Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Mrs Thunderbird herself, Lois Eminger in a dusk rose 1957 Thunderbird JR named Pink Petunia sitting next to her Pink Lady full size 57 Tbird at an early Thunderbird club meet.


Lois Eminger worked for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, and eventually retired after many years of service to the company. She had earned the nickname of "Mrs. Thunderbird" among Ford employees, and for good reason. She was the lady given the task of communicating with Thunderbird owners who corresponded with Ford about their cars, especially if it were an older model that was no longer covered by a warranty.

She was instrumental in convincing Ford to produce a run of desperately needed T-Bird sheet metal. After a decade of negotiation, Ford resurrected the original dies and authorized the Budd Co. to produce a limited run of sheet metal parts in 1972/73. She worked with CTCI to get the sheet metal project done, and she worked with TARTC to get the build sheets saved and cataloged.

While employed at Ford Motor Company, Eminger discovered that original invoice copies were being destroyed when no longer needed. These invoices are actually the #2 sales copy, and were one part of the multi-part form that also produced the window sticker that appeared on new car windows. Eminger felt this information might be of importance to people down the road, so she asked for permission to save these copies for future reference, and permission was granted by Ford for her to do so.

People who requested invoice copies or other information often received a hand written note from Lois as well, which shows what a true enthusiast she was. She was reportedly thrilled to receive an invoice request and discover it was for a particularly rare car, and was happy to know that it had survived and was in the hands of someone who was caring for it.

The exact accounting of how Lois Eminger came to save all these invoices was told by Eminger herself in the 1990s: In 1967, Lois worked in the Legal Department at Ford, and needed to research a particular 1955 Thunderbird. When she asked the people in archiving for the invoice, she was told that they were all thrown away after 10 years, which of course meant that the information she needed had been destroyed two years earlier. Concerned about this newly revealed information, she asked Ford management for permission to have the archive send her all invoices instead of destroying them. She received the OK, and from that point forward the original invoice copies were sent to her. When one considers the monumental task of storing all these invoices over the years, it's apparent Eminger's dedication to the classic Ford hobby was very strong.

Thanks to Steve! I've never heard of her, but, Steve knows a ton of stuff about the car world I've never heard of, and he's a researching machine


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