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Don Smieszek
Posted by: WhenIm64 ()
Date: March 02, 2018 08:51AM

Longtime Corvair enthusiast Don Smieszek, of New Jersey, passed away last night.

Don was a Vietnam veteran, a Marine, who was nearly killed from a mine explosion. He was the only member of his company to survive the blast. His doctors did not expect him to survive.

We knew him as a Corvair guy, especially as a leading authority on 1969 Corvairs and especially the 1969 Monza Convertible of which only 500-some were produced. Yet Don was a very humble man who never sought accolades or awards, whether for his military service or for his hobby.

Don was very generous with his time, knowledge, and talents, helping his fellow Corvair owners with repairs and upgrades.

In more recent years, he explained that the cars are fun but the veterans’ activities he undertook, including welcoming returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan, were more important. That alone speaks to his character.

Don was a member of several local Corvair clubs. We are all going to miss him. May he rest in peace with his fellow veterans.

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: March 02, 2018 09:05AM

May peace be with him.

Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: March 02, 2018 10:21AM

Rest in Peace Don, and Thank-you for your service.

And Thank-you to ALL of our Veterans out there.

WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza - 140 4-spd. driver

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: azdave ()
Date: March 02, 2018 11:21AM

Sorry to hear we lost another of the good ones. Condolences to his family.

Dave W. / Gilbert Arizona
66 Corsa 140 4-speed w/factory A/C
66 Corsa 140 4-speed
65 Corsa 140 4-speed
66 Corsa 455 Toro V8
65 Monza 110 Convertible
65 Monza 4DR 140 PG w/factory A/C
65 Monza 4DR EJ20T w/5-speed

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: Paulsgt ()
Date: March 02, 2018 11:55AM

Saw that name around CORSA for many years. RIP Don.

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

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: steve c goodman ()
Date: March 02, 2018 12:35PM

I didn't know Don but I know he will be missed by family and friends. My thoughts to everyone whose lives he touched.

best wishes, Steve
Rear Engine Spec. Inc. Golden, Colo.

1962 spyder 3.0L turbo---1965 Crown V8
1967 monza 110/4---1968 monza 110/4
1971 amante gt 110/4

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: curt ()
Date: March 02, 2018 01:21PM


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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: Darrin ()
Date: March 02, 2018 02:05PM

RIP Don. Condolences to his family and friends.

Darrin Hartzler
Bethesda, MD/Catlett, VA

Northern Virginia Corvairs & Group Corvair

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: March 02, 2018 04:07PM

I had the pleasure of calling Don Smieszek a cherished friend for almost 30 years.
He was my first of many Corvair friends. I will always cherish the many hours we spent wrenching on or chasing cars over the years or talking cars. He had a photographic memory of all of the cars he owned over the years. He could remember details of every Corvair he owned and of all of the 69's he had owned or come across. He had a heart of gold and was always there to lend a hand. Whenever there was a car show or Veterans event he would be the first one there and the last one to leave. With other mutual friends we would celebrate birthdays and other life events. We had our end of the table at the monthly club meetings where we would jokingly argue over who had the check. Don of course would always want to pay and would say "you will make me mad if you don't let me pay". If you knew Don, it was almost impossible to make him mad. Although ill health plagued his final years he NEVER complained. He loved his friends and he loved his fellow veterans and he loved this great country. I was glad that he was able to make it to my wedding last June and I know he was so happy to be a part of it. Two weeks ago we celebrated (albeit belated) his birthday along with 2 other friends. Don had insistent that we go out (although his health had precluded this). In hindsight this was his farewell. There is a huge void in my life but I am satisfied that he lived a full life and that he is no longer in pain. RIP my friend.

Lee J

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: Jim Stukenborg ()
Date: March 03, 2018 08:14AM

One of the older member our Corvair club often remarks about the good people in the Corvair community. May Don rest in peace. Jim

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: fred bagnall ()
Date: March 03, 2018 08:30AM

Always sad to hear of the loss of another Corvair authority. RIP Don Smiezek.
Prayers and condolences to the family.

64 Greenbrier std -110, 4spd,barn find on the road again after 46 year hiatus.
66 Turbo Corsa, 180hp,posi-trac, quick steering HD suspension,AM-FM-multiplex,soft-Ray glass all around
Floridian currently residing in Nor Cal

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: Kcampbell ()
Date: March 05, 2018 09:03AM


I wanted to introduce myself, My name is Kevin Campbell and I am the youngest nephew of Don Smieszek that lives down in Tennessee.

Thank you all for the kind words, and the stories that you have shared. My uncle Don and my dad (Gary Campbell) are the reason I have a passion for cars, and probably why my driving record has been less than spotless over the years.

It is wonderful to read through some of these posts to see how his personality and care for others spread so far throughout so many people.

We may have lost a great man, but his legacy and story will live on through out everyone that he met.

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: March 05, 2018 09:09AM

And you can be proud as well!

Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!

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Re: Don Smieszek
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: March 05, 2018 09:40AM

Kevin, Sorry for your loss.

However, it is great that you have had such a great influence in you life, a great tribute to your uncle.


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block
86' BMW 325es
98' Dodge 2500 12v Cummins Diesel with 1200 lb torque!
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo

Grand Island, NY

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