Last Years Fun Times ! 


The Annual Holiday Party was held on December 7TH at the Alpine Haus Banquets in Westchester.  Forty-Five club members came out to celebrate the Holiday Season which began with cocktails and appetizers. Members mingled and spread good cheer as holiday music played in the background. After, a delicious dinner was served which consisted of soup and salad, Pork Tenderloin, Beef and Chicken along with potatoes and carrots. To finish off the meal was Apple Strudel and coffee.

 As usual, after dinner Ken pulled names for the door-prize raffles. Everyone at the end of the evening went home with some gifts along with a bottle of wine and very stuffed tummies.  Many thanks to Ken & Kathy Smizinksi for planning yet again a wonderful Holiday Party. As always, another fun night was had by all.





Those in attendance were: Dan & Karen Anderson, Bill & Jane Balogh, Sean Bickerton, Marcy Burhop, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Art Hahl, Gail Hascek and her guest Gloria Nelson, Peter & Katie Hauser, Roger & Helen Huber, Larry & Karen Kelly, Len & Mary Keil, Pete & Marylu Kramer, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Jerry & Pat Peterson, Dan & Melinda Pritchett, Bob & Barb Sroka. Gordon Gluff and Mary Ziemba, Madeline Zambon, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard and Bob & Sue Wenderski, Liz Werth, Jim & Jane Wilson and Tom & Alice Wolfe.       

– Submitted by Laura Cielenski

6th Annual Turkey Dinner 

By Melinda Pritchett


For the past six years the Illinois Region Model A Club has been hosting the annual Turkey Dinner.  It is held a the  Elburn Lions Club where their members cook and serve dinner to the attendees.  This is one of the ways that the Lions Club raises money for their various charitable events.  This year guests attended from four Model A Clubs, the Model T Club, the V8 Club, the local Studebaker Club and our TBird club. 

Ten Model As, two Studebakers, two V8s, and a 42 Plymouth Pick Up truck were brought out. Liz Werth, Len Kiel, and Melinda Pritchett drove their baby birds. 

Members attending were Len, Mary, and Toni Keil, Liz Werth, the Vinyards, the Smizinskis, the Cielenskis, Gail Hascek, Gloria Nelson, the Petersons, the Kellys, the Kramers, the Wilsons, and the Pritchetts.   

The Fabyan Villa & Japanese Gardens 

by Karen Kelly 


We had a bright, blue, almost warm in the sun day for our outing to the Fabyan Villa and Gardens in Geneva, Illinois on Columbus Day.  Twenty-four T-Birders met in the upper parking lot as we waited for our docents to greet us. 


A little background: George Fabyan and his wife Nelle purchased 350 acres of land in Geneva. He achieved his wealth the old-fashioned way; he inherited his father’s business.  The business was fabric and the break-through discovery were seersucker. There’s a debate whether he inherited one or three million dollars. Whichever is true, either amount was quite substantial in the early 1900’s.


Fabyan funded experiments in various disciplines, one of the most important being cryptology. He established laboratories for research. He had unusual animals on the grounds including monkeys, a bear, prized cows and a zebra. Numerous people were in his employ and lived on the grounds. He would take credit for the work of others but would open the grounds to the townspeople in the summer.








We were split into two groups, one headed to the Villa and one to the Japanese Garden. Both sites had their own highlights. 


The Gardens were beautiful, serene and green. We walked the pathways, climbed up and down the bridges, the largest being the Moon Bridge. We learned about the aesthetics and design of a traditional Japanese Garden. This was my favorite part of the visit.


The Villa was smaller than I expected. Originally a farmhouse, it was redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright. Much of what we learned touring the house related to Wright and his Prairie School design elements. 


All enjoyed the tour of this unusual property. I would have preferred a little more history of George Fabyan and a little less Frank Lloyd Wright, but a nice tour, nonetheless.


The group drove into Geneva and lunched at the Geneva Ale House. Service was great, food was good. The best deal was 

“Mystery Beer” for $3.00.  The bartender reaches in the cooler and what he pulls out is what you get. 


