Tuesday, April 1, 2008

President's Message

President's Message - 2008

Happy New Year, Fellow CTCC Members!

2008 is shaping up to be a busy year for us. Our January outing to the Willowbrook Ballroom was attended by thirty members who enjoyed a delicious family style meal in a private room. Dancing followed and everyone had a great time dancing and watching the many other dancers on the ballroom floor.

A capacity crowd enjoyed free pizza at the February Membership Meeting where we gave preliminary acceptance of the 2008 budget. Our March 13 meeting at Russell's BBQ will include formal approval of the budget and election of three Directors.

A Spring Tech Session at Len Keil's home is being planned and Kathy and I are organizing a four-day weekend Spring Tour to Dearborn, MI beginning on May 2. August 16 has been reserved for the Annual Picnic at Pratt's Wayne Woods and December 6 is set for the Christmas party at Chandler's.

Several members are planning to attend the CTCl International Convention in Portland, OR this summer.

Joel Greenberg has been working closely with Scott Assmann of NotionPool Limited, a web design and development company, to create an impressive and very detailed website for the Club. Joel has accepted the position of CTCC Web Administrator, so please visit the site (www.CTCC9.com) and let him know what you think.

Here's hoping we have an early spring so we can begin to enjoy driving our Thunderbirds. I look forward to seeing each of you at meetings. events and car shows throughout the year.

Ken Smizinski, President

Editors Notebook- March 2008

AS WINTER CONTINUES TO HOLD US IN ITS TENACIOUS GRIP, we can only dream of that day when we will once again hear the burble of a T-Bird V-8!

As noted on the cover, this issue marks the first Bird-News in the 46th year of publication!

photo caption: This month, on our March 2008 cover, we feature the 1956 Ford Thunderbird. The photo is one of thirty included in The Thunderbird Anthology CD that was introduced in the February issue. The low-angle camera view enhances the styling cues on this Peacock Blue T-Bird. In April, we will feature the 1957 model. with some great '55, '56 and '57 shots to follow!

The already busy CTCC Calendar will soon include a special event for the month of August. Thanks to our new members Ken and Polly Kresmery, CTCC members have been invited to attend their 13th Annual Day At The Hangar event on Sunday, August 24th. The gathering is staged at the Poplar Grove Airport and features an Italian Sausage and Sweet Corn Lunch (2:00 p.m.) with the Bar open at High Noon! There will be many exciting things to do, including a ride in a '57 T-Bird or a Red Jaguar XKE! Look for details in the April issue, and save the date.

See page 9 for the April 19th CTCC Tech-Session schedule and sign-up. Detailed information on the Annual CTCC Spring Tour (May 2nd-5th) appears on page 10. Check out the schedule and make your event and hotel Reservations for this tour to Dearborn, MI as soon as possible.

An updated schedule for the mid-western portion of the 48 in '08 event is presented below. A few CTCC members are considering participation for one or two days while the group visits the Springfield, Illinois State Capital on August 21st and 22nd.
48 in 08 - Updated Schedule (for our Midwestern area)
DAY 28: August 21st
7:00AM Depart Louisville, KY
9:00AM Stop in Indianapolis, IN
12:00PM Depart Indianapolis
6:10PM Arrive Springfield, IL (322.8mi)
DAY 29: August 22nd
7:00AM Depart Springfield, lL
3:11PM Arrive Madison, WI (269.1mi)
DAY 30: August 23rd
7:00AM Depart Madison
7:53AM Arrive Horicon, WI (50.3mi)(oil fiIter changes)
DAY 31: August 24th
7:00AM Depart Horicon
4:14PM Arrive Lansing, MI (407.0mi)(TZC)

Speaking of long-distance touring, the Indiana T-Bird Club is attempting to organize a Coast to Coast Rally as recorded in their cryptic message that appears on page 7! We hope to receive more detailed information for inclusion in the April issue. Stay tuned!

If you are planning to attend the CTCI Convention in Portland, Oregon this summer, send me an e-mail indicating your intended means of travel. Thus far, your Editor is planning to travel west by land, while Bill and Liz Werth will take to the skies for their preferred method of transport!

A stylish and functional wardrobe accessory, magnetic CTCC Names Badges are continually available. Perfect for CTCC events! If you wish to order a name badge(s), click here for more information and instructions to get an order form and payment to coordinator Liz Werth.

While still a 'work-in-progress', the revamped CTCC website is being modernized by our webmaster, Joel Greenberg. Check out the site, www.ctcc9.com, as Joel heads for the Grand Opening!

Be sure to check out the rear-cover Ford Photo Quiz! Look for the ANSWER in the April issue.


-- Bert Eisenhour, Ed. Bird-News

Thunderbird Coin

Thunderbird Bronze Antique Coin

CTCC member Dave Zornig submits the following website for '55 owners ...

1955 Ford Thunderbird Coin
The coin is minted in a brass alloy and given an antique bronze finish and is provided in a special sleeve. This custom printed and die cut sleeve also acts as a display card. The medallion is encased in a protective plastic capsule to preserve it's lustrous finish.

