Jack Runner's 1955 Ford Thunder-
bird is extreme to say the least. Most car people will tell you that the T-Bird is a car to be left alone. Jack
has a hard time leaving any car alone. Jack began this project over 30 years ago. While working as an engineer in San Diego, CA, Jack had an inspiration to take a vintage car to the Bonneville Saltflats and test the engineering skills against nature in an all out speed quest. After acquiring a stripped out hulk of an old T-Bird, Jack set out to lighten it up asap. He hand fabricated aluminum doors, hood, trunklid and dash for the Bird. Next, he opened up the body with thousands of lightening holes, bringing the overall weight down to an astonishing 2000 lbs. He then chopped the top by 3 inches.
Jack was not real concerned with appearance. So he shot the car in a flat black color and went about building a powerplant to propel his Bird into history.
The Thunderbird, although heavily abandoned when Jack purchased it, still had its original motor. With this in hand, Jack opted to build his car into the fastest Y Block Bird in the land. Alcohol injection, twin Mcullic Superchargers, heavy porting and oversized pistons brought the h.p. up to an incredible 1000 plus. All of this power needed to go somewhere. Jack routed it to the ground via an old champion quick change rearend and a Super T10 Transmission. At this point, all was well. That was about to change. On its first startup, some 25 plus years ago, the car's oiling system let go and left a huge mess on the floor of Jack's shop. It was then that he shelved the project and it went into hibernation.
Fast forward some 20 plus years and Jack finds Jim Sibley, of Sib's Hotrods. The two men pulled out the Bird, dusted her off, and Jim began his journey with Jack's Radical Racebird. Jim cleaned up the car's exterior, built it an aluminum front bumper, a rollcage and a rear pushbar that doubles as a ballast. Jim then shot the car in a beautiful Porsche Red and flamed it with a custom mix of oranges and yellow. Next he wired the car, giving it a barely steetable configuration. With the alcohol motor out, and on its way back to Jack for a long overdue going through, Jim installed a tri-powered 312 to give it life while waiting for the return of its fire breathing predecessor. Now that the car was a little more tame, Jim was able to align it, rebuild the braking system, and get it road worthy for the first time in over 40 years. This car is now able to double duty as a street car and a bullet on the salt with a simple change of the motor.