As the Holiday Party draws near, we close
another great T-Bird year, and award a
member for outstanding service to our club.
This year's nominee for the Bert Eisenhour
Award is Pete Kramer. Pete has stepped
down as President, but he is still very active
in the operation of CTCC. He and his family
have done a lot for the members of our club.
We are looking forward to another great year.
We are going to start our year with the Dudes
and Divas Dinner in the early part of January.
Pete and Marylu have put together a Drury Lane
Brunch and Young Frankenstein performance at
the end of January.
Our Pizza Party has a new location, and it will be
on a Sunday afternoon, making if easier for our
members to attend.
Our March meeting will also be on a Sunday afternoon.
We will have a presentation on Chicago's Famous
Riverview. This meeting is open to members, along
with their family and friends, so watch your BIRD-NEWS
Enjoy your T-Bird and have a great year with CTCC.
Ken Smizinski, President
P.S. Remember to mark your calendars for the CTCC
Spring Fling in Springfield, Illinois. May 2-5, 2014.
This is an open invitation to T-Birders from around the
country. And it looks to be a fun, fun, fun, weekend.
Call Len Keil for details-(815) 759-8763
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
BOB AND HELEN HOGES ONE-DAY OUTING REPORT
BY ANNIE LUGINBILL
Outing Date: October 27, 2013
Destination: Havencrest Castle, Savanna (Illinois, not Savannah, Georgia, sillies!)
Details: A group of CTCC folks including Tom and Judy Bruin, Joel Greenberg and Annie Luginbill, Len and Mary Keil, Larry and Karen Kelly, Jerry and Doreen Michna (accompanied by Doreens mom), Jerry and Pat Peterson, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Len and Irene Vinyard, and Bob and Sue Wenderski met Bob and Helen at the Wasco McDonalds bright and early Sunday morning and headed west to the eastern bank of the Mississippi to visit Havencrest Castle in Savanna; along the way we were joined by Debra Powless, who was chauffeured by Jared, her son, and then we met Pete and Marylu Kramer in Savanna.
The Hoges had arranged for a great tour of the one and only Savanna Castle - Havencrest Castle, which had been originally called Hillcrest and was built in the early 1900s by Savannas Greenleaf family as part of a bet to see which of the towns elite could construct the fanciest home. The Greenleafs won, having TWO indoor water closets, hot and cold running water, and electricity in a time when these were uncommon. The family remained there until the 1940s, when Mr. Greenleaf and then his wife died, and their children moved away. The building went through a number of changes until in 1976 Alan and Adrianne St. George purchased the home and began a lifelong process of expanding and decorating it in what one writer has termed the manner of American Aristocracy. The couple were fulfilling their credo "Reality is for those who lack Imagination" and they increased the number of rooms from 22 to 63, with each having a theme such as The Fragonard Music Room, The Chicago Conservatory, and The Medieval Hall. They did all the work themselves without an architect or a designer; Adrianne was the inspiration while Alan was the creator of these rooms, which blend fantasy and reality. As rooms were completed, the two held extravagant parties, balls, and fundraisers (Adrianne was the founder of the areas Humane Society, and the building housed not only the couple but six of their dogs). The St. Georges were deeply devoted to each other, and in every room there are representations of the two, whether sculptured, painted, or created in stained glass by Mr. St. George. (Side note #1: We actually had the pleasure of being personally welcomed by Mr. St. George at the original entrance to the building, courtesy of Bob and Helen!) Mrs. St. George passed away in 2006, leaving her husband devastated. After a mourning/ healing period of five years, he returned to working on their beloved home and, in a completely different vein, created a room containing contemporary art as opposed to the period/fantasy themed rooms.
We split the day in half; first we toured a number of rooms, next we ate lunch in the castle dining room on their amazing dishware and then we completed our tour. We were able to view 22 of the home's 63 rooms (Mr. St. George and others also live there so there were rooms not open to the public) and were quite impressed by the details everywhere, from moving butterflies in the conservatory to a face in the painted clouds of a ceiling. Our primary guide was Michael Dunavant, the curator, a young man with a golden voice who has spent time performing on Broadway and who was persuaded to play the piano and sing for us; he was ably assisted by Mrs. Jean Ferris and their cohort Ryan. (Side note #2: Michael and Jean persuaded Alan to open his home to the public in July 2013, and the St. George dream of hosting parties, weddings, birthdays, and other events is being realized.)
The tour was truly an experience that we won't soon forget and our hats are off to Bob and Helen for a wonderful time!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Region 2 Convention- "Thunder in the Heartland"
Let me tell you a story about the 'Birds in Des Moines, IA, for the Classic Thunderbird Club Region 2 Convention called "Thunder in the Heartland" Aug.21-25. 2013.
It was a hot and steamy Wednesday morning, when 4-T-Birds, earrying Bill and Liz Werth, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Larry and Karen Kelly, Jim Wilson and one Chrysler Sebring, carrying Joel Greenberg and Annie Luginbill,. whose 'Bird was out sick, headed to the McDonald's on Rte. 53 and Butterfield Road to start our trek to Des Monies at 8:15 am. Three more 'Birds joined us at the DeKalb Oasis: Len and Mary Keil, Tom and Judy Bruin and Lloyd and Joan Schellin.
We stopped for gas and breakfast/lunch at the Village Inn in Davenport. IA. It was free pie Wednesday and no one could resist. When lunch was over and everyone was paying their bills, our jokester, Tom Bruin, took the large bowl of candy suckers off the counter and began passing it around to a table of elderly women playing cards, while waiting for their meal. They laughed joyously and helped themselves to a piece or two and so did we.
As we continued our journey, we stopped at a rest area to stretch and get something to drink.. While
there. Lloyd, Judy and a few others were sitting at a picnic table under a tree, when suddenly a very slinky visitor made its appearance. Everyone scrambled like it was a boa constrictor, but it was only a garden snake slithering around minding its own business.
We arrived at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel at about 4:30 pm . It was time to register for the Convention and our hotel rooms. It was a long day. Ed and Rose (brave souls) drove all the way with the convertible top down. We hooked up with Ken and Kathy Smizinski. who drove from Missouri. and had arrived a bit earlier than the rest of us. Although everyone was tired, we were also hungry and decided to walk across the road - about 2 or 3 blocks - to Chill's for Mexican food. As the 15 of us waited for our table(s), Tom Bruin, once again, decided to entertain us by handing each or us a kid's menu and crayons to keep the group occupied. Once seated, the food and margaritas were abundant.
Thursday afternoon there was a Fashion Show in the hotel atrium. It was a short presentation, but Judy and I managed to buy something to enhance our wardrobes. Afterwards, while our men were cleaning and polishing the T-Birds. Kathy Smizinski invited all the ladies to her room for some "juice" - which consisted of Bloody Marys and Margaritas. Needless to say, we were not missing our men.
At 7:00 p.m. that night we had our traditional Pizza Party outside on the pool patio of the hotel. It was a beautiful night with lots of laughs, libations, conversation, and silliness.FUN! FUN! FUN! The rest of our club members. Mitch and Pat Mitchell, Bob and Kathy Lindsten. Gordon Gluf'f. Mike Puvlak, Mary Jane and Dave Osborne and Bill and Sharon Jurkonie joined us. Bert and Jane Eisenhour also joined us later.
On Friday morning, those who were judging or had cars being judged were outside doing their thing. At 8:30 am the girls went on the Taste of the Heartland Bus Tour. While on the bus, our tour guide played some games, where if you answered a question correctly, you would win some Mardi Gras beads. Whoopee! We won some.
Our first stop was at the American Machine Shed Restaurant for enormous cinnamon rolls and coffee. They have a cute store front where some purchases were made by many. Alter our breakfast, we continued on the bus to the Last Village area in downtown Des Moines. We walked the quaint streets lined with various little shops and. of course, did some shopping.
Back on the bus, we headed to the heart of downtown Des Moines, to the top of the Ruan Building for lunch, with a breathtaking view from the 34th floor. Lunch was delicious with salads, mushrooms, nuts, berries, cheeses, fruit, soup and desserts. While we were waiting for our turn at the buffet. Annie gave each of us a cute book mark, unique to each one of us: Kathy and Rose was "she who loves to travel;" Karen, "she who loves her dog;" Judy, "she who is a free spirit:" Joan, "she who has a great attitude;" Mary, "she who loves her cat." Very sweet and thoughtful of Annie.
After lunch, we traveled to West End Architectural Salvage. There you will find four floors of antique furniture, vintage lights, hardware and building materials, stained glass, etc., etc., etc.. located in a downtown warehouse. They also have a coffee shop on the first floor with various types of coffee, cookies and cakes to purchase and relax. The West Hnd Salvage is very well known from the IKJTV television show.
Our last stop on the tour was to the Jasper Winery near Gray's Lake, to sample wine pairings with Iowa cheeses and locally made chocolates. The people at the winery made an excellent presentation. We all had our share of the tastings and were ready for our return to the hotel. But. before leaving, Kathy and Karen bought a couple of bottles of wine to take home.
