Your Club, Your Story: Austin Thunderbird Owners

June 2013, the local newspaper the Austin American Statesman conducted a video interview of some of the folks Rendezvousing for our annual ride to Roberts' Ranch, and published an article on our club.  The article is shown below, or click the link below the story to read the original article and view the video

By Lisa Maher

Statesman Solutions staff

The scoop: Our objective is to enhance the experience of owning a 1955, ‘56, or ‘57 Ford Thunderbird automobile by participating in area events, sharing information and knowledge and enjoying the company of others who own or appreciate these fine cars. Austin Thunderbird Owners (ATO) received a regional charter in 1972 and has been continuously active since then. Current club membership is about 31. There are 27 Classic Thunderbirds owned by club members. You do not have to own a Classic Thunderbird to join. Many of our members own other year Thunderbirds, and some just enjoy being around these beautiful cars.

Meetings: The club has one official meeting a year in January to plan events and handle club business. There are a number of club events during the year, including a Valentines Luncheon, road trips to various Central Texas events and landmarks, get-togethers sponsored by club members and a Christmas party.

Where to catch us next: The club attends various events sponsored by other clubs and organizations, including the Lone Star Roundup, ROT Rally, All Ford Picnic and a number of local swap meets.

Top collector: Warren and Lisa Kodowsky have more than 33 different antique and classic cars, including a beautiful red 1956 Thunderbird.

MVP of the year: President Rick Rosa keeps us going and growing, but we have many very active members that add spirit and enjoyment to the club.

Rookie of the year: Our newest members are David and Marcie Simiele of Georgetown who have a white 1956 T-bird, and P.D. and Rickie Leonard of Austin who have a black 1957 T-bird.

Greatest moment: The most memorable recent event was our 40th anniversary party when many former members joined us for a recap of our history here in Austin. We learned about numerous activities over the years where the club played a major part, some funny, others nostalgic, but all memorable.

Biggest event: Every year in early June, we caravan 65 miles to a ranch on top of Los Almagres Mountain near Honey Creek in Llano owned by one of our members, Bob Roberts, where we enjoy comradery and an excellent meal prepared by Bob and his wife Tania. The view is spectacular, and the climb up the mountain gives our cars a real workout.

Original Statesman article and video