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Mid Kansas Vintage Thunderbird Club, Incorporated
Wichita, Kansas

A Chapter of Vintage Thunderbird Club International, Inc. (VTCI)

Mid-Kansas’ Club Song: 
“Silver Thunderbird”  by Marc Cohn



December 2010 Newsletter January 2011 Newsletter February 2011 Newsletter
March 2011 Newsletter April 2011 Newsletter May 2011 Newsletter
June 2011 Newsletter July 2011 Newsletter August 2011 Newsletter
September 2011 Newsletter October 2011 Newsletter November 2011 Newsletter
December 2011 Newsletter January 2012 Newsletter

February 2012
A Chapter of Vintage Thunderbird Club International, Inc. (VTCI)
Celebrating Mid Kansas Vintage Thunderbird Club's 20th year!!
NOTE: Sorry about this month's Newsletter being late. Unfortunately Connie (Web mistress) had an emergency date with ICU for a week in the hospital.
Better late than never..hope you enjoy.:-)


Mid-Kansas  Welcomes  New  Members:    The  Newsletter  is
happy to announce that Michael and Janey Lindebak have joined the Mid-
Kansas Vintage Thunderbird Club!  The Lindebaks bring a Torch Red ’03 to the
club.   Welcome,  Mike and Janey and we look forward to lots of good times
together.  Read on.

Retro  ‘Birds  Abound  In  The  Mid-Kansas  Chapter:   
We knew  it  would  happen  sooner  or  later!  The  appeal  of  the  Retro  2002-2005 Thunderbird continues
to grow for these hard to find Thunderbirds.  After all,
they have all the modern amenities such as factory A/C,
 full power, a top that
works instantly, Stereo AM, FM, CD players, heated seats, easy Satellite radio

conversion and a whole bunch of accessories.  Also a whole bunch of aftermarket accessories available.
They drive like a classic ‘Bird but ride like a luxury car and they are CUTE!  Can’t say how many people have stated,
 “I didn’t like them at first but they sort of grew on me.”  Little by little they appear to be coming out of
their garages and storage areas and back into the market.  It also appears the asking price for these cars is increasing.

Our club’s philosophy is that the more we show Thunderbirds of all eras, the more sought after they will become.

The Newsletter stopped running the “Retro Thunderbird Spotter” feature several months ago because whenever
Retro Birds were spotted for sale they were usually sold before the Newsletter came out. 
What prompted us to include this article in this newsletter is that a beautiful Torch Red over Torch Red ’02
 showed up in Davis-Moore’s  advertisement the last part of November.   
Curt and Diana Rakestraw went over to check it out on or about November 28.  Of course, if a person ever looks at
 a Thunderbird they are likely to buy it, and the Rakestraws proved this by falling under the spell of the
 Retro…and bought it! 
Their newest Thunderbird shares garage space with their Colonial White over Flame Red ’57.

With the true Thunderbird club spirit, Curt talked with a fellow Rolling Hills
Country Club golfer who he knew also had a Torch Red ’03 Retro, and convinced
the golfing buddy to join our club!  Therefore, the very latest Retro owners to join
the Mid-Kansas Vintage Club are the aforementioned Mike and Janey Lindebak
who joined Mid-Kansas on 1-1-12.
Although two Retro ‘Birds flew away from our club in the last year, we gained
four  new  ones  with  the  addition  of  the  Barths  and  the  Lindebaks,  and  the
purchases by existing members the Fichters and the Rakestraws bringing the
total number of Retro Birds in our club up to 10!  The following Retros now call
our club home:

2002  Raven Black   Darryle and Kaye Barth
2002  Torch Red Curt and Diana Rakestraw
2003 Torch Red Mike and Janey Lindebak
2003 Shadow Mountain Grey   Larry and Lynda Fichter
2003 Raven Black  Chris and Lynda Cushman
2004 Vintage Mint  Green Rod and Beverly Wake
2004 Merlot   Lee and Rosemary Hufford
2004 Merlot   Jim Goolsby
2005 Cashmere Metallic Avory and Lois Johnson
2005  Torch Red   Tim and Tracy Ferrell

