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

Our Thunderbirds Help To Get Justice For Jenny:

Jennifer Heckel, a 2008 graduate of Wichita State University and former employee of Star Lumber at Wichita was shot and killed in her home in Hutchinson earlier this summer by an
unknown person or persons. If  more details were  known,  perhaps the crime would have already been solved and the Justice for Jenny car show at Star Lumber on Sunday, 
September 18, 2011 would not have been necessary.  But the fact remains that the murder was unsolved; clues were few and additional money was needed to 
beef up the reward fund to hopefully solve this murder. 

Beginning  at  10:00 AM,  our Thunderbirds  arrived  early  for  the show, braving the
strong possibility of thundershowers,  to  be  lined  up  in chronological order in a 
special place on  Star  Lumber’s  lot. 
Although  83 rods,  customs,  antiques and classics quickly followed for the 
11:00AM show, our  ‘Birds were displayed in a choice location, thanks to Wichita 
Classic Club member and Star Lumber employee Allen Hale.

Thunderbirds from the Mid-Kansas Vintage Thunderbird Club, and the Wichita 
Classic Thunderbird Club lined up in the following order: 
Richard and Susan Carlisle’s  Thunderbird  Blue  ’55,  Wendell Jack’s Colonial White  ’56, 
Royce Taylor’s  Flame  Red  ’57,  Allen  and  Kathy  Hale’s  Dusk  Rose  ’57, 
Rod  and  Bev Wake’s  Fieldstone  Tan  ’61  Conv;  Henry  and  Anita 
Messerschmidt’s  Burgundy Metallic  ’70 4-door  Brougham,  Sal  DeLucia’s  Bronze  ’77, 
Larry  and  Lynda Fichter’s Mountain Shadow Gray ’03 with hardtop, and Jim Winter’s ’56 
Fiesta Red and Raven Black Crown Victoria Skyliner. 

Great door prizes, great vintage music, a smoking barbeque of hamburgers, brats, 
and hot dogs provided a great car  show  environment.
Lots  of spectators  came by and enjoyed talking with us about our Thunderbirds 
and the various model years involved. 
Roving photographer Jack Wake provided the photos for this article, and all our efforts 
went toward contributing to the fund to hopefully in some way help bring justice for Jenny!


Vintage Club members who helped make the show a success included 
Susan and Richard  Carlisle,  Royce Taylor,  Rod and Bev  Wake, 
Henry and Anita Messerschmidt, Sal DeLucia, Larry and
Lynda Fichter, Kress and Klyda Fall, Carl Marts with April, Austin, and Alec. 

One New Member packet was given out to a visitor with a 
white ’80 Thunderbird. 

Also helping make the show a success were Wichita Classic 
Thunderbird members Allen and Kathy Hale, Wendell Jack, Jim 
Winter and Sue Benish.

The day turned out to be beautiful.  In what part of the country
can you leave for a car show with dark gray skies, raindrops on the 
windshield, wearing a warm jacket and at the end of the day have a 
fresh sunburn?  Kansas, that’s where!

Jenny Heckel’s 5-year old son got to pick the Best of Show. 
The little tyke picked a  flip-bodied  Funny Car as his first choice. 
After  all  was  settled,  Allen  Hale reports that the show cleared
approximately $8,000.00  for the Justice for Jenny fund.

There can be no good ending to a story like this, but one positive 
note occurred on Thursday after our Sunday show and fund raiser. 
Authorities in Reno County charged two men, held on another matter, 
with Jenny Heckel’s murder. 
Did the Star  Lumber  show’s  $8,000  help  in  some  way? 

We  will  always  think  so.

Whatever is not used for its intended purpose is to go 
into a trust for Jenny’s son.

Thunderbird Road Trip to Fort Larned: 
Yes, with the cry of “Head ‘em up, move ‘em out,” our Classic ,Vintage, 
and Retro Thunderbirds headed west 
for  Fort Larned on Saturday, September  24! 
Leaving Menard’s parking lot on N. Maize Road at 9:00AM, Prez Rod 
of the Vintage Club herded the flock to Av and Lois’s country estate 
just on the north outskirts of Nickerson, Kansas. 
There they stopped for a quick rest room break and for some of the
newcomers to ogle over Lois and Av’s  collections.

