Henry Ford II, recognizing the opportunity presented by factory-sponsored racing and attempting to overcome a sales slump, withdrew from the AMA in 1962, thereby effectively

lifting the ban on such programs. With the gloves removed, manufacturers resumed their

activities on the track. During the 1960s, drag racing was immensely popular, and Ford saw

an opportunity to offer a factory-built, turnkey race car for sale at local dealerships. Ford

continues to offer commercially available factory-built drag cars in the form of the Cobra

Jet Mustang. Ford began offering turnkey racers in 1964 with the Fairlane Thunderbolt, one of the most innovative and fastest drag cars of its time.