One of the great things about Memphis is that you never know what you’ll see around the city.

Last weekend Memphis had more visitors come to town from around the world. No, not more Elvis fans- although some seemed to be. These folks were T-Bird fans and they travel in style!

On Saturday my wife Nicki and I had headed to downtown Memphis to catch a Redbirds game at Autozone Park. We got there early and since the ballpark gates weren’t open yet we decided to walk over to Beale Street and act like tourists.


It’s just a few blocks away and a quick walk. Little did we know we’d be seeing some redbirds there, too!

The 2012 CTCI International Convention was having their “Birds On Beale” event, hosted by the Memphis Classic Thunderbird Club.

Red was not the only color represented by the CTCI! It was pretty much a metal rainbow!

The CTCI (Classic Thunderbird Club International) had several members’ gorgeous T-Birds of various colors and years up and down Beale Street covering about 2 blocks of the historic street.

There were hard tops, rag tops- some with spare tires/covers on the back.

This one reminded me of the wheels my dad had on his MG Midget when I was a kid.

Some of the T-Birds had airbrushed faces and cars under their hoods or tire covers, while others had more classic paint jobs.

Many looked as if they had just driven off the showroom floor!

The attention to detail was amazing, and the chrome gleamed even under overcast skies.

There were classic cars parked next to modern ones, and that day we didn’t need a DeLorean to go back in time and see the evolution of the Thunderbird!

Beale was closed to through traffic, so all you had to do was walk up and down the street for the chance to see some incredible time machines!

Seeing these cars on Beale really felt like going back to the days when Elvis was known to frequent this part of Memphis. (He shopped at Lansky Bros. just a few feet from here.)

All of the cars really seemed to belong on Beale! It was a great vibe.

Each of the car club members were happy to show off their “fabulous Thunderbirds“, and answer questions by a passerby like me.

I was told that over 30 national chapters and 4 countries were represented at this year’s CTCI convention in Memphis, and that they had made a stop at Graceland and other tourist spots around town.

We spotted several cruising around downtown later in the afternoon- many with the tops down!

Growing up I remember my mom saying her dream car was a white 1957 Thunderbird with a bubble window- like the one in American Graffiti. I know she would have loved this T-Bird for sure! (Some trivia for you- it was Three’s Company‘s Suzanne Somers who was the blonde driving the white T-Bird in American Graffiti.)

I think this green one was my favorite that we saw. It would make a great Have Geek Will Travel Geek-Mobile!

The paint color is perfect…

…as are the accessories! Hmm, maybe one day..!

We had a blast seeing these amazing vehicles cruising around the river city.

I hope that the T-Birds had a great time while they were flying around the M-town!

I know some folks on Beale really flipped out over them! đŸ˜‰

Oh, and while we were downtown, we swung by the Peabody Hotel to see some other birds. I’ll post about them later…