The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Troublemaker427, Oct 11, 2006.
hello everyone. been a few months since my first post. and in my first post i had a question for anyone to seebif they new who the nice old gentleman was in the first pic leaning on HIS car. not much action here since i posted that pic. guess after 10 years it just wasnt to exciting anymore. well maybe we can help get this thread hopping again. That gentleman in the pic is the man himself, Mr. Milo Coleman. No kidding its really him. weve been good friends for the past 4 or 5 years now. What a Guy. Just turned 80 years old and still plays with his cars. The car in the pic is his 2nd clone. He also has a 65 Falcon 427 Hi Riser. He has some wonderful stories and some neat Ford paperwork from back in 64 while racing his T-Bolt. Im working on getting that stuff scanned to post on hear for everyone. I did get 2 pics from him that he doesnt think anyone has seen other than close friends. And talk about close friends, does he ever have some of those. Well that will be for another post. Ill include the 2 pics he gave me now. Ill get the other stuff up as soon as I can. Just wanted to let everyone know that my Good Friend Milo Coleman is alive and kicking. Hope I have half the energy he has when Im 80 years old.
Sorry could only get one to load.
Good mornin' everyone. Got the other pic to load, so here it is. Also if your interested in finding out more about Milo, the Fairlane Club of America's magazine, The Fairlaner, has a Great article on Milo. It was the July/August 2011 issue.
Im still working on the Ford paper work to get posted on here, so bear with me.
Thanks for sharing the Milo Coleman T-Bolt pictures. Ask him about his old friends Bobby & Harry Fermier and their '62 Ford 406. I knew Bobby and Harry back in the very early 1960's.
Ok let's bring this back with the conundrum. I think I remember on here a "discussion" on whither or not this was a "T" Bolt and the outcome of the discussion.
It says thunderbolt on the quarter panel so what's the verdict yes or no is it a "T" bolt?
This time running A/S but also with B/FX markings
A/S again but still has B/FX marking painted on
No doubt about this one being real.
Butch Leal with a factory Thunderbolt at the ’64 NHRA Winternationals. Besides winning Super Stock class at the Winters, Thunderbolts also won the HOT ROD Magazine Championship Drags, NHRA Super Stock World Championship (Gas Ronda), Indy (Butch Leal) and set the NHRA Super Stock class record (Tasca Ford) in 1964.
Note the "T" sticker
Found another "History" of the "T" Bolts
Ford recognized the potential of the Tasca Fairlane prototype and the fact that such a car would fit
within the required cubic inches-to-weight regulation for NHRA Super Stock competition. So they
undertook a program to build the required 50 units to enter competition. A 1964 Fairlane 500 two-
door sedan would be the basic platform for the cars, and Dearborn Steel Tubing Company was
awarded the contract for the project. Plans were made for an initial run of 11 cars to equip
members of the Drag Council. Of these first 11 cars, one would be fitted with an automatic
transmission. This was a Lincoln unit modified with heavy-duty parts to stand up to the 500 hp
estimated be produced by the new 427 High Riser engine.
The “Thunderbolts” began life as production vehicles slated to receive the high-performance 289
engine, and thus were already equipped with a 9-inch rear housing. They were shipped sans
engine, drivetrain, and front sheet metal to D.S.T. where they would be modified into all-out, race-
ready drag cars. In a letter dated February 21, 1964, Ford Motor Company informed district Ford
dealers of the availability of Ford products for drag events. The Super Stock 427 Fairlane two-door
sedan was available only by special order directly through the office of Special Vehicles Manager.
And a couple photos
The Jack Whitby Ford "Total Performer" Thunderbolt was the 21st car built and one of
the few automatic-transmission cars not converted to 4-speed. Even with an automatic
transmission, the car was locally successful.
Jack Whitby’s Total Performer Thunderbolt gets under way past the flagman.
I am new to this board and have enjoyed reading the many threads on vintage racing including this one on 64 Thunderbolts. I am interested in making an accurate model of Gas Ronda's burgundy Downtown Ford 64 Winternationals Super Stock winning Thunderbolt. Ideally as raced that day. One decal I am having trouble recognizing is the big T in a circle on the windshield of Ronda's and Butch Leal's T-Bolts. I only see them on the Pomona cars. Can anyone help?