-- Copyright 2008 Northwest Territorial Mint

Dancing Birders

The Dancing Birders

Our January event was a dance held at the Willowbrook Ballroom. The Willowbrook Ballroom, in south suburban Willow Springs, is one of five ballrooms left in the country! It has been around for 85 years and the original wooden dance floor has a spring to its step. Thirty CTCC members enjoyed a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon at Willowbrook, dancing and swaying to a live big band. A family style luncheon was served in a cozy, private dining room with a roaring fireplace. The luncheon included platters of beef, chicken, and sausage along with some kraut, perfectly steamed vegetables and home-style mashed potatoes. Cheesecake was served for dessert - plenty to eat and delicious too!

Willowbrook is also home to a ghost -- Resurrection Mary (buried in a local cemetery) --- the story is that she was on her way to her prom and was struck by a car. Every so often she is spotted in her flowing gown dancing the evening away. However, no sightings when we were there!

The Kramer's thank everyone who came - being new to the club, we welcomed the opportunity to plan an event. We hoped it would be fun and something a little different. It turned out that everyone in attendance had a great time. Maybe we should make this an annual event -- just maybe. Not to worry, you don't have to know how to dance -- it is a great people-watching place too!

The Dancing Birders included; Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Dick and Karen Bruck, Mitch and Pat Mitchell (drove the farthest - from Pekin, IL) Len and Mary Keil, Len and Irene Vinyard, Paul Ureche and Maryann Graziano, Bill and Liz Werth, Gordon Gluff and Mary (voted best dancers of the group), Lloyd and Joan Schellin, Paul and Urszula Mounts, Bob and Helen Hoge, Larry and Karen Kelly, Joe and Sandy Kraatz, and Pete and Marylu Kramer.

-- Marylu and Pete Kramer

Editor's note: you can view additional pictures from the CTCC Willowbrook Dance on the Photos page.

News from CTCI

News from CTCI
Classic Thunderbird Club International

We recently returned from the CTCI Board meeting, the new officers are:
President - Sue Smith
VP - Scott McGilvray
Secretary - John Sailors
Treasurer - Jim Hack

Tulsa was granted a Regional for July 2-5, 2009. At present that is the only Regional in 2009. I was able to get a resolution passed that each host club would receive $500.00 for a Regional or International Convention. $500.00 will be given to the Portland club for the International Convention they are hosting this summer. The registration form is online.

Also, $200.00 worth of CTCI merchandise for a Regional and $300.00 for an International event will be donated to the host club. $350.00 will be allotted to the host club to rent a computer, projector, podium, etc for judges training.

The roster will be published in even years with an addendum published in odd years. You will have the option of listing one phone number, email address and spouse name.

The McPherson Endowment failed and the money will be used to add colored pages to the EB. This will be spent over many years for everyone to enjoy.

CTCI gave a $1,000.00 donation to McPherson College in the honor of "48 in O8." There are five T-Birds that will drive the entire route of "48 in O8." Lucy and her group are anxious to attend "Birds in the Dells.

The By-Law Amendment about "to put wording in about email voting" passed. I will be sending the meeting synopsis when I receive it.

Thanks for your time.

Still Flying High

Still Flying High

Half-Century old '56 T-Bird still "Flying High!"

At right: "Florida Fling" cover photo from Delta Airlines' February 2008 publication Sky Magazine with an additional Florida scene from page 43.

-- Kathy Smizinski

Pizza Party

February 14, 2008

The meeting started at 8:15PM.

Ken Smizinski welcomed the 38 people in attendance. Everyone enjoyed the many variations of pizza and pop arranged for by Bob Burhop.

Minutes of the November General Meeting were approved as written and copies of those minutes were made available to anyone who wanted to review them.

Bob Hoge gave the Treasurer's Report as printed in the February "Bird-News". The Club has 112 members as of 2/14/08.

Ken reported on the development of the CTCC website and said that three vendors have purchased links to their sites. He urged members to view the site: www.CTCC9.com.

Ken discussed the various activities planned for the year (see elsewhere in this and future editions of "Bird-News" for times and dates).

Bob Hoge presented the 2008 proposed Budget. He explained it line-by-line. The budget includes several lines for Club subsidies of events to benefit members using funds saved on the newsletter printing costs as well as a $300 donation to the Rose City Thunderbirds for the International Convention. The Membership will vote on the budget at the March 13, 2008 membership meeting at Russell's Bar-B-Q.

The March 13th Membership meeting will include the election of Directors. Those present were asked to think about running for a seat and to advise Ken if interested.

Ken advised the group that, after much thoughtful discussion, the Board decided that the Club will not host a Regional Convention in 2009. While many members were enthusiastic about the prospect of attending the event, there were not enough members willing to commit to the time and energy required to produce the event.

The meeting officially adjourned at 8:50PM.

-- Respectfully submitted, Liz Werth, CTCC Secretary

Coast to Coast Rally

Subject: Fwd: Coast to Coast Thunderbird Rally

Greetings from Indiana -
We are putting together a coast-to-coast rally for next summer. Are you interested or could you help spread the word? You may contact me at vbm@allarnericanroadtrips.com or get more information at www.allamericanroadtrips.com.

