Official Transporter of MCACN
Sneak Peek 2015 MCACN*|
1964 Ford Phil Bonner Thunderbolt
2015 MCACN Official Unveiling Car
Owner: Donald Allen, Georgia
KICKING OFF THE MCACN UNVEILINGS WITH AN INCREDIBLE THUNDERBOLT
One of the true highlights of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show each year are our Premier Unveilings. Shortly after the show opens Saturday morning, November 21, we will dive in to an incredible lineup with fifteen Unveilings that are scheduled this year. As this is being written, these cars are being prepped for the big event, and there is plenty to do to make sure they are ready!
Our first Unveiling will be a very special car for many reasons. First off, it is a real-deal 1964 Ford 427 Thunderbolt, one of a mere 100 purpose built specifically for Drag Racing, and number 55 of the sequence. Second is that it is being restored and is owned by one of the premier restorers, Donald Allen, who is known for many of the finest Ford products ever shown. Remember the red 427 R-code Galaxie convertible that was unveiled last year, owned by Dean Klein? Well that was Donald Allen’s work, and it was among the highest scoring Concours judged cars ever shown at MCACN!
This particular Thunderbolt was raced by Phil Bonner and was long thought to be lost or destroyed, but amazingly was recently found after being stored since the early 80’s. It recently changed hands when owner Hal Reed allowed a guy by the name of Phil Bonner to see it while he was there picking up some parts. After looking at it and finding some tell-tale signs, he turned to Reed and said “This is my car. I’ve been trying to find this car for over ten years.” Little did he know it was a just a few miles from his home. Bonner would make an offer, but at the time, Reed declined.
Finally in early 2014, Hal Reed decided it was time to sell the car and see it restored to its former glory. A deal was struck with Allen, and the wheels were set in motion. In January 2014, Donald Allen headed to Reeds pole barn to retrieve the car, and asked a couple friends to meet him there. This would be legendary drag racers Dick Brannan and Hubert Platt, along with MCACN’s own Official Photographer, Al Rogers. Al witnessed the car being pulled from the barn after its 20 year hiatus, and a story was published in Old Cars Weekly announcing the incredible discovery and retrieval.
After discussing the car and plans with Donald, Al suggested the MCACN show as the ultimate place to Unveil it after the restoration. A call was made to me and I quickly “green lighted” the plan, not knowing at the time if it would be for 2015 or 2016. Needless to say...it will be 2015!
Hubert Platt MCACN 2012 Photo Credit :Tim Costello
Be sure to join us at the MCACN show when the cover is pulled from this incredibly historical bit of Ford Motorsport history. Sadly, we lost Phil Bonner in November of 2014, and just this past week, our good friend Hubert Platt passed away after a battle with cancer. We had the distinct honor of hosting Hubert at the MCACN show, where he signed posters and shared stories of his incredible career. What a kind and generous man! We would like to dedicate this Unveiling to Phil Bonner and Hubert Platt, who we feel will both be looking down, smiling when the cover is pulled off this incredible discovery.
To see the Press Release by Al Rogers about the Official Unveiling, click here.
To read the original story from Old Cars Weekly of the discovery, click here.
To read a follow up about the cars being removed from the barn, click here.
This is just one of an incredible FIFTEEN Official Unveilings that you will see at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show this year. We will return to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, (suburban Chicago), Illinois, just minutes from the Chicago O’Hare Airport. We will host more than 550 prime examples of American Muscle Cars and Dealer-built Supercars along with the finest and Rarest Corvettes from across the country and as far away as Sweden. Title Sponsor; Mecum Auctions. Presenting Sponsor; Bill Stasek Chevrolet.
Next week we are off to the big Mecum Auctions Schaumburg event, October 8-10 and then the Morris Lions Club show and swap on Sunday, October 11. We will be distributing our brand new 80 page MCACN magazine at both, so be sure to see us at these awesome events!
Thanks...looking forward to seeing you soon.