Fun, Fun, Fun: Thunderbirds on the Santa Cruz Wharf
Calling all car buffs, young and young at heart! This Saturday, September 28, is the 16th Annual Thunderbirds on the Santa Cruz Wharf. This free event, hosted by the Monterey Bay Classic Thunderbird Club, will bring together classic, vintage and modern T-Birds with the ocean, beach, and Boardwalk serving as the scenic backdrop.
"We expect to have from eighty to a hundred cars on display," said Alan Brown, a longtime club member.
It's not just the T-Birds that will be on display. Hanging out nearby, their owners will be ready and willing to talk shop. "People are more than happy to talk about their cars because most of them have done the work themselves," said Brown, who restored a 1957 Thunderbird for his wife, Sandi. "It's always nice for people to come up and ask questions."
If you like good stories, be sure to ask the owners how they acquired their T-Bird.
You might hear about the famous dent in the bumper of club member Jack Roberts' 1962 T-Bird. His aunt, the car's original owner, backed into a light pole and due to the dent, "she had to push the gas cover from the inside of the trunk to fill up with gas," said Roberts. The car was once stolen, but found nine months later on the side of the road. "The thieves had driven the car as far as they could, but since they had hot-wired it, they didn't have a set of keys to open the trunk to be able to open the flip up door and put gas in the tank," he said. By that time, his aunt had moved on to a new Pinto. "She had always told me that when she was gone, the car was to be mine and now that she had her little Pinto, she was ready to let me have the car."
Jack Roberts with his '62 T-Bird
You also might hear a good love story, complete with high school friends reuniting at a 25-year high school reunion and eventually marrying. Just ask Alan and Sandi Brown. For them, owning a T-bird is special because "it's just something we grew up with and the cars are very unique to the period we grew up in. I've been into cars and hot rods all my life, and my wife had dreamed of owning a T-Bird since she was 12," Brown said.
While checking out the T-Birds and chatting with owners from all over California and Nevada, spectators can also participate in raffles and a scavenger hunt that involves Wharf restaurants and merchants. "This is a get together for people who love the cars, and we make it fun for the spectators to come out and look," said Brown. Additionally, he added, "this event is all about giving back."
The Monterey Bay Classic Thunderbird Club has a long-held reputation for its involvement with the community and support of local programs. Proceeds from this year's Thunderbirds on the Wharf will be donated to Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition in Watsonville. "We've worked with Children's Hospice for the past three years because we feel it's a very necessary cause," said Brown.
Experience iconic American culture, a good cause and fun, fun, fun at the Thunderbirds on the Wharf this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's free!
You need to login