This was Av and Lois’s event, so they took charge from that point 
forward. From there, we were led by wagonmasters Av Johnson 
and Lois in their ’05 Cashmere Thunderbird. 
They were followed by Rod and Bev Wake’s Vintage Mint  ’04, 
Lee and Rosemary Hufford in their Merlot ’04, Darryle and Kaye 
Barth in their Raven Black ’02, Mike and Ann Mawhirter in their 
white over Diamond Blue ‘63 hardtop and Jim Winter and Classic 
Club Prez Royce Taylor in Jim’s  Flame  red  ’57.
Following Jim’s Classic Bird was Richard and Susan Carlisle 
And Donnie Edwards in Carlisle's SUV.

Traveling west through the Cheyenne Bottoms, the wildlife 
and bird preserve it  was  ’Birds driving past the birds but we had a 
common mission  in  mind;



The Pizza Hut at Larned, Kansas was the happy recipient of our business. We were seated at a long basement table and boy, did that Pizza taste good! 
During lunch, Royce Taylor and Rod Wake compared notes about the members in attendance.  Although this was a Classic Club event, all Classic Clubbers wore their new red club shirts, 
all but two in attendance were also Mid-Kansas Vintage Club members. 
All but two were Classic Club members.  In other words, almost all the participants were our “Straddlers” who belong to both clubs. Interesting, huh?

Then, we caravanned on to historic Fort Larned just outside of town. 
Fort Larned is operated by the U. S. National Parks Service and is a great, well kept secret.
Fort  Larned’s  original  sandstone  buildings  are  preserved in almost all their original configuration—only the privy’s and the stables are not saved or reproduced—and these buildings are
filled with period fittings and equipment as a living museum. One can only imagine how ominous it must have been in the 1800’s to live in an outpost on the Kansas prairie. Life at the Fort
from 1861 through the turn of the century is well explained by the reconstructed exhibits.  It was just like in the movies, except this was real! All blacksmith tools, cooking utensils, hospital
facilities, powder storage, and officers quarters were particularly interesting. 
This was just one more piece of evidence which makes all of us proud to be Kansans!

After  sufficient  time  on  the  boardwalks taking our self guided tour it was time to head back to Larned, Kansas and the Sonic  Drive-In for a good sit-down refreshment break. 
The townsfolks found our Thunderbirds particularly interesting and some came over to look at them and ask a few questions. 
Same way at the Pizza Hut earlier in the day.  Two of the Thunderbirds—we won’t divulge which ones, but both were built before 1964—needed gas before the return trip and
we all waited until the tanks were topped off.
We  had  a  really  nice  fun  run  and  experience,  and  Av  and  Lois  are  to  be congratulated for putting together a wonderful fall event.


Now  It  Can  Be  Told: 
For some time our North Central Regional Director Ed Elzinga of Holland, Michigan has been urging a 2012 North Central Regional convention. 
Cliff Lieske of Thunderbirds Midwest, and Tim Pundt of Vintage Thunderbirds of Kansas City, both experienced at organizing Regionals have been 
negotiating for a site and just this week finalized a site in Des Moines!
The dates will be June 21, 22, and  23rd  2012.
That means that neither of the organizers are from the city where it will be held, and in addition to the Mid America T-Birds of Iowa Chapter in 
Des Moines, volunteers from other North Central Chapters---such as Mid-Kansas---will be asked to provide assistance. 
I have assured them that our club will help where possible after we hear what they need. This event will be held at the Living Farms in Des Moines. 
We’ll keep you posted!

 Club Elections Coming Up:

Elections will be approximately 6 weeks from now at the November 17 business meeting. 
All officers are up for re-election annually, and now is the time to offer your services to the 
club for whatever position you would like to hold.  That includes the incumbents, as all 
incumbents have to register their willingness to serve another term  by notifying 
Secretary Bev. 

Either register your intentions, or nominate another club member  (with their  permission) 
for any of the club  positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.


  Club Plans For 2011—A Definite Maybe

These are the events the club voted to support as a group during 2011 plus
some additions through the year. 
Those we are still viewing through thewrap around windshield are:

October 2:  All Ford Day, Camp Hiawatha. 

OOPS it's over!

See next month's Newsletter for a full report

November:  Stage Show, Museum, or similar activities pending
October 15-16:  Road trip!  The Mid-Kansas Vintage Club is invited to
join the Vintage Thunderbirds of Kansas City at Lindsborg and McPherson.

We are invited to join them for shopping in Lindsborg’s several neat shops,
and for supper Saturday night at the Swedish Crown Restaurant
The KC Group  is  staying  at  the  Swedish Country Inn at Lindsborg on Saturday
night, October 15 and leaving for McPherson at 9:00 next morning for a
special tour of the McPherson College Automobile Restoration Facility
We are also welcome for that tour. 
Although we are invited to stay overnight in Lindsborg with the KC club, 
last I knew the hotel was filled for that night.
Other hotels and motels are available nearby, particularly in McPherson for
those who plan to take the McPherson College tour. 
The departure time from Wichita and other details will be provided by separate Emails  and mailings pending the exchange of information with the KC Club.

