 50th anniversary meet this June 27-28 here in Dearborn.
    It's gonna be awesome!



    We are pleased to announce that the Thunderbolt Owners Association will join us to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt Reunion will bring together current and original owners, plus drivers, builders and mechanics, for informative and entertaining conversations with stories of the glory days of Thunderbolt drag racing. We are excited to share the showfield with these great cars, and the legendary people associated with them.

    http://www.fairlaneclubofamerica.com/content.aspx?page_id=87&club_id=363066&item_id=306819
     
  5. dlshady
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 236

    dlshady
    Member

    No, unfortunately that one isn't still around. The driveshaft came out of it and the car got pole vaulted end over end. :(
     
  6. SOHC427
    Joined: Apr 5, 2009
    Posts: 943

    SOHC427
    Member

    Now that is really sad. What a neat car, and a cool tow car as well.
     
  7. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 733

    Kentuckian
    Member

    Butch Leal at the 1964 Winternationals. Photo credited to Hot Rod Magazine.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ec164
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 500

    ec164
    Member
    from MI

    His screens had a larger pattern than I remember seeing.....Al
     
  9. Here are a couple pics taken at a car show in Buena Park, CA a few years ago.
     

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  10. spiertb
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 247

    spiertb
    Member

    Sometime in the past someone had a pic of a T-Bolt running C/A or?? at the Winternationals with a greatly enlarged rear wheelwell(it was cut clear up to the chrome trim and wanted to know whose it was. Last nite there was a pic on ebay-#231078124844- of the same car with JohnnyHarris?? on the door. Even the decals are the same. Syl
     
  11. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 266

    japar
    Member
    from Seekonk Ma

    Here's a couple of new ones for me not sure if they have been post here.
     

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  12. 55vickie
    Joined: Mar 20, 2010
    Posts: 41

    55vickie
    Member

    Neat that you mention the fetching of these cars in the snow. When I talked with Don Bowles last summer about the Connor Ford car he told me it was nasty weather when they went up and fetched the bolt from DST. Said it was an interesting drive home! I couldn't imagine flat towing your brand new race car like that! He also said the front alignment was so far out that it practically ruined the front tires on that car.

     
  13. Tom S. in Tn.
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,108

    Tom S. in Tn.
    Member

    ........ and according to Percy Dowlin, the Hagewood car was shoved outside in a rain storm and not allowed back inside to be hitched up, and the headers in a cardboard box in the trunk.

    I don't have much time for this site anymore but I want to add the reason most of these cars got cut up with straight axles and such to be Match Racers and classes other than SS/ is because they were nearly impossible to work on as delivered and frequent head gasket changes made an influence to move up.
    Tom S. in Tn.
     
  14. LennyFreebern
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 116

    LennyFreebern
    Member

    With all due respect Tom I disagree. If SS was the class a racer wanted to run he would suffer with a few headaches caused by the engine compartments tight quarters. I agree that changing the head gaskets in the car was a pain primarily because the lower/exhaust head bolts required a universal joint on your ratchet extension. Half the time the universal would explode during the final torque sequence at 125 Ft-Lbs. I found pulling the motor to work on it to be easier particularly if you had the facilities. Most of us did even if it was a tree branch in the back yard with a chain fall setup (or in my case a block & tackle setup). For race day work at the track-you have a point though although the more financially well off racers carried spare motors to swap out if problems occurred. Just my two cents. The 66/67 fairlane's engine compartment didn't make things any easier in this regard nor did the early big block mustangs.

    Len
     
  15. Tom S. in Tn.
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,108

    Tom S. in Tn.
    Member

    When was the last time you saw a glossy center fold photo of one of these running a 409 or a aluminum Pontiac?
    Remember Mr. Freeman, all the way up until the mid 70's out here in Div II and III it was flag start rural times and there weren't many class rules at all, let alone other SS/er's around where a lot of these cars wound up. Stockers driven in the gate and towed back out with a log chain filled the lanes with a few daring home made rail-jobs or occasional altered.

    Next, in the mid to late sixties match racing early style 'funny cars' was the name of Super Stock which itself was to become Pro Stock.