Now folks, there is nothing like a Vintage or Classic Thunderbird and there never will be.
No car captures the feeling of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s when we were all a little younger, than does an older
Thunderbird and that is the reason our club even exists.  But it is nice to have a “newish” Thunderbird to
put in the mix as well, a car that is already collectible, yet you could jump into it and head for the coast
tomorrow if you had to. 
What makes us particularly proud is the fact that our parent club, the Vintage Thunderbird Club International
 (VTCI) welcomes the Retros with open arms and has the official factory specifications with a strenuous
judging category to guide us to keeping them as near to factory original as possible!  For those who choose to
modify them, there is also a judging category.

Now for a little quick math:  Of 50 Thunderbirds in our Mid-Kansas chapter,  10 of  them—20%  of  our 
total  flock--  are  Retros.  And  that  is  about  the  same percentage of Retros that are showing up for
Regional and International VTCI conventions.  Then, before you put away your slide rule,
consider these figures:

By way of comparison there were 53,166  “Classic” 1955-1957 Thunderbirds produced.  We all know how
much in demand those cars have been ever since.

There were only 67,173 Retros built, with a much larger population available to
buy them.  Need I say more?


Retro Spotter:  How can you tell the year of a Retro ‘Bird at a glance??

2002  Thunderbird:   
There  will  be  No  V8  sign  on  front  fenders.    17  “  21  spoke
aluminum  painted  wheels,  or  7  spoke  chrome  steel  wheels  with  Thunderbird  logo
stamped in the center hub. The Instrument cluster has a black background.

2003 Thunderbird:
  V8 sign on front fenders, 17” 7 spoke chrome steel wheels with
Thunderbird logo in center hub.  Sneak a peek inside and you will see a new instrument
pack with argent silver background. Special editions were available, such as the James
Bond 007 limited edition.

2004 Thunderbird: 
V8 sign on front fenders, 17” 7 spoke polished wheels but with a
recessed groove divider in each spoke and the center hub cap has FORD printed in a ring
around the edge with the Thunderbird logo in the center.  Special wheels available,
special editions available.

2005 Thunderbird: 
Has a commemorative fender badge reading “50th Anniversary”
where the vent is normally, and No V8 sign on front fenders. Special editions were
available and three different wheel styles were available. Rely on the “50th Anniversary”
vent badge for a positive ID

 If you are still in doubt, and if you are close enough check
the serial number in the windshield, and if the alarms have
 not yet gone off or the owner
has not caught you and pounded you senseless, then the 10th
character will tell the year.

Example: a 2003 serial number will read, “1FAHP60A23Y112555”


Speaking  of  Vintage  Thunderbirds: 
Many  of  our  members subscribe to Hemmings Classic Car magazine.  Those folks will probably have read the
article about Alex Sarantos Tremulis, (1914-1991) a legendary, creative and controversial automotive designer, in the March 2012 Classic Car issue. 
For those who have not seen the article, Tremulis worked for several automobile companies from the 30’s forward including Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg, Chrysler, Kaiser, Tucker, and Ford.  Tremulis had a definite  hand  in  the  design  of  some  of  our  Vintage  Thunderbirds.   
Tremulis  was particularly interested in the aerodynamics of vehicle shape. A previous article, written many  years  ago  for  Issue  #82  of 
Special  Interest  Autos    (SIA)  was  reprinted  in Hemmings  Classic  Car,  #90,    (Volume  8,  Issue  6    March  2012,  pages  50-54.)  The
question was asked about Tremulis’  contributions to Ford, and here is an excerpt from the article, pages 53 and 54:

