Celebrating the original Ford Thunderbird   

      from 1955, 1956, and 1957

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Recent Events                         

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Johnsburg Parade - 2022


Rain on Sunday morning, September 11, did not discourage 9 members who had signed up to drive their cars in the annual Saufen und Spiel Parade in Johnsburg. We met for coffee, potato casserole and baked goods at the home of Len and Mary Keil. The cars were lined up and we had a police escort to the parade staging area. The rain sort of stopped before the parade began, and the route was lined with a number of onlookers. The drivers and their Johnsburg Village officials tossed candy to eager kids of all ages. Those who were not driving in the parade convened at a local tavern and made friends. There are no pictures of the cars (4 ‘birds, 2 retros and 3 others) actually driving in the parade. Following the parade, the drivers were given tickets for "adult beverages". It started to rain in earnest, and we stayed under a tent until it let up a little – we got soaked anyway. Back at the Keils', while our clothes and shoes were in the dryer (Mary loaned some clothes and slippers), we enjoyed hot dogs, chili and potato salad prepared by Mary. The drivers, and those who went to the tavern, were Gordon Gluff, Art Hahl, Bob Hoge, Len Keil and Mary, Larry Kelly and Karen, Dan Mrozek, Ken Smizinski and Kathy, Len Vinyard and Irene, and Liz Werth. Rose Kovalenko and Pete and Lisa Ekstrom came to cheer us on. We thank Mary and Len for all the hard work they put in to making it a very enjoyable, all be it wet, day.

Mount Prospect Cruise Night

         Once again, it was 33 of us gathering in the Mount Prospect train station parking lot on Saturday, July 30th, for the BluesMobile Cruise Night sponsored by the Lions Club. Bob Sroka brought a tent and Liz Werth brought two tables. Ken and Kathy Smizinski had pre-ordered 9 delicious pizzas which were delivered right to the tent. They also supplied beverages for the group. CTCC donated to the Lions Club in support of their missions. Attendees enjoyed looking at the cars and talking with each other. The perfect weather added to the enjoyment of the evening. CTCCers taking part in the evening included Dan & Karen Anderson, Lee Bakakos, Bill & Jane Balogh, Joe & Barb Esdale, Pete Ekstrom, Gordon Gluff, Art Hahl, Len & Mary Keil and Toni (Len’s daughter in town from Texas), Larry & Karen Kelly, Marylu & son Steve Kramer, Rose Kovalenko, Dan Mrozek, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Bob & Barb Sroka, Len & Irene Vinyard, Bob & Sue Wenderski, Liz Werth, Jim & Jane Wilson, and Madeline Zambon

Summer Drive

It was a little warm, but we still had a great day on June 16.  The group met at the Pritchetts’ house in the morning for coffee and donuts where Dan got to show off his new 1939 Hudson, before heading out to Randy Yockeys’ house.  Randy owns Friendly Ford in Roselle, and he has collected automobile artifacts for most of his life.  His collection includes an exact model of a Sinclair Gas Station, numerous antique cars, a soda fountain (where we enjoyed glasses of root beer served up by our own Kathy Smizinski) and much more!


We left the Yockeys’ house and for 15 miles meandered along country roads before arriving at our destination - the Open Range Southwest Grill.  Thanks to Randy for hosting us.  Thanks to our attendees - Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Art Hahl, Gail Hascek & Mike Detty, Larry & Karen Kelly, Len & Mary Keil, Sandy Kraatz, Jerry & Doreen Michna, Dan & Melinda Pritchett, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Liz Werth, Jim & Jane Wilson and Madeline Zambon.

by Melinda Pritchett


2022 CTCC Tech Session

Our annual CTCC Tech Session was held on May 14, 2022, at Chicago Parts & Sound in Elk Grove Village, IL. Bob Lederer, the owner of this high-end restoration shop was our host, assisted by David Hansen and David Phillips.

We had free reign of the shops to view Packard’s and other classics in various stages of restoration. Parts for orphan antiques have to be fabricated from blocks of steel based on computer simulations. Areas of restoration from welding, engine rebuilding, upholstery, and paintings are done on site. Bob had several of his own cars among the works in process including Chrysler 300 Letter cars.

After we finished coffee and donuts, Ken began his presentation, which stressed yearly maintenance on our cars, notably when we get them out to begin driving in the spring.

Members in attendance included Dan Anderson, Sean Bickerton, Laura and Mike Cielenski, Joe Esdale, Tim Fossa, Joe and Melinda Fox, Charles Freund, Gordon Gluff, Art Hahl, Roger Huber, Len Keil, Larry Kelly, Barry Konigsford, Sandy Kraatz, Jerry Michna, Dan Mrozek, Len Vinyard  Lloyd Schellin, Ken Smizinski, Bob Sroka, Bob Wenderski, Liz Werth, Jim Wilson, Tom Wolfe, and Kami Woody. John Arpan joined us from the Model A Club, Ken Rudolphy joined us as a guest of Liz Werth and Bob Markert and Jim Sikora joined us from the Illinois Region of AACA.

By Jim Wilson