That evening, our group split up for dinner. Some of us drove to Nick's Steakhouse, while others decided to eat at restaurants near the hotel.
On Saturday, there was a large group of beautiful Thunderbirds thai caravanned to the Karl Kustoms facility. It is a modern 65.000 sq. ft. building housing JR. Motorsports, a machine shop, an all-wheel-drive chassis dyno, engine dyno (a computerized engine dynamometer that accurately measures torque and RPM and then can calculate horsepower), two high tech paint booths, upholstery shop and assembly areas, for all their restoration and street rod production work. They also produce the Karl Kustom Corvettes, where they "rebody" the C-6 version of the Corvette to resemble either a 1967 Corvette Roadster or the iconic 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe. Their Tearn Leader. Dave Carnock. explained each room in detail and answered questions. It was very interesting to see the transformation of these cars and how beautiful they looked.
After visiting the Karl Kustoms facility, we drove to Dennis Albaugh's for a private tour of his unique collection of 145 plus Chevrolets. His collection is not open to the public, only toured by private arrangement. Dennis Albaugh is a highly respected businessman who houses his World Class display in a custom-designed, climate controlled facility under the parking lot of his Corporate Headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa. Among the cars is a vast collection of automotive art and collectibles.
This is an absolutely beautiful display of Chevrolets, with a plaque describing each car's features, options and rarity. Everyone was in awe of this fabulous display and thoroughly enjoyed being there.
After the morning of touring we were ready for lunch. Tom consulted his smart phone and 11 of us ventured to Ray's BBQ. This place was jammed. It was right next to a motorcycle shop where they were having a rally of some sort. There had to be about 100 motorcycles gathered in the parking lot. We were lucky to get in the restaurant and chow down. After lunch, we went back to the hotel to get ready for the Awards Banquet that evening.
The banquet started with cocktails at 5:30 pm. Around 6:30, we entered the dining room to find our tables and to be seated for dinner, which was served at 7:00. On one wall, there was a giant video screen showing all the beautiful Thunderbirds that were at the Convention.
During dinner, it was announced that the centerpiece on each table, a Hurricane glass centerpiece with candle, would go home with the person who had a green ticket under their plate. After dinner - there was the presentation of awards. As the winners were announced, each owner's "Bird and name was shown on the big screen. Beautiful job.
I am proud to say that many of our CTCC members received awards this year. Congratulations to each and every one of the winners,
Sunday was an early start, eheek out and on the road at 7:00 am. All packed and ready to go. we said farewell to Des Moines and were homeward bound. We made one stop for gas and had breakfast at an off-the-road diner. As Karen said, "At $5.99 for breakfast, how could you go wrong?" With our bellies now full, we said our good byes to each other and were on our way.
ALL IN ALL THIS WAS A GREAT CONVENTION!!!
- Rose Kovalenko
CTCC - 2013 ANNUAL PICNIC
Joan and Lloyd Schellin welcomed 43 CTCC members and guests into their home on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Seventeen Thunderbirds parked on the grass across the road from the house and created a colorful tableau. The huge pole barn was the perfect place for the group to enjoy fellowship and a delicious meal comprised of pork chops and hamburgers grilled on the biggest grill we've ever seen and accompanied by the many hot and cold side dishes brought by members. Dessert starred Mary Keil's version of
In Pete Kramer's absence, Tom Bruin conducted a short Business Meeting, during which the calendar of upcoming events was reviewed and Lloyd was presented with a "flying pig" hat.
During the afternoon, picnickers played lawn games and sat under the trees enjoying each other's company. Lloyd gave rides in his huge tractor (see the photo of Judy Bruin's demonstration of how huge).
We met Joan's brother and also our newest members, Lydia and Charlie Freund, who came from Mundelein. Dan Mrozek brought his friend, Arlene Figlia. Dan's son, Dan, brought his little dog (who unhappily suffered two broken legs at the end of the day while jumping out of Dan's vehicle, but is OK). Also attending were: Joel & Annie, Art Hahl, Ron Pavlak, Ed Levin & Rose Kovalenko (who brought a delicious salmon that Ed caught in Lake Michigan), Bonnie Thelen. Jim Wilson, Madeline Zambon, Andersons, Bakakoses, Bruins, Hoges, Keils, Kellys, Kraatzs, Michnas, Petersons, Smizinskis, Vinyards, Werths and Wolfes. Donations for the People's Resource Center food pantry included $65r 130 items, one watermelon and 48 cans of pop - thank you everyone! While it was a long way to drive, it was a beautiful day with gracious hosts and a lovely setting. Thank you Lloyd and Joan for your hospitality
- Liz Werth
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Open Invitation to Classic Thunderbird Clubs to join us as we host a convocation of early 'Birds in Springfield, Illinois
No Concours, No Judging, Just FUN and FELLOWSHIP
May 2-5, 2014
Crown Plaza Hotel, Springfield, IL
Group Rate is $108/night
Reservations: 1-800-589-2769 Code: E2Y (Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland)
- Group activities being planned include tours of Abraham Lincoln heritage sights, cruising to a few of the historic venues in Springfield and Sangamon County, Illinois. including some of the last remaining portions of historic Route 66.
- Group Banquet Sunday evening.
- Free time for shopping and sight-seeing on your own
Hosted by: Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland
Please RSVP to Len or Mary Keil
815-759-8763 - or - email@example.com
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
GREAT RACE - 2O13 - '57 T-BIRD We were so excited to meet you and wanted to thank you and your wife for making the long drive to meet us. As you know, we were rookies and had no idea what to expect. Boy, were we taught a lesson in life. In Minneapolis, MN, we encountered 70 mph winds and rain along with 12,000 cars and 100,000 people - as well as the 99 cars in our rally. At every stop, the people were fabulous and waved American flags and gave us much needed water or cold rags! The temperature along the route down the Mississippi to Mobile was almost 100 degrees - and even higher in the car. A lot of time we were served BBQ, but 1 guess that's what you eat in the south. Getting from the finish line to the finish city after 8 or so hours in the car might take another hour, and then the car was on display, which made for a very long day. But all in all, it was an experience we will never forget. Did I mention we are still speaking and only got lost 4 times in 2100 miles? Not bad, arid as far as we are concerned, we FINISHED the Great Race. The only (mechanical) problem that we had was the risk of over-heating. We should have put an aluminum radiator and (electric) fan in before the Race. Not knowing how hot it was going to be, and how long you had to sit at some towns, made it difficult. Our tires are new radials, with only 2,200 miles. Again, it was a pleasure to meet you and ail of the other lovely people who came out to support us. Sincerely, Marcia and Fred Danovitz -Car # 34 Editor's Note: See the rear cover of the July issue of Bird-News for a photo of the Danovitz 1957 Thunderbird. Car #34 finished in 62nd place (out of the 99 starters)- not bad for a rookie team! A '64 T-Bird was a DNF (Did Not Finish). [It was dubbed the "Flatbed T-Bird]
PRESIDENT'S REPORT Meteorologically at least, spring has flown and won't return until next year, and another summer is underwater - oops! - I meant to say underway! The floods we have experienced in early summer seem to be the worst ever - but according to the State of the Climate" website, through April 2011, we have received more rainfall than through April 2013. Is this possible? The good news is that we appear to be gaining ground against the drought which has plagued the Midwest in recent years -except this past week when we have experienced high temps, and drought conditions. As the hot weather approaches - remember the following bit of information from Ken, during our Tech Sessions: "Use only Conventional Green Antifreeze coolant from Auto-zone or Car Quest. Do not use Extended Life if you have a cast iron block" - as most of us have. (See: June 2013 Bird-News) In the latest Early Bird (July-August 2013), there are a number of interesting articles: 1. Congratulations once again to Bert, for receiving the Golden Quill Award "Regional Sub Compact". Page 4 2. "Don't Leave Home without Them" Page 20 This list suggests items you should take on a tour. Wow!! If we took the "Need, Nice and Extra" items, our trunks would not even carry it all with no room for luggage. Thank God for Ken and others for the "First Aid Kit" they bring along on our Tours. Incidentally, our Board has developed the "Tour Attendees Guide" - available on our Website, which deals with some of these items. Page 20 3. Thanks to Bill and Liz, for their article on C.T.C.C.- Past, Current, and Future Activities and Events. Page 51 4. "For The Birds" Central Illinois Area Mitch and Pat Mitchell (members of C.T.C.C. and FTB) and other FTB members joined us for lunch and the museum visit during the first leg of our Spring Tour to Decatur. Page 53 5. 40th Annual Birds in the Dells - Door County If anyone is interested in tagging along to Door County with the Fox Valley Thunderbirds of Wisconsin on September 13-15. Sign up and registration deadlines are fast approaching. Page 64 Last Saturday, we went on our annual Day Trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. It was their "Swashbucklers" theme event, and we had three wenches in our group. My favorite show was the "Greatest Show on Earth" also known as the "Mud Pit". If you like the Three Stooges, you'll love this show and 1 loved it! Must be a guy thing. Several of us saw it. Look lor the Complete Event report. Shout outs to Annie and Joel for coordinating. The Board is in the process of obtaining C.T.C.C. window flags to be used by Non-Classic Birds at the rear of the caravan to indicate to the non-caravan cars to not cut into our group. Thanks to Bill and Liz, for heading this up. Please review our C.T.C.C. Calendar on Page 2 for Events for future events. RSVP with each coordinator as soon as possible, and make an effort to attend as many events as possible. Remember -the C.T.C.C. is Your Club - Get Involved! Stay Healthy and Drive Safely - President Pete
FORD'S AMERICAN DREAM CAR TOUR In 2000 when Ford announced that it would begin building the 2002-model Thunderbird, Americans in major cities across the country had a chance to win one of three 1950s era classic Thunderbirds as part of a special tour designed to build on the excitement of the car that has become a national icon. Beginning Memorial Day weekend on May 27, 2000, three mid-1950s era white, two-seat roadsters began a tour driving through the streets of 144 cities and towns as a part of Ford's "American Dream Car Tour." The tour kicked off in southern California, south Florida and the greater New York area. It continued through August 20. People spotting one of the classic white Thunderbirds sporting the American Dream Car Tour logo could enter a sweepstakes and could win one of three vintage cars. The observers could enter online or mail a letter stating information on the day, city and approximate location they saw the car. The sweepstakes winners were announced in October. Dealers were not yet taking orders for the new 2002 Thunderbird. However, the American Dream Car Tour was the first step in Ford's marketing efforts for the new car. Two of the Dream Cars (white '55's with red interiors) were restored for this promotion by Justin Minter (Amos Minter's son) and his crew in Dallas. A third Thunderbird was purchased from Prestige Thunderbird in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The winners of these cars were Kirn Marsella of Greenwich, CT, Griggon Barry of Springdale, AR and Jeff Peck of Deltona, FL. Where are fhese cars today? -Dave Tulowitzky | Trail Bird News 2012
CTCC MEMBERS RETURN TO
The T-Birders made quite a stir at the Bristol Renaissance Faire on Pirate Weekend July 17th. Once again, CTCC swooped in on the quaint renaissance-like village that comes to life for just a few short weeks each summer, with myriad entertainers, merchants and entertainers all plying their skills, trade and wares in period correct (but fashion-backward) attire. In attendance were Judy and Tom Bruin, Doug and Soon Rogers, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Len and Mary Keil. Pete and Marylu Kramer, Bill and Liz Werth. Annie Luginbill and
oel Greenberg, and Andy Rominiecki. Tagging along for the fun in full pirate regalia (but in a regular car), were Karisa Bruin and her fellow actress Rebecca Mauldin. We had 7 little 'Birds, and one "retro" ' Bird.