AT: “…I joined Ford in ’52.  SIA:  Were you responsible for the design of any
production cars at Ford? AT:    I  hate  to  talk  about  it,  because  at  Ford,  it’s  very difficult.  There are so many people involved. 
As far as Ford was concerned, the only time you really knew that you’d designed a car, or established a theme, was when you got blamed for it. 
So I was blamed for the 1960 Ford and the ’61 T-Bird.  Everybody at Ford was mad at me!  I had taken the sharp, stilted rooflines which were
popular on the ’59 Galaxie and the T-Birds with all the straight lines and I had lowered the cowl, given it a nice, slanted windshield and all that. 
They always referred to the ’61 T-Bird as the “banana nose.”  My argument—my defense—was that the car weighed the same
as the previous model, same horsepower, and yet we were six miles per hour faster.  It’s because we had lowered the coefficient of drag!
Later in the article, on page 54 Tremulis states, “…then the next one (worked on) would be the Ford “Gyron,” which was a show car.  It was a two-wheeled car, gyro-stabilized, a most sophisticated concept.  I got fired for doing that car!  I was asked to leave the
Ford Motor Company.”

Rest assured, Alex ,the folks at Mid-Kansas Vintage Thunderbird and particularly the 61- 63 owners are not mad at you, and appreciate your contributions!


The Honor Flight Folks Express Appreciation: 
Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend the December 4 Christmas Party at the Hilton, know that we had the little contribution box on the bar into which we deposited  free  will  donations  for  the  Prairie  States  Honor  Flight.   
Our  two Thunderbird clubs were able to turn over $443.00 to the Prairie States Honor Flight  program.   
Well,  both  clubs  have  been  presented  with  beautiful certificates of gratitude from the program, which will be a welcome
addition to our scrapbook and historical records.  See a black and white copy of our certificate attached.  Also, for those of you who are able to take itemized deductions, we have receipt forms for your portion of the gift if you want one.  Ask Secretary Bev.

Starbird/Devlin Show:  (Subtitle; “Boy, do our feet hurt!
By dawn’s early light on Friday, January 20 several of our members reported for duty as
volunteers at the inaugural Starbird/Devlin Car Show, in an attempt to help our friends make a success of the
newly formed organization.   In fact, Jim Winter even worked  the  day  before helping to usher  in registrant’s cars.

Dick  Price reported  that  408 cars and motorcycles were entered and the spaces were all sold out.
 Those Thunderbird Clubbers who had volunteered their talent, their shoe leather,  or  both  included  Tedd  Roe,  Prez  Rod,  Jim Winter,  Daryl  Standifer,  Darryle  Barth,  Kaye  Barth, and probably others not seen by our reporters

. Prez also  served  as  one  of  the  Judges  for  one category…details upon request. It is also worthy
of note that our volunteers worked for food! The
weather was clear and cold but generally a very
nice day for January.  The doors opened at Friday
noon  and  the  crowd  started  slowly,  but  the
Saturday  crowd  was  huge. 

 Among  the  ticket takers were Darryle and Kaye Barth who were swamped with up to three lines of entrants waiting to get in.  Jim Winter had just
finished a “brand new” Snowshoe White and Regency Purple Crown Victoria with Plexiglas top and commanded the first spot inside the door. Howard Day’s
beautiful ’63 Convertible was the only Vintage Club car entered.  Club members spotted in the crowd included VP Mike Mawhirter, Cheryl Thomas,
Royce Taylor, and that was only Friday and Saturday.
The old Editor was not able to participate in Sunday’s event and cannot report on that date.
 It was a good, clean show and it appeared to be a success,…..and we helped!


Howard  Day’s  Convertible  Shines  at  Starbird/Devlin Show: 
The Starbird/Devlin show is billed as a Rod and Customs show, and as
such few restored-as-original examples were on display. 
The lone Thunderbird
from our club to be entered this year was Howard and Helen Day’s beautiful red ’63 Convertible. 
The ‘Bird never looked better as it was nestled in with other cars
near the south side of the complex. The tie-in here is that Howard’s convertible

  was completed by the Devlin facility a few years ago and they are justifiably proud of their work and use it for good advertising. 
The tonneau fitted ’63 Convertible
still look  a  beautiful as the day i  rolled out of Tim Devlin’s shop.  A Thunderbird convertible is always an eye catcher in any crowd, and Howard’s car just proved it again.   Thanks, Howard for representing the club in this year’s