    And finally, there was no such thing as a spare Hi-Riser........ nor much time to change one during the week, let alone at some track that only had a few lights along the strip. Hence the incentive to put an Econoline axle under the front and cut out the fender wells. Some die hards went all out and even changed the wheelbase while removing everything unnecessary and still have the car operate, and not just interior, glove box, door locks, but even components like front brakes. Muffler tubing roll bars got them through any hi-tech gate safety inspections. I don't want to talk about some cutting the roof off in some cases. (but they did)

    This was not the west coast, no colorful decals and any product identification was actually painted on with a brush. A big event pre-billed race with any company sponsored contingency might have included a ticket for a free steak meal or a local parts house discount in lieu of actual dollars in the wee hours of the morning for the guy who collected a dime store trophy and the right to be declared winner that week.

    These Fairlanes came out the same time the Mustang was born to create another loud and fast weekend recreational presence for Ford, and here in Buster Couch's Rebel South where funny cars came from, Thunderbolts made prime war artillery to compete against Max Wedges and home made big block Nova match racers.

    Trust me........... you had to be there for any understanding to the fate of such rare cars.
    Sure wish I had invested in a camera back then; Tom S. in Tn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  16. LennyFreebern
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 116

    LennyFreebern
    Member


    Things sure must have been different down your way Tom. Div. I was totally the opposite. All Seven of the New York cars where I hail from maintained their originality throughout the 64 season. Reynolds-Mike Gray, Bender Ford/GIGI-Essig, Collins-Morris Lee, Larsen-Bill Kolb, Webster-Elwood Banker, & Dobbs Ferry, and #7 the Willis tbolt which ran primarily in NY & Canada. All the New York tracks in 1964 had Christmas Trees in '64'.

    1965 was another case altogether due to class changes due to increased build reqmt's per NHRA. From my conversations with the succeeding owners some got modified as you mentioned but not for the reasons you state. And, in my area there were numerous spare 427's and none were factory supplied. Maybe there was more money in Ny or maybe the dealers were more generous in their sponsorship.
    As far as being there, I was there and so was my older brother. Things obviously were different in your neck of the woods. There wasn't near as much match racing in my area with tbolts as there was in yours. Most cars ran "class" in 1964 so they couldn't perform the mods you mentioned.

    Just my opinions Tom-No need to get exited.

    Len
     
  17. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 733

    Kentuckian
    Member

    Not taking sides on the issue but by mid year 1965 the Thunderbolts in the South were taking a beating from the hemi cars. When Chrysler came out with the altered wheelbase Dodges and Plymouths the magazines went crazy with the coverage. Down South, local track operators were always looking for a way to cash in on whatever the latest craze might be. There was still regular S/S and Modified racing going on weekly but fans wanted more. When the altered wheelbase Mopars came to town the spectator stands were packed. Most spectators did not care whether the cars were legal for S/S or not. The altered wheelbase FX Mopars were stealing the show.

    The introduction of the altered wheelbase FX Mopars led to the demise of many good factory S/S racecars, not just the Thunderbolts but all makes. Altering a factory racecar became the best way to try to make a name for yourself match racing. Many tried, a few succeeded, but most just ended up butchering their factory racecars. When the Southern match race craze faded, there were a lot of beautiful factory racecars that wound up being little more than junk.
     
  18. Tom S. in Tn.
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,108

    Tom S. in Tn.
    Member


    Mr. Kentukians last statement from above, and I quote; " When the Southern match race craze faded, there were a lot of beautiful factory racecars that wound up being little more than junk. "

    The car in the photo below was purchased from the original owner for it's intact hi-riser, a quite rare item in 1970, for use in a R coded Galaxy SS/ car. Notice it had been cut and gutted for not just lightness, but accessibility. Also take note the junkyard multi leaf sprung Econoline beam front axle, not some store bought chromed tubular coil over assy.
    I'll cite the Georgia cars of Cochran and Rattlesnake Austin for further reference.

    For the life of me today, I can not recall who was touring through matching Houston Platt at Big Oak in Columbia Tn., but I do recall seeing them dusting the starting line down with dance hall-gym floor rosin. We went away thinking this must be how they race at real NHRA events on the west coast.
    I choose not to comment any further about Mr. Kentuckian's recollection of the brand names mentioned above. However I will state that it's quite factual and true.

