The second major Thunderbolt Reunion of 2004 was held in Dearborn, MI the on June 25-26. The difference from Carlisle to Dearborn was refreshing, as this was an actual "reunion" of sorts.
Only real Thunderbolts were parked in the T-Bolt area with no mixing of other models or any clones. People from all over the country attended as before, but many were special invitees with ties to the creation and construction of these special cars.
A sit-down dinner was held and the Thunderbolt Owner's Association did a fantastic job recognizing those who deserved it. Larry Davis recognized people from DST & FoMoCo, team members & drivers, Fairlane Club leaders, and people that brought Thunderbolts to show. Larry Short and Dennis Kolodziej also told stories about their cars and research, as well as remembered people who aren't around any more.
Someone who definitely deserves mention is Mike Osburn from Alabama. Mike is responsible for resurecting two of the attending cars only months (and weeks) before the show. Mike helped Larry Short with his black T-Bolt and Dennis Kolodziej with his Bob Ford car. With a rock solid deadline and lots of pressure, Mike delivered 2 gorgeous cars.
My dad and I would like to thank everyone that attended, the Fairlane Club of America, Frank Dominick, and the Thunderbolt Owner's Association for having an outstanding show in Dearborn. We would have expected nothing less!
I would also like to thank Bill Holbrook and Len Richter for being such great guys. Len, I just wish you had a hundred yards of open lot in front of you when you did that launch!
This is my new friend Skip Wilson. Skip owned & drove "The Fugitive" Thunderbolt which he purchased new from Tasca Ford (through Bridenthal Ford in OH). He and his lovely wife attended both reunions this summer. They are great people and I hope to see them again soon.
This shot, taken from high atop Don Snyder's HUMONGOUS car trailer, was late Saturday afternoon. Many of the attending cars can be seen, along with "The Pride of South Georgia" - Bill Dismuke, Chuck Sutton, and Barry Meyer III.
A shot of everyone enjoying the sit down dinner Friday night.
Larry Davis addresses the audience.
A reunion 40 years in the making - the Bob Ford Team reunited with the original car.
A photo opportunity was set up by parking the first 2 Thunderbolts side by side and having the original drivers pose outside and inside the cars. Len Richter moved the Bob Ford car into position and gave it a nice hole shot before shutting it off in front of the cheering crowd. Getting good shots of anything after the cars were parked was hard due to the size of the crowd, but I managed to get a few good ones.
Len Richter got out of the car to cheers and applause after he wound up the high riser and dropped the clutch.
The old racemasters had a little bit of bite left in them after all these years.
A nice shot of Len and the 2 cars.
My friend Dennis Kolodziej's original 4 speed car from Gilmer Ford. This T-Bolt has the distinction of being the only car purchased back by Ford, either late 1968 or early 1969 and then sent to Stroppe's in Long Beach to be prepared for SS/D class in time for the Winternationals event. Dennis has owned this car since the late 1970s.
My friend Rick Hamilton's original 4 speed car from Jerry Alderman Ford. This car was probably the first white Thunderbolt delivered.
Frank Dominick's original 4 speed car from Delta Ford. Our friend "Diz" bought this car in the late 80s or early 90s. He has since passed away, but my dad and I remembered him by taking the car to both reunions for the Dominick family this year.
Phil Featherston's original automatic car from Turner Ford. Phil has run 9 second quarters in this car!
My friend Bill "The Pride of South Georgia" Dismuke's original automatic car from Cook Motor Co. When Bill owned it back in '65, he raced it as a 4 speed. When it was restored, it was put back to an automatic.
Barry Meyer's original automatic car from Bill Rhodes Ford. Barry has owned this car since 1968!
Steve Honnell's original 4 speed car from Crowley Ford. Steve has the distinction of being the only person to currently own the car he had in 1964.
My friend Dennis Kolodziej's original Bob Ford Super Stock 4 speed car. Finished about the same time as Dick Brannan's #1 car, this car was the second Thunderbolt delivered. This was the first time in 40 years the car has looked like this! You may have seen this car at Carlisle with no drivetrain or letttering. Dennis has owned this championship-winning car for 22 years.
My friend Larry Short's original automatic car from Romy-Hammes Ford. This car may have been the only Thunderbolt built with experimental stainless steel headers.
My friend Don Snyder's original Romy Hammes - Dick Brannan 4 speed car. This was the FIRST Thunderbolt delivered.
My friend Don Snyder's original automatic car from Drew Ford. This was the LAST Thunderbolt delivered.
Assorted TBolt Images
The History of Individual Cars