I welcome any help or advice you could give.

With Appreciation,
Diana Taylor - Trip Coordinator


Ford Photo Quiz

Yes, it is definitely a FORD PART! But the question is, what is it and what Ford product was it used on? Also, how many of these wooden-boxed parts were used on each vehicle? (Note the odd Ford script design)

Answer coming in the April 2008 edition of Bird-News.

Tech Tip- Rebuilding Hood Hinges

Rebuilding Hood Hinges

The 1955 through 1957 Thunderbird hood hinge has developed a reputation of being something similar to a time bomb just waiting to go off. The riveted hinge bolt which holds the two parts of the hood hinge together has a tendency to break due to wear or corrosion. When this bolt fails, the owner will immediately become aware of its failure. The hinge's two component parts will separate. One part will remain attached to the hood. The other part, being spring loaded, will violently unwind and will stop only by crashing into or through the front nose of your car. Either way, there will be significant damage to your car. To protect your car, inspect your hood hinges for wear or corrosion. This is a part of the car that is hidden inside the body. It is often overlooked when restoring a car. If there is any doubt as to the condition of the hood hinges, they should either be replaced or rebuilt. As this has happened to fellow club member Paul Mounts, Paul has provided the following tip as to how to rebuild your hood hinges.

To rebuild the hood hinges you first have to gain access. The hood hinges are accessible after removing the hood and the front grill. Once you have gained access to the hinges. unbolt the hinge brackets from the body of the car. Make sure you have compensated or neutralized the spring tension on the hood hinges before you remove them. After removing the hood hinges from the car, remove the hinge bolt from each hinge. The hinge bolt connects the two moving brackets of the hinge. You will need to remove the factory rivets from the hinge bolt. This can be done by grinding the rivets off. Replace the original hinge bolt with a clevis bolt which is the same size or slightly larger than the original hinge bolt. Use a locking nut to secure the clevis bolt. Tighten the lock nut enough to secure the clevis bolt, but not so tight as to restrict the movement of the hinge components. Mark the location of the lock nut on the clevis bolt and disassemble. Once the clevis bolt is removed from the hinge, have the bolt and nut drilled out so that on reassembly you can insert a cotter pin to insure that the lock nut will not work itself loose. If your clevis bolt is slightly larger than the original hinge bolt. you will need to drill out the hinge bracket holes to the new larger size to accommodate the larger clevis bolt. A tight fit will also give you smooth hinge operation. Don't forget to grease the new hinge bolt on reassembly. Once completed you have eliminated the problem of the exploding hinge bolt. Now you just have to deal with realigning the hood! Good luck.

source: CTCC Tech-Tip Manual 1993-1997

Tech Tip- Maintenance chart

Quick Reference Maintenance Chart

As the time has come for most of us to put our T -Birds away for the winter, the following information submitted by fellow club member Craig Beilstein may help to insure that your Bird is ready for Spring. Though the quick reference maintenance chart is for a 1955 Thunderbird, most of the information is correct for 1956 and 1957 Thunderbirds. One exception is that 1957 Thunderbirds require a tire size of 6.70 - 14 inches. The reference chart appears to be from a Conoco Service Station reference manual. The chart indicates the various lubrication points on the car as well as fluid requirements. In addition, the chart provides a recommended frequency of maintenance that most of us probably do not comply with. As such, I have to go now, my car needs to be lubricated. It's been more than a 1000 miles since my last greasing. Thank you Craig for the information.

source: CTCC Tech-Tip Manual 1993-1997

Tech Tip- Battery Replacement

1956-57 Thunderbird Battery Replacement

For those of you out there who drive your Thunderbirds regularly this tip from Ken Smizinski may be for you. There still is a battery made by Interstate Battery that fits into the original battery tray of the 1956 and 1957 Thunderbirds with no modifications necessary. The battery part number is 29NFVHD. It is not "original" like the batteries available from the various Thunderbird parts suppliers, but the battery is current in its technology and the casing resists cracking.

As of September of 1994, I was able to purchase this battery for less than $90.00 from one of the local auto parts houses. I bought my battery from Forest City Auto Parts located in Arlington Heights, II. You will most likely have to order the battery. It is not a popular size with today's cars. When you hook up your battery, it helps to apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the terminals. This will help inhibit corrosion.

As an add-on to the above article, I wish to pass on a few simple "handy" tips that I have been accumulating from various club members but haven't figured out how to incorporate them into an article. The first tip also involves petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly can also be applied to the headlight terminals which are also prone to corrosion. Secondly, when changing your oil, it helps to rub a little oil on the gasket of the new oil filter. This helps create a better seal and also makes it easier to remove the oil filter in the future. Lastly, when changing the various turn signal or back up light bulbs, a piece of 5/8" heater hose cut to about three inches in length makes a great light bulb changer. Using the hose is much safer than using your fingers. Hope these tips were of some use.

source: CTCC Tech-Tip Manual 1993-1997