Swap Meet At the Coliseum:  Our tradition of keeping a booth at
the Sunflower Swap Meet continues, and once again the Classic Club and the
Vintage Club will be splitting the cost of the booth.  This year the dates are Friday and Saturday, February 3rd and 4th
. All members are urged to bring items out to fill our booth with –er—valuable items to offer for sale.  Those parts you no longer  need,  those  wheel  covers,  those  tires,  those  tools,  those  NASCAR jackets….anything that at least sort of leans toward car related items. 
Put a price
on it and your initials and let you or our super salesmen turn it into cash.  While you are there you will want to look at a couple hundred other booths full of auto related items as well.  This is a big deal and people come from all over Kansas and the adjoining states to this swap meet.  It is always fun, we get to meet a lot of nice folks and we historically meet a prospective member or two.  Bring a notepad,  because  you  will  need  one  to  keep  track  of  the  people  you  meet,  the Thunderbird items they are looking for, and the things they have available but did not bring to the meet.

“The Chill” Show Draws Near:
 The Vintage Club has pledged to support The Chill at the Kansas Coliseum on February 24, 25, and 26th with at
least 10 cars on display.  Carl Marts is assisting a vendor in a vintage sign booth in connection with our Thunderbirds. 
Carl and family have built a booth for the show and have put a lot of effort into making this a new event for our club.  We
hope it works out well for the club, for Carl, for the sign vendor and for Bartel Productions which organized The Chill.
Early registration @ $30.00 runs out on February 11 so it behooves us to get our cars registered before it goes up to
Prez has registered the ’61 ‘Bird, Tedd Roe has registered his ’59 ‘Bird and know several of you will be joining us in showing your Thunderbird.

‘tis Wearin’ of the Green! 

Bless my soul, Sure and Begorra, the time
is again upon us!  Yes, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
 in the Delano District will
be  happening  at  12:00  Noon  on  Saturday,
March 17, 2012.  That means the parade will be
on the “real” St. Patrick’s Day this time. Those
of us who drove in last year’s parade know the
drill;  meet  in  Lawrence  Dumont  Stadium
parking  lot  in  our  designated  spaces  about
10:00AM and wait for the signal to enter the
lineup for the parade through the historic old
Delano Downtown district.  Prez has signed up
both our Vintage club and the Classic Club as one
 entry entitled “Wichita Classic And
 Vintage Thunderbirds.” (Smart, huh?)

 Last year we had 7 Thunderbirds in
the  parade  and  the  crowd  loved  them. 


This  year  Prez  has  indicated  15

Thunderbirds will make up the entry.  That can be added to or subtracted from
without any other change, but it means 15 parking spaces will be reserved for us
in Lawrence Dumont. 
All who drove last year will attest to the fact that it is FUN,

and in addition makes great advertising for both the Classic Club and the
Please make plans now to drive your Thunderbird in the parade and we

will meet afterwards at an appropriate restaurant-Ice Cream location to discuss
the experience.
This  is  a  zany,  carefree  parade  and  the  Historic  Delano  Parade  Committee
encourages  wearing  or  displaying  something  appropriately  Irish.   
organizer Nancy Lawrence has several such items available in her
 Central Plains
Novelty store at 905 W. Douglas if you don’t already have
such items.

This  is  an  early  notice,  hoping  to  allow  many  of  you  to  make
 your  plans  to

Our club will be holding both its February and March meetings in

the meantime, but simply let Prez know ASAP
 that you will be participating as
one of our entrants in the parade.


