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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 Newsletter

March 2012
A Chapter of Vintage Thunderbird Club International, Inc. (VTCI)
Celebrating Mid Kansas Vintage Thunderbird Club's 20th year!!

What  Do  You  Do  at  a  Swap  Meet?  

Well, you meet….and you swap.  At least that is what several of our club members did on February 3 and 4th at the Pavilion at the old Coliseum. 
There we again shared the cost of a booth and two tables with the Classic Club.  Preparing the booth on Thursday, February 2 was Prez Rod, Carl Johnson of the Classic Club, and VP Mike Mawhirter. 
Poles were secured, banners were hung, tables were rented and covered with black plastic. 
The crowd was tremendous on Friday AM as the
heavy rain squelched anybody’s plans to work outdoors. The crowd in both buildings was shoulder to shoulder from 10:00AM to 1:00PM before the crowd slacked off slightly. 
Vintage Club members who visited the booth as workers, spectators, customers, or those who darkened the door in any capacity included Rod Wake, Larry Fichter, Mike Mawhirter, Mike Thomas, Wil Banman, Carl Marts and April. Saturday saw the addition of Henry Messerschmidt, Joe Gross,
Walter K. Day, Richard Carlisle, and John Moler. There may have been others who we missed due to the magnitude of the crowd.
The separate car barn was practically full of special interest autos for sale, works in progress for sale, and “barn finds” looking for an interested new owner. The breezeway be
tween two buildings was absolutely stuffed with car bodies, partial car bodies now up for  sale, and front and rear clips from various vintage metal.
 Saturday was very nearly a duplication of the Friday
experience but by 3:00 the crowds had been reduced mostly
to lookers, with few buyers. Some of our club members sold  some nice items for a good price. Some made bargain purchases, but
mostly we cleaned out some garages and workbenches.
Remember Prez’s ad for a few months in the Newsletter for a collection of 8 track tapes?  They all went down the road in one vehicle, bound for Republic, Missouri!

We met some really nice people at the swap meet, and each club picked up a new member.  In our case, Jim Gilson signed up for the Vintage Club and brings a Merlot ’04 into the fold.  Pat Duffy from Newton was snagged by the Classic Club and brings a Thunderbird Blue ’55 to that club. We gained a lot of information about cars
and parts available, and learned some wants and needs of other
Thunderbirders who live a long distance away.  Your Old Editor carried a notepad in his pocket to take notes, names, and numbers as they occurred.  A transcript of those notes is included in a later section of this newsletter for whatever interest it may have for you.
As for our booth, the banners were pulled down and the tables stripped by 3:00 on Saturday as Mike Mawhirter, Carl Johnson, and Prez Rod were the last to leave the booth. Bev Wake, Treasurer of the Classic Club had made payment at the business office for next year’s booth, same location.  Now…read on…

Transcript  of  the  Swap  Meet  Notebook:   
There  were  some abbreviations, but here is what the Old Editor scribbled down in his little pocket notebook at the swap meet, for whatever interest it may hold for you:

Tommie Grace, Haddom, KS  has 55-56-and 57 Thunderbirds

Olin Hollicott 4 used wire wheel covers $200. 5 new wire wheel covers $400

Jim Gilson, ’04 Merlot Bird, Valley Center

Jerry Butts, Piedmont, OK has ’65 Thunderbird, needs tail piece for ’58 ‘Bird,
drivers side  Has 58 doors and mouldings.  Has dual 4 barrel intake manifold

Pat Duffy, Newton, Ks Thunderbird Blue ’55.  Send app
Complete 312 ’56 out of 4-dr. 95,000 miles original, $500

Curtis Johnson, Robert Barbee, Pratt, wants right hand exhaust manifold for ’63 390

Lester Harness, ’56 Bird. Used to be in classic club.  Still has the ‘56

Ken Steffens has ’58. Needs body shop recommendation.

John Moler’s ’60 and ’65 sold at auction

Steve Walker has 3 Birds spotted for sale; ‘64-65…any interest?


Tall  Talk  In  Texas: 
On the weekend of February 17-19 our Pres (wearing his VTCI hat)
and  Secretary  traveled  to  Fort  Worth  for  a “summit meeting” with several Texas movers and shakers to make plans for the SC Regional at Austin.  Also  on the table was the International Convention for 2013 to be held in Houston. Although Rod was wearing his VTCI VP Hat for this meeting, it was also an  eventful meeting for our chapter and others with a lot of good information shared by the six (6) SC Region clubs.  For this, our Prez Rod listened and Secretary Bev took notes.

