1964 Ford Fairlane 427 Thunderbolt replica

HIGHLIGHTS: – Ground up built 427 Thunderbolt Replica – Designed as factory light weight drag car – Extremely accurate recreation with many correct parts – 427ci FE V8 engine – 2 x 4 barrel Holley Carburettors – Close ratio T10 Borg Warner 4 speed manual transmission – Nine inch diff with 31 spline axles – Period correct graphics and decals – 15” Steel wheels with period correct bias ply tyres

This 1964 Ford Fairlane has been completely rebuilt into a one of the most accurate 427 Thunderbolt recreations in existence. The 427 Thunderbolt was created by Dearborn Steel Tubing (DST, Ford skunk works) who were commissioned by Ford in 1963 to produce a factory road going drag car to win Super Stock NHRA drag racing series, something they successfully achieved in 1964.  There were only 100 cars were produced, 11 in Vintage Burgundy and 89 finished in Wimbledon White. All cars were Fairlane 500 2-door sedans, there were no hardtops. 49 of the 100 were equipped with a  four speed manual and 51 automatic cars were produced in three groups (11, 39 & 50) between October 1963 and May 1964. Original Thunderbolt purchase cost were $3,780.00 for a manual and an additional $200 for an automatic. Ford actually lost money on each unit with a build cost of $5,200 per vehicle to manufacture, however recouped on publicity and sales.

This particular car was purchased by the current owner as a complete vehicle in 2019 and imported into Australia from Arizona where it has undergone numerous upgrades into a more authentic recreation. Multiple period correct items were sourced and imported over time, decals reproduced and upgrades undertaken.

The base is an original rust-free low mileage Arizona car that left the factory with a 289ci V8 and column auto. The car was stripped down to bare metal and rebuilt from the ground up. The body of the car was painted in OEM Wimbledon white and received Crites fibreglass front fenders and teardrop hood required to clear 2×4 intake, Crites fibreglass front bumper, Reproduction 12mm thick aluminium tow hooks, rechromed rear bumper bar, All SS trim polished, a headlight delete kit for ram air tubes and modified inner aprons for better cooling. To fit the massive engine into the bay a Crites tower kit was used to shave both front strut towers by 3” and a FE engine mount kit put in. There is a bunch of extra bracing to handle the horsepower including a Crites RHS export engine bay brace, RHS lower engine bay brace, gussets to upper control arm mounting points and subframe connector kit. The external look is replicated with period correct reproduction door Eagles, hood lightning bolts and Thunderbolt Rear 1/4 panel decals. To go a step further there are period correct reproduction RC IND, DST and Plazaglas decals on the windows. The look is completed with a set of OEM steel wheels measuring 15×5” up front and 15×7” in the rear and fitted with period correct bias ply Firestone 6.40:15’s up front and M&H Racemaster G60:15’s in the rear.

Inside the trim has also been refinished like the original cars which was very bare bones due to the weight savings on the drag strip. The front seats are Econoline van buckets which were fixed back items. The seats have been retrimmed using a complete OEM reproduction Fairlane Thunderbolt interior trim set. This is a little unusual because like factory, the front seats, although the same colour, don’t match the trim in the back seats. There are no carpets on the floors, instead rubber floor matting was used and there are NOSR colour coded front lap belts. There were a bunch of items deleted to save weight including, Arm rests front and rear, radio, heater, coat hooks, passenger sunvisor, passenger wiper delete, spare tyre, jack and boot mat. The battery was relocated to the boot to allow room for the cold air induction and better weight distribution.  The factory style steering wheel remains in place with four speed shifter mounted in the floor. To keep an eye on vital signs there is a period Stewart Warner tachometer mounted to the dash along with Oil pressure, water temperature and voltmeter gauges mounted in a lower dash rail.

Under the bonnet is a period correct, 1963 427ci FE centre oiler V8 engine. The engine features cross-bolt mains, HP solid lifter block, Reconditioned heads with adjustable rockers, OEM valves, standard bore with OEM pistons, crankshaft, rods, Period correct solid lifter 8V camshaft, Morosso block plate, windage tray and oil pan, 2×4 intake with 2 x Holley 465 carburettors and air-cleaners hidden inside a Crites dual snorkel aluminium air bonnet with individual air intake tubes. Spark is provided by an OEM dual point mechanical advance distributor and 8.8mm leads. Exhaust gasses escape through Crites 2” diameter individual tuned length crossover tubular headers with bolt on collectors into a 2 ½” dual system with balance pipe, turbo mufflers and dump pipes. There is a passenger side exhaust take-off to single 6cyl rear exit exhaust and OEM style muffler which replicates OEM Thunderbolt exhaust that was required to run in 1964 Super Stock class.

The engine is paired to a 1963 Ford Galaxie close ratio Borg Warner T-10  four-speed manual transmission with 26 spline input shaft and Hurst Competition plus shifter. There is a Balanced 11” 184t steel flywheel, Hayes pressure plate, throw out bearing and a Centreforce clutch. A cool detail is the period correct 1964 RC Industries (NHRA approved) 2-piece aluminium scattershield to which modifications to the firewall and transmission tunned needed to be made to fit.  Power is fed to the rear wheels through a period correct, smooth back housing 9“ diff with 31 spline axles, ‘N’ iron centre with 4.56 ratio Detroit locker. The front suspension is factory Fairlane with Crites ‘Thunderbolt’ traction bars fitted to the rear. The steering is factory but completely restored or replaced. The factory brakes have been completely rebuilt with new single pot brake master cylinder, drums, linings and wheel cylinders. A cool detail is the front brake lines which have been rerouted from firewall to under radiator to replicate OEM Thunderbolts due to an NHRA ruling to prevent loss of braking in the event of a clutch explosion.

This would have to be one of the most accurate recreations of a 1964 Ford Thunderbolt in existence. The small number that remain of the 100 original cars are in huge demand with collectors today with it not being uncommon to see them trade hands in the $200-250K USD price range. There is so much detail in this car we couldn’t possibly put every little item into this description. Although we have covered the bulk of it, please contact us if you would like to be sent a more extensive list.

FOR REGISTRATION ASSISTANCE PLEASE CALL 0403 935 488 SEVEN82MOTORS Classics, Lowriders & Muscle Cars are based on the Gold Coast, Queensland and offer some of the most sought after cars in Australia.


IMPORTANT: Vehicle information is provided to us by the consignee. We do everything we can to qualify the best cars in the Australian market to represent on consignment for private sellers however, they are still old cars and we can’t capture everything in the photos, we don’t drive them any significant distance and can’t know everything about them. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected the vehicle, and to have satisfied themselves as to the condition and value and to purchase based upon that judgement solely. Vehicles may have been sitting for some time and it is suggested that to protect your investment, you allow to change fuel, oil, fluids, filters and inspect brakes prior to use. All vehicles are sold under standard auction conditions, consignment and auction vehicles are sold as is, without registration unless otherwise stated and there is no cooling off period or warranty expressed, written or implied. All sales are final. Independent inspections are welcome and strongly encouraged to help with your decision making.

Located at 2 Palings Court, Nerang on the Gold Coast. Inspections by appointment during auction and public openings/viewing as advertised.