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MAY 11, 2023 | By John M. Clor

Move Over Mustang: 7th T-Bird Appreciation Day Is May 21st

Thunderbird Day Graphic

Ford Pony Car owners and fans have celebrated April 17 as National Mustang Day to much fanfare for nearly a decade now, but Ford Thunderbird owners know well that their cars are “Unique In All the World!” as the classic Ford catchphrase proudly points out. That’s why each May, the three major Thunderbird enthusiast clubs promote a global “Thunderbird Appreciation Day” – which this year falls on Sunday, May 21, 2023. Ford produced more than 4 million Thunderbirds over the years but they are still a rare sight on the road. Join other Thunderbird owners around the world as well as members of the Classic Thunderbird Club International, Vintage Thunderbird Club International, and the International Thunderbird Club as they celebrate these iconic cars on their 7th annual Appreciation Day.

The clubs simply ask that T-Bird owners take their Thunderbirds out to spread their wings on May 21st. They’d like all owners to get together with fellow club members or take a solo flight; take your T-Bird to the grocery store, to the local burger stand, to a Cars & Coffee, or meet up with another T-Birder at a park for a picnic or cruise with others . . . just get your Thunderbird out into the public and use them like folks did when they were brand new. Any place you go, people will surely want to talk to you about your Thunderbird, no matter what year it was built! Thunderbird Appreciation Day is also the day to show other T-Bird fans that they, too, can be part of the Thunderbird family by joining a T-Bird club. And don’t forget to share some photos of what you did on Thunderbird Appreciation Day on the various club websites and social media group pages – or send your activity info and pics to ClubHub@Ford.com so that we can celebrate too! So get your T-Birds ready to soar on Thunderbird Appreciation Day on May 21st, 2023, and show the world how unique these iconic Fords really are! 

Don’t Miss the NMRA’s Historic Ford Homecoming June 8-11 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio!NMRA event flyer

From humble beginnings a quarter century ago, the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals series grew to become one of the longest-running, most successful racing series in the nation. As NMRA marks its silver anniversary this season, it’s fitting that one event serves as an official celebration. That event is the Mickey Thompson NMRA Ford Homecoming, held from June 8-11, 2023, at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

“Watching NMRA grow and evolve over the past 25 years is something to cherish. Our team wanted to celebrate this milestone, so we put together the can’t-miss event of the year at the premier track in the country,” said Steve Wolcott, Co-Founder of NMRA. “In 2023, NMRA is more than drag racing, so we’re bringing a festival-style environment to our Ford Homecoming event, which is the ideal spot on the series tour to celebrate the past and present.”

While there’s more action on the property in Norwalk, the foundation of the series is its national heads-up drag and index racing categories ranging from the quickest cars on the property being VP Racing additives Renegade (the longest-running class in the series) to the easily accessible ARP Open Comp class. Besides those classes, the ever-popular Circle D Specialties True Street class brings out the quickest street machines around, and in Norwalk, it’s joined by a companion class dedicated to lady racers — the TREMEC All-Female True Street category.

Making this a once-in-a-lifetime event for Ford fans are a host of other special events within the Homecoming, including the Anderson Composites Ford Off-Road Alley, the Maximum Motorsports All-Ford Autocross, the 55th Anniversary Cobra Jet Reunion presented by TascaParts.com, the 40th Anniversary Saleen Reunion, the 2020+ GT500 Shootout, the 30th Anniversary SVT Reunion presented by SVTPerformance.com and the Harland Sharp Fox Body Reunion presented by Foxy Events.
Fans can also take photos with the original BIGFOOT Monster Truck, while its competition counterpart will also be on hand crushing some Brand X machines on Saturday as part of the Ford Off-Road Alley, which is a special display set to include a selection of customized and modified Broncos, Raptors, and other Ford trucks and sport utility vehicles provided by NMRA sponsors.

If that wasn’t enough action, the Sticker Dude NMRA Reunion Bash presented by Edelbrock brings the party back to the pits at the Granatelli Motor Sports Hospitality Zone with ice-cold beverages and snacks to keep the party going on Friday night. As the racing winds down on Saturday evening, the party picks up again as the Edelbrock NMRA Founders Reunion gathers racing luminaries from past and present for some epic bench racing. Hosted by Clarence Barnes, the Founders Reunion will be accented by a PortaTree Reaction-Time Shootout, give-away prizes and an Ice Cream Eating Contest that highlights the track’s famous treat. Throughout the weekend, these special events presented by Edelbrock bring out racing legends and iconic cars from the early days of the Mustang drag racing movement.

If all that wasn’t enough, attendees can find the parts and expertise they need to finish their projects on the massive Manufacturer’s Midway and enjoy beautiful rides at the NMRA Ford Homecoming including the awesome UPR Products Car Show. For more on the Mickey Thompson NMRA Ford Homecoming at Summit Motorsports Park, visit NMRAdigital.com or SummitMotorsportsPark.com.

