<VV> Since 1984...
James P. Rice
ricebugg at comcast.net
Mon Jun 29 13:06:44 EDT 2015
All: I've been a CORSA member continuously since the mid 70's. Served as
Competition Committee Chairman from late '79 till mid-84 or so. I was
recruited by Dave Newell as part of the CPF Advisory Board as it was
created. Served as a CORSA/CPF BoD member and CPF Liaison from the
convention in Tahoe in '99 until convention in 2002.
Many years ago, like 4 decades ago, the late Clay Wispell wrote an article
for the Communique about CORSA membership, the budget and related topics. I
have retained the article in a file, but am writing this from memory.
CORSA was started in 1969. Up until about 1978 , CORSA was managed by a
group of volunteers. They were dropping like flies sprayed with Raid due to
CORSA acquired our first management team and Communique publisher in late
1978/early 1979. They were in place at the Detroit Convention in 1979. I
knew them both reasonably well. I was to get to know the BoD members which
turned CORSA from a loosely organized car club run by volunteers into a well
organized car club run by trained professionals. Those BoD members were
people we owe our continued existence to: Allen (at least two of them!),
Herb, Fred, Clay, Bob (at least two of them also!), Pete, Ken, Tony, Larry,
Seth and many others who poured their hearts and souls into CORSA. It
wasn't always a pretty process, but they all were working toward a common
goal as each understood it.
IIRC, CORSA membership was about 8400 by in 1984. In the article Clay
observed CORSA membership began to decline as the 1960 Corvair turned 25 and
the 1969 turned 15 years old. Fifteen to twenty-five year old cars cease to
be reliable transportation for most folks. They become "toy cars".
Something we play with and enjoy.
At the annual CORSA BoD meeting in 1984, IIRC, the BoD approved a budget
expecting CORSA Membership to reach 10k. It did not happen because of the
above lack of interest by most people for toy cars. Membership began
declining at the same time. This optimistic budget decision resulted in
the first financial crisis within CORSA. CORSA has been "dying" since
then. I think we are now down to membership numbers at or below those we
had in 1979 or so.
Someone said: "But Lon, membership has been steadily declining - for the
past 20 years. Yup - a sign of the modern age where the internet tells us
the big lie that everything should be free. It's why swap meets, conventions
and more traditional means of "getting together" are slowly dying. The
internet age has killed magazine advertising and a lot of the printed word.
Let's also not forget the average age of our membership - are we supposed to
believe that, if we just did the job right, there's a whole massive number
of young Corvair lovers out there that we could get to join?"
While some of the above paragraph is true, its opening premise is wrong.
CORSA's history tells us the internet/computer age of free info is NOT the
cause of CORSA's reduced and reducing membership. If anything is the cause,
it is because Corvair people are generally an independent folk, who are
rapidly turning into old chromogens and/or dying off. Excessively
independent minded people are not inclined to join much of anything.
Some of you (Not only do you know who you are, we know who you are) need to
stop bitching every time something doesn't go exactly like you in your
infinite wisdom think it should. And then you go and say something
terminally stupid like "I'm not going to re-up my CORSA membership." That
fixes what exactly?!
There are empty seats on the CORSA's BoD. Fill them. Stop you crapping,
put your nose down and get to work like Allen (at least two of them), Herb,
Fred, Clay, Bob (at least two of them also!), Pete, Ken, Tony, Larry, Seth
and many others did so many years ago. They poured their hearts and souls
But understand, in joining the BoD, you should plan on committing you bank
book, credit card(s) and vacation time to the effort.
So folks, do you want to go back to the loosely organized car club run by
volunteers? Keep it up.
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:54:18 -0700
From: Corvair Underground <sales at corvairunderground.com>
To: virtualvairs at corvair.org
Subject: <VV> CORSA IS DYING - OH REALLY?
Good Lord people - How long does this have to go on?
A car didn't get the classification someone thought it should and that is
"proof" of why Corsa is dying. Some people are so upset about it (so they
say) they'll even drop their membership.
