|At our annual meeting, Martin Brugmans, our Concours Chairman since the inception of ITC, announced his retirement. Martin's contributions to ITC are many and he will be sorely missed. Martin passed the reins of Concours Chairman on to Nick Anzano.
Martin and Nick worked together throughout the entire convention ensuring the transition would be a smooth one. By the time the judges meeting rolled around, Nick was in full swing and had everything under control. Judges were assigned to various teams and captains named. Team meetings followed, with everyone getting the chance to ask questions and get familiar with what needed to be done.
On Saturday morning, the car owners were all asked to be at their cars by 8:00 am. Although early for some, everyone made it to the show field. Nick was at the helm making sure the cars were moved to their pre-assigned spaces for each class. This made the judging go very well. But as fate would have it, the gods of thunder and rain decide to bless our event, and as soon as the cars were all in their assigned spaces the rain started. By the time the judges were ready to start their tasks, the gods of thunder looked down upon all the beautiful cars and the rain stopped. Frantic car owners scrambled to their cars to remove every last speck of rain, some even did some last minute polishing. By 9:00 am, judging began. Teams of six were over, under, and looking inside every aspect of the beloved Thunderbirds.
The judging classes this year were 1955 - 1957 Formal/Concours (new for this year), 1958 - 1966 Formal/Concours, 1955 - 1997 Touring, 1955 - 1997 Touring modified, Showcase, and No judge display only.~~This format sets ITC apart from any other International Club. ITC is the only International Club to offer Concours judging for years 1955 - 1966, and Touring judging for all year Thunderbirds. Concours rules and judging forms are being developed for 1967 - 1997 Thunderbirds, and will be used at future conventions. This gives ITC the distinction of being the first club to truly embrace all years of Thunderbirds.
At the event, the oldest Thunderbird represented was a 1956, and the newest was a 1997. The cars represented spanned several production years and gave even the most casual observer a glimpse into Thunderbird history and pride.
The judging ran like clockwork. Everyone did their jobs with skill and pride, from our runners to our talliers, to the judges themselves, and, of course, the owners. Although the quantity of cars was down this year (partly due to the rain) the quality of the cars present was up. It seems that every year the cars just get better and better. It was very obvious to everyone that Thunderbird owners take a lot of pride in their cars. In most cases the cars were better then new. When the judging was complete, the tallying of the judging forms went into full swing. Rich Schatz was a little nervous and kept a keen eye on the computer programming. This was the first time that the 350-point system was used for the 1955 - 1957 Thunderbirds. It was the acid test for the computer program that Amy and Risa Schatz had worked so hard at putting together. As usual, their programming was flawless, and Rich started to relax - just a little.
Amy worked long after the actual judging was complete crossing every "T" and dotting every "I." With the judging and tally work complete, everyone started to relax and enjoy the rest of the day. It was a great day to own a Thunderbird.
© 2000 by Script and ITC
photos courtesy of Thunderbird Script