The President’s Message

By Rod Wake, Mid-Kansas President

Dear Thunderbirders,
Our  board  met  separately  in  early  January  to  discuss  ideas  for  a  slightly
different style of club meeting.  We did a little thinking outside the box to
slightly change the format of our monthly meetings. We will be trying some
activities  with  our  meetings  and  with  the  Newsletter  with  a  view  toward
making  a  few  extra  bucks  for  the  club.    Bear  with  Vice  President  Mike,
Secretary Bev, Treasurer Lynda and me as we put these changes into effect.
Our pledge last year to have a more active part in some parades, continues into
this season with the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Hope you plan to drive your
‘Bird in the parade with us in March, and if not then at least be in the crowd to
cheer us on and meet afterwards for lunch and treats!
Attendance at the club meetings, pretty good in the past has improved even
more since we switched to Spears Restaurant last year.  Spears appreciates us,
too, and has penciled us in for the third Thursday night of each month until
further notice.  Please plan your monthly activities to include meeting with us
for  some  good  old  Midwestern  American  cooking  before  tackling  the
important business of our club!
Please plan to join us for this month’s meeting at Spears where we will begin
planning which events we will participate in for 2012!


Don’t Forget our Parent Club:
 If you have not yet joined VTCI, please take this opportunity to do so. 
To those of you who have not yet joined, you can get your application from www.vintagethunderbirdclub.org or ask Prez for an application. 
We simply cannot afford to lose our affiliation with VTCI!

Don't forget who helps make all our activities possible;
Vintage Thunderbird Club International, Inc. 
If you do not belong to VTCI, join today!

Most annoying and worn out expression of the month: “...at the end of the day.”



Unique In All The World:   The  Newsletter  continues  its  series
picturing Thunderbirds seen around the VTCI Regional and International Circuit as well as local club events.  With each Thunderbird featured, you should see why the Vintage Ford Thunderbird is considered to be “Unique In All The World!”
This month’s feature:

Many consider the 58-60 Thunderbird Hardtop (the Squarebird) to be the most beautiful generation of Thunderbirds.  This one tends to support that opinion.
The two-tone extended to the spear may not have been factory original, but
sure is pretty!
This Colonial White and bright blue two-tone ’59 looked beautiful in the evening light at Coshocton, Ohio at the 2009 VTIC International Convention.






Retro Bird Watchers Alert!
None spotted at this time

Big Bird Bazaar:
Cars, Parts and Services

Ads or sources of service for our Birds are free to club members, but business card size ads run $60 per year. 
That’s less than $5 per issue ‘cause we usually run 14 editions per year.   What have you to sell?

Autos For Sale: Wanted: Parts & Misc For Sale:
1962  Thunderbird  HT.
Corinthian  White,  Pearl  Beige  interior
Correctly  detailed  engine  compartment, 
drives  great.
Lee and Rosemary Hufford
(316) 267-0008
...0.0000.............................................................. Kool  Rides
802  E. Madison
 Arkansas City,  KS
Local supplier for Smithy’s Mufflers 
and similar street rod accessories.

                                          on ad to visit VTCI!


February Meeting:



Current Officers
J. Rodney Wake
Vice President:
Mike Mawhirter
Beverly Wake
Lynda Fichter

Mid-Kansas Vintage Thunderbird’s Appointed Positions

Newsletter Editor:
J. Rodney Wake
Associate Editor, Proof Reader,

  Club Photographer, Computer
  Guru and all around helper
Jack Wake
Website Coordinator:
Cheryl Thomas
Webmistress Design and Graphics
Connie B C
Wichita Area Council
of Car Clubs Representative:
Royce Taylor Royce.taylor@spiritaero.com

National VTCI Contacts

VTCI President:
Terri McNeill
VTCI Vice President: 
J. Rodney Wake
VTCI Secretary:
Bob McNeill
VTCI Treasurer:
Randy Mattson
VTCI NC Director:
Ed Elzinga
VTCI Website Director:
Terri McNeill

Mid-Kansas Thunderbird’s Website: 
VTCI website: 

 VTCI Chapter Websites

Chicagoland Thunderbirds:
Thunderbird Midwest
Mid America Iowa:
Hoosier Vintage/ Indiana Thunderbird Club: 
Vintage Thunderbirds of Kansas City:
Thunderbirds of Manitoba:
Waterwonderland Michigan: