Wednesday, May 28, 2014

8 Thunderbirds flock to the party.


Often, what we take for granted, other people dream of. Such was the case of Cora Claypool. About a month or so ago, I received an email thru the club's website. Jill said her mother was turning 80 and they were planning a surprise party for her (she is also a 3 year survivor of pancreatic cancer). One of the items on her bucket list was to take a ride in a 1957 Thunderbird. Was there anything we could do?

By coincidence, the club was planning an outing in the area of the party on the day of the party. We arranged to stop by at a preset time and give Cora a ride in a 1957 Thunderbird. People at the party were amazed when 8 Thunderbirds pulled up in front of the house (1 1955, 1 1956, 5 1957s and 1 1959). Cora was absolutely ecstatic. Len gave her a short ride in his 1957. Then she got in Bob's 1956 (with the top down) and they were gone for 15-20 minutes. While people at the party were looking over the remaining cars, Cora was having a dream come true.

The family was very appreciative of what we did. When I asked Cora why she wanted a ride in a 1957 Thunderbird, she replied that she always thought of it as THE American sports car. She was very excited and thrilled about the opportunity. If we had more time I am sure she would have loved to go for a ride in each of the cars. About a short hour later, we were on our way. Everyone was happy about what we did- but no one was happier than Cora. I think we helped make it a special day for her.

Joel Greenberg

Crystal Lake and more

Crystal Lake Excursion, A Happy Birthday and A Smokin' Dog & Suds

The  Saturday of Memorial Day week-end was a sunny, blue sky day;  the kind of day to which T-Birders look forward.  An initial group of CTCC members started the day at the Foundry in Barrington including our 
leaders, the Bruins (top down), Jim Wilson, the Werths, Joel Greenberg and Ed Levin and Rose.  The Kellys brought up the rear with their '59 as both the last to arrive and official outing tail gunner.

We drove to down town Crystal Lake where the Keils and Hoges joined the group.  The ladies explored the shops on main street while the guys quickly found the candy/ice cream shop and a place to sit and enjoy their purchases, (Tom Bruin tried the chocolate covered bacon), and Larry Kelly managed to find the only bar in town.

There was a lot of browsing, but not much shopping until the kitchen store.  That's where Liz Werth and Mary Keil purchased a little, round gizmo that makes potato chips in the microwave.  Now, this is a rough
estimate, but if they start zapping now, we may have enough for the Fall Tour!

Our next stop was a definite highlight of the day.  The children of a woman about to turn 80 found our club on the internet.  Their mother always wanted to ride in a 1957 Thunderbird, a bucket list kind of
thing.  They contacted Joel Greenberg and asked if there was any way we could help them surprise their mom on her Birthday.

We were only to happy to oblige.  (We don't like showing off our cars much, do we?)  So off we went!  We drove the short distance to the Claypools' for operation birthday surprise.

Mrs. Claypool was thrilled and received her ride in a '57 driven by Len Keil.  Afterwords, one of her grandchildren remarked, "Don't you want to go in one with the lid off?"  So, Bob Hoge and his top down
'56 took Mrs. Claypool on another ride around the neighborhood.

Mr. Claypool and his family could not have been nicer.  We were given a very warm welcome complete with hugs and many thanks.  They had no idea we would bring so many cars!  And we were happy to have added to Mrs. Claypool's birthday cheer.  Mr. Claypool didn't think he'd stop hearing about it any time soon.

Now, it was on to the first cruise night of the season to meet even more T-Birders at the Fox Lake Dog & Suds.  The evening was so popular most of us had to park in the train station lot across the street. A
couple of our group arrived early enough to secure two spots at the drive in and at least one member was in the adjacent lot. Thunderbirds were represented well with 19 cars, though not all from our club.  We received a shout out from the disc jockey thanking the
Thunderbirds for coming out in force.

We gathered at picnic tables and set up chairs to listen to the oldies and enjoy our Dog & Suds eats and treats together.

As the sun and temperature started to dip, the Kellys walked to the train lot to pick up sweaters from their car.  There, parked two cars in back of them was the Michna's car with a swirl of commotion surrounding it.  Other car people saw smoke billowing from the
Michnas' 55  and popped the hood to disconnect the battery afraid of a fire.  The Kellys said they knew the owners, called Tom Bruin on his cell so some one could alert Jerry.

Most of our group came along with the Michnas to check out what exactly was happening.  It seems an announcement was made that a black T-bird was on fire.  Oops!

Good thing the Smizinskis like their rootbeer! They were among members meeting at the Dog & Suds.  Ken looked at the engine and was able to start it.  But, the fire department had been called and they had to check all was well. Larry Kelly asked Jerry if he had a fire extinguisher and Jerry replied he did.  Larry then asked where it was and Jerry said it was in the trunk.  Larry advised he'd better get it out.  The young fireman laughed.  Actually, all the firemen were
young, but nevermind.

Well, we hope Jerry and Doreen and their T-bird made it home safely. And we hope everyone had just as memorable time on Memorial Day!

Karen Kelly

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tech Session- 2014

Thirty-four CTCC members and guests gathered at Bob Wenderski's on Saturday, April 26 for our annual Tech Session and Spring Dust-Off event.  Dick Murray from AACA reported that he sold his '49 Cadillac four door and was looking for another older model with four doors!  We drank coffee and munched rolls before our guest speaker, Jim Heidel, from Turtle Wax began his presentation.

A tire was brought in to show application of Turtle Wax Tire Shine. Itwas sprayed on and let dry for a few minutes before reapplication for a greater shine. Jim cautioned that it must be allowed to dry between coats or lines would show on the tire. Turtle Wax & Dry was discussed next. It should be wiped off with microfiber or terrycloth  and not applied to glass as it will leave a residue. He discussed carnuba paste wax and headlight lens restorer. Free samples of "Ice" car wash concentrate and interior wipes were given out.

After the guest speaker Ken Smizinski discussed Marvel Mystery Oil which is similar to Pyroil, providing top end lubrication but should not be mixed with Sea Foam.  Disc brake conversions were discussed.  They are not maintenance free and can lead to bearing problems and oxidation of pads.  If the speedometer is shaky, the cable can be lubricated with graphite.  Slick 50 or Marvel Mystery Oil can be used to keep the diaphragm softened in vacuum wipers.

Most of us went to lunch at the Tap House Grill in Highwood and afterward drove to Highland Park to view the Richard Sacks Car Collection.  Rich was an amiable host, describing in detail each of his twenty cars.  The Collection was eclectic, featuring postwar British, General Motors, and a Lincoln four door convertible.   Rich discussed the one Thunderbird that he had owned, a '57 "C" 'Bird with a 292 and 3- speed, which he felt was underpowered!

By Jim Wilson