Son of Original - or an Original


Meet Ken Thompson - "Automotive Master Craftsman"
Recently we had the privilege of being introduced to Ken Thompson in his quiet North Carolina garage. His pedigree as a master car builder is impeccable. At 18, Ken started his automotive racing career when he went to work for Holman & Moody in 1962. John Holman then sent him to work at Ford and was part of the team that built the '65-'66 A/FX Mustangs. His knowledge of automotive history and people is incredible, and without much notice, he stopped what he was doing to give us a tour of his facility and show one particular car.

For the last 20+ years he has spent his time in his NC garage/machine shop fabricating custom parts for multiple NASCAR teams or working on projects that are all his own. Ken has a well-earned reputation as a master machinist and aluminum fabricator and apparently no project is too small or too large.
Many racing fans may recall Ken's custom build of a legendary 1962 Ford Falcon powered by an Ford 4 Indy Engine. It was a tribute build to the Holman Moody/ Ford Motor Company "Challenger" road race project. The Indy 4 power plant includes a 100mm turbo capable of 11,000+ rpm and 250 mph. He built the Falcon in its entirety - with the exception of the dash gauges and steering wheel - an incredible feat of engineering knowledge and manufacturing skill.
As originally reported in the December 2008 edition of Popular Hot Rodding, Ken's Falcon was described as a "full-on NASCAR-like construction plan, no frills, just facts. There was the guiding carcass (of a Falcon), yes, but the rest of the car was assembled like a race machine with custom-crafted panels rather than common body stampings." Every part and component of the Falcon was for a specific purpose and objective.

Ken wanted an Indy inspired 250 mph screamer - and he got just that. The Falcon was sold at the 2011 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction for $77,000.

But he didn't stop with the Falcon.
Can-Am Honker II Racer
While in his shop, Ken showed us some of his more recent projects - a Honker II Can-Am under construction, a true replica of a 1955 Indy Racer, a NHRA rail car under construction to the blueprint perfect J-Car sitting quietly nearby.
Honker II Can-Am Under Construction
1955 Indy Racer Under Construction - Photo Courtesy of Frank Spittle
The Finished "Fuel Injection Special" Ready to Run...
The real treat was seeing Ken's blueprint perfect #19 J-Car. Built as one of a very limited fleet of MKIV cars, the story of this car and the members of the fleet, is something we hope to bring you much more of very soon.






2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The J car was a Great looking car and I am glad to see Ken build this car, it is part of racing history. I do notice the rear spoiler was this on the original ? What talent Mr.Thompson has to build such great looking cars you are very gifted.

Thanks for building these Master pieces, wish I could see them up close, Loved that time in racing

CJ Wilson

Garagistry - The Place Your Classic Car Lives said...

Mr. Wilson, Thank you for the nice comment! If you would enjoy a complimentary copy of "Deja Vu - The Story of the Kar Kraft MKIV's" built by Mr. Thompson and Mike Teske, please Contact Us (http://blog.garagistry.com/p/contact-us.html).

Thanks,
The Garagistry Support Team