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Central Coast Corsa’s Christmas Party

30 Dec

A small but merry band of Corvair Aficionados gathered for the annual Christmas Party at Mike Thomas’ gaming parlor in East Atascadero.

The ladies guffaw

The ladies guffaw

Pot luck faire abounded with a cornucopia of savory and sweet treats doused with copious amounts of Central Coast wine. Long on the entertainment was Mike who once again showcased his collection of vintage pinball and jukebox machines.



As the jukebox crooned to Bee Gees, Manfred Mann and Herman’s Hermits the Jims Pennell and Corey ponyed up to display the pinball wizards they truly are. A real treat as Mike gave history and pertinent details for his restorations, value and inner workings of some truly remarkable machines.

I move to have all CCC events at Mike’s place…….
The surprise of the evening was presenting the annual Golden Blower Award. This yearly event acknowledges the contribution of a particular club member. An individual who goes above and beyond to make club #934 a solid and committed club dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Chevrolet’s Corvair. And I am not just blowing Hot Air…

Pinball Wizard Jim Corey

Pinball Wizard Jim Corey

Who's Next?

Who’s Next?

The recipient of this coveted award goes on to represent the club at all Corvair functions far and wide and willy nilly spends down the club treasury as sees fit. This years’ award winner was duped by club President Jim Pennell who stole the reins from the VP who traditionally presents the award. After much background hoopla Jim presented the award to Bob O who didn’t see it coming.

Why I oughta.......

Why I oughta…….

A conspiracy among the membership sideswiped the VP and instead inserted his name as the 2012 recipient! Dastardly deeds have never been recorded. Still, it is with great pleasure that I accept the award and now display it proudly in the Corvair Hall of Fame. Thank you very much all club members!


VairFest Wrap-up Rap for September 13, 2012

15 Sep

A small but merry band of Corvair enthusiasts gathered at President Jim’s home to chew the fat of VairFest. We did not have to chew for long since the treasurer’s report shows the club made a whopping $.18 profit for our most recent event in June.  Not that we are in this to line the club coffers with dough but we all got a good laugh at the expense and credit report. The bottom line, to use the parlance of our time; we are still in the black and that was cause for celebration.  Pizza, wine, fruit and a variety of salads lined the buffet counter as we discussed the future of this fine Corvair event.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

Our goal this year is to grow the event both in paid attendees and in passersby attendance.  We would like to make this a “go to” destination event for everyone and we  agreed to Jump start the 2013 event immediately.  Timely media we agree will be key to getting this event into the eyes of the right people.  First and foremost it was deemed that we get our event into the national media magazines such as Hemming’s Classic Car, CORSA Communique and others that have a calendar of events.  Many of these mags have lead times that are due 6 months in advance so it behooves us to start now.  Which reminds me…..Central Coast Corsa’s annual VairFest event at Heritage Park in Arroyo Grande, CA. will take place the weekend of June 21, 22 and 23, 2013. Once again our signature “Best Value” features are: Friday evenings date night with spaghetti dinner and a movie, Saturday car show, BBQ lunch, raffles and awards and a trek back in time to the Great American Melodrama for a fun and zany vaudeville show that is rife with laughs and a hint of burlesque just for spice. Our goal is to have 35 cars and a parade of informed populace craving to gawk at all the beautiful and unique Corvairs!  Let the parade begin.

Upcoming Corvair Book Signing Event!

11 Jul

Dear Central Coast Corsa:

I want to invite you and your CORSA chapter’s members to an upcoming reading and signing of Lifemobile, my new Corvair-themed novel, on Friday, July 20, 5:30 p.m., at the Outpost Trading Company in Santa Ynez, CA. This will be my first West Coast event for the book, and the only one for the foreseeable future. I’m sorry the location is out of the way, but that’s where family is, and this is their store, so that’s where I’ll be. Directions to Outpost Trading Co., 1102 Edison Street, Santa Ynez, CA, are here. Copies of Lifemobile will be available for sale at the event.

Lifemobile tells the story of Benjy Bennett, an honor student with Asperger’s Syndrome, who upon graduation from high school despairs that “there’s no place in this world” for someone as different as him.  But then his father brings home a “Deathmobile” – an old Corvair, famously characterized by Ralph Nader as “unsafe at any speed.”  When Benjy learns that the U.S. government ultimately found Nader’s charges untrue, he decides that the Corvair is “not disabled, just different,” as he is, and has been unfairly stigmatized by a world that does not understand it, just as he has.  Taking Benjy and his father on a wild and emotional ride full of colorful characters and comic adventures, the Deathmobile becomes their “Lifemobile,” ultimately helping them both discover Benjy’s own uniquely satisfying place in this world.

