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Old 05-13-2010, 12:13 PM   #1
George Klass
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Default Ford Thunderbolts...

Let's face reality. The reason that Plymouth and Dodge had to go to the altered wheelbase cars, was to stay competitive against the Fords. The T-Bolt was not an altered wheelbase car, and in fact, was a legal Super Stocker. Enough units were made in the factory to make them legal. The 427 Mustangs that followed fell into the A/FX catagory but the T-Bolts were legal S/S racecars.















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Old 05-13-2010, 12:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

And then when the "funny car" and the match race trend sprang up, many of the T-Bolt racers modified their cars into AWB cars.





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Old 05-13-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

One of my favorite cars
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

T-Bolts are awesome. I think the standard A990 cars could handle them, though. A/FX was started by the outlaw/Match races.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

and they were only a dollar.................
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

George, the first pic of the T-Bolt you posted was probably the most well known one at the time. Butch Leal! I'm seeing a guy tomorrow that bought one new and lived in Dayton. It was yellow. Urban Auto Sales was on the doors. It was driven by Chuck Callahan. Them and the 65 Hemi cars were a toss up in performance. Back then is S/S you had to run a 9 in. tire. The S/SA record in 65 was 11.27@129.00 mph. That was held by Wes Koogle for a while. The T-Bolts werent any faster. I liked the 64 Comets!
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

We grew up in Dearborn Hts, and on one trip thru Dearborn with the parents, my dad stopped with the whole family to watch them unload T-Bolts on Michigan Ave, in front of Village Ford. Very cool, and knew what they were back then.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drag Racer 345D View Post
George, the first pic of the T-Bolt you posted was probably the most well known one at the time. Butch Leal! I'm seeing a guy tomorrow that bought one new and lived in Dayton. It was yellow. Urban Auto Sales was on the doors. It was driven by Chuck Callahan. Them and the 65 Hemi cars were a toss up in performance. Back then is S/S you had to run a 9 in. tire. The S/SA record in 65 was 11.27@129.00 mph. That was held by Wes Koogle for a while. The T-Bolts werent any faster. I liked the 64 Comets!
When Butch Leal's (actually Mickey Thompson's) car was delivered to Long Beach, it did not have the teardrop bubble in the hood, only two ugly "bumps" where the carbs were. It was also the ugly "dark maroon" that many of the cars (like the Tasca car) were painted. If I recall, they only came in two colors, the dark maroon or white. The Leal car also did not have the Bostron seats, they were sent later.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...


Gas Rhonda's old T-Bolt.


Memories of a by-gone era. A flagman and steel wheels.


Butch Leal at Pomona...
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

I liked that maroon. A guy up the street had a 64 Galaxie fastback with a 390. My first set of mags were the M/T's like on Leals car. I really likem as a kid....lol I think they were 125.00 bucks for 4 with lugs.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

The first 11 were "vintage burgandy" after that the remaining 89 cars were "wimbelton white". There are many differances between the vintage burgandy and white cars. The story about Leal's car is that it had the cloverleaf hood on it prior to the presentation of the cars at the Dearborn Proving Grounds. Butch saw it and told Mickey Thompson he didn't like it as much as the "teardrop" hood that was on Gas Ronda's car. Mickey pulled a few strings that night and the next day Leal's car was presented to Butch with the teardrop and Ronda got the cloverleaf.

Not all 100 cars were "dollar" cars. The vintage burgandy cars were and a few white ones were but that was it. Ford did not make a proffit on any of them though no matter the price.

The "Bob Ford" car in the photos is a clone. A friend of mine owns the real one and it is restored and properly lettered. It was also the second one built.

I've researched these cars for over 30 years. They are without a doubt my favorite car.

By the way there will be a reunion of the Ford Drag Council at the NHRR at Bowling Green. Many of the cars and drivers will be there. The Drag Council were the "factory" guys who got the "dollar" cars.

T-bolt trivia - Anyone know whose T-bolt had the lowest number VIN and whose was the first T-bolt built? They aren't the same....
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Klass View Post
When Butch Leal's (actually Mickey Thompson's) car was delivered to Long Beach, it did not have the teardrop bubble in the hood, only two ugly "bumps" where the carbs were. It was also the ugly "dark maroon" that many of the cars (like the Tasca car) were painted. If I recall, they only came in two colors, the dark maroon or white. The Leal car also did not have the Bostron seats, they were sent later.
what was so Ugly about Vintage Burgundy? You need to go get your eyes checked old man!


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and they were only a dollar.................
they were only $1 to people that were member of the Ford Racing Society...or whatever it was called. Mickey Thompson, to my knowledge, was the only racer to get 2 Thunderbolts and one had Chrysler 426 Hemi heads on the Ford 427.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

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Originally Posted by troublemaker427 View Post

T-bolt trivia - Anyone know whose T-bolt had the lowest number VIN and whose was the first T-bolt built? They aren't the same....
crap...you tree'd me on everything I said

Ford Drag Council.....I got that wrong

But I do know that Brennan got the First available Thunderbolt. Dick Brennan was Ford's golden child since '62. Ford gave him anything he wanted. Who you kidding'! As for the lowest VIN tagged car...no clue.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

Quote:
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what was so Ugly about Vintage Burgundy? You need to go get your eyes checked old man!




they were only $1 to people that were member of the Ford Racing Society...or whatever it was called. Mickey Thompson, to my knowledge, was the only racer to get 2 Thunderbolts and one had Chrysler 426 Hemi heads on the Ford 427.
Mickey got one car, but they did install a hemi in it. Mickey had hemi heads built for the Pontiac 421's, and had the bolt pattern changed to allow it to fit on the Ford 427 engine. They looked like Chrysler heads but were actually better heads. Leal drove the car with the hemi engine. I think that Butch (real name is Larry) lives in Ohio now, but he was from a little town above Fresno on Hwy. 99, called Pixley. He and his dad had a trucking company. Butch used to haul his '62 Chevy 409 down to San Fernando drag strip almost every Sunday. He was known as "the Pixley Flash". It was only later that it was changed to "the California Flash", since no one knew where Pixley was. His blue Chevy 409 is in the NHRA Museum in Pomona.


It was sold to Tom and Linda Jacobson and raced for severl years after Butch went to work for Mickey.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ford Thunderbolts...

427, you must know who Tom Decamp is from Ohio.
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