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Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: Kent Sullivan ()
Date: November 07, 2019 08:48AM

Greetings,

The follow letter to the editor is in the newest CORSA Communique. I am reposting it here to ensure a broad audience sees it and has a chance to respond. The Stock Corvair Group officers who are also Corvair Center members will follow any discussion here but also feel free to send email directly to us using the email address below.

The SCG needs a significant increase in people doing tasks and contributing or it's not going to continue for much longer. This letter is an attempt to understand whether the SCG is one of those things where the typical response is "Well, I'm glad someone is doing it, but I don't have the time..." The hard truth is we all have the same amount of time -- it's about assigning value and prioritizing.

There are only so many survivor cars out there, and over time they continue to dwindle. Are we as an organization going to make a significant effort to learn from them while they still exist? At this point, the SCG officers are done trying to convince people to participate. Either there will be a critical mass of people to get things done or there won't and we will all need to accept the consequences.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

For nearly 15 years, SCG, the Stock Corvair Group, a chartered special interest group of CORSA, has been pursuing its mission to “encourage interest in and aid in the research, preservation, restoration and operation of Stock Corvair automobiles, trucks and related vehicles.” We’ve conducted educational Stock Corvair Events at most of the CORSA international conventions since 2006 and have slowly been building knowledge about Corvair originality, as documented via the cars that have participated in these events. Additionally, several of us have conducted independent and group research projects, resulting in several articles published in the Communique and on-line.

Recently, the SCG officers (Bill Hubbell, myself, Mark Corbin, Stan East, and Ken Schifftner) have been discussing the future of this effort. Those discussions really boil down to one question: What value and priority should CORSA, in the form of its membership, put on documenting, preserving, and celebrating original “survivor” Corvair cars and trucks? This is truly an open question, with the intent of inviting the members, committee chairs, and officers to reflect on how important this is to the organization and its members. Car clubs can be many things, and not every car club has stock preservation as one of its priorities; but if it is one of ours, perhaps it is time to change the way we go about it.

The core SCG folks care a lot about stock preservation but it’s clear now that many more people need to be involved in a significant way if this work is going to get done while survivor cars are still around in reasonable numbers. Our small group does not have the time or energy to do all of these tasks: find vehicles and owners to participate, conduct the evaluations, compile the results, work with owners to make changes they’d like to make to their vehicles, and do administrative tasks; let alone pursue longer-term goals like create repositories of stock information and chart the course of the group’s future activities.

Regarding the last item above, we have received feedback from past participants in educational Stock Corvair Events that they would rather have a judged event, with the focus on degree of originality (as opposed to the focus in Concours on condition). That’s a great idea but it will take a lot of people to make something like this happen. Are enough CORSA members willing to actually sign up to help create this sort of event and make it happen, on a yearly basis?

We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. You can email us at “scg_officers@corvair.org”.

Thanks,

Kent Sullivan
Vice President
Stock Corvair Group

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: Paulsgt ()
Date: November 07, 2019 08:58AM

Great letter Kent. Definitely food for thought.

Thanks!

Enjoy the Corvair!

Paul Sergeant
CORSA Central Division Director / CORSA Treasurer
Lee's Summit, MO
CORSA since 1975
Member – HACOA, Corvair Minnesota, CORSA, Little Indians, POCI


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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 07, 2019 12:07PM

There was a list of '64 questions that I answered on my '64s a while back but I never got a response or saw any results of the total of the information so it seemed like a waste of time. I have a lot of cars to look at and don't mind answering questions. I've bought more '64s since and looked at one yesterday.
My bad memory is part of the problem.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: FL103Dave ()
Date: November 07, 2019 06:54PM

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what is considered a 'stock' corvair?

There is always some level of modification in maintaining a vehicle (you can't always get OE parts)...

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: RThompson ()
Date: November 07, 2019 07:16PM

Kent,

I agree with your thoughts in your letter. As you, Bill and many in CORSA know, my thing has always been for Factory Stock Corvairs. Anyone who knows my cars, knows my passion for that.

As much as I am planning for my unrestored original 66 Monza (photo attached) to try for the Factory Stock Original class in Concours, I would like for there to be an event such as this at an annual CORSA event.

