It’s that time of year again, for the longest running all-Thunderbird show in Southern California. Since 1974 the Thunderbirds of Southern California and the Earlybirds of Southern California have hosted the Pageant of the Thunderbird, open to all T-Birds from ’55 to ’05 – original, modified or custom.
Held at Twila Reid Park in Anaheim, every generation of TBird started rolling in and taking their places on the lawn, from the Earlybirds of the fifties, to the most recent models which were reintroduced in 2002. The event awards 18 trophy classes plus two people’s choice awards. In addition to the classic TBirds, the show also had a few unique custom cars, including Dagostino Kustoms ’61 show car “Firestar” and ’56 TBird with an Edsel rear end.
The Pageant of the Thunderbird is a joint production, put on by the Thunderbirds of Southern California, a group dedicated to the preservation and restoration of all Ford Thunderbirds from model years ’55 to ’05; and the Earlybirds of Southern California, which is Chapter #7 of the Classic Thunderbird Club International (CTCI). The club which was started in 1962 has a primary interest in ’55-’57 TBirds.
The Ford Thunderbird is a car rich with tradition and an integral part of US history. The TBird has been a pace car at the Indianapolis 500, was featured prominently in JFK’s inaugural parade, was Motor Trend‘s “Car of the Year” and TBird-based bodies had success running in NASCAR in the seventies and eighties.