Corvair Club will visit Railroad Museum on Sunday

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Visitors look over a display of Corvair automobiles parked at the Medina Railroad Museum during their visit here several years ago. The Niagara Frontier Corvair Club will return on Sunday, where the cars will be on display from 11 a.m. for an hour and a half to two hours.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 9 September 2020 at 7:58 am

MEDINA – The Medina Railroad Museum will welcome up to a dozen members of the Niagara Frontier Corvair Club on Sunday. Cars will arrive at the museum about 11 a.m., where they will spend 1 1/2 to two hours touring the museum. During that time, the community is invited to stop and look at the cars, as long as they wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

The club, founded in the early 1970s, takes one field trip a year and lastly visited the museum several years ago, according to club secretary John Dawley of Tonawanda.

Club membership numbered 40 three years ago, but has dwindled to 30 now. In 2006, the club hosted the National Corvair Convention in Buffalo, which 600 people attended, Dawley said.

“Corvair is not the most popular classic car,” he said. “Ralph Nader called it the car which is not safe at any speed.”

When the Mustang and Corvette came out, that killed the Corvair, Dawley added.

The Corvair was only made from 1960 to 1969. Early models are considered those made from 1960 to 1964, while late models, made from 1965 to 1969, had a second body style. Only 6,000 were made in the last year.

The club’s newsletter editor Gary Swiatowy of Gasport has six Corvairs. He said the Corvair engine was cast in Massena and put together at the Chevrolet Tonawanda Engine Plant. He added that Corvairs have rear engines and are air-cooled.

Dawley said when his uncle turned 85, he gave him his 1969 Corvair, a Monza with a 140 motor.

This 1961 Corvair Lakewood station wagon owned by Patrick Murphy, president of the Niagara Frontier Corvair Club, is one of several from the Niagara Frontier Corvair Club who will be making a field trip to the Medina Railroad Museum Sept. 13. The community is welcome to come and see the cars parked there from 11 a.m. to 12:30 or 1 p.m.

The trip to Medina on Sunday will begin in Lockport. Dawley has planned the route for their trip, and any club member who can guess the closest to the number of miles they will drive will win a free lunch. Dawley is familiar with Medina, having served in the National Guard at the Medina Armory from 1965 through 1968.

The club meets once a month at the guest center on Grand Island. Prior to the pandemic they met at Lutheran Church in Tonawanda, which has been closed.

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