After a leisurely stroll around the sizeable fair grounds and village, we took in some of the traditional offerings. Highlights included the always enjoyable mud pit show, enjoying an ice cold adult beverage while watching real live knights joust, watching fairies dance among the trees, a true renaissance lunch consisting of artichokes by the dozen (Look, ma, no silverware!), BBQ turkey legs, beef sandwiches and more cold adult beverages. All of this was enjoyed while watching the endless parade of colorful and shapely costumed faire-goers. Of particular interest was the growing frequency of chainmail bikini sightings (If there is such a thing as Fashion Police, they were sorely missing on this day....it appears these metallurgical wonders come in every size imaginable! And. if you want to plan ahead for next year, rest assured any one of us could pull it off with enough chainmail!)
Next year, all T-Bird members are expected to participate in the bawdy mud lights - You can be a Spartan or a Trojan, but remember that Trojans, unlike our classic T-Birds, are unbreakable!
Sunday, July 7, 2013
SPORTS & CLASSICS OF MONTEREY
12-14 August 2010
1957 Ford Thunderbird # 98 Factory Racing Car "The Battlebird"
Sold for $280,000
Chassis no. C7FH170266
Est. 350 bhp, Hilborn fuel-injected 312 Y-block V8 engine, Jaguar four-speed manual transmission, Halibrand QC rear end, lightweight aluminum body panels, heavily modified suspension, braking, cooling and exhaust systems, wheelbase: 102".
-The only remaining 'Battlebird"
- Driven by Chuck Daigh and Marvin Panch at Daytona in 1957
Ford's Thunderbird series, which debuted in 1955 was designed more as a stylish and fast boulevard cruiser than as an out and out sports car. However in late 1956, perhaps sensing the early V8 Corvette's potential as a track weapon, Ford decided to build and race two Experimental class 1957 T-Birds.
Peter De Paolo Engineering, a Long Beach, California based race shop subsidized by the Ford Motor Company, got the job of preparing two T-Birds, later dubbed "Battlebirds" by the media. Famed racecar constructors Jimmy Travers and Frank Coons were in turn retained by De Paolo to carry out most of the actual modifications.
Extensive use of aluminum to replace standard T-Bird steel components in order to save weight was employed. This included the doors, hood and trunk lid skins, head and tail lamp housings, side vent doors, passenger side tonneau cover and a beautiful streamlined full length driver's side head fairing. Heavy duty stock car type suspension, steering and brakes were adapted as well as a dual exhaust system with tail pipes being flared into the rear of the rocker panels. The lightweight Halibrand magnesium road wheels with 3-eared knock-offs were fitted with Firestone racing tires. The original interior was completely removed and replaced with a single lightweight racing seat located behind a small six-gauge instrument pod that replaced the original dashboard layout.
The #98 'Battlebird' was powered by a highly modified Hilborn-injected 312 Ford Y-Block V8 with magneto igninition. No suitable American 4-speed transmission existed in 1956, so a Jaguar XK120 unit was adapted, as well as a Halibrand Quick-Change rear end. Removal of bumpers and liberal hole drilling in steel components was also undertaken by the De Paolo team. Weight distribution was improved by moving the engine back six inches and placing it four inches lower. The end result was essentially a "full-race" American automobile that still looked like a 1957 Thunderbird but had very little in common with its normal showroom relative.
A Sports Cars Illustrated (July 1957) article entitled "Ford's 400 Horse T-Birds" said it best: "Performance wise the 'Birds were little short of bing domestic Ferraris. On second thought, they should have been- for each of these finely engineered cars must have cost more then $20,000!"
The "Battlebirds" on the Track
Specifically constructed for the highly publicized Daytona Beach two-way flying mile speed runs, the two cars made their first appearance on February 9th, 1957.
Driven by Chuck Daigh, this T-Bird, numbered as "98" and fitted with injection and a McCullough [McCulloch- Ed] supercharger, reportedly made a 200 plus mph run before ventilating its block and preventing a return run which disqualified it from the record book. After that, the blower was removed and the new engine took Daigh to a third place at 93.312 mph in the standing mile acceleration class. #98 was then entered in the local airport road course races where stock car driver Marvin Panch placed second to Carroll Shelby's 4.9 Ferrai. When the Automobile Manufacturers Association decreed that its members were to withdraw from racing events in 1957, the Ford Motor Company sold off the two experimental "Battlebirds" to the private sector.
"Battlebird" History After Daytona.
Both cars- the #98 (#170266) and the #99, powered by a 368 Lincoln engine- were sold by FOMOCO to Andy Hotten in July of 1957 who campaigned them briefly in the Midwest with a partner. The Lincoln-engined car was destroyed and longer exists, making the #98 'Battlebird' the only Factory-built example to remain.
Later, Hotten sold #98 to Parnelli Jones, remaining in his museum until 1975 when it passed to Gerald Popejoy of Dallas, Texas. In 1991 Popejoy, now in Springfield , Missouri, advertised tn Hemming's for someone to help restore the car.
Californian Gil Baumgartner, Authenticity Chairman of the Classic T-Bird Club and a skilled restorer, replied to the ad but received no response. In 1992, when Popejoy decided against a restoration in favor of a sale, Baumgartner caught the ad and talked his friend Robert "Bo" Cheadle, a well-to-do racecar collector, into the purchase. By this time (1993) the car was still quite original but missing the Hilborn Injection, tonneau cover and Jaguar transmission.
Gil Baumgartner, a perfectionist if ever there was one, did a lot of "Battlebird" research before turning a wrench, but once started, the project came together in less than a year.
Friday, July 5, 2013
In spite of gray skies and an "iffy" weather forecast, 14 members braved the threatening rain to cruise over to Miller's Dog 'n' Suds on Saturday, June 22nd. The members joining in included: Dan and JoAnn Renda, Doug and Soon Hee Rogers, Lloyd and Joan Schellin, Larry and Karen Kelly, Peter and Lisa Ekstrom, Lee and Gina Bakakos, Jerry and Doreen Michna, Bob and Barb Sroka, Jim Wilson, Dan Mrozek, Jim Elijah, Arthur Hahl, Andy Rominiecki and yours truly. We had 11 beautiful vintage Thunderbirds on display and 1 old Mustang.
The classic car gods smiled on our group as the skies cleared shortly afler our arrival for a beautiful and pleasant evening. Our group set up the lawn-chairs and enjoyed burgers, hot dogs, fries, house-made root beer, ice cream, friendship and rock and roll hits from the 1950s and '60s courtesy of the band, "Tony and the Affects."