It really makes me wonder if Corsa's future really depends on the membership
of people that think that way.
Would you like to know how long the "Corsa is dying" mantra has been going
on? Well coincidentally ever since the internet became popular.
Every time someone had a complaint (legitimate or otherwise) or got their
feelings hurt (usually at a National convention) the wise sages all opine
-" this is what's killing Corsa.".
Every time a new sparkplug joined the board and didn't get his/her own way -
well, "That's what killing CORSA". The fact that without consensus you can't
get what you want no matter how right you think you are. Rule
#1 in politics is you have to know how to count. "They" are killing CORSA
because "they" want to keep doing things the same old way? Who exactly are
"they"? I spent 3 years on the board myself and I didn't see anything any
different than with any other internal political body. "They" are your
fellow Corvair owners who may or may not agree with what you want to do.
Well, it turns out to be a very slow death., apparently, as CORSA is still
around, still has numerous successful conventions (including the Nationals)
and, despite the internet age hasn't lost a giant part of their membership.
In the 90's my company had a customer list of over 80,000 yet Corsa's
membership was under 7,000. This was in a time when there was no other
competition for Corvair owners - The fact is most people are not club
joiners. That's radically more true today.
The honest truth is CORSA has been doing an amazing job maintaining it's
membership as well as it has. I understand Harry and Mike are retiring. To
all those who believe that getting rid of them is the answer, well , we'll
see now won't we.
But I'm a realist. The people who use every little personal inconvenience or
slight as an excuse to "prove" "that's why CORSA is dying" are not going to
away. The internet gives every person a giant megaphone to use or misuse
however they want. Ain't it just great?
So I'll ask - are you going to help prolong Corsa's life by supporting it -
or take the easy "internet" way and just snipe at it until it really is
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 06:00:00 -0700
From: 62vair <62vair at gmail.com>
To: Corvair Underground <sales at corvairunderground.com>
Cc: virtualvairs at corvair.org
Subject: Re: <VV> CORSA IS DYING - OH REALLY?
Very to the point , Lon. Thanks for the breath of fresh air.
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:32:07 -0400
From: Eric Lucas <ericlucas at hotmail.com>
To: VV List <virtualvairs at corvair.org>
Subject: Re: <VV> CORSA IS DYING - OH REALLY?
Message-ID: <SNT151-W924CD78CD9FA8B1A5D9BFABAAA0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
So true! Thanks for your response. I don't post much on VV but I read almost
everything that's said. I am a member of CORSA and Corvanatics and glad to
be a supporter. You are right! CORSA is not dying, just changing like every
other institution affected by the Internet age. Of course, we could make
better use of this Internet "tool" we have at our disposal. This list is one
of the good things! There will always be those who rub each other the wrong
way. I try to find value in what is said, even if I disagree. I am not being
critical. Just observing. There will be benefit if we can find that
unemotional kernel of wisdom to strengthen the club. I have found that it is
much easier to be critical than it is to be constructive. It is also great
to have a place like this where everyone can participate. There will always
be elements acting in ways and saying things that appear not be helpful. The
club does not depend on them. My hope is that they would use their energy to
make the club better and not to tear it down. I love Corvairs and I
appreciate the club(s) and I am happy to support them. My desire to be in
CORSA does not depend on what is said here but I do enjoy the discussion and
this list is currently my primary way of participating. I am all-in and not
Thanks for your vigorous defense and for all you do for the car we love!
Eric in Indiana
> Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:54:18 -0700
> To: virtualvairs at corvair.org
> Subject: <VV> CORSA IS DYING - OH REALLY?
> From: virtualvairs at corvair.org
> Good Lord people - How long does this have to go on?
> A car didn't get the classification someone thought it should and that is
"proof" of why Corsa is dying.. Some people are so upset about it (so they
say) they'll even drop their membership.
> It really makes me wonder if Corsa's future really depends on the
membership of people that think that way.
> So I'll ask - are you going to help prolong Corsa's life by supporting it
- or take the easy "internet" way and just snipe at it until it really is
> Lon Wall
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