Throughout its eleven generations, the Ford Thunderbird has always been a beloved model in the automotive world, though the early (and later) two-seat models are clearly the most popular of the bunch. In between the first and last generations it existed, the Ford Thunderbird grew into a larger vehicle with room for the whole family, though most remember it as a sportier offering that was originally conceived to do battle with Chevy’s Corvette. As such, a large number of two-seat Ford Thunderbird models recently descended upon The Villages, Florida for the most recent Regional Touring Convention of the Classic Thunderbird Club International (CTCI).
Hosted by the Central Florida Classic Thunderbird Club, this gathering took place across six days at the Brownwood Hotel, Spa & Convention Center in The Villages. It was certainly an action-packed few days, with a host of activities including judge training, seminar speakers, a guided trolley tour of town, a cruise to the Eisenhower Recreation Center, a “Welcome to The Villages” party, a tour of the Dezerland Classic Cars collection, a membership meet and greet, a tour of Warne Wubker’s Street of Dreams, a Premier Boat tour, a “Cruise The Town Square” night, swap meet, driving tour to National Parts Depot and the Don Garlits Museum, plus the formal CTCI show car judging and requisite awards banquet.
This latest CTCI gathering was also the very first time the organization has ever allowed all two-seat Ford Thunderbird models – first-gens from the 1955-1957 model years, as well as the newer 2002-2005 T-Birds – to be displayed together, as well as be eligible for awards simultaneously.
As one might expect, the resulting turnout was quite impressive, with a very nice group of both the first- and last-gen Thunderbirds on display for fans to check out up close and personal – not to mention giving owners the chance to congregate, spend some time together, and celebrate their favorite cars.