<VV> Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them -- What's the priority to YOU, personally?

Dave Leonard dave at arborlea.com
Sun Nov 10 13:03:48 EST 2019

Regarding the great question: " What value and priority should CORSA, in the
form of its membership, put on documenting, preserving, and celebrating
original "survivor" Corvair cars and trucks?"

In my opinion, I think CORSA should put significantly more emphasis on this
topic, and make it a top organizational priority going forward - while the
stories, cars, and the people who know about them, are still around do be
documented.  I believe this needs to be elevated to a core mission for
CORSA, for the future of the marque and the club.  This has nothing to do
with individual members interest in stock, modified, driver or show-quality
cars, but everything to do with documenting what "stock" is and how they
were built/delivered when new.  As the value of our cars continue to
increase, more emphasis will continue to be placed on what was correct and
original vs. altered.  It's just a simple economic fact that this will
become increasingly important, and there is no one positioned better than
CORSA/SCG to take up the charge and see it through.

Along with Corvairs, I'm active in the MG T-series register with my MG
TF-1500, and also the National Corvette Restores Society (NCRS:
https://www.ncrs.org/ ) with my '64 'vette.  The MG TF group has an
excellent reference site (https://www.mg-cars.org.uk/mgtf/ ) that could
serve as a model for what we could do, complete with a gallery of original
cars with details well documented.  The Corvette world is so over-the-top as
to be completely insane, but the amount of documentation and judging
information available is stunning.  Just for '63-'67 for instance, the
following info is available:
https://www.ncrs.org/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_67   There is
almost nothing on my '64 'vette that can't be checked against current
documentation for originality.  NCRS also has a series of judging and award
categories for un-restored original cars
(https://www.ncrs.org/services/judging-awards.php#BOWTIE ) that could be
simplified and adopted as a model for CORSA to use.  

Having just participated in the Hilton Head Island Concours with my '55 MG
in the Preservation Class, I see the value and interest rising in preserved
cars.  Preserved cars don't have to be 100% "stock" or perfect, but they do
have to be original and period correct.  My MG has a number of non-factory
dealer-installed options from 1955 that are not "correct" for a restored
car, but are perfectly fine for a car in a Preservation Class.  It's driven,
it's not perfect, but it is original and a good reference source of what
"original" was.  Unfortunately, none of my Corvairs would meet the criteria
of strict originality for this class.

I think that documenting and making information available on "stock is..."
is extremely valuable to everyone who cares about our cars, just as is
information on maintenance, enhancements, and repair tips.  I'd like to see
more of it, and am willing to contribute time and effort toward the goal.
There are excellent examples out there on how and what to do, NCRS probably
being the over-the-top gold standard.  This information is valuable to both
"restored stock" and "preserved original" car owners.

Dave Leonard

> Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2019 16:50:29 +0000
> From: Kent Sullivan <kentsu at corvairkid.com>
> To: "virtualvairs at corvair.org" <virtualvairs at corvair.org>
> Subject: <VV> Survivor cars: Researching, documenting, and preserving them
-- What's the priority to YOU, personally?
> Greetings,
> The follow letter to the editor is in the newest CORSA Communique. I am
> reposting it here to ensure a broad audience sees it and has a chance to
> respond. The Stock Corvair Group officers who are also Virtual Vairs
> will follow any discussion here but also feel free to send email directly
> us using the email address below.
> The SCG needs a significant increase in people doing tasks and
> or it's not going to continue for much longer. This letter is an attempt
> understand whether the SCG is one of those things where the typical
> is "Well, I'm glad someone is doing it, but I don't have the time..." The
> hard truth is we all have the same amount of time -- it's about assigning
> value and prioritizing.
> There are only so many survivor cars out there, and over time they
> to dwindle. Are we as an organization going to make a significant effort
> learn from them while they still exist? At this point, the SCG officers
> done trying to convince people to participate. Either there will be a
> critical mass of people to get things done or there won't and we will all
> need to accept the consequences.

More information about the VirtualVairs mailing list