Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CPotD #11 (The One That Brought Me Back)

This low resolution JPEG is a poor excuse for a CPotD, but its importance in my Corvair life is too great to pass over. It was this photo and twenty-two others of a 1963 Monza 4-door sedan that brought me back into the fold so to speak. In 2001 I moved to Long Island, New York and my commute tripled to forty miles a day. After a couple months, I decided my current daily driver, a gas-guzzling ’66 Catalina, would not suffice. I wanted to continue driving an old car. I wanted one that got reasonable gas mileage. I wanted my ’62 Corvair back.

I joined the VirtualVairs mail list and immediately posted my desire to obtain a drivable Corvair. Within a day or so, a guy just north of New York City responded with an offer to trade his running old car for mine. We traded photos, and the following weekend I drove to New Rochelle and we made the swap. The seller warned me the car had no heat since the lower engine shrouds were not installed. I took my four-year-old daughter with me for company on the trip, and I can still remember buckling her blanket-wrapped body into the passenger seat.

After installing the engine shrouds, I drove that car nearly trouble-free for the next year and a half until my employer laid me off. After taking a job in Virginia, my family insisted I get a newer car to make my weekly 1000 mile roundtrips from home to work. That meant the Corvair was available for my recently licensed eldest daughter to drive back and forth to school. She did that until she graduated from high school. By that time we were all living in Baltimore. A couple months later, Heidi was ready for a running engine, so this Corvair donated its drivetrain to getting the convertible back on the road. Now it was time to make the call to the Corvair Ranch and ask the proprietor, Jeff, to come fetch this engine-less and rusty Corvair now too rotted to return to roadworthiness.

The next time I saw this car it was laying on its side surrounded by other rejected, dejected Corvairs.

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