Being Tony Thunder


Tony Thacker joins the Gearheads, and the talk runs all over the place, as can be expected. From early days in England to a career in magazines, and eventually becoming a United States citizen, and even Monty Python references. Let’s just say that Tony embodies the can-do, life redefining spirit of coming to America. In an age when so many take what is on offer here for granted, he spells out just what opportunity and freedom mean, even well beyond our hot rodding hobby.


  • Retired life
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed
    – The never-ending fireworks display
    Billy Gibbons and flamethrower guitars
  • Bringing American race cars to England
  • Discovering hot rods in England as a paperboy in the early 1960’s
    – Seeing the Mooneyes dragster VS Mickey Thompson
  • A career as an Electronics Engineer spurs a change
  • A chance letter to a magazine nets a job
    – Good fortune in finding a story
  •  The importance of enthusiasm and passion
    – On not being a good writer or photographer, but still carving out a fifty year career
  • Annie Leibovitz’s leg
  • Brian discovers his new favorite magazine
  • The Sun and page three
  • The drunken Dunlop tire test
    – Run flats and apple brandy
  • The crazy days of long-term car testing for magazines
  • The nude Camaro burnout shoot in England
  • “We kept the prizes”
  • Mangling a DeLorean
  • Enzo Ferrari’s secretary
    – Trading cookies for tours back when the plant was off-limits
  • On traditional hot rods nearing the end of their cycle
    – The aging-out of a segment of the hobby
    – The future of the industry
  • Rod Millen’s Leadfoot Festival
  • The GM/SoCal Bonneville cars
  • On knowing when to say “yes”
  • An appreciation for the American can-do spirit
  • “The English version of Smokey and the Bandit sounds slightly less exciting”
  • Six years as the Director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum
  • The amazing car collections of Portland
    – A warehouse full of Ferraris
  • The future of car meets



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