The 1960s Chevys, Mopars and Fords are a good source when it comes to fine classic muscle cars. We’re talking about American automobile ingenuity, the kind of ingenuity that made these cars survive the test of time. Who doesn’t want to be remembered even a 100 years from now?
A good example is the 1964 Ford Thunderbolt. The desire to build this car was born from competitive spirit. At the time, the Ford Galaxies were no where near outracing the Dodge or Plymouth muscle cars. That’s why builders envisioned a 427 engine that had quite a size, crammed into a midsize Fairlane. The challenge was hard to overcome, but the result was the impressive 1964 Ford Thunderbolt.
1964 Ford Thunderbolt
Because of the size of the engine many front end modifications were necessary while the eight exhaust headers had to be squeezed through the suspension components. The transmissions you could choose from were a Hurst-shifted four-speed model or an automatic transmission. The weight of the car was reduced by using plexiglass windows and fiberglass bumpers, doors and front body panels.
The design of the back seats stayed the same, but the front seats were this time made from lightweight Econline truck buckets. Another measure that helped save some pounds was the elimination of sunvisors, heaters, radio and other optional features. Although the entire structure of the T-bolt was heavier than a stock Fairlane, the 3225 pounds were enough to ensure the listing of the care in the NHRA-class. The T-bolt was a winning car for Ford.
The Thunderbolts were not built using the usual Ford assembly line. In fact, the manufacturing process was supervised by both Ford and Andy Holten from Dearborn Steel Tubing. The first eleven cars that came out as a result of this manufacturing process were painted in a Ford-specific color, the “Vintage Burgundy”. For the rest of 89 cars that were ever built, Ford opted for a “Wimbledon White” in terms of color. Also, as any other car that was ever built by Ford, the classic muscle car has on the inside the riveted metal plate that states its special nature.
Each and every one of the forty-nine four-speed T-bolts and the fifty one automatic cars built could be bought for a price tag of $3,750. But, the Thunderbolt was more of a racing car. As a result only 100 of these cars were sold in 1964. It wasn’t performance the drawback, because Thunderbolts were powerful cars. It was just that they weren’t really suitable for everyday use.
What remains as a historical fact is that the 1964 For Thunderbolt is a classic muscle car that gives a good example when it comes to impressive technology. And as any muscle car the T-bolt had an affordable price and was used as a street car, but it showed its true value only during formal or informal drag races. That was its call!