Happy 50th to the Chevy Corvair

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A celebration to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvair kicks off next week.

The Corvair Preservation Foundation (CPF), in cooperation with the Corvair Society of America (CORSA), will launch a year-long celebration with a special series of historical articles and events recognizing the Corvair’s development, production planning, inaugural advertising, publicity, and dealer announcements. The CPF is the non-profit affiliate of CORSA, the Corvair Society of America, an international organization of almost 5,000 Corvair enthusiasts.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to showcase the Corvair throughout the automotive world, by remembering the historic events that led to its introduction fifty years ago. We hope that people will not only see and appreciate how terrific these vehicles actually are, but also understand the passion and enthusiasm of Corvair owners today.
The affordability of driving and restoring Corvairs, as well as the support network available to Corvair owners, makes the car one of the easiest and most enjoyable collector cars to own,” said Dave Newell, CPF Historian.

The 2009 International CORSA Convention, being held in Jacksonville, FL, on July 13 – 17, 2009, will officially kick off the year-long celebration. It will continue through
the 2010 CORSA convention in Iowa, with local Corvair clubs and enthusiast groups hosting special shows and driving events throughout the year.

Some of the Corvair’s 50th anniversary highlights include:
• The earliest known available Corvair (serial #407) will be on display at the Jacksonville CORSA Convention on the 50th Anniversary of the day they were built, July 13th.
• Original Corvair advertising Art Director Harry Borgman will participate in a presentation at the Jacksonville convention about the original advertising efforts that led up to the Corvair’s debut.
• The CPF will release a Corvair 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin on October 2, 2009.
• October 2, 2009 has been officially designated by CORSA as national "Drive Your Corvair Day" with special events hosted by CORSA chapters around the country.

Interested enthusiasts are encouraged to contact their local Corvair club regarding local events being planned, and can also visit www.CORVAIR.org/csaindex.php?csaact=cpf for more information.

About The Chevrolet Corvair
Almost 2 million Corvairs were made by Chevrolet during its 1960-69 run, including 2- & 4-door models, convertibles, station wagons, pick-ups, and passenger vans. The brainchild of Chevrolet General Manager and former Chief Engineer Ed Cole, the Corvair’s advanced engineering and bold departure from other cars of the period led Motor Trend magazine to name it “Car of the Year” in 1960.

Corvair is the first and only mass produced American vehicle to feature an air-cooled rear engine design, unit-body construction, factory turbocharging, and 4-wheel independent suspension. In fact, the 150 HP 1962 Corvair Spyder (along with the 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire) was America’s first factory-built turbo-charged vehicle. Originally touted as an economy car, drivers quickly discovered Corvair’s sports car-like handling and dubbed it the “poor man’s Porsche”. The 9-passenger Corvair Greenbrier van, produced from 1961 through early 1965, was originally classified as a station wagon and is widely considered to be the forerunner of the modern American minivan, complete with an optional left-side passenger door.

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