Western Michigan Corvair Club/Detroit Area Corvair Club First Annual Spring Dust-Off

May 3, 2003

Those of us who live in the northern parts of the U.S. experience a pang of envy when we read on Virtual Vairs about our southern counterparts driving their Vairs in the winter. But those who live in the sunny climes really don't appreciate that first spring day when you walk out the door without a jacket, feeling like you have forgotten something, feeling half-naked almost, and ... the air is warm. The ground and trees are brown but you know that in a few weeks the grass will be green again and just for a few moments you feel more alive than you have all winter. Those who enjoy warm and sunny weather year around simply cannot appreciate this sensation.

I won't say that it justifies slogging through the slush for four or five months, but it is one of the compensations for living in a place in which the change of the seasons means something.

A few seconds after that first sweet breath of fresh spring air, any healthy Michigan boy's thoughts will turn to cars. Time for the old toys to roll out of barns and garages, shed their covers, balk and fire. Slumping tires are reinflated, cans of starter fluid are drained, batteries charged, tanks filled, and it is time once again for young sons riding with their fathers to peer out the windows and yell, "Dad, did you see THAT?!" as a street rod or freshly washed Corvette flashes by in the opposite direction.

It's spring.

Jim Neal and I spent a fair amount of time last winter putting a new window in the top of his '64 Monza convertible. We did this work in a large pole barn Jim shares with Jim Little and Steve Ramsby just north of East Lansing, Michigan. At some point we concocted the idea of inviting the Detroit Area Corvair Club and the Western Michigan Corvair Club Corsa chapters over for a look-see at some of the toys the guys have stashed in their barns. We set a date for May 3. A few e-mails were exchanged with John Cole of WMCC and Clark Hartzel of DACC and we decided to call the event the Spring Dust Off. Both clubs would tour to Lansing, meet up, and share a pot luck lunch.

Based upon initial response, Jim and I expected about 10 to 15 cars. We got an early start Saturday morning and for me the Dust-Off was exactly that, as I dusted the cars Jim and his partners had to display. Here are pictures of some of them:








We cleaned and scrubbed and filled potholes in the drive with gravel. The day started off cool, but we were thankful for clear skies after two days of heavy rain.

We got a few cars before 1:00 p.m., and then the Corvairs came. Not 10, not 15, but about 27 or 28 in all on a glorious spring day. The longest distance traveled was probably by Dick Shank who drove up from South Bend, Indiana. We had a great lunch and visited for awhile, and then it was time to go. Jim and I had a great time, and we were thrilled with the turn out. John Cole took a number of pictures which can be seen at his web page.

The pictures I took of Corvairs and owners in attendance follow.



























Above, Dick Shank (left) and Steve Ridderman shoot the breeze.

For those of you who live in constant mild weather and haven't noticed, it's spring again!

Thanks to all who came, and we are planning on doing it again next year.


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