All in all, a fun evening was had, as this group usually does when driving our beloved classics and eating is involved!
Though the weather forecast was iffy all week for Sunday's Top Golf Event, the sun did shine that day. The 'lil 'Birds flew in to the Top Goif parking lot and lined up by the Miniature Golf area. After most of us had arrived, we went inside and gathered in the party room, which overlooked the Top Golf Driving Range. Outside our room we had two bays reserved with golf clubs and golf balls for those interested in taking a swing at the driving range. Top Golf also provided golf clubs and golf balls for those who wanted to play miniature golf.
As we mingled, our drink orders were taken for those who wanted Mimosas or Bloody Marys. A Bloody Mary bar was set up with various items to put in our drinks. These items included celery, green onions, olives, cheese, bacon strips and various hot sauces. After some time of conversing, Pete Kramer called our June Meeting to order. I thanked everyone for coming and mentioned that though advertised, there was not going to be a People's Choice for the cars due to a conflict, but instead we would have a raffle. Pete had a very brief meeting, which consisted of going over some upcoming events on the calendar. When the meeting finished we all helped ourselves to the buffet, The buffet included scrambled eggs and sausage, chicken and waffles, potatoes, fruit, toast and pastries. During our brunch, Doug Rogers stood up and told a golf joke and then Mike Cielenski had Marylu Kramer draw two raffle tickets - then he read the winning numbers. The raffle prizes were two gift certificates to Top Golf, which were for 6 Free games and a video analysis of your golf swing. The winners of the raffie were Irene Vinyard and yes, Kathy Smizinski. (Kathy continues on with her winning streak.) Kathy chose to give her gift certificate to Soon Hee Rogers to enjoy.
After Brunch, some of the group headed out to the Miniature Golf area, some remained in the room to mingle, while others bid farewell and the rest of us headed out to the bays to try and play Top Golf. The afternoon was filled with fun, laughter, drinks and conversation as many tried their swing at Top Golf. Mike Cielenski was in charge of going and filling the baskets with the golf balls and giving a brief lesson on how to play Top Golf. As the Miniature golf players returned after a hard round of golf, some joined in to take a swing on the range while others mingled. As the afternoon wore on, the addiction to Top Golf grew. Soon Hee Rogers and Irene Vinyard dominated the driving range sending their golf balls out to the various targets, as did Larry and Karen Kelly. We all ended up taking turns up at the tee hitting the golf balls. We were able to track the distance of our swing and saw what we scored if our golf ball went into the targeted areas.
A big thank you goes out to all those who came out tor the day. Those in attendance for the Top Golf event were Pete and Marylu Kramer, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Len and Irene Vinyard, Len and Mary Keil, Doug and Soon Hee Rogers, Tom and Judy Bruin, Bill and Liz Werth, Joel Greenberg and Annie Luginbill, Jim Wilson, Art Hahl, Gail Hascek, Jerry and Pat Peterson, Larry and Karen Kelly, Pete and Lisa Ekstrom, Jerry and Doreen Michna and Mike and Laura Cielenski.
- Laura Cielenski
Monday, June 10, 2013
CTCC 2013 MAY 3rd to MAY 6th SPRING TOUR TO PEORIA/DECATUR
As the James Taylor song goes, "I've seen fire and I've seen rain," and that certainly applied to this year's tour! Before we even hit the road, Ted's Garage in Clinton, Illinois, a 50s-themed restaurant where we were to have our Friday night dinner (as a change from the traditional hotel pizza party) burned down on Easter weekend, and Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko had to quickly rearrange the schedule and find a new place to eat (this time on Sunday evening). Per Ed, 'don't ever mess with the Friday night pizza party or something bad will happen!" Also, this was the week after the severe late April rain/flooding, and the weather forecast was for 80% rain (with possibly flooding) in the Peoria/Decatur area over the weekend, so this tour was the FIRST EVER to have NO 'Little T-Birds' at all on it: we did have two of the newer 'Birds, but the rain drove away the Classics. Despite this, a merry crowd (Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Pat and Jerry Peterson, Liz and Bill Worth, Karen and Larry Kelly, Pete Krarner, Jim Wilson, Laura and Mike Cielenski, Annie Luginbil! and Joel Greenberg, and Rose and Ed) left the Hinsdale Oasis Friday morning heading toward Peoria. On the way we linked up with Judy and Tom Bruin, Soon Hee and Doug Rogers, and Lloyd and Joan Schellin. In Peoria we met Pat and Mitch Mitchell, our Pekin, Illinois members, who brought with them several members of their local T-Bird club (Central Illinois Classic Thunderbirds). We ate lunch together at the Avanti Restaurant in Peoria and then went to the 'Wheels O'Time Museum, in nearby Dunlap, Illinois. This little museum contains a bit of everything... clocks, music machines, autos, a full-size train, a walk-through display entitled "Grandma's Kitchen," another with a barbershop quartet (wearing rubber Halloween masks of various US presidents), and more. Once we had toured the museum, we headed on toward Decatur and the Welcome Inn (and pizza in the Hospitality Room). There Tom Bruin displayed a silly side heretofore unsuspected by many of us; he teased the people behind the check-in counter, as well as some folks in line to check in who weren't even part of the group! We were joined for pizza by Gordon Gluff, who had missed connecting up with us earlier in the day. In the Hospitality Room, Rose was given a Dept. 56 'Palms' building (since she and Ed really love the Palm Court Restaurant, and they were instrumental in setting up the Dudes and Divas dinners - but have never made it to one of them) while Ed received what has come to be known as "the Golden Fluke"- a 24K Racing Champions 1:64 diecast model of a '56Bird...with the Chevrolet logo! Kathy Smizinski had the winning hand in the Poker Run contest and won a $100 Lettuce Entertain You gift certificate.
The following morning, Len and Mary Keil joined us. We learned that the Inn had a pancake machine, and Larry Kelly started making pancakes; he was so good at it that some people thought he should get his own machine! After breakfast, we headed out to the Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum. There we viewed a number of Chevrolets dating from the 1920s to the present; cars include Impalas, Novas, Camaros, and, of course, Corvettes. This Museum is also a storage area for a number of Chevrolet owners, and various cars get taken out and driven. Ed and Rose had arranged to have our lunch catered at the Museum, and we munched on chicken - while surrounded by Chevrolets; eating was difficult, but somebody had to do it... After lunch we went to the Long Creek Vineyard and Winery in Long Creek, Illinois, for a wine tasting. The kindest thing that can be said about this place (which some thought was created as a tax write-off) is that it was an experience. Pete did buy a container of their wine - which had no label - and Larry, our resident alcohol expert, said that if he had to drink that wine he'd likely stop drinking altogether! We then headed back to the hotel, where a large number of people watched Orb win the Kentucky Derby. (Kathy also won the Derby pool - lucky gal!) Dinner that night was at the best restaurant in Decatur, The Beach House, where menus came printed with the restaurant logo and "Welcome Thunderbird Club of Chicago." There, we had an excellent meal and watched young people in their prom attire as they came and left. Once dinner was through, we went back to the hotel and the Hospitality Room for more camaraderie, food, and drink.
Sunday was a 'free day.' Some people left for home while others went out to eat to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, elected to do antique shopping all day, or went back to the Monticello Railway Museum that Tom and Judy had taken us to last year (when I wrote the 'Strike Four' article about our 'Bird). At the Monticello Railway Museum, once again Tom was quite the comedian and kept us laughing all the way from the museum to the depot in Monticello and back. This group also stopped at an antique mall on our way to the hotel (and browsed but didn't buy). That evening, we went to O'Charley's, a family restaurant down the street from the hotel, where we managed to confuse not only the waitresses, but also the bartender! We then returned to the hotel and the Hospitality Room, where we laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes.
On Monday, we headed home, bypassing the traditional Culver's lunch in favor of getting back to our respective domiciles. Wouldn't you know it - the closer we got to home the sunnier it became. Be that as it may, we had a wonderful weekend (and acquired more material for standing tour jokes), and Ed and Rose did an outstanding job despite the fire and rain!!!
