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The Thunderbolt named SHAZAM

This page will contain all of my stories and facts on "Fast" Fred Henderson and his Thunderbolt. Most, if not all, information is from Charlie Morris of 422 Motorsports. Fred has Charlie to thank for being famous!

Koelle Greenwood Ford

One of the nicest/neatest drivers is "Fast" Fred Henderson. He talked to me at the All Ford Meet at National Trail like I was one of the guys. A lot of the older guys don't like to talk to people my age, but Fred's a real treat- wish they were all like that.

Fred drove the Koelle Greenwood Ford T-Bolt in Eastern PA. Close by were the Thunderbolts of Norristown Ford and Al Swenson Ford. Together with Luther Ford from Western PA, these 4 cars made up Pennsylvania's Total Performance Team. Something that I thought was neat - neither Rich or Fred knew of the Luther car until 1998 when I told them about it, and I'm sure that Al Joniec never knew either!

Fred's ride ended at the end of the season. The cars were obsolete, and I bet it was sold right after the dealership was done racing. (They were quite an investment anyway.)

Teaming up with Rich Lamont and the members of 422 Motorsports, Fred got the racing bug a couple of years ago. Wanting to clone the T-Bolt, he was talked into making a replica of Dyno Don's Comet Cyclone. That car is absolutely amazing, both in looks and speed. I've seen on the 422 website that the ram-aired Cyclone is approaching the 8s!!! Jeez Fred, they ALREADY called you fast!!

Fred told me that he owns a '64 Fairlane 2 door sedan. He said that he might still clone the K-G T-Bolt, a move that I enthusiastically support. I would do it myself if he didn't, but I've run out of Fairlanes!!

This was painted by my friend Joel F. Naprstek of New Jersey. He was commisioned to create this by a friend as a birthday gift for Fred. And yes, this was made nice and small so when you blow it up to print it out, it looks bad. Sorry, but I'm hoping Joel will sell the prints so I can have a nice one in the office.

You'll notice that it's not the same as the first picture. Many Thunderbolts were painted during their 1964 career, as some thought that the plain white wrapper did little for a "bad car" image.

Fred's friend Charlie Morris, a writer by trade, has sent me some stories of Fred and Shazam. It seems that there were some wild days and nights with this crew, and hopefully you'll enjoy reading about them.

Story Number #1 .... The Thunderbolt that drives itself

When Fred and his brother traveled to D.S.T. to pick up Shazam they were flat towing the car home behind a 63 Ford station wagon. Fred's brother looked back and said "The race car isn't back there anymore!" The car had come off the tow bar and gone down an embankment! The only damage to the T-Bolt was a bent aluminum front bumper. They straightened it out, but close observation would always reveal a ripple in the left front side of the bumper. Also they mounted an old pair of tires and rims for the tow, to save the slicks that came on the car. Fred didn't know it at the time but the tires were two different sizes, which wiped out the Detroit locker rear.

Story #2 ..... The first electric shifter

One night during the racing the Rotunda tach on top of the dash lost it's juice. The crew, knowing Fred needed to know how fast the Hi-Riser was twisting, rigged up some power from the cigarette lighter. Fred was all ready to run when he noticed that there was an arc of electricity going from the dash to the Hurst shifter! He would have been zapped had he grabbed it to go from first to second. Since he was in a match race and being paid to show up, he jumped off the line on green and shut it down.

Update 7/19/02

I just noticed on 422 Motorsports website that Fred is no longer the owner of the big bad Comet. I hope he didn't lose the thing in a bet! I'll find out what "Fast" will be racing this year and let you know.

Check out 422's antics on their website - there's a link on the main page.

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