Thanks to the Bruins, Laura Cielenski, Gail Hascek and her friend Gloria Nelson, Srokas, Schellins, Smizinskis, Petersons, Pritchetts, Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Kramers, Vinyards and Liz Werth for for joining us. 


If anyone is interested, Larry Potash had a Backstory episode about Fabyan. I found the book, “The Woman Who Smashed Codes” by Jason Fagone to be great. The author goes into the background of Fabyan, and how he met and started Elizabeth Friedman on her journey to become the premier U.S. code breaker. Really a great read.


This is your history lesson for the month. Class will resume in January.


Professor K. Kelly, MBS

Fall Tour - The Mighty Mississippi Adventure

The Fall Tour started out Sunny and a bit brisk as the club members congregated at the DeKalb Oasis. Mike & Laura handed out the packets of information for the tour along with survival kits and water.


We headed west to Fulton, Il. with 8 Baby Birds, 4 Retros and 1 daily driver. We headed out on I88 and then we traveled on the old Lincoln Highway (Rt 30). When we reached the Dutch Windmill in Fulton, we were greeted by Debi Ervin who is the Director of Tourism for Fulton. Debi was dressed in Dutch attire and went to each car to welcome the members to the Windmill. The block was closed for our cars to park in front of the Windmill, which made for great pictures.

After our tours in Fulton, we headed across the Mississippi River to Clinton IA., where we had lunch at the Candlelight Inn overlooking the River. When we were finished with lunch, we then headed back over the River and had a leisurely drive down the Great River Road to Moline, Il.  Our final destination for the day was the hotel (The Radisson on John Deere Commons).


Friday morning brought sprinkles and some heavy rain.  We headed back over the River to LeClaire, IA riding on the Great River Road of Iowa. We caravanned to the Buffalo Bill Museum. There we toured the Museum itself which is focused on not only Buffalo Bill but the life along the Mississippi River and local history of LeClarie. After our tour we headed up the hill to the Crane & Pelican for lunch. Our lunch was held in an old River Boat Captains home over-looking the River. Luckily the rain departed, and it just was cloudy as the afternoon was open for members to visit LeClaire and its shops, Antique Archeology (the American Pickers), Mississippi Distillery and or Wide River Winery. That evening we headed down the street to the Celebration Belle Paddlewheel Boat for the Captains Dinner Dance. We had two large tables with a buffet dinner and entertainment. The sun ended up peeking out as we set sail which made for a beautiful sunset.

Saturday morning, we headed up the street to the Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center. For lunch we headed back to the River House Bar & Grill and then headed back over the River to Davenport IA., to the German American Heritage Museum where we learned about the German Immigrants that came over to the area. That evening we walked across the street to Johnny’s Italian Restaurant for dinner.

Sunday, Our Homeward Bound Day was gloomy, but spirits were high since Members were happy, they “Survived the Mighty Mississippi Adventure”. We headed out mid-morning and stopped for Lunch in Rochelle, Il. Our lunch spot was the Flight Deck Bar & Grill at the Rochelle Airport.

The Mighty Mississippi Survivors were: Tom & Judy Bruin, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Pete & Marylu Kramer, Dean & Beth Molburg, Jerry & Pat Peterson, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Bob & Sue Wenderski, Liz Werth, Jim & Jane Wilson, Madeline Zambon & Judith Mitchell.

By Laura Cielenski

Annual Johnsburg Parade

Light rain on Sunday morning, September 8, did not deter any of the 17 members who had signed up to drive their cars in the annual Saufen und Spiel Parade in Johnsburg. We met for coffee 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 stopped before the parade began and the route was lined with lots of onlookers. The drivers and their Johnsburg Village officials tossed candy to eager kids of all ages. Following the parade, the drivers were given tickets for "adult beverages". A minor mishap involving a tractor and its flatbed added some drama to the afternoon. Back at the Keils' we enjoyed sloppy Joes, hot dogs, salads and other delicious foods prepared by Mary.



















