In the spring of 1976 a group of Thunderbird enthusiasts in the Roanoke area got
together with the idea of forming a club to promote their interest in the two passenger
Ford Thunderbird. An organizational meeting was held, officers were chosen, By Laws
were drawn up, and an application was made to the State Corporation Commission for
a charter as a non-profit limited corporation. On September 13th 1976 a charter was
issued and entered to the record in the office the State Corporation Commission.
The club continued to grow as word of its existence began to get around in the old
car hobby. The new club decided to apply for a charter to become a chapter of The
Classic Thunderbird Club International. After fulfilling all the requirements set
by the International a charter was issued on June 25th 1977 for chapter number 75,
The Star City Classic T-Birds Ltd.
Today the club is an active and vibrant organization that meets on a monthly basis.
In the Fall and Winter months we meet at The Greenwood Restaurant on U.S. Route 11
in Troutville, VA. During the Spring and Summer months we generally hold one or two-day
driving events. These can be picnics at scenic attractions in the area or a pot-luck
dinner at a member’s home, or a week-end trip to a car show or destination of interest
in one of the surrounding states. In December the club hosts a Christmas banquet
at a local hotel or restaurant.
HOW WE GOT OUR NAME
The Star City Classic T-Birds Ltd. serves the southwest part of the state of Virginia
and is headquartered in the Roanoke Valley. Roanoke is known as “The Star City of
the South” because of the giant neon star located at the top of Mill Mountain which
is located in the heart of the city. The club founders considered several names for
the club and after a vote decided that Star City Classic T-Birds made a nice tie-in
with the city and county of Roanoke. The State Corporation Commission added the Ltd.
when the charter was issued.
In 1949, the Roanoke Merchants Association decided to kick off that year's Christmas
shopping season by having a neon star built on top of Mill Mountain. Although the
structure was always intended to be a permanent addition, the merchants at first
weren't sure if the star should be lit year round. When the star immediately became
very popular, the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants Association decided to keep
it lit all year. The Merchants Association is credited with the construction of the
star, but no single person claimed credit.
The Mill Mountain Star is 88.5 feet tall with 2,000 feet of neon tubing.It is the
world's largest freestanding illuminated man-made star. It requires 17,500 watts
of power to illuminate the neon tubes. Roy C. Kinsey of Kinsey Sign Company built
the neon tubes with his three sons Roy Jr., Bob, and Warren. It was assembled near
a local airplane hangar to study how it looked. Then it was driven to the top of
the mountain and placed onto a steel structure. Robert L. Little was the Structural
Engineer for Roanoke Iron & Bridge Works at the time and helped on the project as
well. At night the star can be seen for sevaral miles on the highways leading into
the city. By air it can be seen well over twenty miles away.
To all members of The Classic Thunderbird Club International we extend an invitation
to join us at our regular meetings. If you are in our part of the world on the third
Saturday of the Fall and Winter months stop in at the Greenwood Restaurant between
8:30 and 11:00 am. We would love to have you.
Not a CTCI member? Interested in finding out about the Star City Classic T-Birds
Ltd.? Join us for breakfast at the Greenwood.