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1964 Thunderbolt

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1st TBolt delivered from Ford Motor Co was to Romy Hammes - Brannan.

ERTL Series 1 . Issue 1 The Classic Garage
An Adult Collectible within the Ertl Collectible Series Racing Champions.
* 1:18 Scale, Die Cast Metal
* Painted in authentic colors
* Opening hood and doors
* Detailed engine
* Chrome wheels
* Authentic logos
* Steerable front wheels
* Glove box opens
* Gas flap opens
* Seats move
* Drive shaft rotates
* Sunvisor comes down
* Set of keys
* Hood pins are functional
Limited Numbered Edition ( 4,000 ) autographed Certificate of Authenticity ( by Dick Brannan )

The above photo is at the Romy Hammes Ford Dealership Showroom, 227 North Lafayette Blvd., South Bend Indiana

The following are references to information that is common through out the history of Romy Hammes-Brannan.

The Romy Hammes - Brannan "brand" relationship began with a gentleman's handshake in 1959 and continued through 1964. It was based on a trust. Our goal was to win, have fun and develop a close and lasting relationship. It still exists. The result established a "brand", Romy Hammes - Brannan . That helped the Romy Hammes Ford dealership and Dick Brannan become a leader in racing. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday. That brand also established Ford Motor Company as a competitor and a dominant influence placing Ford Motor Company on the national map. It was about Drag racing during those years and Daytona 500 in 1963.

So rewind back to 1959. When I was informed that one of my sales demonstrators was drag racing at the local track on Sundays my reaction was great and how did it do? IT WON! That was in 1959, a black Galaxie 500 Ford square back. Dick Brannan was a very good salesman, very good mechanic for 6 days, and a very good driver on Sundays. We partnered from then on for several years. Brannan was also a very very savvy driver, and a very intelligent engineer and with street smarts. All of this was needed to get the edge. For example he invented details like using a windshield washer set up to wet the tires at the starting line. He had that as an exclusive until it was discovered and others followed. He was quiet and with polite manners in both winning and losing.

Why Ford? It all began in 1907 when Peter Hofweber, my grandfather, became a Ford dealer in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, my father, Romy Hammes, in 1926 at Kankakee, Illinois, and myself in 1955 at South Bend, Indiana. It ended in 1974.

BIBLIOGRAPHY acknowledgement is given to the identification of source material of publications, authors, photographers, and others who have identified the Romy Hammes - Brannan "brand" owned by Hammes and Brannan and also other text material referenced subjects on this web site.

THE HISTORY common to all the race cars is contained in the Romy Hammes - Brannan 1959-1964 photo.

Click on the images below to see more related images

Ford Tunderbolt Fairlane (1964); Thunderbolt Stormed In - In the early 1960's, success on the drag strips put the cars and their manufacturers in the limelight, which in turn bolstered sales to the performance market. Adopting the strategy "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday", Ford engineers initiated a plan to produce a limited number of Fairlanes that would meet NHRA weight restrictions to run in Super Stock class. In 1964, the first 427 Fairlane came off the production line and was dubbed a Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt put Ford on the map as a contender in the drag racing arena, and it's visibility became the "bait" that brought the public into the showroom. In the hands of such famous drivers as Dick Brannan, Phil Bonner, Butch Leal and Gas Ronda, these Thunderbolts were deadly with Gas Rhonda winning the world championship points chase by a margin of more than double his nearest competitor!
The engineers designed a new cylinder head for the Thunderbolt, the Hi-Riser, along with a special two four-barrel intake manifold that raised the port angle to give the fuel mixture almost a straight shot to the cylinder. This head/intake combination with an improved camshaft and high 13.5:1 compression put the power back in. But inserting the big motor into the lighter Fairlane intermediate required extensive and costly body and suspension modifications. Designers molded a lightweight front-end package from Fiberglass including front fenders and a hood with a special bubble to clear the Hi-Rise intake. The special design also included aluminum front bumpers, Plexiglas side windows, ram air induction via six-inch ducts from the high beam headlight gates and a heavy-duty trunk-mounted diesel truck battery. Additionally, the drag cars included lightweight front bucket seats and a rubber floor mat instead of carpet.






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