The drivers, and their spouses who viewed the parade from the sidelines, were Dan Anderson, Tom Bruin and Judy, Ron Caminiti, Art Hahl, Bob Hoge and Helen, Len Keil and Mary, Larry Kelly and Karen, Pete Kramer and MaryLu, Beth Molberg and Dean, Dan Mrozek, Jerry Peterson, Dan Pritchett and Melinda, Lloyd Schellin and Joan, Ken Smizinski and Kathy, Len Vinyard and Irene, Liz Werth, and Jim Wilson. We thank Mary and Len for all of the hard work they put in to making it a very enjoyable day.  By Liz Werth

Annual Picnic

Yet another year with great weather and a wonderful turnout to the Annual Picnic on the Schellin Farm. There were plenty of appetizers along with delicious sides to accompany the juicy pork chops, burgers and hot dogs.


Those in attendance: Dan Anderson, Bill & Jane Balogh, Lee & Gina Bakakos, Tom & Judy Bruin, Marcy Burhop, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Pete & Lisa Ekstrom, Joe & Barb Esdale, Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Gail Hascek, Bob & Helen Hoge, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Jerry & Doreen Michna, Dan Mrozek & ArleneDan Mrozek Jr., Jerry & Pat Peterson, Dan & Melinda Pritchett, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Bob & Barb Sroka, Len & Irene Vinyard, Liz Werth and Jim & Jane Wilson                                                                                                                                                                     

Mt. Prospect Cruise Night 

The weather could not have been more ideal for the BluesMobile Cruise Night by The Mount Prospect Lions Club held on Saturday, July 27. Our parking was on the shady side of the parking lot. After many years of being active participants in the Thunderbird night, the CTCC Board voted to make a donation to the Mt. Prospect Lions Club in support of their efforts. Twenty-seven CTCCers and a few of their friends enjoyed delicious pizza, cold beverages and cookies while people admired the seven little birds and a couple of other classics from our club. We put up a tent but quickly took it down when the gusty wind threatened to carry it away. We missed quite a few "regulars" who had other obligations.


Those in attendance were: Dan & Karen Anderson, Lee & Gina Bakakos, Bill & Jane Balogh, Tom & Judy Bruin, Peter & Lisa Ekstrom, Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Art Hahl, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Peter & Steve Kramer, Jerry & Pat Peterson, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Bob Sroka, Len & Irene Vinyard, and Liz Werth.

Porep Collection/Hayride/Bonfire

A group of us drove up to Roger Porep’s Car Collection & Memorabilia while some of the ladies stayed back on the farm to converse. The collection was made up of many cars, trucks, tractors and motorcycles of various years. Some being restored and others waiting for the chance to come back to life. The car collection was nestled in the former Porep Dairy Farm and were stored in 4 large buildings with another building being built. The main dairy barn’s upper level was transformed into a memorabilia museum of old-time signs, clocks, cars, juke boxes, bars, ice cream station, and much more. It was truly amazing.

After our visit we returned to the Schellin farm for a hayride around the farm. Our leader, Lloyd, led the way through the fields where corn and soybean would grow and up to the hog/steer farm area. As we sat on the bales of hay in the wagon, Lloyd would make various stops and explain a little bit about the operations of the farm. When we returned, we dined on appetizers, Italian beef sandwiches, pasta and salads along with a variety of desserts.

Those in attendance: Bill & Jane Balogh, Tom & Judy Bruin, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Joe & Barb Esdale, Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Gail Hascek, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Jerry & Doreen Michna, Dan Mrozek and Arlene, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Liz Werth, Jim & Jane Wilson.

Hay Ride
Porep Collection
Porep Collection
Porep Collection
Porep Collection
Porep Collection
Porep Collection
Porep Collection
Hay Ride
Hay Ride
Hay Ride

Spring Tour to Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Thank you to the 24 members who participated in our Spring Tour.  We hope all enjoyed.  We certainly don’t want to get swelled heads, but the weather was near perfect.  Saturday and Sunday were warm and sunny. Our activities for those days took place outside and, being we had no “plan B” if it rained, there were two very relieved trip leaders!

The Iowa-80 Kitchen at the World’s Largest Truck Stop reserved a private room for our group to gather for lunch. Once done we cruised I-80 for about a half hour drive to the Herbert Hoover Museum. Inside the museum our group watched a 20 minute overview of Herbert Hoover’s life, presidency and life after the White House.  Our docent, Matt, took questions and added quite a bit of historical knowledge.  We definitely could have listened to him for hours.  After a too brief look at the galleries, we took off for our Cedar Rapids Hampton Inn. 