The critical question I have is: would we have the right people to make the right determinations to what is truly factory stock in this group, without bias, colored perceptions, and enough of a knowledge base of what might be "by the book" conclusions, as well as the knowledge built by running changes, and yet undiscovered changes/mistakes/adjustments on the factory line that affects the final product?

I know there are individuals that have alienated other Corvair owners so much so with their pontifications of what is stock and really how their car came when they bought it (especially original owners...and I've met a few), they will never return to a CORSA event.

We would need to mindful of that so that owners of unrestored cars would be willing to show them and put them into this "show".

My two cents.

Rich

Attachments:
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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: November 07, 2019 10:57PM

I love the look and feel of a Corvair. They are the earliest car I have a memory of. By definition, "stock" was what that car I rode in in 1976 would have been. I was three. Stock is what I imprinted on.

But I wasn't exactly crawling under the hood back then. Stock, to me, is a combination of how the car looks and how the car drives. That's pretty much it. Whatever it takes to get there is okay by me. I'm not exactly young at the age of 46, but I can tell you the thing that young car nuts love about any classic car is also the way it looks and the way it drives. Beyond that, very little thought or angst goes into interior integrity or whether the shocks & wheels are the same as they were in 1966. This hobby is meant to be fun, and just driving is fun.

My perspective on the Stock question.

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA
Member: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, and San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club
THEN: 1965 Monza 110 Canary Yellow
1967 Monza 140 Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW: 1966 Corsa 180 Turbo; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"It would not have helped if I had [taken notes], as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'

------

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: 2ragtops ()
Date: November 08, 2019 05:57AM

I, like Mr. Thompson above, have a passion for "stock". I try to keep and maintain my two cars as stock as I humanly can within my bounds and within available knowledge.

Some time back, the highly respected and knowledgeable Larry Claypool published articles called "stock is" as if asking a question. I read those articles intensely. In those articles he explained that cars were engineered and assembled within the specs provided by the factory. But...………..one did not shut down the assembly line for any reason, and so, needing an antenna, wheel bearing cap, or trim screw, other lines were used. If a part was not available, the car was delivered and a replacement part was sent to the dealer, or added by the dealer.

All this being said, stock is a very nebulous word. I am for the SCG and I enjoy their work and read every message I get in my mail.

Too many others in the car hobby, [while I appreciate their hard work], are cutting up, modifying, altering and otherwise taking away from stock, and this includes all makes and models. I think we, as a hobby need, need to at least support, and preserve what is stock for our cars. Right now, we are at a point, where a great many people [due to their age,] are amazed, stunned, at a rear engine car by Chevrolet. I think we owe to them and ourselves, some sense of stock, or at least know what is stock.

If a person wants to change his car, or modify it so be it. But I feel we at least need to know what is or was correct. And if we want to recognize those who want to remain stock, and show off stock then we need to support SCG, and help them in their mission. They are a benefit to us all.

Bob Bauer

Show-Me Corvairs

1966 Monza Convert 140 P/G with A/C, plastic wheel with tele-column am-fm posi-traction
1966 Corsa Convert 180 wood wheel tele-column am-fm sport steering posi-traction
1965 Corsa Coupe Crown V8 temporarily red lined for repair
House Springs, Missouri

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: November 08, 2019 06:12AM

I agree that a Corvair without a rear engine isn't really a Corvair. That is clearly in the category of "stock," as well as a fundamental element to the look and feel of the car.

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA
Member: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, and San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club
THEN: 1965 Monza 110 Canary Yellow
1967 Monza 140 Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW: 1966 Corsa 180 Turbo; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"It would not have helped if I had [taken notes], as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'

------

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: Paulsgt ()
Date: November 08, 2019 08:28AM

There is room in the hobby for all forms of the Corvair. I am a "Stock" enthusiast as well although my long-term 65 Monza convertible is nowhere near stock, I am doing my best to maintain my 62 Monza sedan as a stock original. That being said, the difficulty is in documenting what is "stock" I know Larry did an awesome job with the "Stock Is" articles. I believe there have been new discoveries since then and much more detail added to what is considered stock. My 62 Monza is an Oakland built car and probably has differences from a Willow Run built car. We also potentially need to differentiate between stock survivor cars and stock restored cars. As with mine, I could not retain the original interior fabric due to deterioration but replaced it with Clark's original style fabric. It still wears the original paint. The bottom line is...

Enjoy the Corvair!