- Annie Luginbill
CTCC ANNUAL TECH-SESSION
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Fifteen Thunderbirds filled Bob Wenderski's driveway - from the rear of the property out to Waukegan Rd. - for this annual dust-off event. Mother Nature provided a beautiful spring day from start to finish. Dan Anderson drove his Black '57 Thunderbird with the top off, Gary Smithe -a Red '05 Retro 'Bird, Sue Wenderski - a Vintage Mint Green '04, Lee Bakakos - a Coral Sand '57, Tom Wolfe - a Bronze '57, my Colonial White '57, Len Keil - in a Willow Green '57, Ken Srnizinski - a Green '56, Tom Bruin - in a White '57, Jerry Peterson - a Yellow '57, Joe Wintz - a Gray '57, Joe Esdale drove a Red '57 "E" 'Bird with an interesting late '56 air cleaner, Jim Elijah - a '66 Teal hardtop, Joel Greenberg - a Yellow '55, Gordon Gluff - a Rangoon Red '56, and Lloyd Schellin in a screaming Yellow '66 Falcon.,
Other Club Members in attendance included Joe Kraatz, Pete Kramer, Ed Levin, Bob Lindsten, Dan Mrozek, Dick Murray from AACA, Rich Peterson, Dave Pogorski, Doug Rogers, Len Vinyard and Kami Woody. Bob provided coffee and rolls and the Club library was out for our perusal as Ken Smizinski began the session. The first topic of discussion was the need for zinc in motor oil used in our Thunderbirds to prevent excessive wear on the cam. Shell Rotella T no longer contains zinc. Using a zinc additive in oil defeats the lubrication properties in 1OW40 oil, like mixing medications. Diesel oil contains too much detergent for our use. For preventing excessive metat-on-metal wear, Accel Motor Oil for pre-1988 cars appears to be the answer, Ken then discussed antifreeze. Unless you have a new block, radiator, and heater core, DO NOT use extended life antifreeze. It has chemicals that combined with residue from conventional antifreeze are corrosive to cast iron blocks. He recommends conventional green antifreeze that is available at Carquest and Auto Zone. If you are using extended life antifreeze, drain it out and put in conventional. Extended life is no problem in a new aluminum radiator.
Headlight wiring was the main topic of the Tech-Session. Wires become brittle and insulation cracks due to heat. Oftentimes, all the insulation is gone and you have three raw wires going in to the socket. Remove the headlight bucket, turn the chrome ring, and examine the wires. The red, green, and black ground wire can short out easily if they are exposed and touch. On '55 and '56 Birds there is a short wiring harness for the headlights with a block on both sides. On the '57, the wiring harness is next to the radiator and it is more difficult to access. Ken said in many cases there is nothing left of the wire. There is a short harness on the '57 from the generator to voltage regulator, and a longer harness on the '55 and '56. Wires become brittle and if they short out, everything bums up.
Generators were the next topic of discussion. Two pulleys are found on generators: 2 3/4" and 3". The 3" is correct for the Thunderbird. Many 'Birds have a problem with the generator light staying on at low engine RPM. Ford issued a service letter and suggested putting a diode in the circuit to make the glowing red light go out. In some cars, the red light goes out at 650 RPM, while in some cars it is 1,000 to 1,100 RPM. There is a wide variation in generator output. Using a photo tach to check generators. Ken found that weak generators have a problem with the fields wearing out from age. If a generator is rebuilt, the fields should be replaced. With an alternator, it may take driving to Florida and half way back, to fully charge a battery. A generator may take even longer. Sometimes the '55 generator does not put out enough power to kick in the overdrive solenoid.
Some 1157 replacement bulbs come from the factory with too much solder on the end to fit in the bulb sockets, and the solder must be filed down to make the bulb fit. The electrical ground for the turn signals goes through ceramic blocks to small screws. Cleaning the screws will improve the ground. A replacement for the wiring harness is a partial wiring kit, part # 14401-FX. This replaces all the main wiring coming through the firewall. Wiring under the dashboard is usually OK, but under-the-hood wires become brittle and crack. The way to install the replacement partial wiring harness is to splice and tape the wires one at a time and stagger the splices along the harness wires. Ken concluded by saying he has seen many Thunderbirds with exposed wires and this leads to damage.
The cooling system holds 4 1/4 gallons, 2 water, 2 antifreeze. The aluminum radiator holds 4 1/2 gallons. There is no set time to change antifreeze; it should be changed when dirty. Using CLR will loosen sediment in the block and radiator. When using it, flush the radiator, DO NOT start the car. There is no filter in the antifreeze line to catch sediment. An aluminum plate between the water pump and the block does not help much, while an aluminum radiator DOES provide superior cooling. Ken has found that most temperature sending units read hotter than the car actually is and a mechanical gauge may be the answer. The '57 gauge can be adjusted, (if) the voltage regulator for the gauge acts up.
We then posed for group photos and many of us went to lunch at Oregano's in Hawthorn Woods. After lunch, we viewed Jim Manz' collection of memorabilia and antique cars in two locations, each encompassing everything from Ford Model T's to Lincolns, Mercedes, and Rolls-Royce.
- Jim Wilson
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Greetings from the CTCI Board of Directors. I think I finally have all Region 2 Chapter addresses for e-mail, plus a few that I send via U.S. Mail.
I would like to share with you some CTCI info from our Annual Board Meeting held in February. CTCI finished the 2012 year strong with a very successful International Convention in Memphis, Tennessee last August. The event generated lots of publicity and the club store sold a significant amount of 50th anniversary merchandise. We ended the year with approximately 5700 members which is similar to last year. Jack Gray was hired as Managing Director last October and has proven to be a valuable asset. He has updated our accounting system, inventory, and policy and procedures manual. Several projects are in development that will relate to member recruitment and Chapter benefits. Unfortunately our 2012 budget ended in the red due mainly to increased personnel expenses and required some supplement from our savings. We also will be over budget for 2013 due to some needed capital improvements and computer replacements. Since most of our revenue is from membership dues a Board working committee to develop a strategy to increase membership was established. I am serving on that Committee. It is possible that a member dues increase will be needed in the future. The 2013 President of the Board is Bill Long, a retired Ford executive from Tennessee; Vice President is Geraldine Nuckels from Texas; Secretary is Sandra Hood from Texas; and Treasurer is Rick Martin from Tennessee. Watch for more CTCI involvement with our Chapters this coming year with a Chapter benefit program and a member recruitment program.
Two Regional Conventions are scheduled this summer. Region 3 will host a Convention in San Jose, CA July 31-August 4 and our Region, Region 2 will host a Convention in West Des Moines, IA. August 21-25 We hope many of you will attend one, especially our West Des Moines Convention. As of this report we do not have a club to host the 2014 Convention and if no club comes forward CTCI itself may need to sponsor the Convention. Many Classic Car Clubs have the national office develop and sponsor their Conventions but CTCI has always had local Chapters volunteer in the past.
One of my goals as your Region 2 Director is to attend one of your Chapter meetings over the next couple of years. A lofty goal at best, but if you would put me on your mailing list for your Chapter newsletters, or e-mail me a copy, I will review your meeting schedules and try to attend one. Also, please contact me with any thoughts or issues your Chapter may have, I really do want to actively represent our Region any way I can My contact info is in the Early Bird and also printed below. I also look forward to seeing many of you at one of the Regionals this summer.
HAPPY THUNDERBIRDING !!!
Bob Young, 30196 Old Portland Road, Adel, IA 50003 . : (515) 229-3870
For Calendar: June 22 Afternoon-Evening Cruise Night - Fox Lake - Tom Bruin
Oct. 13 Day Cruise & Brunch at Crandall's Lake Geneva Museum - Bob Hoge
On behalf of the CTCC Board and Membership I would like to give Rose and Ed a big shout out and thanks for all the work and planning on our recent Spring Tour to Decatur in early May. Unfortunately, the rainy weather precluded driving our Baby 'Birds.
Please review the Events Calendar, as there are some revisions and additions.
"Hemmings Daily" indicated in their last newsletter, that a proposal for increasing the ethanol level to E-30 is being considered by the EPA. Currently, we have 10 % ethanol in our fuel. Even an increase to 15% would be detrimental to our engines, let alone any additional increase. The high cost of corn, plus the cost of production and more pollution, would result in much higher cost and impact on our atmosphere. Please contact your legislator, objecting to any more ethanol percentage increases. There are other extreme concerns about the ever-changing chemical changes to coolants and oil, as indicated in the May-June Early Bird. Ken Smizinski has identified the concerns at our recent tech session. The recent additional reduction in zinc containing oil is a problem. We should be using Accell Motor Oil or a ZDPP additive. Our thanks to Ken, for obtaining a large supply of Accell oil for our members. Ken also recommends using standard, regular green coolant from Auto-Zone. Never use extended life or any coolant with "oal" -only coolants with IAT inhibitors.
Hope to see everyone at the Top Golf event with our Baby 'Birds. Well, that is enough tech stuff for me.
Stay healthy and Drive Safely. - Prez Pete
MY QUEST FOR A TWO-PASSENGER Thunderbird started sometime shortly after their introduction in 1954. Being a bit young at the time, it took till the summer of 1962 for me to finalize the quest! Enter my '57 Thunderbird, Red with a White Hardtop, Red interior, 312 c.i.d., 3-speed transmission, no power anything; it was purchased at Grossinger Pontiac, 3838 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL.
This was my second car, a daily driver. At that time, I was always reading car magazines, hanging out at Speed Shops, Ray Eriksen's, Von Esser E & R, or McDonald's on Cicero,
In the fall, I read an article about a 406 Tri-Power engine in a 1957 T-Bird; there were 3 pages of pictures, but very little information . It happened in Brooklyn, N.Y., so I wrote a letter to request some information -- no reply.
