The 45th annual Pageant of the Thunderbird was held Sept 14—but this year with a new wrinkle—Lincoln as the honored guest marque, the first ever non-T’bird honoree at the event.
LCOC members and their cars joined with their peers as our Lincolns and Continentals shared center stage with dozens of Thunderbirds of all eras on a sizzling day at La Palma Park in Anaheim. Fortunately, mature trees at the park provided plenty of shade as temperatures soared into the high 90s. Cool water was available to all, courtesy of the event hosts. Larry’s Thunderbird and Mustang Parts staffed a large booth offering vintage parts and helped sponsor the event. Host clubs were the Earlybirds and the Thunderbirds of Southern California,
Among the Lincolns and Continentals on display were two 1956 Mark IIs—-a lovely white example with a beige and white interior owned by Bill Kinstle and William Somsak’s project car with a camouflage look that is very much a work in progress, but nevertheless entered into the show grounds on its own power and served as inspiration for those who aspire to preserve one of these iconic vehicles.
Jim Davidson brought his spectacular red 1956 Lincoln convertible and Jeff Frank showed his ’79 Mark V sporting brand new pinstriping. Dale Derstine’s Mark III was a welcome addition and Paul Ginsburg’s 2017 Continental fast-forwarded Lincoln Row into the 21st Century. Both Elayne Bendel and Jim Ayres displayed their 1964 convertibles.
Venerable 2-seater “Little Birds” from the 1950s sat side by side with “Square Birds” from the 1960s and later. “Retro Birds” from the 2000s rounded out the show field and there were even a few custom Fords on display. Turquoise, a popular mid-20th century color, was an eye catcher at the pageant, with numerous examples among the T’birds, but the pastels so popular in that era provided a rainbow of exciting eye candy all around the show field.
All in all it was a fine day for time-honored traditions of kicking tires, telling stories and enjoying the fruits of a lot of hard work getting these venerable vehicles ready for display.
Our sincere thanks to the Thunderbird clubs for inviting our participation in their special annual event.