“The Chill” At The Kansas Pavilion:

Somehow, a car show in the middle of February, named “The Chill” does not sound very tempting.  But we chose to support the Chill and declared that we would  have 10 Thunderbirds registered there.  (We came close, we were able to produce 9) 
We really lucked out on the weather because it was in the high 50’s and 60’s all 3 ½ days of The Chill.

The best time for our participants to take their  cars  to  The  Chill  was  3:30  on
Thursday, February 23.  Eight (8) of our members with their Thunderbirds met at
the Cracker Barrel in nearby Park City to then  travel the short additional distance
to the Pavilion. Walter K. Day and Larry Fichter arrived separately.
Larry and his trailer brought Carl Marts and the hand built booth in which Carl
was to help a lady sell metal automotive related signs, purses and other items using our Thunderbirds as advertising or “bait” to pull in the crowd.  Special, honorable mention goes to Allen Hale who drove their Dusk Rose ’57
to the location with no top! .

Thank God for sock caps and leather jackets!  Only one of
the Thunderbirds conked out just before we reached the Pavilion.  No sense telling which one;  it could have been any of them but
suffice it to say that Jeral Lipps saved the day with his Lincoln  Navigator and Curt Rakestraw’s nylon rope. 
With Secretary Bev as chase car, we all entered the Pavilion
found Carl and Larry waiting for us inside.
 With surprising good luck and an
understanding marshaling
staff we were able
to line the cars up in chronological order to
treat an adoring public to a Thunderbird show
covering most of the Thunderbird series. 
Carl also hung our big banner in the center of the

Here were the cars:
’57 Flame Red ,  Curt and Diana Rakestraw
’57 Dusk Rose,  Allen and Kathy Hale
’59 Red over White,  Tedd Roe
’60 Brandywine Red,  John Moler
’60 Navy Blue,  Larry and Lynda Fichter
’61 Fieldstone Tan Conv,  Rod and Bev Wake
’63 white over Blue  Mike and Ann Mawhirter
’97 Indigo Blue   Walter K. Day (Mark Martin Signature Roush Racing)
’02 Raven Black Conv,  Darryle and Kaye Barth

This show marked the debut of the Barth’s new tonneau cover for their ’02 and boy, did it look sharp!
The show began at noon on Friday with a reported 370 automotive entries, and as many Motorcycles. Our staged area was
located completely to the south side of the last building but anybody walking the length of the show floor had to pass our

 With a facility as huge as the three
buildings making up the Pavilion, it never looks like there is a big crowd although a
few thousand persons attended the show. Carl and April did well with the sign and memorabilia booth and both were happy
 with the results.

Each of our show cars was carrying a brand new dashboard flyer, an idea recently borrowed or stolen from one of the
Texas Thunderbird Clubs in Prez and
Secretary’s recent Fort Worth trip.  Prez adapted the flyer with our beautiful color
logo and all club information and had the flyers laminated and provided for each show car. The flyer made a
handsome advertisement for our club,
for anybody looking inside our cars.

April and Carl’s red booth and sales table held various and sundry automotive related metal signs, jewelry, ladies handbags, and other
for sale.  Our drivers came by for at least part of each day to wipe down the cars and check on the status of their entry,
and our more chatty members visited with, and answered questions from show goers.  We got some good leads and will follow up with
mailings to prospective
Sunday PM was trophy time, and it was not surprising that Curt and Diana Rakestraw’s Colonial White over Flame Red  ’57 took the
first place trophy
(Plaque) in the Thunderbird Division.
Second place went to Darryle and Kaye Barth with the aforementioned  ’02 with the new Tonneau, and Prez and Secretary brought up the
rear with the ’61
Convertible as third place winner.
After the trophy presentations, the doors opened, gas tank caps were untaped and battery cables re-connected as dozens of special
cars including our Thunderbirds
headed for the outside and scattered like a covey of quail.  Fortunately for Allen Hale, (you know,
the ’57 with no top) the outside temperature was 64 degrees for
the drive home.  
Equally fortunate was the driver of the ‘Bird that conked out on
the way to the show, because its run back home was flawless.
So now, with the
show over it is time to reflect, count the assets and liabilities and think about whether we should do it next year or not.