About that time I heard word of a '62 Galaxie wreck at Illinois Auto on State St. and Archer in Chicago, One quick trip there produced  a 406 cubic inch engine,  a 3-speed O.D. transmission,  a 4:11 Equa-Loc rear end. So, with only 9,000 miles on the engine, I purchased the entire lot for $700.00. January 1963: My good friend, Gary Pierice, and I proceeded to remove the 312 and trans, study pictures and remove obstructions in the engine compartment. Next, came reversing the oil-pan sump and pick-up, also, establishing a remote oil filter set up. The engine and trans were shoehorned into place using the present transmission mounts. Steel plates were contoured to accept the stock engine mounts. The right side exhaust manifold provided to be no problem, but the left side was split between cylinders 5 and 6 to accommodate the steering box,
The engine fit is very close to stock, but a totaled '56 'Bird "donated" hood was used to lengthen the scoop to cover the Tri-Power air-cleaner.
Then, it was a trip to the welding shop to secure the engine-plate; next to Iggy's Muffler Shop for a new exhaust system.
By the end of February, I was back on-the-road with one go-fast Thunderbird! During the rest of the year, I had a few small problems: The biggest was the clutch linkage.
January 1964: The letter from Uncle Sam arrived and the Thunderbird went on blocks; engine oiled, valves seated and gasoline drained.
February 1967: After the BIG snowstorm, it was back home, the 'Bird can fly again! Now, it was time to make it look as good as it ran. It needed quarter-panels, wheel-wells, rocker-panels, bumpers, dash-pad, seat and door-panels, carpeting and a new windshield - all at normal prices - provided by my friendly Ford Dealer, Johnson Ford at 2830 Cicero. Next, it was off to the body shop for a "face-lift," it was a small shop (4-cars) at Halsted & Belmont with the 'Bird to be worked on as "fill-in" time. Time passed slowly, but another '57 'Bird landed on the scene - it was Thunderbird Bronze with a Tan convertible top, White interior with power everything - a California car.
'Bird One was now ready - Highland Green, with a Dark Tan interior. Re-assembly was proceeding, but at a very slow pace, as some speed bumps came along: marriage, house and children. I decided to sell the #2 'Bird, in view of the gas shortage, my job change and picking up small pieces. The #1 'Bird was now parked (undercover) in a corner of the basement.
Time passed to the spring of 1996 and we had a house fire; the 'Bird was not damaged, except for smoke marks on the paint. The house is eventually fixed, and the 'Bird is repainted, but is still not being driven. The original bumpers were re-chromed in 2001 and the engine was pulled in 2005 to be converted for no-lead gas (hardened valve-seats).
In 2009, things really came together; new carpets, headliner, door-panels, padded dash, electric wipers, replacement heater box and hoses. It was late in the year, so I did not fire it up till the spring of 2010.
What we now have is my "personal" car -color, interior, engine and trans, but still looking like a 1957 Thunderbird (my way); all Ford.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Enjoy a Brunch buffet while mingling with fellow club members in a golf like atmosphere. There will be a Bloody Mary bar with your choice of 20 fixings for those who have pre-purchased tickets or pre-purchase tickets for Mimosas. Servers will take orders for regular Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Manmosas or other beverages not included with brunch. With brunch everyone will receive a free round of miniature golf.
Those who would like to try Top Golf can also pre-purchase a two game card that can be used that day or for 30 days after. Top Golf bays will be reserved for players. If you decide the day of the event to play Top Golf, games can be purchased at the regular price.
There will be a people's choice car show with prize during our event. Cars will be parked on the west side of the parking lot. Explore the facility, which offers 3 bar areas, indoor and outdoor seating and Bags for anyone who would like to play.
Pricing: Please make check payable to CTCC; all checks must be received by June 1st. Please list what your check includes: ex: Brunch, BM Bar or Mimosa or Top Golf.
Brunch\Bloody Mary Bar or Mimosas $28.85/person (2 BM's or Mimosas each)
BrunchYTop Golf $31.25/person (2 games each)
Brunch\Bloody Mary Bar or Mim\TGolf $40.85/person (2 BM's or Mim/2 games each)
Please send checks to Mike & Laura Cielenski: Questions: (630) 941-8812 or
CLASSIC THUNDERBIRD CLUB OF CHICAGOLAND
Directions from the East:
Take 1-90 west to Marcngo-Hampshire Exit (Route 20)
Turn left (north) on Route 20 to Harmony Road (1 mile)
Turn left (west) on Harmony Road and go 5 miles to Route 23
At stop sign continue going west for 5 more miles and follow bend in road
Turn left on Crawford Road and go 3/4 mile to Pinegar Road
Turn left on Pinegar Road and go 1/4 mile to first farm on left
Directions from the northeast:
Take Route 176 into Marengo
Turn left on Route 23 and go to stoplight
Turn right on Route 20 and go about 6 miles
Turn left on Garden Prairie Road (about 5 1/2 miles)
Turn right and cross over tollway
At stop sign turn left and continue on Garden Prairie Road to stop sign
Turn right on Crawford Road
Turn left on Pinegar Road
A dish to pass with a serving utensil
Lawn games if you wish
BYOB if you wish
R.S.V.P. by Saturday, August 3rd.
Please call Joan at 815-547-8171 or
email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please indicate if you would like to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert.
We plan to grill pork chops and hamburgers and eat about 4:30 p.m.
This year we are again asking CTCC members to bring donations for the People's Resource Center Food Pantry in Wheaton. All nonperishable foods, personal care items, and cleaning supplies will be gratefully received and taken to the pantry for distribution. Our donations will help families who are not as fortunate as we and who often have to decide whether to pay the rent or buy groceries.
At the 2012 International Convention in Memphis, several members of the International Board approached a number of Chicago Board members about hosting the 2014 Convention. While the International Board members wanted to meet with the Chicago Board prior to the International Board meeting at the convention, at that point Chicago had not given any thought to hosting the 2014 Convention, so this meeting never occurred. However, in September, the Chicago Board decided to put together an exploratory committee to look into the feasibility of Chicago hosting the 2014 convention. After doing extensive research, the committee suggested that the convention be held in Springfield, Illinois because Chicago was cost prohibitive. A good hotel had been found, and a variety of activities were projected. Several Chicago members also volunteered to take on some of the major responsibilities associated with hosting a convention. This was presented to our Chicago Board, which agreed that our club should pursue this.
We also discussed hosting the convention with John Smith (International President at the time) and Bob Young (incoming Region 2 Director [we are part of Region 2]). John was talking with people at Ford Motor Sports and Bob was having discussions with the Ford Dealers Association regarding support for the convention.
Our next step was to have the convention sanctioned by the International. We submitted our request to John Smith, outlining our plans, and included all pertinent information from the contract with the hotel. At this point, Martin Bierman, an International Board member (Region 5 Director, an elected, voting position), demanded to see the hotel contract. Since the International was not a party to the contract, which was between the hotel and Chicago, the Chicago Board felt that since we were assuming all the financial liability, there was no need for Mr. Bierman to review the actual contract, as Mr. Smith had received all of the pertinent information. Subsequently, Rich Martin (International Concours Coordinator [an appointed, non voting position]), under the guise of "helping us," told the International Board that if Chicago did not follow the International's "Guidelines" we would "set the stage to split the club in the future." The Chicago Board was then given a 37-page document entitled "2013 Convention Guidelines and Concours Procedures," which had been revised by Rich and Lois Martin in late 2012. At that point there were "Guideline"-associated criticisms from some at the International, including the fact that we did not have every responsible convention position filled prior to submitting our request. Since the Chicago Board did not want to be involved with any perception that Chicago would "split the club," we withdrew our request.
John Smith spent several days talking with members of the International Board persuading them to vote for sanctioning. Chicago was then told that if our proposal was resubmitted there would be no problem getting the event sanctioned. Thus Chicago resubmitted our proposal, adding Concours Chairman and Chief Judge to the list of Chicago's filled convention positions. However, rather than Chicago receiving a smooth vote for convention sanctioning by the Board (voting via email), Mr. Martin resigned as Concours Coordinator Chairman. A couple of International officers and directors made a procedural motion that stopped the vote to sanction our request. They told the other directors that they did this because they heard another club was thinking about hosting the 2014 National Convention in New York City (without verifying any details). They said "they wanted to give this club until the February Board Meeting to submit its request". This did not materialize, as the club involved was never really interested in hosting a convention.
At this point, Chicago was fed up. The procedural motion was used to prevent Chicago from getting sanctioned. All this primarily because we would not let the International see our contract with the hotel. We do not feel the International has the right to review our club's or any other club's financial documents.We withdrew our request for the second and final time.
Additionally, some International Board members feel that the document entitled "Convention Guidelines and Concours Procedures" is in fact a set of RULES that must be followed to the letter. Other International Board members think it is, in fact, a collection of GUIDELINES to help clubs which need assistance running a successful convention. This clarification will have to be decided on by the International Board.
Those Chicago members who read Mr. Bierman's Director's Report in the April issue of BIRD-NEWS will note that he states "...we do not have a club to host the 2014 Convention, and if no club comes forward..." Chicago in fact did submit a well thought out and detailed proposal that we think would have presented the International's membership with a convention that would have been every bit as good as the recent Memphis Convention and a fitting tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Thunderbird, but because of the refusal of the International Board to grant Chicago sanctioning for the event, we will never know.