    I want to say it again: I can't begin to know how you guys raced in NY or Cal., but to see real racing, and not some sterile by the book time clocked multitude of different class form of event, but rather 1 winner dog eat dog racing won by a real man who actually out-drove his car down old logging roads we called drag strips, or either chasing each other around in circles slinging chert clay all sunday afternoon in a cow pasture (some people like the Petty's actually did both)............. you just had to be there in match race Div II.
    Tom S. in Tn.
     
  19. Tom S. in Tn.
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,108

    Tom S. in Tn.
    Member

    Photo didn't make it. I'll try again. Tom S. in Tn.
     

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  20. Question: Original T -bolt,...Lift off hood? Hinged hood?
    I've seen both in this thread
     
  21. To Tom's comments would the racers back then cut that all out so it would be easier to drop the headers? You talked about changing headgaskets a lot. I know for late model stuff we have some workarounds too as long as they are allowed.
     
  22. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 733

    Kentuckian
    Member

    When running FX they were probably allowed to be lift-off. However when classed in as a S/S, the hoods were all hinged. The accompanying photo dated April 1964 shows a Thunderbolt sponsored by George May Ford out of Lorain, OH. This view with open hood clearly shows hinges but no springs due to being fiberglass. Thunderbolts came from Dearborn Steel Tubing with a hinged hood.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 733

    Kentuckian
    Member

    Here's a 1964 color photo of the Tasca Ford Thunderbolt with the hood up.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. I knew YOU would know LOL
    I guess you saw the picture of Velde's car at Orlando this weekend (?)
     
  25. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 733

    Kentuckian
    Member

    I wondered why you asked about Thunderbolt hoods until I saw Ken Miele's "not live from" Orlando coverage. I guess it shows that things do get noticed in posted pictures. The Velde Thunderbolt does look nice and from the qualifying sheet it runs good too.

    The SS/BA Thunderbolt we are talking about is driven by David Lindsey of Florida. It ran a 9.09 et and qualified 9th at the Orlando points meet this weekend.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 733

    Kentuckian
    Member

    By the way, the lift off hood is legal as long as the hinges are in still place on the car.
     
  27. ec164
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 500

    ec164
    Member
    from MI

    That car looks and is Bad Ass!!!! Your right on the Hinge statement Mr. Kentucky......Al
     
  28. Troublemaker427
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,829

    Troublemaker427
    Member

    Ok guys, the 2014 FE Race & Reunion just keeps getting better and better. To help celebrate the 50th. Anniversary of the Thunderbolt, Beaver Bob from Beaver Springs Dragway, has come up with the following race within a race for qualifying!!! Who is going to step up and take home the money, trophy and one of a kind jacket!!!

    "We'll have a 50th Anniversary Fastest Thunderbolt Record
    Open to all FE Powered Thunderbolts. Both original and clones
    Cars will run in a special time trials section only.
    We will crown the 50th Anniversary Fastest Thunderbolt.
    1st place - $200, Special edition FE Bird Plaque and Championship Jacket
    2nd place - $100, Special edition FE Bird Plaque
    3rd place - Special edition FE Bird Plaque

    Not looking at any eliminations. Just 3 rounds heads up, side by side time trial to see who is the fastest. I think it'll add a lot to the show."

    Beaver Bob

    http://www.fairlanet.com/FE/

    See our website above for more information about the 2014 FE Race & Reunion.

    There are only two rules for this event, you have a 1964 Fairlane (Thunderbolt) and run a FE. Bring it and hope you brung enough just like 1964...

    And we don't care if your hood has hinges or if it lifts off!!!
     
  29. spiertb
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 247

    spiertb
    Member

    I saw a couple of pictures in books recently and was wondering if anyone had the technology to capture them, enlarge them and post them here. The 1st is from Charles Morris' book--Total Performers, For Drag Racing in the 1960's. On page 76 is a photoof Al Maroone's mustang racing "The Lively One" T-Bolt of Paul Harvey. I've never seen a pic of this car elsewhere. @nd-- in the book--Super Stock, Drag Racing the family sedan-- on page 125 is a pic of Bill Ireland's T-Bolt(by Russ Griffith). Again, this is the only place I've seen this photo. Any help?? Thanks. Sylvanus
     
  30. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,081

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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