Al Kitts, service manager for Frank Farmer Chevrolet in Metropolis, was officially written into the record books of Ford Motor Co. on June 26 in Dearborn, Mich., during a ceremony honoring the 50th reunion of the drivers of the 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt the company produced.
Kitts was one of 100 drivers selected back then to drag race in the Thunderbolt. Of the 100 original drivers, 35 were in attendance at the ceremony, and 22 of the original vehicles were on display. Each of the drivers was presented with an 1/8-scale replica of their Thunderbolt, complete with their names on the door as they were in 1964. The company added an extra touch to Kitts’ — a Superman shield in the trunk.
Albert Ford, grandson of Edsel Ford who was president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 to 1943, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony. After his speech, he met with the drivers. “He came and shook my hand. That was probably my biggest trophy of the weekend,” Kitts said.
Kitts is known for his drag racing career during the 1960s and later for his mechanic work on movie sets and racing teams.