Bob Thomas Ford
If you owned five dealerships in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, and you were into cars, who do you think would have first dibs on a juicy trade-in? Here is Bob Thomas' eclectic collection of machines spanning four decades of both collectible and musclecar lineage. And this ain't all. It's just one side of the shop. The other side houses another two dozen or so cars, plus he has another building this size where Mike Bowman, the collection-shop foreman, works on the resto projects. While we were there, he was assembling both a '57 T-bird frame-off and a Jag. Which one would you rather work on?
A. A '64 Corvair Monza Spyder is hiding back here by the 428 Cougar. Compared with the Merc's monster engine, the Corvair's 164ci flat six seems puny, and even with the optional turbocharger, it still only made 150 hp.
B. If you look closely, you can just see the nose of this '68 Mercury Cougar 427ci big-block GT-E car. This was the height of musclecar luxury status. Only early Cougar GT-E cars got the 390hp 427 engines. Later in the year, the 427 was replaced by the 335hp 428. Cool...
C. You can't see it buried behind all the Fords, but there's also a '59 Corvette convertible with a four-speed and a twin four-barrel 283 motor rated at 270 hp.
D. Down the row of cars a bit is this very nice '67 small-block Chevelle convertible painted blue with a white top. Alongside it is a '55 Ford Sunliner, and behind the white Ford is a '64 Riviera complete with a 425ci single four-barrel motor.
E. Sitting even farther back in the pack is an '88 TPI Corvette with an outrageous 9,000 miles on the clock. Beside the Vette is a '62 T-bird with a '65 Mustang convertible in front of it. In the back row is a '49 Ford, and stuck in the corner is a '48 Lincoln V-12 flathead, which is one big chunk of cast iron.
F. Next door to the Boss Mustang is this '63 327, four-speed, convertible Corvette, and next to it is a '91 Jaguar. Behind the Corvette is a '66 Cadillac Eldorado convertible parked beside a '79 Lincoln Mark V. Let's see, it's Tuesday, is this a Vette or Caddy day?
G. Heading off the collection is this '70 Boss 302 four-speed Mustang. Boss 302 motors were rated at 290 hp. Ford won the SCCA Trans-Am championship in 1970 on the strength of these Cleveland-headed cars. Sitting behind the Boss is a fully restored '27 Model T. That's like parking a Sopwith Camel behind an F-4 Phantom jet. Beware of the jet blast.