1966 Ford Fairlane With 482 Stroker V8 Is Quicker Than a Thunderbolt, Runs 9s

If you're a fan of vintage Ford drag cars, you can't go wrong with the Thunderbolt. Based on the 1964 Fairlane, it featured a long list of race-spec parts and a beefed-up 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) FE V8 engine rated at close to 600 horsepower.
1966 Ford Fairlane dragster 8 photos
1966 Ford Fairlane dragster1966 Ford Fairlane dragster1966 Ford Fairlane dragster1966 Ford Fairlane dragster1966 Ford Fairlane dragster1966 Ford Fairlane dragster1966 Ford Fairlane dragster
Capable of running the quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds, the Thunderbolt won both the NHRA Winternationals and the series' national Top Stock crown in 1964. There's only one issue with the Thunderbolt: because Ford made only 100 of them, pristine examples are not only hard to find but also very expensive. They usually change hands for more than $250,000 at public auctions.

That's quite a lot of dough for a vintage race car that's also expensive to maintain and even more expensive to drag regularly. All told, there are different options to consider, including turning a regular Fairlane into a nostalgia super stock racer. Like this 1966 two-door owned by Daryl Nelson.

A stunningly accurate build when compared to factory-backed racers from the 1960s, this white Fairlane was spotted doing a few license runs at Byron Dragway. And it's impressively fast thanks to a 427 FE V8 that's been stroked to 482 cubic inches (7.9 liters) and fitted with high-performance dual carbs.

The drivetrain setup also includes a C4 transmission and a nine-inch rear end with 4.57 gears, which are more than suitable to run the quarter-mile quicker than you can fold a t-shirt.

There's no word on output ratings, but the quarter-mile runs suggest this Fairlane packs at least 600 horsepower. While the first sprint stops the clock at 10.45 seconds at 114 mph (183 kph), the second one sees Daryl covering the distance in a more impressive 9.96 clicks at 131 mph (211 kph). Needless to say, that's more than 1.5 seconds quicker than a 1964 Thunderbolt. And I bet this Fairlane was more affordable to build.

And by the way, this racer looks very similar to yet another factory-built dragster. I'm talking about the Fairlane R-Code, which Ford produced in 1966. While not as iconic as the Thunderbolt, the R-Code is actually an even rarer sight because production was limited to just 57 examples.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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