Here’s Why You Need to Register your Club or Facebook Group with Ford Performance Club ConnectFord Performance Club Connect

Have you heard about a Ford Performance program called “Club Connect” that can help all Ford and Mustang enthusiasts get connected with both Ford Motor Company and each other? Only those clubs who register with the program are eligible for no-cost promotion and support from Ford Performance, so you owe it to members of your Mustang or Ford vehicle club or online forum to register and appear on our Ford enthusiast club map. All it takes is a visit to www.FordPerformanceClubConnect.com and a single click on the “Register Your Club” link. Once you fill out the form and hit “Submit,” you’ll be notified within just a few days of your acceptance in Ford Performance Club Connect -- it’s that simple, and it’s FREE!

The primary goal of our Ford Performance Club Connect program is to get everyone to register their club – at no cost – and get themselves on our Ford enthusiast group map so that we can all connect with each other. Once there, you’ll be able to see all of the other clubs and groups who have registered in your region – not just Mustang clubs, but ALL Ford vehicle organizations. And we want to include all of you who are part of any Ford vehicle Facebook Group to register with Club Connect, too. Why? Because connecting your Facebook Group with more owners and fans makes your group more worthwhile – and registering with Club Connect will link your online group with participants who may never have known that your group exists.

The value in all of this is that whenever you plan a club or group activity, you can see what other clubs and groups are in your area that you may wish to contact and ask to join you at a show or event. It also allows Ford Performance to see all the clubs and groups in a certain area, so that when we are coming to town or planning a special Ford event in your city or state, you and your club members can be contacted to participate.

It takes only a few minutes for a club principal or board member to register your club and establish a direct link for your members to Ford Performance. And now, you can also register your group and logo with Ford Brand Licensing all in the same process. Have a product or parts question that you want answered? Wish you could get some free club event promotion in our weekly “Fast News” e-blast that goes out to some quarter-million Ford fans each Thursday? Looking for event coverage for your show in the Enthusiasts section of FordPerformance.com? Hoping you could find a cool Ford goodie-bag or door-prize item, or a banquet guest speaker? Individual requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but they can ONLY be awarded to clubs who are registered.

So go to www.FordPerformanceClubConnect.com right now and click on the “Find Your Club” link to see if you are on the map. If not, then register your Ford-based club or Facebook Group today so that you can join this special program -- all backed and supported by a real enthusiasts at Ford Performance. If you have questions or want more info, you and your members can always email us at ClubHub@Ford.com, or can simply call our Ford Performance Info Center, toll-free during regular business hours, at 1-800-FORD-788 (800-367-3788).

So what are you waiting for? Get online and make sure you’re connected. Then plan to enjoy your performance Ford later this year so that you can discover the fun and all of the friendly people involved in the world of Ford Performance. We’re sure that being connected with each other and with Ford will make your ownership experience even more enjoyable!

Want to Be Noticed on Ford Performance.com? Get You and Your Car(s) in Our ‘Ford Fan Spotlight’Ford Fan Spotlight examples

For more than a decade now, one of the most popular features on FordPerformance.com and in our Fast News e-newsletter continues to be "Ford Fan Spotlight," where readers can send in their own reasons why they're fans of Ford Motor Company. You know who they are: Ford "superfans;" grassroots Ford racers; unique Ford vehicle owners; loyal Ford enthusiasts; notable Ford club people; special Ford families; and/or any avid supporter of Ford, Ford vehicles, Ford motorsports or Ford Performance who deserves a little bit of special recognition.

All you need to do to get you, your car or candidate considered is to send in a brief description (200-500 words or less) and a few photos (in .jpeg format, preferably 1 mb) of a person (full name and hometown, please) and vehicle that you think Ford Performance should feature (and why) in the "Ford Fan Spotlight" for an upcoming installment of Fast News and posting on FordPerformance.com. Then email it to: ClubHub@Ford.com. (Your submission grants us your permission for us to use your copy and photos on our website and other Ford media outlets, edited as necessary.) We'll choose one submission to be featured online every three weeks. We hope to see YOU and your collectible Ford in our Fan Spotlight soon!

Miss ‘Fast News’ in Your Inbox? Get Weekly Enthusiast News on Ford Performance Club Connect.comEnthusiast News

One race – one win – was all it took for Henry Ford to generate enough buzz and belief in his engineering among investors to secure funding and launch the Ford Motor Company more than a century ago. At Ford Performance, we have never forgotten where it all began. So we’ve been honoring our heritage, our products and our relentless competitive spirit by shining a light on motorsports and the Ford enthusiast world each week with our “Fast News” e-newsletter. 

From news on our hottest cars and trucks or performance parts to the latest scoop on all the must-see Ford enthusiast events and shows, our weekly Fast News email has been your ticket to stay connected to the company that put the world on wheels. But trying to keep up with emails has left some of you in the dust. So that’s why Ford Performance is now posting our weekly Enthusiast News directly on www.FordPerformanceClubConnect.com -- so you can check it out the next time you’re online -- without sorting through your email inbox. Read it and share it with your club or group or even include it in your newsletters. So put our FordPerformanceClubConnect.com website on your Favorites list, and then hop-in, buckle-up and hang-on each and every week for our Enthusiast News, because like you and all of us in the Ford enthusiast world, we’ll be driving Ford passion!