Fords Unlimited: Looking Back


  • Year in Review
  • Magazines from '55-'58

Year in Review

Our 2011 year ended at a very good place. Our membership was at a high point, our car show was a success, we were financially solid and were in the hands of great leadership.

JANUARY. As we do each year, we start off with our Awards Banquet. Our points winners were announced and Bart McNail was the recipient of the Neal Ketchum Memorial Award for coming in 1st place. Other winners listed from 2nd to 10th place included Bob Layton, Jim Biermann, Ron Schodroski, Jeff Hohl, Bill Bufka, Ken Farrar, Jack Greiwe, Ken Farrar, Jim Kinzel, Dale Wojtkowski, and Terry Koch. The new board of directors was introduced that included Syl Biermann, Mark Carey, Bill Giese, Trenton Kreder, and Kenny Simms.

FEBRUARY. The board of directors was busy planning club events for the upcoming year. Our late winter tour was a trip to Gateway Classic Cars followed by a trip to Ravanelli’s for a great lunch. However, the day featured a mixture of light rain and a few snow flakes.

MARCH. On a cold and rainy night, our month started with a vigorous night of Demo Ball in St. Charles followed by a pizza buffet. This is always a fun event but some of us came home with various bruises.

APRIL. On the third, we attended the Museum of Transport Car Show. This was an all Ford display with no trophies. We had a great turnout for this event and were blessed with unusually warm spring temps. This was also the start of our new website, thanks to club member, Scott Lewis. Dale Wojtkowski was thanked for his work on our first website.

MAY. A first time event for our club was the ShelbyFest held in Hermann Missouri. The following weekend we made our annual cruise to Elsberry Missouri for the 11th annual Classics on Wheels Car Show. The Show-Me Mustang Club held their Ford Fest at Pundmann Ford in St. Charles. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did not cooperate as it was an all day rain.

JUNE. We started the month with a trip to Grand Prix Karting in Boschertown, Missouri and were awed by the antics of "Spinout” Bufka and "Crash” Sutorius. With the drizzle fading, we then headed to JJ’s restaurant in St. Charles to be part of their monthly cruise. The Mustang Club of St. Louis Car Show was held on the 18th. The weather was threatening but it stayed nice but the attendance was down due to the forecast. We did manage to win the club participation award but donated the $50 back to their club to be donated to The BackStoppers. On the last weekend of the month, we were part of a Classic Cars and Warbirds, a car display that was held at Smartt Field in St. Charles and was sponsored by the Commemorative Air Force.

JULY. Our Blue Cruise, sponsored by our club and the Show-Me Mustang Club was held on the 9th. Although the turnout was somewhat smaller that the previous year, the participants were quite generous and we were able to donate over $2,500 to The BackStoppers. Our busy month continued on the following weekend with a trip to Alton Illinois for the Southern Illinois Mustang Association's all Ford Car Show. As usual, it was HOT and we did not draw enough member cars to win the club participation. On the 30th, we held our pre-car show BBQ. That night we stuffed goody bags and then stuffed ourselves with hamburgers and hot dogs. We also pre-registered our cars and set show assignments. The 31st. was the 25th anniversary of our annual car show. Each year, our Muscle Mustang classes expand and this year was no exception. With the expansion of those classes, we moved the FTA classes up to the hill and all went very well. It was not our largest show, but with the excessive heat, we were well pleased with the 229 entries. We also jobbed out snow cones this year and this proved to be financially successful. Show chairman, Jim Biermann and his crew did their usual outstanding job and the concessions were handled in their usual professional manner by Mark and Angie Lazzareschi.

AUGUST. Things always slow down for our club in August as we always need a break after our car show. The only car show event planned was trip to Sullivan Missouri for the St. Anthony’s Route 66 car show. We enjoy the show but the highlight of the day is the roast beef and chicken dinners that are served.

SEPTEMBER. Things got busier again as several events were planned. Another first time event was the Troy First Baptist Car Show. This is a free event with few trophies but was is a big draw as there were 243 cars in attendance. Our club did manage to take home the club participation award which was a cooler stuffed with many goodies which will were used at our awards banquet. The following weekend, we attended the Wheels in Motion Day at Westport Plaza which is a car display to benefit the National Children’s Cancer Society and is sponsored by several local car clubs. All of the profits go to this worthy organization and our club donated another $100 from our treasury. The third weekend had us attending the Show-Me Mustang’s annual car show held at Crestwood Court in Crestwood. Our attending members were able to take home the $50 club participation money on a day that proved to be a rainy day. This month we started raising funds for our toy drive to benefit the Marines Toys for Tots campaign. For the rest of the year, the club’s half of the membership meetings 50-50’s will be donated to this fund and our members will also donate toys and cash.

OCTOBER. One of our most popular events of the year is our annual Fall Color Tour. This year, we viewed the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers from the banks on both sides. From there we headed north to Pere Marquette State Park for our good old fashion "pig-out”. As usual, our members outdid themselves with the side dishes and desserts and the grilled pork and chicken provided by our club. We thank Syl Biermann for the planning of this event. This is also nomination month for our club. With the November board of director elections coming up, this is an important time for our club. We were continuing to collect funds for our toy drive. With this economy, this event is more important than usual.

NOVEMBER. This month was the celebration of the 25th anniversary of our club’s founding. We worked all year trying to come up with something special to do on that important day and always seemed to draw a blank. Someone suggested that we head over to Collinsville for another great meal at Ravanelli’s which we did preceded by a visit to Cahokia Mounds. The visit and meal were great but were outdone by our tour of beautiful downtown Washington Park and Caseyville on our way to the Mounds. Exotic sights such as "Pinks” and "Dolly’s Playhouse” were viewed as car doors were locked securely. Later in the month, we held our board of directors elections. We had three members running for the two open positions. With our 2012 board set, we were ready for another successful year.

DECEMBER. With the holidays coming up, December is a slow month for our club but we finish the year on a high note with our toy drive for needy kids. A week before Christmas, club members met at the South County K-Mart to shop for toys. On the 17th, we were able to donate $1,453.38 to the Marines Toys for Tots. It had been announced earlier in the fall that McDonnell Park, along with other county parks, would be closing, leaving us nowhere to have our car show. Fortunately, that did not happen and we were back in business for our 26th annual car show.

Another successful year was in the books.

Looking BackAlthough this is not club history, a friend loaned me four old Magazines from 1955-58 that included Rod & Custom, Car Craft and Custom Cars. These were the little books from the era. A couple of interesting notes included a feature on Dean Moon's '34 coupe. Some remember "moon tanks" and "moon eyes" which became his claim to fame. He was also well known as a drag racer, writer and photographer. Later in the article, he pulled the flathead and installed a Studebaker V8. Wow!

Another item featured was a story on bumper cars. Later into the 60's, R&C traditionally covered Go-Karts and model cars. Also, no early magazine would be complete without a JC Whitney ad.

Fords Unlimited 1990


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