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.


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 (

The Garagistry Support Team