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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.

Yowza

Yowza

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!

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A Trip Down Memory Lane……

28 Dec

After a rainy weekend and some cold evenings that saw temperatures dip into the low 30’s, I decided to cruise to Morro Bay on my day off.  The sun had just come out and while still chilly, it was nice to feel some warmth. I was anxious to get out of the house and after some thought I settled on traversing Old Morro Road from Atascadero to the coast. With no particular destination in mind it was clear, once I got into the car, that lunch was in order and I would stop somewhere along the way.

Looky Here

Looky Here

It is always an adventure following my nose and I thought that it would be nice to stop at places that I had only driven by before.  Just such a place is the Last Stage West along Highway 41 about half way between Atascadero and Morro Bay. If anyone has read “Another Road Side Attraction” by Tom Robbins this is certainly the place he had in mind when writing the book. I had driven past this outpost so many times through the years that it had the opportunity to burn down, get demolished and get rebuilt as I whizzed by. Alas, as I approached the turn off I saw that the closed sign was on indicating that now is not the time to dilly dally.

The Super Chief

The Super Chief

Further down the road and the next destination was a former Bed and Breakfast that has been listed for sale for about ten years.  Always wanted to stop and poke around the building to see what you would get for, no doubt, a good chunk of change and 20 plus acres. Again I was thwarted by a flurry of cars parked in the driveway.  Not wanting to disturb or alarm anyone I decided to drive on.  Last but not least on my list was a veggie burrito from Tacos de Mexico in Morro Bay.  Third time is the charm and I got one to go.

A Peek Inside

A Peek Inside

After parking the car on the bluff over looking Tidelands Park I decided to take to the pavement and walk through town toward Morro Bay State Park.  Through the Heron Rookery where I spotted dozens of nests high up in the Eucalyptus trees lining the shore of the bay. I could smell the familiar smells of low tide and eucalyptus as this is an area in which I ran every day way back in the early 80’s when I lived in Morro Bay.  I traversed through the golf course and campground and wound my way to the top of the course and followed the road on down and back to the car.  Driving now I meandered through the streets of town and arrived at the crossroads of Main St. and Old Morro Road where I noticed something I had missed earlier.  Parked in a lot that was once the site of a gas station was a pair of old railroad cars that looked very familiar.  Familiar to anyone that is, who remembers driving South from San Luis Obispo toward Santa Barbara.  Located on a frontage road along Highway 101 in between San Marcos Pass and Gaviota toward Santa Barbara there stood a pair of old railroad cars that was clearly the site of an old diner.  The last time I drove through that area I noticed that the rail cars had been dismantled and carted off.  I remember at the time wondering where they went and what fate awaited them.  Well look no further.

Head Shot

Head Shot

Some one has rescued these delightful relics and has rested them temporarily on railroad ties poised to move forward and hopefully to restoration.  As there were no markings on the cracked and peeled paint I have no idea of the manufacture, use and history of these beauties.  Look for yourself and I hope that someone will come forward with knowledge enough to shed some light on these landmark railcars from yesteryear.  Enjoy the view………

The Second Car

The Second Car

Another Inside View

Another Inside View

Broadside

Broadside

Corviar 60’s print ads

27 Dec
Love is Blue

Love is Blue

corvair

corvair style

corvair mountain

step out corvair

corvair spirited

corvair again

Classic Car Stocking Stuffers

17 Dec

Classic car stocking stuffers: Five for five grand or less
By Rob Sass
Published December 09, 2012
Hagerty The Classic and Collector Car Insurance Specialists.
The classic car market is in a strong growth mode these days with nearly every round of auctions producing multiple world records and seven-figure sales. Lost in the hoopla over the mega-dollar stuff is the fact that interesting collectible cars are still out there for less than the average limit on a credit card. Here are some of our favorite reasonably priced stocking stuffers:

Do I Hear A Song?

Do I Hear A Song?

1. 1984-88 Pontiac Fiero: Sold to gullible GM brass as a practical, fuel-efficient two-seat “commuter car,” it looked like an attractive mid-engine sports car to nearly everyone else. The trouble was, it didn’t go or handle like one at first. Fieros got progressively better until the last model year when after getting it totally right, GM dumped it. Nice examples are still out there for a song and there’s a strong and enthusiastic club to provide support.

Free to a Good Home

Free to a Good Home

2. 1975-91 Alfa Romeo Spider: We still see marginal examples of these sexy Italian convertibles in the “free to a good home” category. Even nice ones can struggle to break five grand. Yes, they have a reputation for being temperamental (soft gearboxes, oil consumption and rust are frequently cited), but good ones are out there for not much money. Styled by the famous design firm Pininfarina, they can be intoxicatingly good fun. The ones built from 1982 on with electronic fuel injection are less problematic.