Paul Sergeant
CORSA Central Division Director / CORSA Treasurer
Lee's Summit, MO
CORSA since 1975
Member – HACOA, Corvair Minnesota, CORSA, Little Indians, POCI


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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: November 08, 2019 01:45PM

I think maintaining stock cars and information as to what stock is is very important. I love it.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: Cheepfk ()
Date: November 08, 2019 02:58PM

Restoring to "stock" is never easy or cheap. I think that's why so many aren't.

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: November 08, 2019 05:15PM

Cheepfk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Restoring to "stock" is never easy or cheap. I think that's why so many aren't.
===========================================================

Spend some $$ and get a bigger monitor!! GGG


This is about Corvairs that have NEVER been TOUCHED except for maintainence!

NO repaint...no re-upholster.... no exchange parts... very rare cars as Kent states.


All I can say is that 15 years shold've discovered 99% of info / proof...

As far as a "show Class". What's to compete for? Original is original! Dings / dents / scratches / tears shouldn't matter.

And as far as Corsa's Tire / Battery / Wiper Blade allowance.... that should not be allowed... They should be charged with find old original parts that are in the best shape possible..

They can put on the Original tires at the Meet..... and install the 1960's battery after operations check????

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: Caveman_1960 ()
Date: November 08, 2019 05:23PM

I have a stock Corvair. It is a 1963 Monza 4-door sedan. It has been judged as "Historic Preservation of Original Features (HPOF)" by the Antique Automobile Club of America. I know the history of the car since it was delivered to it's first and only previous owner. I have documentation. The car recently turned over 18,000 miles from new. I know all of the parts that are on the car now that were not put there by some UAW brother at the Willow Run Assembly Plant back in May of 1963.

But is it stock? There is a non-GM AM radio in a non-original radio bracket under the dash. Does this make the car "Modified"? I know the reason for this anomaly was that the dealer wanted to make more profit by installing a radio in his Service Department rather than checking that box on the order form. And he sold it to his sister!

So I don't want to argue the point. I just want to enjoy the car. And preserve the car in it's original as-delivered condition. Would the SCG give me any wiggle room on this point? If so the car is currently on display at the Automotive Hall of Fame Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. - Caveman Pete

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: November 08, 2019 05:27PM

Pete' it stock except for the Aftermarket radio!


Bud of mine years ago was vying for the National Champion '32 Model C Ford...

Tie was broken when they discovered the FORD Radio's serial # showed the radio was produced in 1933!

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: November 08, 2019 05:33PM

Friends don't let friends drive stock!

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: 67 airvair ()
Date: November 08, 2019 07:43PM

It has been said that if we don't know where we've been, then we can't know where we are going. We need to learn from history and historical artifacts so that we can know what worked in the past and what didn't.

When it comes to original, survivor grade cars, I love to see them in whatever degree of originality they happen to be. I have had the good fortune to own a '67 Monza convertible, which I bought from the original first owner, back in the spring of '71. He was a dealer, and for whatever reason, had it repainted. Maybe his purpose in repainting a less than 4 year old car was to guild the lily, but nonetheless it has, since this initial T-bird, slight shade off, enamel repaint, been subject to several section repairs and repaints.

The latest was the result of barking the left rear wheel well on a d**n pole out in the middle of nowhere at a cursed Speedway (I since refuse to patronize them) station.angry smiley The repair guy didn't just repair the quarter, he repainted the whole side, without my knowledge, and in the process lost the special, factory-original, one of only 125 in '67 (and not all were 2 doors) and 78 in '68, moisture barrier with its heat-seamed-in special speaker cup for the factory-installed 8-track tape deck. His excuse for the extent of repaint? He couldn't match the color (and he still didn't). Needless to say, I was livid.angry smileyhot smiley But the damage was done, and the lost part cannot be replaced or recovered.

All that said, that off-color side is now moot, due to a horrible mishap of my own coming back from the convention this past year. I was just 13 miles from home when, after spending a lot of time and care in trying my level best to get home safely, I suddenly zoned out and sideswiped a guard rail, causing damage from headlight bezel to cove molding. I cried.sad smileysad smileysad smiley Fortunately it's repairable, and since the rest of the first owner's repaint can't be made to shine anymore, I have decided to go ahead and have it totally repainted, back to its original shade and color, of course.