One other question on Ronda and his Thunderbolt. Does anyone know when he switched from the burgundy Downtown Ford car to the Poppy Red Russ Davis Ford car. I have a large collection of vintage literature and if I follow Hot Rod magazine for example:
Hot Rod April 1964 - NHRA Winternationals, Ronda (640 Downtown Ford) beats Leal with a 12.05 at 120.16 mph
Hot Rod June 1964 - Hot Rod promotes their upcoming first annual championship race to be held at Riverside, mentioning several famous drivers signed up including Gas Ronda. Picture shows the Downtown Ford car from Pomona. Race will be held June 12, 13 and 14 of 64
Hot Rod August 1964 - Covers the results of the Hot Rod first annual championship drag races. Gas Ronda competes in Stock Eliminator. George Hurst of Hurst Performance sponsors the race. No handicap, winner will get a brand new 64 Barracuda along with 500 in cash from Firestone and a new set of Firestone slicks. Gas Ronda beats Al Eckstand's Lawman 64 Plymouth in the final round with a 12.08 et at 114.21. Apparently Ronda takes the Barracuda and places in in the center of Russ Davis Ford agency showroom, where Ronda is a car salesman with a sign over the top, "I won it with a Ford!" Unfortunately there are no pictures of Ronda's Thunderbolt in this article. Should I assume with the mention of Russ Davis Ford that by June of 1964 he had painted the car Poppy Red with the Russ Davis sponsorship? Anyone have shots from that event.
Hot Rod October 1964 - NHRA Regional Drag races at Fremont California. Gas Ronda in the Russ Davis Ford is pictured, running the pretty Radir (I think) wheels in the article. He won his class and then Stock Eliminator at that meet with a best et of 11.29
Hot Rod November 1964 - NHRA Nationals coverage shows Butch Leal winning Super Stock in his Mr 427 Thunderbolt with an 11.76 at 122.78. Unfortunately for Ford fans, by this time the Hemis were well in play and they dominated Stock Eliminator with Leal being the only Ford in a field of 16. The other 15 where Dodge and Plymouths. He went down in round 1 to the Ramchargers 64 Dodge driven by Jim Thornton. Thornton would survive all the rounds until losing out in the final to another famous 64 Dodge, Roger Lindamood in the Color Me Gone hemi.
I hope you don't mind the typed history. 1964 has always been a very interesting year in Drag racing to me. Gassers peaked, the Thunderbolts and the hemi Mopars come in to play and both have their time to rule.
If anyone can help me with a good shot of the T in a circle on the windshield of Ronda's Pomona car that would be a big help. I consult with a large well known diecast company and I would like to replicate his car correctly. I would also like to know when he switched to the Poppy Red car.
The "T" sticker designates they are in the finals and or class winner. If you search the junior stock thread there is some history from the experts on this subject and a few more examples of cars with them displayed.
Don't think this has been posted yet. From tommyd in the drag cars in motion thread today
Is that one of the aluminum bumpers?
Here is some stickers.. sorry bout the other make.. =)
Class winners stickers. Thank you. Now I just need to try to find a clear shot of one vintage 1964 Winternationals. Should be a piece of cake right . I am starting to go through the 400+ pages of Junior Stock as well.
BTW, with regards to my other questions. I found a Hurst ad on e-bay showing Gas Ronda getting the 64 Barracuda as winner at the 64 Hot Rod Nationals. It is a black and white ad and you only see the rear quarter of his Thunderbolt, however the box around the P in Performance on that lower quarter looks darker than the body color which makes me believe it was the Poppy Red car as in the 64 Winternationals b/w shots the red box around the P looks lighter.
hello what color was the jenkins and wynn ford thunderbolt the prospector?
Butch Leal T Bolt
Buy one while they are cheap
Gas Ronda Russ Davis Ford T Bolt
The downey Ford 1965 T Bolt
Gas Ronda yet again. This has got to be the most photographed T Bolt I have seen.
Ok here we have a T Bolt history lesson. Bare with me a bit as it starts off with junior stockers and moves into the T bolt era.
The Tasca Ford of Vermont – the brief life of drag-racing powerhouse Willis Ford.
Willis had caught the racing fever after attending many regional drag strips. In 1962, he opened Willis Ford in Waterbury, Vermont, with a grand opening ceremony at the Waterbury Armory, and bought a 1961 Ford Galaxie 500 two-door with the four-barrel 375-hp 390-cu.in. V-8. Named the Yellowbird, the car was raced at the Milton, Vermont, drag strip, Fonda, Sanair, and other strips around New England. The top member of his driving team was his 17-year-old son, Robert Willis.
