Thunderbird Revival

What do you do when you have lost your life partner, you are close to or just over sixty, you have too much life left in you to sit around and you need to find a hobby? You buy a Ford Thunderbird of course! Or at least that is exactly what a group of ladies did in South Valley, USA. A chance meeting of two widowed women at a traffic light, both driving Ford Thunderbirds, sparked an idea that began to grow as more ladies joined. The only requirement to join the group and hit the road is to own a Thunderbird.

Ford began to manufacture the Thunderbird, also referred to as the T-Bird, in the year 1955, and various generations of this sporty two-seater have been produced over the years, with the last revamped generation being produced in 2005. Eleven generations of Ford Thunderbirds were produced in those years and from the 1980s to the 1990s the Thunderbird became an extremely popular stock car vehicle in NASCAR racing. But is seemed that woman preferred the Thunderbird, not because of its aerodynamic features which was attractive to the racing community, but for its stylish looks and power under the hood. No wonder Thelma and Louise chose a Thunderbird to make their getaway!

The group of Thunderbird enthusiasts was formed by Maxine Brock and Barbara Heyes and over time more ladies began to join the monthly road trips which are taken to predetermined destinations. As the convoy of Thunderbirds hit the road, flashing lights, hooting and shouts of appreciation are a common sight, with a variety of Thunderbird models being part of the group. Beautifully restored and gleaming 1956 models to 2005 models, hard tops and soft tops, all hit the road together to make a spectacular family of Thunderbird generations. Many of the ladies fell in love with their vehicles after their first test drive, as expressed by group member Alicia Ykema: “I decided it’s hard to fly like an eagle with turkeys, so I needed a Thunderbird.” It just goes to show that the sensuous and attractive looks and driving pleasure of the Thunderbird is still being appreciated today and that it is a vehicle that will never go out of fashion.

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