December 4: This will be an all new format for the Wichita Classic/Mid-
Kansas Vintage Christmas Party. 
This one will be held in the Tower Room at the Airport  Hilton
We  will be dining in a private dining room downstairs at  the Hilton. 
Then,  back up to our Tower Room for final festivities. 

What a beautiful event that should be!


The President’s Message
By Rod Wake, Mid-Kansas President

Dear Thunderbirders,

 Mid-summer 2011 was not too good for car activities, with 51 consecutive days of temperatures over 
100 degrees.  But, some beautiful late summer and early autumn days followed and we have had some 
very nice Thunderbird events chronicled in this Newsletter.
I believe our planning session early in the year paid off, as we planned our events, and worked our plan.

We had a severe bump in the road when our club, along with several thousand small clubs throughout the 
U.S. due to a nationwide misunderstanding,  had our tax-exempt status revoked by the Internal Revenue
Service due to a nationwide misunderstanding of the rules.
This exemption is important for our fund raisers, and tax status as urged by the VTCI. 
An opportunity was given to all the small corporations, however, to get reinstated.  All we had to do was 
re-file, explain our reason for not filing annual returns, and pay again a reduced one-time fee to keep our status. 
We had serious discussion about the need for the exemption, but over a two meeting time span, the 
decision was made to file for reinstatement. 
I prepared the forms and filed and paid the fee last week in September and we hope, “‘nuff said.”

As you read through this Newsletter, hope you again see what an important part our parent club, 
the Vintage Thunderbird Club International, Inc., plays in our activities. 
If you don’t belong to VTCI, please consider joining.  Apply on line at VTCI, get an app from a copy of
The Scoop, or see me for details.



Two Thunderbird Antennas met on a fender, fell in love and got married.
The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent!


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!

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 Hardtop:  Jim Goolsby is selling his ’62 Thunderbird.  It has standard 390 with Power steering, brakes, Cruise-O-matic, skirts.  Rust free,
does not leak oil.  Drives great.  New radial tires in the last year, new left and right glass channels by Lewis Street Glass, new exhaust by American Muffler, complete front end rebuild with shocks by Axle and Wheel Alignment. 
Arizona car, shows 58,000 miles. 
Good straight body, but needs interior work and paint.
Located in Wichita. Price is $4,000.00
Jim Goolsby
Wanted: 390 for 1964 Thunderbird. 
Short block or whole engine.
Carl Marts 
8 Track Tapes! 
180 of them ranging from swing, big band, 
to every pop tune you ever heard from the 
early 70’s.  Drop Dead Reasonable. 
You won’t believe how reasonable.
If you have a rare 8 track player in your 
mid-70’s car, you need some of these! 
If you need an 8-track player to hook onto 
your home stereo unit, one of them is 
available also.
Call Prez for details.
1964 Thunderbird:  Larry also saw this one in Wichita.  Gold in color, Asking
$7,000.  Call David at 833-1024
. 1961 Thunderbird Shop Manual
Used, but the inside is perfect.
Call Prez
1966 Thunderbird Landau: 390, 4V, PS, PB. Air, Light blue original paint,
two tone blue interior, nice original exhaust system (cracked exhaust manifold, with replacement included) very little rust, needs vinyl top, good tires, runs rough and last licensed August 1971.  56,000 original miles…recent barn find. 
$5,000 OBO
Call Mike Poston at 816-898-1067
in Lees Summit area
. This from the Water Wonderland Thunderbird Club:
For sale; 1964-66 Upper Back Panel Limit Switch, rebuilt by Certified Rebuilders
through Pat Wilson’s TBird parts.  It was never installed since being rebuilt.

1964-66 Brake Release Vacuum Cannister, new, $30

Cowl to Fender reinforcement tubes for 1964-66 convertible $25.00

Call Larry, 517-552-4655, from Water Wonderlands.

2004 Retro Thunderbird:
Larry Fichter saw this one in Winfield, Kansas.
Red body and Hard Top, Sand interior and soft top.   23,000 miles and asking
$24,000.00. 620-221-6616
. .




First we eat, then we meet!

“Doc, I can’t stop singing the Green, Green Grass of Home”

“That sounds like the Tom Jones Syndrome”

“Is it common?”

“Well, It’s Not Unusual!”

Current Officers
J. Rodney Wake
Vice President:
Richard Carlisle
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: