Friday, March 30, 2018


Bert Eisenhour, 94, the last remaining founding member of our Club, died on March 3, 2018. Bert had not been involved in CTCC activities since he and Jane moved to Iowa in 2011, but he continued to produce Bird-News until July, 2017. Many of us spent some time with him at the Model A Restorers' Club Turkey Dinner in November last year. For those of you not familiar with Bert, here is a little history. 

Bert's love affair with the Thunderbird began in the fall of 1954 and when Ford added two new colors, Bert could resist no longer and a Goldenrod Yellow was his in May of 1955.  Bert was hooked.  In 1957 he traded in his '55 and bought a new Inca Gold '57 which he drove 160,000 miles even using it to participate in the Continental Divide Rally.  His infatuation with Thunderbirds continued to grow.  Finally, Bert owned two 1957 T-Birds, but his pride and joy was his Starmist Blue "E" 'Bird, which he bought from Roger Neiss in 1963 and drove to many international conventions.

Bert was one of the founders of CTCC.  The first organizational meeting was held on August 28, 1961 and the first issue of the Club's newsletter was published in March of 1962.  Bert was the editor of the newsletter, Bird-News, from September of 1970 until July, 2017. He devoted countless hours every month to writing and producing this indispensable heart of our organization. Bert's beloved wife, Jane, passed away on March 24, 2016. Staying true to his dedication to the Club, the April, 2016 issue of Bird-News was completed and in the hands of CTCC members on April 8.

In 1963 Bert helped arrange for CTCC to travel to Dearborn where the Ford Motor Company hosted a magnificent Thunderbird convention.  This event set the stage for the first international CTCI convention held in Dearborn in 1964.  Bert was the only CTCI member who attended every international convention in CTCI history. Bert was there at the start of CTCI.  He often joked with Vic Take, the founder of CTCI, that he had doubts about its future, but he had faith and told Vic he wanted to be member number 500.

Bert served on the Board of CTCI in the mid 1970s and he was President of CTCC in 1965-66.  

In 1973, Bert was the first recipient of CTCC's "Alogna Award".  The award honored a member who had willingly gone "above and beyond" to help fellow Club members. In 1998 Bert was again given the Alogna Award.  The "Alogna Award" was then retired and the "Bert Eisenhour Award" was instituted in recognition of his tireless dedication and numerous contributions and efforts on behalf of CTCC. That award was retired in December, 2015 with Bert and Jane being the final recipients.  

Bert was the driving force behind many international and regional conventions held in Chicago including CTCC's 50th Anniversary Celebration of the introduction of the Thunderbird in 2005. Bert had a wealth of information about Thunderbirds and CTCC. He will be missed. 

BERT  EISENHOUR ( 1923-2018 )