The book is based on my experiences with my son, described here, and has received very high praise from readers, Corvair owners, and critics, including this:

In this lovely first novel from Jonathan Rintels, what begins, literally and figuratively, as a reclamation project for the much maligned Corvair grows into a sweet, moving celebration of the bond between fathers and sons – the way their flaws can magnify each other and their virtues can save each other. Written with a deft touch, an engaging wit, and a sure eye for what will ring warm and true, this is an incredibly engaging story that anyone would treasure. It may even make you go out and buy a Corvair.             Robert Bianco, TV Critic, USA Today

There’s lots more info on the book’s website,, including a reprint of a recent article about Lifemobile from CORSA’s Communique Magazine, here.

I would be very grateful if you would spread the word about this event to your chapter’s members and any others who might be interested. And if you would like further information or to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope you’ll be able to come to this fun event.

Best regards,

Jonathan Rintels
Member, Central VA Corvair Club and CORSA

VairFest 2012

9 Jul

The complete VairFest line up.  A small but solid line up featuring a variety of Vairs that competed for prizes and accolades from adoring fans. Not only did the show wow the Corvair crowd but wooed innocent by standers as well.  Come in for a look …..

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Hope you enjoyed the show! We will see you next year!

A First Taste of VairFest 2012

7 Jul

A mouth watering view of the Show Cars at VairFest 2012.  Central Coast Corsa’s premiere annual Corvair event.  Have a look there is more to follow……..

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And a good time was had by all!

On the Road Again – Vintage Trailers in Pismo Beach

6 Jul

The 5th annual Vintage Trailer Show in Pismo Beach is indeed bigger and better than ever! After stumbling upon this great event last year my wife and I made it a point to attend this years fest. It is an event that magically happens each 3rd week of May.  This year added 150 new entries of all shapes, sizes and styles.  The 3 day event takes place at the Pismo Campground adjacent to the Monarch butterfly reserve on Highway 1 and virtually takes up the entire campground. Saturday is really the day to see all the trailers and the classic cars that pull them and visitors are welcome to walk in and take a self guided tour.  The trailer folk are anything but trailer trash as they are some of the friendliest and warmest people you will meet.  Passionate about their trailers they indeed are.  Take a look at some of the glory!

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Make it a point to get to next year’s show!

All Aboard! Pomar Junction Winery Shindig

15 Feb

All Aboard the Pomar Junction

Club members Jim and Jean Corey invited Catherine and I out to Pomar Winery last Sunday for a Mardi Gras feast that was grand indeed.  Overcast and cold began the morning yet skies cleared at mid morning to reveal a gorgeous sun shiny and warm day.  It was our first trek to the winery, located in the beautiful Templeton back country,  that boasted a hill top view of the surrounding rolling countryside.  At our arrival we met Matt who offered us a mini tour of the winery, a brief history of the area vineyards and the wine room displaying stainless steel vats holding the good juice.  He then introduced us to Jim the winemaker who offered some barrel tasting zinfandel later in the day as he guided us up the hill to the festival grounds.  Food, wine and music filled the air as we entered an enchanted garden filled with happy and familiar faces.  A Mardi Gras theme was apparent as beads and dubloons festooned tables and dolled up the folks dressed down!  Gus, sporting top hat and a long tux jacket looked as though he arrived by hot air balloon so close to the Wizard of Oz was the sight!  A splendid gumbo served up with shrimp that was superbly grilled to perfection!  Rounding out the culinary delights was red beans and rice, bread and a salad and all the Pomar wine you could drink.  I was particularly fond of the Pino Noir and the red blend called Train Wreck.  We were joined by some other friends Lee and Debbie and had a wonderful afternoon.  Live music graced the hillside as we sat and enjoyed a relaxing and comforting day.  We had the great opportunity to meet Dana, owner of the winery and chat with him for awhile.  Everyone there was very friendly and open to meeting all their guests.  This event was entirely Free as well!  Now that is added value let me tell you.  We were so impressed that Catherine and I cannot wait for the next event…Train Wreck Friday that is upcoming sometime in late March or early April.  We will keep you posted. Located at the the junction of El Pomar and South El Pomar roads in East Templeton the Pomar winery boasts a train theme complete with caboose and box car pictured at the right.