We had an early departure time the next day and needed to leave at 8:30 Saturday morning for Maifest at the Amana Colonies. The Ronneburg Restaurant allowed us to park in their event space.  We had a prime front row to show off the T-Birds. After the shortest parade I think any of us have ever seen, the group went their separate ways to explore the town, wineries, and shops.  And some more wineries.  There was beer and oom-pah bands and beer and brats and more beer.  The Millstream Brau Haus had a sunny deck, the best brats in town and, you guessed it, beer!.  Afterwards, Everyone reconvened in the hospitality room for our Derby Party.  Thanks  to Kathy and Mary for being our mixologists and providing the mint juleps.  

Sunday had a later start for our drive to the small town of Mount Vernon and their Chalk the Walk festival.  Again, we had reserved parking thanks to Big’s BBQ and Brew.  And again, it was warm and sunny.
Both the professional artists and the amateurs chalked very impressive works on the streets.  Some of the works were so good it was hard to believe they were done in chalk.  

They had musicians providing entertainment, a few food trucks, antique stores, and wineries
 A thunderstorm blew through just before dinner but ended just as we  started to leave for Granite City Brewery. 

Monday morning came and we departed a little earlier than planned.  But that was just fine.  The only activity on the schedule was driving home and recouping from, what we hope, was a fun filled and enjoyable weekend.


Karen Kelly

15th Annual CTCC Tech Session



    Thirty-eight CTCC and AACA members gathered on Saturday, April 13

at the garage and antique car collection of  Frank Troost in Hillside, Illinois. 

The visit was arranged by Dick Murray from  AACA. 

The cars are in a former machine shop with a wooden floor,

surrounded by lumber yards. 

      As we munched on coffee and rolls Frank explained each of his cars. 

His Maserati which he drove in,  Starmist Blue ’57 Thunderbird,

a Desert Sky Blue ’03 ‘Bird, eight ’55 – ‘ 61 Imperials and Chrysler's, 

a ’55 Dodge three tone, ’70 Plymouth wagon, ’48 yellow Studebaker,

and a two tone ’55 Oldsmobile with factory air conditioning.





    Ken Smizinski began the Tech Session. He is a Master 3 CTCI judge and has worked on 600  ‘55 – ’57 Thunderbirds.  The first topic of discussion was adjusting transmission bands which must be done with the trans. out of the car. There is an access plate with the seat out of the car but this is insufficient.


     The next topic was the correct mounting of the engine front  to rear which is absolutely necessary to eliminate vibration.   There is a steel plate on the front of the timing chain cover which mounts to a hole in the frame in front.  The rear engine mount is to the transmission.  ’55 and ’56 ‘Birds have two mounting holes offset, while ’57 has two holes next to each other.  The ’57 needs a metal plate which sits on the frame.  The rear engine mount is on the trans. bracket, same for ’55-’57 ‘Birds.  The circle of the nut must be in the center of the hole in order to have the spacing correct.  The steady rest bracket mounts on the frame and engine to take up torque.  An  extra washer with a lip is needed.  The bracket should be adjusted with the nuts off, bottom raised up, then tightened.  One inch play is needed in the steady rest mount.  On the bottom of the steady rest  the second washer centers in the hole.  The spacing plate for the engine mounts is different on a Thunderbird from Ford passenger cars.


     The final topic of discussion was the dying of padded dashboards, which only come in blue.  Casco has vinyl  dye in the correct colors.


     At the conclusion of the Tech Session 30 of us went to lunch at “Q’s Restaurant” which featured Italian specialties. 


CTCC and AACA members in attendance were: Dan Anderson,  Jay Ayares,  Sean Bickerton,  Laura Cielenski, Mike Cielenski, Joe Esdale,  Pat Flynn,  Kurt Frederick,  Charles Freund,  Gordon Gluff,  Pete Hauser,  Len Keil,  Barry Konigsford, Pete Kramer,  Joe Kraatz, Sandy Kraatz, Bob Markert,  Jerry Michna, Dan Mrozek,  Dick Murray,  Tom O’Donald,  Bill Parks,  Ron Pavlak,  Rich Peterson,  Dave Pogorski,  Dan Pritchett,  Frank Racyvinski,  Lloyd Schellin,   Ken Smizinski,  Darlene Sobczyk, Dan Sobczyk,  Bob Sroka,  Len Vinyard,  Bob Wenderski,  Liz Werth,  Jim Wilson, Tom Wolfe,  and Kami Woody.


