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The Thunderbolt Named Casper

This is the story of Thunderbolt #92.

Thunderbolt Number 92 was ordered through Luther Ford in Homer City, Pennsylvania. It was purchased by Mr. Bob Fairley, an employee of the dealership.

Because all Thunderbolts had to be picked up instead of being delivered, Mr. Fairley had to go get his new car. He did so on May 4th, 1964. After borrowing a furniture delivery truck from a local businessman, the trip was made to Dearborn's DST shop where the cars were built. Arriving back in Homer City, the guys realized that they had a car up inside a delivery truck with no way to get it out. They found a plant in town which had a loading dock and they got the car out of the truck late at night. Since Homer City is a small town, the local police became aware of what was going on and made a major objection to the guys running the car at night. Understandibly, the gang with a new toy disregarded all threats and proceeded to run the car, open headers and all, through town on the way to Luther's. The stories of the next day's joyriding are now legendary.

Recently I talked to Rich Adamson at the Indiana car cruise who was nice enough to give me some info. I found out that 2 police officers nearly tossed the crew in jail, as well as some other stories.

The Thunderbolt, with it's plain white paint job, needed a name and personality. Named Casper due to it's color, the car gained a nickname that follows it to this day. "Slim" Johnson, a local sign painter, added the lettering on the doors, hood, and deck lid. If anyone can tell me exactly what was on the deck lid I sure would appreciate it!

Casper was run at PID (Pittsburgh) and several other tracks in Western PA and Eastern OH. Some other tracks I've heard of are Skyline Dragway (New Castle, PA), a track above Altoona in Tipton, NEW B (New Bethlehem, PA), and Mercer Dragway. Because of factory support, times were great until 1965. That's when Ford told Bob that no more parts would be supplied by them or any contracted suppliers.

The car was sold to a gentleman in Elderton, PA. His name is supposedly Bobby Lockhart. It is possible that he lived in Marion Center, and then moved to Elderton. The time should have been from '65 till the late '70s. The car was purchased by Zane Weichey, who, like Lockhart, didn't do much with the car. Finally, Zane advertised it and the car was sold to a gentleman from Conneticut. His name is Robert, and his name is not shared because weidos like me try to call and bug people about car info. Robert still owns Casper, and knew nothing of it's history until I told him. The car is restored except for small wheeltubs that house slightly larger tires. Since he restored it in high school, Robert hasn't done much with the car. Recently he told me the engine is being redone, so maybe we can get some updated photos of the car when it's all back together. I'm glad such a nice guy wound up with the car.

Note that almost every owner of the car has been named "Bob". Maybe I should change my name?

When I started looking for Casper, I was told by several people that the car was in a barn in Marion Center. This story was so widespread I had to check it out. Marion Center is not that big, so I put a gazillion miles on my motorcycle riding around the countryside on every back road there. When my map was completely highlighted, I knew the car wasn't sitting within sight of any road there.

Having not found anything in Marion Center, I decided to find out as much about all 100 cars as I could. I finally found an old list of T-Bolt owners, and this lead me to the present owner in CT where I once and for all proved that the car is no longer around. I am still to this day told by people at car shows that the car is still around waiting to be discovered!

I would love to hear from anyone that saw, worked on, owned, or had any type of imaginable connection to this car. If you have any information or photos, please contact me. 724-463-7010 This dealership is only 10 minutes from my house, making this car special in my quest for T-Bolt information.

REWARD - There is a $100 cash reward for a good quality photo of this car in it's ORIGINAL configuration (white with the lettering) or any film clips that contain it. If you have photos or film from any of the tracks listed above during '64-65, you may be sitting on some money. This has to be a photo I don't have. You DO NOT have to release any photos - my laptop and scanner can copy them while you watch. Your photos will never leave your site. Yes, I have stuff to trade as well.

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