The car always ran 13.0- to 13.40-second times. Later, the tri-power setup was installed which produced 401 hp, but it did not improve the quarter mile times, so was taken off in favor of the single carburetor. The best ever time for the Yellowbird was a 12.885 at Milton Drag Strip. Not bad for a 4,000-pound daily driver.
Meanwhile, Al Kitts, from Richfield Springs, New York, started racing on the streets of Schenectady, New York, in the late 1950s, with Shirley Muldowney and many others. He won his first sanctioned race in 1960 at Fonda, New York, and a year later, he had 48 wins in Super Stock driving a 1961 Ford Starliner with a 401-hp 390 that Ford Motor Company delivered directly to him. Al said he beat Cha Cha many times with this car.
Larry had a 1963-1/2 Ford Galaxie lightweight delivered to Al in New York. Black Jack DuBrul was originally intended to be the driver of this car, but it did not work out, so Al got the ride. According to Al, this “changed his life.”Al quickly established dominance on the race team driving the lightweight Galaxie. This car was one of the main attractions at the Milton Strip running in the A/FX class turning just over 12.5 seconds consistently. All Larry asked was for Al to keep on winning. Al beat Arnie (The Farmer) Beswick in his Pontiac at Daytona with this car. The lightweight Galaxie became the “Bad News.” Bardahl became a sponsor and Ford assisted with parts and engineering. Al said they were the “Tasca Ford of Vermont.” A major magazine article was published in the Ford Dealer Magazine, and National Dragster coined the dealer “Willis Flying Fords,” with race car graphics announcing Willis as the “Home of the Flying Fords.”
After Willis sold Yellowbird, they put a 427-powered 1961 Starliner on the strip, running in the B/MP class. Once again, Bob (never missed a shift) Willis was the driver. It ran well, but could not top the Yellowbird’s elapsed times. But by 1964, Willis Ford had enough pull to acquire a Thunderbolt, one of the 427-powered 1964 Fairlanes that Dearborn Steel Tubing modified especially for drag racing.
Mr. Willis explaining getting the T Bolt.
It was easy to get the Thunderbolt. It was not a dollar car. We did not have that much clout with Ford, but enough to get one. Tasca picked up two at Dearborn Steel Tubing with a transport. One was an automatic car and the other was a four-speed. Willis Ford bought the four-speed car from Tasca. It was #55 in production. I went to Tasca and picked the car up. While I was there, I talked to John Healey about their Thunderbolt and got some tips. John was a big help, but would not give me too much. He knew we would butt heads one day, and we did, at a meet in Syracuse, New York. Tasca was the only Thunderbolt to beat us for a class win. We did not feel bad about that. They were the best. The very first weekend out with the car, the engine exploded. I had a contact at Ford. Bissonette was his name. We had to use a code; we were given “Grand National 46” to get the help line. There were very few dollars for drag racers, and more for NASCAR at that time. Before the end of the week, we received a complete engine from Holman and Moody. That engine was awesome and only needed some adjustments. We ran most of the tracks in the Northeast and Eastern Canada. While running at Lebanon Valley, we set the low e.t. record in S/S for the East Coast at 11.74 seconds.
View attachment 3286023
I've read that the car was gold.
from sw166 today in the vintage thread
By all means, see Al Means (Ford dealer in Atlanta. tv, radio and print media slogan)
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That's funny, I posted this photo on FB a week ago when someone had a question about "cloverleaf" hoods....
Found this one of Hawkinson T Bolt when searching to see if it was posted before looks like a lot of back and forth about it under different names several years ago in this thread. But this one has the Hawkinson name right on the side. too bad it's so small.
Anyone ever hear about a road race Holman Moody built "T Bolt"?
Just a follow up on the Ireland/ Wanless T-bolt. Confirmation that the remaining T-bolt body parts that were removed to make way for the Cougar shell were destroyed.
From thehazeguy in drag cars in motion
I posted a T bolt history story in the S/S thread
At post 2479
sorry guys put it there to go with the rest of the dick Brannan history articles.
In Julesburg Colorado about 4 weeks ago. There was 19 A/FX cars there. Plus many other vintage race cars. Don't remember how many T bolt's for sure I Think 6. My wife has most of pics on her phone. It was a great weekend like being at thunder road in Denver 50 years ago. You could walk up and talk to the owners and drivers look the cars over, no fences to keep you out.
Sorry about all the doubles i'm not very good at this.
Separate names with a comma.