Lois  Johnson  Celebrates  an  Important  Birthday:
Sunday,  March  4  was  the  day  Lois’  family  chose  to
celebrate  a  rather  special  birthday,  and  we  are  all
invited!    Thunderbirds  were  scheduled  to  meet  at
Menards  parking  lot  on  N.  Ridge,  a  Thunderbird
caravan  (plus  a  few  boring  cars)  to  head  north  for
Nickerson  about  12:30PM.  If  the  phrasing  in  this
paragraph is a little weird, it is because the plans have
been made but the event will probably have occurred
by the time you are reading this.  Look for a complete
account in the next Newsletter issue!  If the massive
printing presses for this Newsletter have rolled and you
are  reading  this  before  Sunday,  March  4,  then  sure
hope you have RSVP’d and are planning to join us

When Irish Eyes are Smiling: 

It is probably because they are seeing a row  of  Vintage  and  Classic Thunderbirds at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Delano District.   
parade this year is on March 17, several of us are driving in the parade. 
If you
have not yet said you are driving, call Prez!


Retro Spotter:  More “Retro ‘Bird at a glance” tips
The  Newsletter received some positive comments from the readers after last month’s feature telling how to spot the year of a
2002-2005  Retro ‘Bird at a glance.  At least one other VTCI chapter around the country picked it up and ran
it in their chapter Newsletter. 
Well, after being puffed up by that information the Editor wishes to offer some more details about spotting those cute little
Thunderbirds, this time by color.

Three  basic  colors;  Red,  Black,  and White were offered on all four years, but several colors were offered for one
year only.   There are not that many colors to memorize. If you see a Retro speeding by and cannot spot the
identifying markings, consider the color.
We all know that all cars can be repainted, but at this time most of the Retros still bear their original paint.
That makes it not positive, but helpful about 99% of the time in identifying the year on some Retros simply by their color. 

For example if it is yellow, it must be a 2002.  If it is Cashmere Metallic, it is a 2005.
Read on:

Torch Red
Evening Black
Whisper White
Inspiration Yellow

Thunderbird Blue

Mountain Shadow Gray


Desert Sky Blue




Light Ice Blue Metallic


Vintage Mint Green


Monterey Mist Green




Platinum Silver


Medium Steel Blue

Inca Gold



That said, consider the plight of any Retro Spotter at the SC Regional in Fredricksburg, TX last spring when a 2002 retro showed up with a
special 1957
Dusk Rose paint job applied by the Ford dealer for his showroom!  Not a correct color for the year, but it sure was beautiful
and looked like it belonged there!

Then, consider SE Regional Director James Cassidy’s 2002 which he changed from black to 2005’s Cashmere!  Looks great, and
would fool almost anybody.

Remember, we said 99%, certain.

Lake  Afton---Big  Year  for  Thunderbirds: 

Most  of  you  were present  last  fall  when  our  club,  in  partnership  with  the  Wichita  Classic Thunderbird Club, voted to sponsor the Lake Afton All Wheels Rally for 2012.

Our two clubs accomplished  this with a shared payment of $400 to the
Wichita Area Council of Car Clubs which is the organization in charge of the  Lake Afton show.   
This  gives us an opportunity to highlight the Thunderbird and our
two great Thunderbird Clubs in the Wichita and southern Kansas area as we  have never done before.
 If you check page 19 of the brand new Cruizin Calendar you will see the ad
for Lake Afton.
What does this sponsorship do for us, you ask?
For one thing, the T-Shirts to be sold at the show will picture Thunderbirds.
For another, we get to park our Thunderbirds together in one specific spot
along with any advertising and literature for our clubs we choose.
This is the “largest free open car show in the world” to our knowledge.
Vendors and concessions are plentiful and there is always a great turnout
and crowd. 
Although Lake Afton has experienced its share of rainouts, this will be a
 “Rain or Shine” event and we are hoping for a great day.  So, begin making your plans to have your Thunderbird at Lake Afton on Sunday, June 10!  
If you have a Thunderbird, bring it.  If you have two Thunderbirds, bring both of them.
If you have three Thunderbirds…etc.

 We want to saturate this show with our dynamic presence and show
Wichita how strong our two clubs are in the South Central Kansas area.

 More later.

Prez Hits The Big Time: 
Several months ago Prez wrote an article for
our Newsletter about the 1961 Pace Car/Festival Cars which were prominent at
the 1961 Memorial Day race at Indianapolis.  Well, Prez could not put that story
down and kept researching  and  interviewing and the  article  exploded  into  an
article for The Scoop.  That issue hit our mailboxes a few days ago and hope you
enjoyed it.  If you have not seen it, or if (shudder) you do not yet belong to VTCI,
let Prez know and he will somehow get you a copy of the article.

