Although bidding runs until 11:30 a.m. (Pacific) on December 14, the 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, a made-for-racing special vehicle, is already setting records on AutoHunter. Recently launched only 11 weeks ago, the collector car auction site is part of the Collector Car Network that also includes the ClassicCars.com Marketplace and Journal.
The Thunderbolt is one of only 100 produced by Ford for NHRA Top Stock drag racing. Of those 100, only 49 were equipped with manual transmissions, including the one offered on AutoHunter, and only 60 with manuals or automatics are known to have survived.
Bidding on the car has reached $200,000, and in response, the car’s consignor lowered the reserve price.
The Thunderbolts are considered the rarest of the Detroit muscle cars and were constructed by removing anything non-essential to being fast on the quarter-mile drag strip, including the heater, radio, rear seats and sound-deadening material. Instead, the cars were equipped with a 427cid V8 engine with a high-rise aluminum manifold topped by a pair of Holly 4-barrel carburetors and with heavy-duty suspension components.
To make the cars as light as possible, the doors, hood, front fenders and front bumper were made of fiberglass. Early cars also got Plexiglass side and rear windows.
Dealers who were allotted such made-for-racing cars had to go to Dearborn, Michigan, to pick them up; they were not delivered to dealerships under the usual Ford passenger car program.
This Thunderbolt was allotted to Emhrae Ford, who raced the car for a year before selling it. The car, which was featured in Car Craft magazine, is currently in Seattle and has been restored to its original condition.
Now live on AutoHunter, car enthusiasts and collectors have a rare opportunity to own a piece of history. For more information and photos, visit the Thunderbolt’s live listing on AutoHunter.