Though it may not be a real deal Thunderbolt, this is still one wicked Fairlane.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of when automakers create a purpose-built racecar from the factory. A modern example of this is Dodge’s Challenger SRT Demon, but well before that existed, Ford churned out the Fairlane Thunderbolt, a limited-production, factory experimental racecar. While this example may not be one of the 100 Thunderbolts produced, it is definitely a fitting tribute.
Frank’s Car Barn in Houston, Texas offers this unique Ford for sale. Unfortunately, their description lacks detail, but they ensure that this Fairlane is “the best of everything.”
What made the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt so special? Ford decided that the Galaxie of the time was too heavy to be competitively raced, but its 427 cubic-inch engine would be fantastic in the lighter Fairlane. In order to accommodate the larger engine, Ford relocated and strengthened the Fairlane’s front suspension components.
This replica example features a fully built engine, but the seller claims it has never been raced. The engine pairs to a 4-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels.
The Thunderbolt included various racing-oriented improvements, such as an electric fuel pump, upgraded rear suspension with traction bars, tubular exhaust headers, a locking differential and racing tires supplied by Goodyear and Mickey Thompson. Ford also added fiberglass body panels such as the doors, hood, and front fenders, while early Thunderbolt models featured a fiberglass front bumper. To continue with the lightweight theme, other weight saving measures included eliminating the radio, heater, arm rests, rear window cranks, mirrors, sound deadening material, carpeting, and more.
Ford built just 100 of these Fairlanes, with the first 11 painted in burgundy, while the remaining examples wore a Wimbledon White exterior paint color. This tribute example features the burgundy paint color, and it looks stunning.
Frank’s Car Barn is asking $42,900 for this Fairlane. Would you be the first to race this Ford, or would you rather hold onto it as a collectible?