Now after all this, I must say that the rest of the car, interior, drive train, bottom side, and even the top and rear window, are still original, as built in the factory, condition. The only thing I have done is to maintain the car in running condition. At least I know that what is there, other than the paint, is the way it came out of Willow Run.

Is it an "original" car? A "survivor" car? I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion, but to me, I don't care, not even to hear others' opinions about it. I know what it is, what it has been through, and as far as I'm concerned, it's still closer to being an "original, survivor" type car than any fully-restored car can ever be.

You're only original once, and in this car, I will always do my level best to try to save and preserve as much of its originality as humanly possible. I can't change its history, or stop mishaps from happening, but I can preserve as much as possible its stock condition. It simply has "patina" in buckets full.

-Mark

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: November 09, 2019 07:44AM

I'm not personally a big Stock guy but I certainly admire it. I work on a lot of different Corvairs for people with a lot of different outlooks so it behooves me to have a working knowledge.

I enjoyed reading the "Stock Is" articles, I read them several years after they pere published.

I have a '61 4-door 500 I bought in 1989 with very low miles, a little old lady had passed away. In the course of making a better driving car I swapped the 80 HP 3-speed for a 102 4 speed. I replaced the bench seat with buckets. I painted it with something close. I sold it for 10 years and bought it back but it had declined. The unwashed masses seemed to love it, pretty much stock but with a little attitude, body color wheels with small center covers and trim rings but with 205/70/R13 white walls.

I have a '60 4-door 700 I bought from the original owner, I just brought it home from storage yesterday. It's not swell but with a front seat replacement it will be fair and usable. It's stock except the top of the dash is flat black. I would like to resist the temptation to modify it. The bench seat sort of goes with the PG and I think you just have to love a stock '60 700 with the beltline trim and trim rings with the little bowties. "The original and still the best".

In short I admire and respect what you guys in the Stock Corvair Group are doing and I hope you can keep it up. I probably can't help, I'd probably be a SCCA corner worker or something if I had some time, although I might grow weary of watching Miatas go by.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: irfgt ()
Date: November 09, 2019 09:51AM

I sure would hate to be beaten by an all original rusted out leaking POS against a fully restored vehicle with over 1000 man hours restoring it to original appearance and performance.

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: 67 airvair ()
Date: November 09, 2019 01:43PM

When it comes to knowledge of what is stock, nobody knows everything. Even the best people in CORSA don't know everything. I once was personally asked by Larry Claypool to help him with his "Stock Is" column, and even have surprised Dave Newell with information that he didn't even know. But then, like me, both would be the first to acknowledge that they don't know everything. Like the saying goes, we're all ignorant, but just on different subjects.

Truth is, I just wish those running the CORSA concours would not rely on one person's say-so as much as they do. They expect him to be the absolute last word on everything, what is and is not stock. After all, it says in the rules that if no determination can be made, the owner's word shall be taken as correct.

The ultimate goal of the SCG is to be a repository of as much information as possible on what is stock and how the factory did things. There is so much ignorance and misinformation out there, and what is truthful is in danger of being lost forever, if we don't document it as soon as we can. So we look for stock originality wherever we can find it, and in whatever quantity it exists.

Problem is, there is so much to discover and not enough people to do the work. But regardless of whether or not stock original condition is your thing, it is something that can fascinate anyone. So come join us. You just may discover something about the Corvair you didn't know, and maybe something about yourself in the process.

-Mark

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Re: Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
Posted by: cyclemikey ()
Date: November 09, 2019 03:48PM

Interesting discussion. But it's really easy to get off into the weeds on this stuff. If you get picky enough about what is or is not original, you could easily wind up with a class with no cars in it at all; they're 50-60 years old after all.

My '64 Monza coupe with 32K is one of the most original and stock cars I've ever seen, and I've been going to some lengths to keep it that way. Repairing and re-using original clamps, nuts, bolts, that sort of thing. But it certainly doesn't have the original rubber bushings, tires, or heater ducts, etc. So does that mean it's not "original"?

And worst of all, I suppose, is that it's been repainted - once, in the original color, no jambs. (same color as Matt's stock car). So maybe it's now a modified car and I should just forget the whole thing. Do I dare install an auxiliary electric fuel pump under the car? I dunno...


Mikey
on the mighty Millicoma in
Coos Bay, Oregon

'64 Monza coupe
waaay too much other stuff to list

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