By Jim Wilson

Spring Field Trip

Spring Field Trip 2019  

Dan Pritchett organized an early morning tour on April 6. The Illinois Region Model A Club provided donuts and coffee for the car enthusiasts who gathered at Baltria Vintage Auto Gallery where numerous antique automobiles were on display. It was a great Saturday morning and the eleven Model As and two TBirds toured together, the short distance, to Powermaster Performance. At Powermaster the owners led tours to view their starter, generator, alternator restoration and manufacturing plant. Approximately 56 members of the Classic Thunderbird Club, AACA, CAATS and Model A Restorers Club broke into small groups and toured the plant. Following the tour, most of the attendees congregated at Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar and Grill for a great post-tour lunch. 


Club members attending included : Dan and Melinda Pritchett, Jim Wilson, Len Vinyard, Ken Smizinski, Bob Wenderski, Mike Cielenski, Darlene and Dan Sobczyk.

March 14, 2019                                                                              


The Annual Pizza Party/Election of Officers Meeting was held on March 14th at the Little Villa Restaurante & Pizzaria in DesPlaines.


Twenty-nine members came out to enjoy some great pizza and conversation. After everyone ate, Ken held a brief meeting to approve the 2019 Budget and to discuss the calendar of events for the year. Dan Pritchett spoke about the upcoming Spring Field Trip on April 6th and Ken spoke about the Tech Session on April 13th. He mentioned that all those who wanted to go to the tech session should call Bob Wenderski. Karen Kelly spoke about the upcoming Spring Tour in May to Cedar Rapids with more information to come. Lloyd Schellin spoke about the Hayride\Bonfire event to be held on June 22nd with some other activities to be thrown in. Larry Kelly talked about the 15th Annual Cars Time Forgot at Lake Lawn Lodge in July. Ken briefly talked about the Mt Prospect Car Show and Lloyd Schellin briefly spoke about the Picnic. Laura Cielenski gave a brief description of the Fall Tour to the Quad Cities the end of September. Len Keil said that the October event would most likely be back up to Cedarburg, WI. November brings the Turkey Dinner and Year in Review Meeting as December brings our Annual Holiday Party.

Before the meeting ended Ken said that there were 3 director positions available. He mentioned that Len Vinyard and Lloyd Schellin were willing to stay on in their positions. Ken opened the floor to any nominations. Len Vinyard nominated Mike Cielenski which was seconded by Karen Kelly. All were in approval for the two current directors to continue and for Mike Cielenski to become a director. After the vote, the meeting then adjourned.


Those in attendance were: Dan Anderson, Marci Burhop Mike & Laura Cielenski, Gordon Gluff, Art Hahl, Gail Hascek, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Pete & Marylu Kramer, Dean & Beth Molburg, Dan Mrozek, Dan Pritchett, Bob & Barb Sroka, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Liz Werth, Jim & Jane Wilson and Tom Wolfe. – Submitted by Laura Cielenski



              February 14, 2019

Dudes and    Divas   Dinner



The Dudes and Divas Dinner on January 25th at the Palm Court Restaurant brought out thirty-three members on a cold snowy night.  Everyone enjoyed each other’s company and of course a delicious meal.  As always, a great gathering to help break the winter blues. A big thank you to Ken and Kathy Smizinski for planning the evening.

Those in attendance were: Dan & Karen Anderson, Bill & Jane Balogh, Tom & Judy Bruin, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Joe & Barb Esdale, Gail Hascek, Peter & Katie Hauser, Larry & Karen Kelly, Len & Mary Kiel, Pete & Marylu Kramer, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Dan Mrozek, Bob & Barb Sroka, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Liz Werth and Tom & Alice Wolfe.       

– Submitted by Laura Cielenski

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Porep Collection