CTCC 2014 Convention Committee
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Door Panel Protection
By Bob Lewis
When a T-Bird door is removed you will often find that it has been water damaged, stained and worst yet, buckling and bending.
All this is not surprising as the window/door area was designed to be a "wet" area. Rain and car washing water is intended to pass thru the glass window brushes and exit thru the bottom holes in the door. When new, Ford placed a "tar/oil" paper shield between the door (metal) and door panel to protect the cardboard panel from this flowing water. However, with repeated repairs to door mechanisms, this shield material was often damaged or missing altogether. The "cardboard" door therefore was at the mercy of the water flowing thru the door. Water and cardboard make for warped and stained door panels. Happily there is an ounce of prevention available. The prevention comes in 2 parts:
While the panel is off the vehicle (hopefully still flat and pristine condition) one should seal the back of door panel (cardboard) with any number of products....spar varnish...polyurethane coating....Thompson's water seal... clear enamel from a rattle can...all will do. You should avoid getting the sealing material on the cabin side of the panel.
When the sealing material has dried, cut a sheet Tyvek or some thick plastic sheeting (4mil black visqueen) making a shield to fit and protect the back of the door panel. Cut out the door and window mechanism holes. Glue or tape the shield to the back of the door panel. See attached picture of installed Tyvek shield. The "wet" looking stains are Lubriplate used to lube the door and window mechanism splines and the door retaining clips (lube clips to ease installation to the door frame holes).
BTW, this technique of sealing the cardboard panels with varnish, sealers, etc., can also be deployed to protect your kick panels, quarter panels, side trunk panels (1 per '55, 2 per '56,57?), glove box. air guides in the heater plenum.etc.
Editors note, If your door panel is damaged, there was a tech tip written by Jeff Burgy in the July. 2010 TARTC Newsletter showing how to repair a warped or damaged panel. Repair it, then protect it with Bob Lewis's suggested sealing process.
Labels: Tech Tip
THE ORIGINAL THUNDERBIRD'S CHICAGO DEBUT
By M. J. FRUMKIN
My very first impressions of the original two-seat Thunderbird were formed fifty-one years ago at the annual Chicago Auto Show It was during the 1954 extravaganza that my father, Ted, and I witnessed one of the earliest public exhibitions of a car that became an American icon.
This historic moment was held Saturday, March 13 on the first floor of the International Amphitheatre, which stood at Halsted and 42'"' Street. A total of 55,000 paid the forty-five cent child and ninety cent adult admission on that opening day, and I clearly remember the mobs of humanity happily jammed into the two story exhibit hall.
When we reached the Thunderbird display on the ground level people were pressing against each other straining to get a glimpse of Ford's elegant two-passenger concept. Since we were standing close to the front and my father was six feet tall I had an unobstructed view of the demonstration while sitting on his shoulders. I recall bright lights illuminating a turquoise car, with attractive female models wearing pastel evening gowns and men in business suits milling alongside the vehicle. As the Thunderbird slowly revolved on the turntable a lady dressed in yellow gracefully pointed out various design details, like the recessed door handles wraparound windshield and easily removable fiberglass hardtop roof. Suddenly she made a swooping motion to illustrate the T-Bird's low silhouette. While sitting inside the car on the one-piece, foam-contoured seat she operated the safety glass roll up windows and telescopically adjustable steering wheel. Later I learned her name was Miss Reggie Dombeck Chicago's "Miss Photo Flash Of 1954.
Next, a spokesman popped the hood and swung it up to expose Ford Motor Company's new high-compression, low-friction, short stroke Y-block V-8 with overhead valves. He announced that this dream machine's engine had a four-barrel carburetor and 160 horsepower all connected to Fordomatic drive with a floor-mounted range selector. Basically this was the same power plant found in the 1954 Mercury.
At the conclusion of the Thunderbird performance my dad took me into the little Ford theatre that was part of the mam floor exhibit. Showing on the hour from 11 AM to 11 PM through March 21 was a CinemaScope film of Fords newest cars and trucks, including behind the scenes planning of the 1954 models. The Technicolor movie was shot entirely at Ford's test track and plant in Dearborn Ml. Admission was free but tickets had to be obtained either from a Ford dealership or at the Ford passenger car exhibit located on the second floor of the Amphitheatre.
Included in that upper level space were cutaway models of the l-block 6 and Y-block V-8 engines which operated in slow motion to reveal the action of every piston and valve. Another interactive Ford display allowed visitors to compare power versus manual steering, brakes, window lifts and seat action.
Two fiberglass sports cars also vied for the publics attention at the 1954 show the limited production Chevrolet Corvette and the Kaiser Damn by Kaiser-Willys Motors. But as I recall the enthusiastic approvals from the auto show crowd back then was that Thunderbird was really something special. Here was an American designed steel bodied sporty car that had personal luxury comfort and safety combined with high performance. When the 2002 T-Bird went into production it was deemed a 21st Century interpretation of the 1955-1957 classic. Yet none will have quite the same impact for me as the turquoise two-seat Thunderbird that debuted in the spring of 1954.
(Mitchel J Frumkin is the author ot six books and writes auto related columns for web sites and publications including "You Auto Know" in the Northwest Herald newspaper. He served as Director of R & D for 14 years at Publications International Ltd and was responsible for the development and photographic acquisition of more than 300 Consumer Guide books and issues of Collectible Automobile magazine. Mitch's original paintings and computer-enhanced photographs have appeared in many books, newspapers and magazines. Prior to entering the publishing field Mitch designed toys for companies including Playskool and Kenner and he holds several design patents )
This page first appeared in the CTCC "B-4" Program Book (2005). The event commemorated the 50lh Anniversary of the Ford Thunderbird, featuring an aerial photo of 50 classic T-Birds - parked in a "50" formation.
The truly spectacular salute to the original Thunderbird also included a one-half scale
color photo of the "first production 'Bird," - S/N 100005. The T-Bird, owned by the late
George Watts, has since sold for $660,000 (at a Barrett-Jackson auction!).
THE BROKEN WRENCH Mar-2013- VOL. XXXIX. Number 03
CLASSIC THUNDERBIRD CLUB OF ST. LOUIS
Since Perry Anthony was unable to attend the CTCI Board Meeting (Doctor's orders), we are publishing this account by Martin Bierman, Director, Region 5. Perry is facing surgery in the near future, so we wish for his speedy recovery.
Region 5 Director's Report
Greetings from the CTCI Board of Directors. I would like to share with you some CTCI information from our Annual Board Meeting February 7-9. CTCI finished the 2012-year strong, with a very successful International Convention in Memphis last August. The event generated lots of publicity and the club store sold a significant amount of 50th anniversary merchandise. We ended the year with approximately 5700 members (that) is similar to last year. Jack Gray was hired as Managing Director last October and (he) has proven to be a valuable asset. He has updated our accounting system, inventory, and policy and procedures manual. Several projects are in development that will relate to member recruitment and Chapter benefits. Unfortunately, our 2012 budget ended in the red, due mainly to increased personnel expenses and required some supplement from our savings. We also will be over budget for 2013 due to some needed capital improvements and computer replacements. Since most of our revenue is from membership dues a Board working committee to develop a strategy to increase membership was established. It is possible that a member dues increase will be needed in the future. The 2013 President of the Board is Bill Long, a retired Ford executive from Tennessee; Vice-President and Secretary are Geraldine Nuckels and Sandra Hood (respectively) from our own Region 5 and Texas; Sue Smith (CA) will serve as interim Treasurer until her replacement is found. Watch for more CTCI involvement with our Chapters this coming year, with a Chapter benefit program and a member recruitment program.
Two Regional Conventions are scheduled this summer. Region 3 will host a Convention in San Jose, CA July 31 - August 4 and the Region 2 Convention will be in Des Moines, IA August 21-25. 1 would like as many of our Region 5 members to attend the Des Moines Convention as possible. The Hawkeye Classic Thunderbird Club has been working hard to develop a Convention that will be fun and enjoyable. Please bring or drive your Thunderbirds to Des Moines so we can have a great show. As of this report we do not have a club to host the 2014 Convention, and if no club comes forward, CTCI itself may need to sponsor the Convention. Many classic car clubs have the national office develop and sponsor their Conventions, but CTCI has always had local Chapters willing to volunteer in the past.
This will be my last year on the Board, and according to the Bylaws, I have to sit out two years before I could return to the Board. I have enjoyed my time on the Board and as the 2010 President and 2012 Vice-President. I would encourage Region 5 members to run for the 2014 Board. A call for resumes will be in the EarlyBird this summer.
Thanks, and enjoy the Thunderbirds this summer.
CTCI Region 5 Director
Friday, March 8, 2013
The topic for the Tech Session will be: Head Light Wire Replacements and Wire Loom Repair. Make sure to contact Bob to register.
Effective Late 2011 all oils including Shell Rotella T and Delco diesel
oil no longer has ZINC. Some have been adding ZDDP zinc additive, to a
quality motor oil. The problem with this is: with the new motor oils
the ZDDP changes the chemical makeup ot the motor oil and changing the
Zinc must be used in all engines pre 1988. The API service category
must be SF if you don't want to damage your cam shaft, and have
premature wear on your engine. For this reason I am going to offer the
Accel 10W-40 motor oil again. (this oil contains the required amount of
zinc). I will be taking prepaid order until April 14,2013 from club
members. The prepaid price of the Accel oil is $35 per case of 12.