Nice to Look at....Mostly Garaged

Nice to Look at….Mostly Garaged

3. 1975-80 MGB: MGBs built from late 1974 forward have a bit of a checkered reputation among the MG faithful. They’re not bad cars per se, but the rubber impact bumpers and the emission control-related loss of horsepower (in a car that already had little to spare) put these at the bottom of the MGB pecking order. That said, they’re entertaining on a nice day, and while they don’t exactly boast a reputation for bulletproof reliability, they’re at least easy to work on and will fit down most standard-size chimneys.

Who is Collecting These?

Who is Collecting These?

4. 1987-93 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 coupe: The Fox Platform Mustang (built from 1979-93) was the longest lived series of the famous pony car and possibly one of the most influential. Reworking the piston and cylinder head design of Ford’s venerable 5.0-liter V-8 resulted in the return of real horsepower to the Mustang for the first time since the early 1970s. While nice examples of Fox Mustangs are hard to find, the LX versions of the coupe and hatchback with the 5.0 can be surprisingly reasonable.

A Classic Worth Having

A Classic Worth Having

5. 1960-62 Plymouth Valiant sedan: The Valiant has a ton going for it as a cheap classic —the unkillable Slant-6 engine, styling by the famous and flamboyant Virgil “Excess” Exner, torsion bar suspension, unibody construction and a great name. Valiants were generally regarded as among the best of the first generation of American compact cars. The sedans, which were the most numerous body style, are still quite affordable.

All I Want For Christmas is…….A Classic Car

10 Dec

The following is an excerpt from Hagerty Collector and Classic Car Insurance.

In addition to home, hearth and family, this is the time of the year that car people reflect on the classics that have made the automotive world a better place. Here are five that we are especially thankful for:

1. Ford Mustang: The original pony car celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. The Mustang was a car like no other. Although designed for the youth market, it appealed to nearly every demographic. Little has changed. We’re particularly big fans of the original 1964½-66 Mustang as well as the present model introduced in 2005.

Pony up with this classic

Pony up with this classic

2. Chevrolet Camaro: The Camaro may have been inspired by the Mustang and it may have come to market a few years later, but bowtie fans had a lot to be enthusiastic about, particularly when the cars butted heads in the legendary SCCA Trans Am race series of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Like the Mustang, we like the bookend effect of the original 1967-69 cars and the present iteration of the Camaro.

1969 Yenko Camaro

1969 Yenko Camaro

3. Chevrolet Corvette: It’s difficult to imagine a world without the Corvette, but GM was ready to kill it after the disappointing 1954 model year. Only the appearance of the 1955 Ford Thunderbird (GM couldn’t countenance the appearance of having been driven from the two-seater market by Ford) and the arrival of savior Zora Arkus-Duntov ensured its survival to the present. The iconic 1963-67 Sting Ray celebrates its 50th anniversary next year along with the 60th of the Corvette itself.

1963 Corvette Stingray

1963 Corvette Stingray

4. Porsche 911: The Porsche 911 is a car that shouldn’t really work at all: Its engine is in the wrong place for well-balanced handling and its basic style is going on a half century old. Yet it continues to inspire lust in everyone from engineers to hedge fund managers. We’re partial to the classic air-cooled models built from 1978-89. They’re nearly bulletproof and some can be bought quite reasonably.

1978 Porche 911 SC

1978 Porche 911 SC

5. Jaguar XKE: As legend has it, none other than Enzo Ferrari wept when the XKE was unveiled — he called it the most beautiful car he’d ever seen. XKEs (or E-Types to the rest of the world) have been frequent museum exhibits and not just at automotive museums — the Museum of Modern Art in New York displayed one for many years. It truly is a piece of moving sculpture the likes of which hasn’t been seen again, although its DNA clearly shows up in the new Jaguar F-Type.

1967 Jaguar XKE Series 1

1967 Jaguar XKE Series 1

Vintage 1960 “Film Strip” Corvair Presentation

6 Dec

Most of the Corvair brethren remember film strip presentations from grade school.  Dealership advertising used similar technology to present historical and technological  information to potential car buyers.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the bings and dings of just such a show………

The Corvair in Action……1960 TV Commercial

6 Dec

This is one of those glorious TV ads from the 60’s that most of us in the Corvair world remember with fond worm feelings. The following is one of those 6 plus minute “infomercials” that Chevrolet aired on National TV presumably during the Ed Sullivan Show or perhaps Red Skelton. Sit back and enjoy the view once again.