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Thunderbolt Discussion Topics

There are many things going on with our Thunderbolt research. Check this section out for news updates, cars we're presently looking for information on, etc. Maybe you live close enough to a certain car's area to help us out!

Recent Website Updates:

2/9/03 - More movies added to the Bob Ford, Inc page and the Strip Teaser page. These are videos taken from the television screen so the quality isn't the best. Click on the HISTORY OF INDIVIDUAL CARS page to find the new movies.

2/6/03 - This winter weather has me going nuts! It's been snowing almost every day and I think it's been almost 2 months of below freezing weather. One day last week we got a mild break and it was around 40 with lots of sun. I raced home and got the Fairlane out to take it around the block. It took forever to warm up but man was it fun to finally drive it again! I added a small movie of it to the website as a test for this year's racing news. I plan on adding small movies after each race to let you see what happened. Look for my movie on the New Stuff page.

I got married !! Check out the pics (car stuff included)... click here for wedding pics.

9/13/02 - The 2002 Ford Expo was another great time at Columbus. Jim + Jackie, Phil, Rick, Dennis, Larry, Shannon, Mike, and EVEN MY DAD showed up! I had an almost-clone T-Bolt (check out the "new stuff" page) there and Shannon's '63 was running around with open headers. Mike's Galaxie was supposed to be there but didn't show up. You know how those lazy Ohio guys are....

Larry Davis had his recently restored '64 Lightweight Galaxie there, but I never saw it make a pass. The car was redone for street/strip duty, and Larry tells me it regularly cruises the streets back home. Pretty neat!

Dennis Kolodziej had "Strip Teaser" back in action with new slicks and updated safety belts. I was able to snag some really good photos of the car which I've been wanting to do for several years. Dennis' times were low 11s and maybe some high 10s, but I don't remember right now.

Alas, something had to break and it was Phil's torque converter on probably his last pass of the weekend. Oh well, he needed an excuse to work on it I guess.

Topics of Discussion:

1. Where our research is at this point.

I'll start this with a couple of points. All serial numbers, transmission types, and dealer names have been identified. Don't think you can clone up a car and pass it off for big bucks, it better be on "the list"! List is confidential, unless you trade me an original Thunderbolt, then you can have a copy.

Basically the research from my standpoint is down to getting photos of about 30 more cars that I don't have so I have one of every car from '64. I also need a couple of driver's names from the first season.

My friends Dennis and Larry are more into the technical side of the cars, and they are still finding out how the cars were built. They are also very interested in small differences between the cars.

2. Thunderbolt values (explained very well by Larry Davis)

Larry Davis once told me that the prices for the cars in years past was "completely out of hand". However now they are coming down to more reasonable numbers. If you see one for sale now at $125,000, that's probably a bit steep. Real-world values now are from $30,000 on up, but not up to the numbers they were 10 years ago. Some cars were getting close to $200,000 asking prices!

The value of a Thunderbolt will also depend on many factors thoughout it's existence. First of all, which car is it? Gas Ronda's first group car that won the title in '64 will have a much higher value than one of the third run cars that raced locally until the guy blew up the engine and parked it in his shed until '81 when he sold it.

What happened to the car over the years? Did it have the wheelbase altered? What about a straight axle up front? Or did somebody chop the floor out and make a chassis car out of it? All of these things will affect the value when you consider that half of the restored collectible is actually a plain jane '64 Fairlane from a southern junkyard.

Yes, you will probably have trouble finding a T-Bolt for $30,000. And people will continue to advertise them for $100,000. But rest assured prices are coming down to where the collectors think they should be.

Just not down far enough that I can get one!

Cars I need help with:

Jack Mefford Ford / Springfield, OH. We are looking for photos of this car from 1964, and information on the driver. It was probably raced at National Trail, Xenia, Thompson, etc.


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