A Chapter of Vintage
Thunderbird Club International, Inc. (VTCI)
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
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
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
Royce Taylor’s Flame
Red ’57, Allen and Kathy Hale’s Dusk
Rod and Bev
Wake’s Fieldstone Tan ’61 Conv; Henry
Metallic ’70 4-door Brougham, Sal DeLucia’s
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
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,
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
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
Whatever is not used for
its intended purpose is to go
into a trust for Jenny’s
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!
Road Trip to Fort Larned:
with the cry of “Head ‘em up, move ‘em out,” our Classic ,Vintage,
Retro Thunderbirds headed west
Fort Larned on Saturday, September 24!
Menard’s parking lot on N. Maize Road at 9:00AM, Prez Rod
the Vintage Club herded the flock to Av and Lois’s country estate
on the north outskirts of Nickerson, Kansas.
they stopped for a quick rest room break and for some of the
to ogle over Lois and Av’s collections.
was Av and Lois’s event, so they took charge from that point
From there, we were led by wagonmasters Av Johnson
Lois in their ’05 Cashmere Thunderbird.
were followed by Rod and Bev Wake’s Vintage Mint ’04,
and Rosemary Hufford in their Merlot ’04, Darryle and Kaye
in their Raven Black ’02, Mike and Ann Mawhirter in their
over Diamond Blue ‘63 hardtop and Jim Winter and Classic
Prez Royce Taylor in Jim’s Flame red ’57.
Jim’s Classic Bird was Richard and Susan Carlisle
Donnie Edwards in Carlisle's SUV.
west through the Cheyenne Bottoms, the wildlife
bird preserve it was ’Birds driving past the birds but we had
mission in mind;
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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
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!
Elections Coming Up:
will be approximately 6 weeks from now at the November 17 business meeting.
officers are up for re-election annually, and now is the time to offer
your services to the
for whatever position you would like to hold. That includes the incumbents,
have to register their willingness to serve another term by notifying
register your intentions, or nominate another club member (with their
any of the club positions: President, Vice President, Secretary,
Club Plans For 2011—A Definite Maybe
are the events the club voted to support as a group during 2011 plus
additions through the year.
we are still viewing through thewrap around windshield are:
2: All Ford Day,
next month's Newsletter for a full report
Stage Show, Museum, or similar activities pending
trip! The Mid-Kansas Vintage Club is invited to
the Vintage Thunderbirds of Kansas City at Lindsborg and McPherson.
are invited to join them for shopping in Lindsborg’s several neat shops,
for supper Saturday night at the Swedish
KC Group is staying at the Swedish
Country Inn at Lindsborg on Saturday
October 15 and leaving for McPherson at 9:00 next morning for a
tour of the McPherson College Automobile Restoration Facility.
are also welcome for that tour.
we are invited to stay overnight in Lindsborg with the KC club,
I knew the hotel was filled for that night.
hotels and motels are available nearby, particularly in McPherson for
who plan to take the McPherson College tour.
departure time from Wichita and other details will be provided by separate
Emails and mailings pending the exchange of information with the
4: This will be an all
new format for the Wichita Classic/Mid-
Vintage Christmas Party.
one will be held in the Tower Room at the
will be dining in a private dining room downstairs at the Hilton.
back up to our Tower Room for final festivities.
a beautiful event that should be!
Rod Wake, Mid-Kansas President
2011 was not too good for car activities, with 51 consecutive days of temperatures
degrees. But, some beautiful late summer and early autumn days followed
and we have had some
nice Thunderbird events chronicled in this Newsletter.
believe our planning session early in the year paid off, as we planned
our events, and worked our plan.
had a severe bump in the road when our club, along with several thousand
small clubs throughout the
due to a nationwide misunderstanding, had our tax-exempt status revoked
by the Internal Revenue
due to a nationwide misunderstanding of the rules.
exemption is important for our fund raisers, and tax status as urged by
opportunity was given to all the small corporations, however, to get reinstated.
All we had to do was
explain our reason for not filing annual returns, and pay again a reduced
one-time fee to keep our status.
had serious discussion about the need for the exemption, but over a two
meeting time span, the
was made to file for reinstatement.
prepared the forms and filed and paid the fee last week in September and
we hope, “‘nuff said.”
you read through this Newsletter, hope you again see what an important
part our parent club,
Vintage Thunderbird Club International, Inc., plays in our activities.
you don’t belong to VTCI, please consider joining. Apply on line
at VTCI, get an app from a copy of
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
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!
forget who helps make all our activities possible;
Thunderbird Club International, Inc.
you do not belong to VTCI, join today!
Bird Watchers Alert!
spotted at this time
Big Bird Bazaar:
Parts and Services
or sources of service for our Birds are free to club members, but business
card size ads run $60 per year.
less than $5 per issue ‘cause we usually run 14 editions per year.
What have you to sell?
& 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
Good straight body, but
needs interior work and paint.
Located in Wichita. Price
for 1964 Thunderbird.
block or whole engine.
of them ranging from swing, big band,
every pop tune you ever heard from the
70’s. Drop Dead Reasonable.
won’t believe how reasonable.
you have a rare 8 track player in your
car, you need some of these!
you need an 8-track player to hook onto
home stereo unit, one of them is
Call Prez for details.
Larry also saw this one in Wichita. Gold in color, Asking
$7,000. Call David at 833-1024
Used, but the inside is
|1966 Thunderbird Landau: 390,
4V, PS, PB. Air, Light blue original paint,
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
Mike Poston at 816-898-1067
Lees Summit area
from the Water Wonderland Thunderbird Club:
For sale; 1964-66
Upper Back Panel Limit Switch, rebuilt
by Certified Rebuilders
Pat Wilson’s TBird parts. It was never installed since being rebuilt.
Release Vacuum Cannister, new, $30
Cowl to Fender
reinforcement tubes for 1964-66 convertible $25.00
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
we eat, then we meet!
I can’t stop singing the Green, Green Grass of Home”
sounds like the Tom Jones Syndrome”
It’s Not Unusual!”