Regional  and  International  Conventions  Coming  Up:

Folks, it is time to make our reservations for any of the VTCI  Regional Conventions,  and the International!   Our neighbors to the south, 
the South Central Regional will be held in Austin, TX in April. 
Info about that Regional is attached to this Newsletter.

Our own region’s 2012 North Central Regional will be held at Des Moines in June.  
Both these are nice drives from Wichita and are certainly attainable.  Pres
and  Secretary have already
registered for Des Moines.  Larry and Lynda are
planning on Des Moines also, and Vice Pres Mawhirter
has indicated interest.

Both Regional Conventions discussed above are listed in THE SCOOP and we received a special mailing
from Cliff Lieske and Tim Pundt, organizers of our NC
Regional Convention at Des Moines. 
That information was distributed to all our
club members separately, and that NC Regional registration is also attached to this Newsletter.   
And finally, the VTCI International Convention will be held at
Charleston, S.C. starting September 25!
Prez and Secretary are also booked into
that one.

Upcoming Events We plan to Support….a  definite maybe:     

At the February meeting we reviewed upcoming events listed by the Wichita Area Car Club Council and chose those which
the majority wished our club to support with a good presence. 
Those are:

March 4:  Lois Johnson’s Birthday Bash beginning at 1:00PM and ending at 4:00PM

Caravan arranged from Menards on N.  Ridge Road beginning at 12:30PM

March 17:  St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Delano District, beginning at Noon

April  15:    Richard’s Little Dairy Queen Show ‘n’ Shine, Lincoln at Grove, Sunday afternoon 1-5PM

May 19: Salvation Army Benefit Car Show, Camp Hiawatha

June 10: Lake Afton All Wheels Rally sponsored by …..US!....Nuff said, Be there!

June 17: Father’s Day at the Zoo.  Participate individually as you can work it into your plans

June  21-24:  North Central VTCI Convention at Des Moines. Pres and Secretary, and Treasurer and Larry will be there!


The President’s Message

By Rod Wake, Mid-Kansas President

Dear Thunderbirders,
In the current Newsletter we reported on The Chill.  It was a good car show
but  had  some  things  we  would  like  to  see  changed  and  will  have  an
opportunity to give some feedback to the organizers.
One thing that cannot be measured, is the great cooperation we observed
among our members in making our part of this show successful.  To begin
with, nine of our members chose to tie up their car for four days with the hope
of helping Carl and April in their sales for the sign vendor and in return
receive advertising and promotion for our two clubs.   Jeral Lipps volunteered
to drive out and chauffeur back some our members after they had taken their
cars out.  So did Secretary Bev, Ann Mawhirter, and Tedd Roe’s buddy.  What
could not be predicted was the failure of one Vintage ‘Bird in our caravan to
complete the trip without help and Jeral without hesitation hooked onto that
car and pulled it the rest of the way to the show.  This was accomplished only
with an emergency purchase of a Nylon rope by Curt Rakestraw,  with Tedd
Roe running the rope back to the location to make it possible.  Assisting each
other by opening other members’ car doors and hoods to facilitate the judging,
by wiping down other members’ cars, and answering questions for the crowd
was also done without hesitation.  This kind of show also necessitates at least
3 or 4 trips out with your standard car to maintain and  look after the show car.
Carl and family made the booth themselves, and Larry and Lynda Fichter
provided lots of help with their trailer, their automobilia table fabrics  and
assistance in the sales booth.
After the show was over, arrangements were made to follow the ailing ‘Bird
home to assure it made it safely, and we are happy to announce the car ran
home flawlessly. Everybody in the club had one mission in mind; promote the
club and the Vintage Thunderbird hobby.  It just reinforces our idea that the
Thunderbird Club is made up of a great bunch of people and it is gratifying
each time I see members of our club continuing to enjoy doing things together.
All this assists and promotes the Thunderbird Hobby and maintains interest
in these Vintage Thunderbirds.
Thanks to all of you who helped make our showing at The Chill, a success!


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!



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:

Folks, it has been said many times, “to each his own.”  That could well be the caption for this little Retro Bird that showed up at the 2011 NC Regional  Convention  at  Fort  Wayne,  Indiana.   

What  is  really interesting about this one is that it was bought and cherished by an older gentleman who preferred to accessorize it rather than drive it.
When  he  could  no  longer  take  care  of  it  his  family  sold  it  to  the gentleman who brought it to the Convention…..with 800 miles on the odometer!    In  that  way,  for  a  short  period  of  time  at  least,  this
Thunderbird is also “Unique in all the World.”






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.

Click on ad to visit


March 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: