|In 1990, at the age of 22, and already an owner of an American Ford, I attended the Thunderbird Owners Club of Australia National Concours at the Gold Coast. This is the city where the Australian leg of the Cart Series is held and only about 60 miles from home. This was the first time I had seen Thunderbirds and less than a year later I had one, a 1962 Landau no less and then early 2005 I purchased a 1979 Town Landau. Ironically a car which I had taken photos of all those years ago at the Concours. It had won its class (70-79) and still had the plague, wrapped in plastic in the trunk.
Introduced to the ITC through Doug Bradley, I had the pleasure again in 2005 to plan a holiday around an ITC Convention. I had previously been to Fairfax in 96 and Suffern in 99. This would be my sixth time to the USA, but my girlfriend (Mindy) had never traveled outside Australia. After spending a week in southern England, we flew over the Atlantic to Newark NJ Airport to be met by good friend Malcolm Green.
Although the newest Bird has been out for a couple of years, to my knowledge there is none in Australia. So when we arrived at Malcolm’s home, the Bird Barn was calling me. To my astonishment, the keys were presented to go for a quick once around the block.
4 a.m., and the ‘95 was on the road headed west to Wisconsin. In Malcolm’s story (Sept-Oct) he mentions an uneventful twelve hours heading towards the Ohio-Indiana state line. This may be so, but during this time I drove the 95 while Malcolm snoozed in the back. Thank-you for your trust in me, because I had not driven on the right hand side of the road for six years and after setting the cruise control, my eyes were glued to the road. We made our way to Arnold & Ethyl Buhl’s place to view their private collection and met up with friends Doug and Ken & Ann Leaman and met new ITC friends.
On to Wisconsin, settle in and it’s out to the car park to see the One Millionth T-bird and to meet up with Michael Harris, who had befriended me in Suffern. We were then out cruising in his Black 03. Mindy and I had a wonderful week in Wisconsin, thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable for us, especially people who gave us a lift in their T-birds to activities.
Michael Imaoka gave us a lift to Chicago where we stayed for a couple of days. We just loved Chicago. Then we jetted out to Phoenix to find Desert Valley Auto Parts and Alice Cooper’s Bar “Cooperstown”. We then drove up to the Grand Canyon, over to Las Vegas and on to Los Angeles. Finally we spent a couple of days in Honolulu to have some rest before traveling home.
Each time I come to the USA, I want to come back next year, so I hope to see you again in the future.