<VV> Airens garden tractors - end of an era

Bill Elliott Bill Elliott" <Corvair@fnader.com
Fri, 14 May 2004 15:44:36 -0400

>From Milwaukee Corvair guy extraordinaire Ed Thompson:

Bill Elliott
Urbana, MD

On Fri, 14 May 2004 13:10:06 -0500, Thompson, Ed wrote:

Rick Barrett
Business Section 
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I read your article in today's paper, re the "zero-turn" tractors/mowers that are sweeping the landscaping and lawn maintenance industry, to the point that 
the Airens Company of Brillion WI has ceased production of traditional lawn and garden tractors. I wasn't aware of that general industry change.

The first paragraph of your article likens the change to that of the passing of eight-track music tapes and the Chevy Corvair.  Over one million, seven 
hundred thousand Corvairs were produced for ten model years, from 1960 - 69, in a wide variety of body styles, including station wagons and vans/pick-
ups. My current Corvair, a 1966 Monza sport sedan  (automatic transmission/110 horsepower motor) has just over 101K miles and some nice "modern" 
touches, including a factory AM/FM radio, a working clock, "spinner" wire wheel covers and several after- market additions   such as radial tires, 
electric fuel pump, dual master cylinder brakes, daylight running lights and more. I bought my first Corvair in August of 1966, shortly after I turned 

Of special note to me is that your Airens article, w/ Corvair reference, was published today. On May 14, 1969, the very last Corvairs were built at the 
old Chevrolet plant in Willow Run, Michigan. If you were to go to The Milwaukee Journal archives for the May 15, 1969 edition (am afraid I do not know 
the section or page number), you will see a photo and caption for the second-to-last Corvair built being, unfortunately, pushed off of the assembly line. 
That very car is currently under the custody of the Corvair Preservation Foundation, which is associated w/ the Corvair Society of America, 
www.corvair.org. The annual International Convention for owners and enthusiasts of these "waterless wonders" will be held next month in Lexington KY, 
see www.kycorsa.com for details. I'm a long-time member of the Milwaukee Corvair Club, our web site can most easily be reached via "Google" search. 
Needless to say, I'd be happy to share as much, additional Corvair folk lore as you could endure!

Ed Thompson
414-277-5231 (voice)
414-978-8913 (direct fax)