Send checks to: Ken's Classics Inc.
157 Oaksbury Lane
All checks must be received by April 14, 2013
Oil will be ready for pickup
by the 23rd of April.
If you have any questions call Ken (847) 397-3747
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Pick A Date:
For those who do not know - and a reminder for those who do -the Bristol Renaissance Faire takes place on the weekends from July 4th thru Labor Day. Each weekend has a particular theme to it. In the past, Annie and I have picked a weekend/theme we thought our members would enjoy. At this point, it seems the Faire organizers will not be publishing the list of themes until just before they open in July. In light of that, rather than waiting until the last minute, we want to just pick a date in July and go with that. The dates are July 6, 13, 20 and 27 with July 6th being their opening weekend. There are no other Club activities planned for July thus far, so this will not interfere with any other Club activity.
If you are considering going, please:
1- let Annie and Joel know. We only have 24 tickets left at $10.00 each. (Door price is $20.00.)
2- Let us know which date would be best for you. Depending on the response we get, we will set the date in May so people can plan accordingly.
Email us at email@example.com.
Joel & Annie
C O N D O L E N C E S
The CTCC Officers, Directors and membership extend their deepest sympathy to the members of the Butler family, and Dan Mrozek, as we note the recent passing of Judy Butler.
Labels: In Memoriam
The first organizational meeting of the Chicagoland group was held on August 28, 1961. The club was chartered as The Thunderbird Sports Car Club of Chicagoland (TSCCC) and the premier issue [Vol 1 No 1] of the Club newsletter BIRD-NEWS published in March of 1962.
In 1963 Chicagoland members caravanned to Dearborn, Michigan in 19 two-passenger Ford Thunderbirds. The Ford Motor Company extended the red-carpet for our visit, which turned out to be a truly magnificent Thunderbird Convention. This memorable event set the stage for the first International (CTCI) Convention, which was also held in Dearborn (1964).
In 1964 the Club name was revised to Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland thus eliminating the Sports Car designation and placing emphasis on the "Classic" features inherent in the 1955 1956 and 1957 Ford Thunderbirds.
Over the years the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland has hosted four (4) Sanctioned Regional Meets and one (1) International Convention:
1973 Birds Run to Pheasant Run (Regional) 1989 Windy City Classic (Regional)
1976 Birds Run to Pheasant Run II 1995 Classic T-Bird Thoroughbred Classic (Regional)
1979 Birds Run to Pheasant Run li! (Regional} 2000 Chicago 2000 (International Convention)
1982 Birds Run to Pheasant Run IV
1986 Birds Run to Pheasant Run V
FOUNDING MEMBERS: J.Aabey, B. Eisenhour, G. Holubek, A. Lupescu, B. Rengel,
1962-1963 Ray Drehoble 1976-1977 Greg Fohrman 1996-1997 Jim Peterson
1963-1964 Paul Gaskill 1977-1978 Burt Simon 1997-2000 Steve Frano (3 yrs)
1964-1965 John Alogna 1978-1979 Greg Fohrman 2000-2004 Len Keil (4 yrs)
1965-1966 Bert Eisenhour 1979-1980 Dennis Valy 2004-2008 Ken Smizinski (5 yrs)
1966-1967 Ray Keegan 1980-1981 Annette Christy 2008-2009 Len Keil
1967-1968 Jerry Scafa 1981-1982 Gino Dal Cerro 2009-2010 Len Keil
1968-1969 Dave Owen 1982-1983 Pat Giffin 2010-2011 Len Keil
1969-1970 Ken Kielar 1983-1984 Bruce Lieberthal 2011-2012 Pete Kramer
1970-1971 Art Lupescu 1984-1985 Bernie Stadick 2012-2013 Pete Kramer
1971-1972 Cleon Statton 1985-1988 Pat Giffin (3 yrs)
1972-1973 Floyd Moore 1988-1989 Ray Ponstein
1973-1974 Ray Levy 1989-1991 Pat Giffin (2 yrs)
1974-1975 Rudy Budach 1991-1992 Dan Mrozek
CTCC ANNUAL FREE PIZZA PARTY
Thirty-seven people gathered at Jake's Pizza on February 14 to socialize and enjoy the
Annual Pizza Party. Pete Kramer conducted a short meeting during which Tom Bruin
explained the 2013 Budget which will be voted upon at the March 14 Membership Meeting at
Fuddruckers. Ken Smizinski explained the reasons for withdrawing from hosting the 2014
CTCI International Convention. Ed Levin talked about the upcoming Spring Tour. Mike Cielinski
talked about the June Brunch and Top Golf outing. Pete and several others highlighted
events on the CTCC calendar. Madeline Zambon reminded people to send pictures of
their cars to Bert Eisenhour for inclusion in the Bird-News. Birthday wishes were extended to
all CTCC members, especially those with February birthdays. A delicious cake was cut
and everyone enjoyed a piece of it. Those present signed a get-well card for Perry
Anthony and a sympathy card for the family and friends of Judy Butler. The members
generously brought 100 personal care items and 10 food items as well as 75 travel sized
items for donation to the People's ResourceCenter Food Pantry.
- Liz Werth
Enjoy a Brunch buffet while mingling with fellow club members in a-golf like atmosphere. There will also be a Bloody Mary bar with your choice of 20 fixings. For an additional charge, servers will also take orders for Mimosas, Manmosas or any beverage not included with brunch. With brunch, everyone will receive a free round of miniature golf.
Those who would like to try Top Golf can also pre-purchase a two-game card that can be used that day or for 30 days after. Top Golf is an interactive driving range in which your golf balls are micro-chipped with your name, and when you hit your ball in any of the 11 target areas on the green, you earn points. Top Golf bays will be reserved for players. If you decide the day of the event to play Top Golf, games can be purchased at the regular price.
There will be a people's choice car show with prize. Cars will be parked on the west side of the parking lot - by the miniature golf area. Bring chairs. Explore the facility, which offers 3 bar areas, indoor and outdoor seating and Bags for anyone who would like to play. So come out and have a fun-filled day.
Pricing: (more details on payment to come in April Newsletter)
Brunch/Bloody Mary Bar $28.85/person (2 BM's each)
Brunch/Top Golf $31.25/person (2 games each)
Brunch/Bloody Mary Bar/Top Golf $40.85/person (2 BM's/2games each)
For more information or to sign up, please contact Mike & Laura Cielenski: (630) 941-8812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
More Thunder Trivia
Just what was a stock, no frills added, '55, '56, or '57 Ford Thunderbird?
A basic Thunderbird came, stock with a manual 3-speed transmission, 292 Y-block engine, "Thunderbird" decaled black valve covers, painted oil breather cap, painted fan, Argent silver air breather cover, plain black-wall tires, removeable hardtop, manual steering, small hubcaps, manual roll-up windows, manual brakes, manual seat adjustments, clock, vinyl interior.
No Radio, No Heater, No Fender Skirts, No Back-up lights, No Windshield washer, and No seatbelts.
These were the options for ALL the little 'Birds (except where noted)- many of which the dealer's ordered for the cars as a matter of practice- for better sales.
>Soft-top: this could be ordered as a no-cost option in place of the Hardtop OR as a cost option if both tops were wanted.
>Engine.. no option for the 1955; for 1956 and 1957, the 312 Y-block was commonly the engine of choice. See the "engine" page for specifics. Dual 4-barrel carburetors were available in '56 & 57 and a supercharger was available, in '57.
>Transmissions: 3-Speed manual with overdrive OR the Ford-o-matic: which was the most common option ordered of the transmissions.
>Heater: in southern climes, you will find T-birds without heaters.
> Radio: this was on option!
> Back up Lights
> Wide White Wall Tires
> Fender Skirts
> Engine Dress-up Kit:: very commonly found on these birds, included chrome air filter cover, chrome oil filler tube cap, finned aluminum valve covers and in the 55's and early '56's, 3-bladed chrome fans
> Wind shield washer
> Full wheel hub caps: wire wheel style hub caps were also available. in '56 and came with the small hubcap's- no wire style sets were. made for the 57 or the 55.
> Power windows
> Power seats: in '57, 2 options were available, the normal powerseats available for all 3 years or a new "dial-a-matic." power seat.
> Power steering
> Power brakes
> Seat Belts: only on the '56 and '57
> Tonneau cover: a vinyl cover for the cockpit, hung behind the seat and could be snapped into place across the dash. Also had a middle zipper so the driver could have the front passenger seat covered while driving.
Ed. Note: the 1956 introduction of the port hole hardtop allowed buyers to opt for the increased rearview vision - at no added cost over the top offered in 1955.
For more information on the Classic Thunderbirds of 1955 thru 1957, join CTCI. CTCI has been The organization for Classic Thunderbirds since 1964. www.ctci.org.
Reprinted from the Port Hole Authority- www.portholeauthority.com.